Politics blog: President Obama says Tom Barrett will fight for Wisconsin

2010-08-16T15:15:00Z 2012-05-22T17:47:33Z Politics blog: President Obama says Tom Barrett will fight for WisconsinBy MARY SPICUZZA mspicuzza@madison.com 608-252-6122 madison.com

President Barack Obama says Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is the candidate for governor who will fight for Wisconsin.

Obama, who spoke on Monday afternoon at a fundraiser held on the floor of the U.S. Cellular Arena, spoke of Barrett's support for economic development in places like the Menomonee Valley. And he spoke of Barrett stepping in to help a woman and child near the Wisconsin State Fair last year, an incident that left him with serious injuries to his face and hand.

"That's the kind of act you don't hear about every day," Obama said. "He stepped in, tried to help and sustained serious injuries. That's what counts as a leader."

There have been conflicting reports of how many people paid to get into the $250-per-plate fundraiser. A Barrett spokesman said 1,300 people bought tickets to the event, and that it was oversold. A media report estimated that about $325,000 was raised.

After the event, the president boarded Air Force One and left at 2 p.m.

-Material from the pool report was used for this item.


More green for Barrett

After his visit to a green energy company in Menomonee Falls, President Obama headed to Milwaukee to speak at a fundraiser for Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett.

Monday's stop is part of Obama's cross-country trip aimed at brining in more Monday for Democratic candidates facing tough races this fall.

The president will leave Milwaukee for Los Angeles Monday afternoon, where he'll be speaking at another fundraiser late tonight.


Obama calls for more products to be "Made in America"

President Barack Obama touted green businesses during his visit to Wisconsin Monday. Calling for some hope in the manufacturing industry, the president said corporations like the Menomonee Falls' renewable battery company, ZBB Energy, are "pointing the country towards a brighter economic future."

"And you've been able to export batteries around the globe, helping us to lead in this new industry," Obama said. "For years, we've heard about manufacturing jobs disappearing overseas. Companies like this one are showing us how manufacturing jobs can come back."

Obama, who spoke after touring ZBB, said it's clear that the economy is heading in the right direction, pointing to private-sector jobs being added for seven months in a row.

His loudest applause came when the president said he wanted to see more products, like engines and batteries, to be stamped "Made in America."

He expects the country's commitment to clean energy will lead to more than 800,000 jobs by 2012, he said.

Obama also spoke of infrastructure like roads, bridges and rail during his brief speech, saying those projects will lead to hundreds of thousands of private-sector jobs.

The chief executive officer of ZBB Energy, Eric Apfelbach, previously led two Madison companies. Apfelbach was a co-founder of Virent Energy Systems and Alfalight.


Planes, Trains and Automobile (Bridges)

President Barack Obama arrived in Wisconsin shortly after 10 a.m. Monday morning. He was greeted by Gov. Jim Doyle and his wife, Jessica, and U.S. Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold.

Soon after Air Force One landed, Republicans were already calling Obama's support "the kiss of death" for Democratic candidates like Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

"At the end of the day, politically Obama is not a plus for Tom Barrett," Republican Party of Wisconsin Chairman Reince Priebus said.

Both he and Republican candidate Scott Walker used Obama's visit as an opportunity to slam the stimulus-funded passenger rail project as "boondoggle." They have said the state giving back millions of dollars, even money that's already been spent, would be better than finishing the rail project.

Walker is planning an event Monday afternoon near the Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee in honor of Obama's visit.

Obama will soon be speaking at ZBB Energy Corporation, which is using $1.3 million it received from the Recovery Act to help fund a factory renovation. The company says it will triple their capacity to manufacture renewable batteries and power systems with the money, and plans to use a tax credit to buid another factory in Southeastern Wisconsin.


President to visit Wisconsin

President Barack Obama is making another trip to Wisconsin Monday.

Obama, who just spoke at a town hall meeting in Racine in late June, plans to tour ZBB Energy Corp. in Menomonee Falls in the morning. The company makes batteries and fuel cells using "zinc-bromine technology," which are used in renewable-energy products.

The event is not open to the general public.

In the afternoon, Obama will be in Milwaukee to speak at a fundraiser for Democratic candidate for governor and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The company's Australian subsidiary was formed in 1982, according to ZBB's website, and its U.S. subsidiary was established in 1994 in Wisconsin.

Obama is scheduled to leave Wisconsin this afternoon to travel to Los Angeles for a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee fundraising event.

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