In a move to draw attention to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's use of a state airplane, the Democratic candidates for governor and lieutenant governor broadcast their drive from Appleton to Green Bay on Facebook Tuesday.
Gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers did the driving, with lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes navigating in the passenger's seat and two campaign staffers in the back seat. The trip took about 45 minutes, with a handful of phone calls on speakerphone from politicians including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, attorney general candidate Josh Kaul and state treasurer candidate Sarah Godlewski along the way.
Evers and Barnes highlighted the 24-mile Appleton-to-Green Bay trip because of a flight Walker took on Sept. 7, 2016. It was the first leg of several stops throughout the state that day.
The candidates spent plenty of time promoting their campaign platform and policy agenda, but they shared a few personal tidbits, too. Here's what we learned on what they called "The Tony and Mandela Show."
1. Democrats like to refer to potholes as "Scottholes," as a way to blame Walker for the condition of the state's roads.
"You gotta watch out for the Scottholes. They’re everywhere," Evers said. "See, there’s one right there. Holy mackerel."
2. Evers was at the first Milwaukee Brewers game at County Stadium. The game was April 7, 1970, and the Brewers lost to the California Angels. It sleeted during the game, Evers said, and it was "cold and frustrating." But fans were excited to have the team in Milwaukee.
Evers said he caught about two minutes of Monday's game, in which the Brewers won the National League Central Division title. Barnes said he didn't get a chance to watch it, but he wore his "Brewers quarter-zip."
3. Evers listens to Brewers games when he drives to events. Barnes said he usually listens to podcasts.
4. Barnes has run two marathons, both in Milwaukee.
The first one, he said, was "terrible" because he didn't train. He's thinking about doing another one next year. He has also thought about doing an Ironman triathlon, but he's not sure where he'd find the time to train.
"I'm always amazed by the Ironman. I always say, 'I could do that, and thank God I never followed through on it,'" Evers said.
Both Evers and Barnes are intimidated by the open-water swimming portion of the Ironman. Barnes said he's worried he might get kicked in the face.
5. Evers and his wife polka dance and play euchre.
Barnes says he has a "Wisconsin diet:" meat, cheese and "hops and barley."
6. Evers doesn't mind roundabouts, but they frustrate Barnes.
"They certainly move traffic. I know some people are confused by them, but no, I think they're fine," Evers said.
Barnes says he's all for local control, but maybe someone should intervene every now and then to keep cities from putting too many roundabouts in one place.
7. The most unique place Evers has ever lived, he said, is Tomah, where his twins were born.
Evers said he and his wife "worked hard" and "recreated hard."
"We belonged to the Lions Club together and did all that kind of crazy stuff," he said.
8. Barnes has never hit a deer while driving, but his dad did once.
"I had like two or three within a year," Evers said. "It was just the weirdest thing. Same car."
Evers' oldest daughter was a baby when they hit a deer near Montello. The deer "unfortunately perished … in the combat."
"Erin was just dumbfounded, the whole idea. OK, somebody died. Something happened. What happened to the deer? Did the deer go to heaven?" Evers said. "I'm not sure she's recovered yet."
9. Republicans weren't amused by the video.
"Quite the variety show. At the end audience members will be invited up to guess the total $$$ in tax increases needed to pay for the @Tony4WI 'agenda'. Nobody will bet $1..." tweeted Republican Party of Wisconsin executive director Mark Morgan.
RPW spokesman Alec Zimmerman said the video made clear that Evers "lacks the leadership to be upfront with voters about his plans to increase spending and taxes," noting that Evers has said "everything is on the table" as he considers transportation funding. Evers has also said he would consider changes to the state's individual income tax brackets.