Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign opened a new line of attack on Dem rival Tony Evers today, charging in a new TV ad the state superintendent wants to cut the prison population in half, which would mean releasing violent criminals “back into our communities.”

The new TV ad builds on Walker’s previous attacks on Evers over a Middleton teacher who viewed pornography at school and made inappropriate comments about girls’ bodies, but didn’t lose his license.

The narrator in the new ad says as superintendent, Evers “failed to remove abusive teachers from our schools.”

The narrator then says Evers wants to cut Wisconsin’s prison population in half, calling it a “dangerous plan that today would mean releasing thousands of violent criminals back into our communities,” including those who have committed rape, assault, robbery and kidnapping.

The narrator concludes the spot, “First abusive teachers. Now releasing violent criminals, putting everyone at risk. We just can’t trust Tony Evers to keep us safe.”

During a Dem primary debate, Evers said reducing the state’s prison population by half was a “goal worth accomplishing” and he’d support changes for nonviolent offenders. But Walker and Republicans have said two-thirds of those now incarcerated in Wisconsin prisons have committed a violent offense.

Walker’s campaign said the ad is running statewide, but declined to provide details.

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