Speed Reads

PateGate

Gov. Scott Walker's bald spot has become a campaign issue

Wisconsin's Republican govern is caught in a tight re-election race against Democratic challenger Mary Burke, but it wasn't Burke who brought Scott Walker's bald spot into the race. "He brought it up," said the Wisconsin State Journal.

The bald spot, Walker explained during a visit with the State Journal's editorial board, is the direct result of him banging his head on a kitchen cabinet door while fixing something for his wife, Tonette. He ignored his wife's suggestions to have the scar looked at, Walker continued, and by the time he did make it to a doctor, he was told that his hair would never grow back in that spot.

That's when things got silly. Critics started a Facebook page for "Scott Walker's Shiny Bald Spot," labelling the flap PateGate. The liberal group One Wisconsin Now put out a pun-heavy press release in which executive director Scot Ross said that Walker "has made hair-raising excuses and offered bald-faced distortions" about the cause of his hair loss, among other things. "Gov. Walker, that’s what guys in our mid-40s do, we lose our hair sometimes," Ross added.

Finally, Jim Stingl at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talked to hair-loss expert William Yates to get to the bottom of PateGate. Walker's "hairline is thinning and he has a bald spot in the back," Yates said after looking at a photo of the governor. "That's totally normal male pattern balding." That's hardly conclusive proof that Walker is lying about his bald spot, but its pretty convincing evidence that we've entered the silly season of the 2014 midterms.