Walker talks gubernatorial platform on campus

Scott Walker speaks about healthcare, jobs and the economy in the AMU on Sunday night.
Scott Walker speaks about healthcare, jobs and the economy in the AMU on Sunday night.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, donning a gold Marquette basketball shirt for the occasion, outlined details of his gubernatorial platform at an event sponsored by Marquette College Republicans Sunday night in the Alumni Memorial Union.

He focused on making Wisconsin conducive for creating and retaining jobs by fostering a healthy business environment. He said the state government should get out of the way of individual business owners so they can run their operations more efficiently.

Tax cuts would play an important role in a potential Walker administration, he said, because it would allow people to keep their own money and make them “better able to control their own destinies.”

“I put my faith in the people,” he said.

The state’s manufacturing, agriculture and tourism industries have lost the most jobs since the recession began, and Walker said their recovery will be critical to the recovery of the state as a whole.

“We need to stop treating (these industries) like ugly step-children,” he said.

Of the three, manufacturing has been hit hardest following closures or layoffs at major Wisconsin factories, including Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee, Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac and General Motors in Janesville.

Walker compared his approach to that of former President Ronald Reagan and Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who both faced difficult economic climates when they were elected to office in 1980 and 1986, respectively.

“(Thompson) helped turn the state around,” Walker said.

Aside from economics and job creation, Walker also discussed ways he would make state government more transparent, which would include changing state statutes that currently allow state legislators to hold closed caucuses and vote on legislation during late night sessions.

The College Republicans used Walker’s appearance to drum up support for his campaign. Chairman Alex Hansen, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences, said students have a good opportunity to influence change in Wisconsin by getting involved.

“Don’t underestimate the value you can have in this election,” Walker added.

Kirsten Jones, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences and chairwoman for the College Democrats of Marquette, did not respond specifically to Walker’s platform, but said she was happy he came to campus to allow debate of ideas and set a political climate with the election coming up.

Walker faces former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann in the Republican primary election next September. The general election is now less than a year away.