Marquette Wire

Farley, Hopper visit campus to promote Walker

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Tom Farley (left) and Senator Randy Hopper speaks to Students for Scott Walker on the up coming election for governer. Photo by Brittany McGrail / Brittany.mcgrail@marquette.edu

After years of hearing phrases such as “Rock the Vote” and “You can make a difference,” it’s finally time to put pen to paper at the ballot boxes.  Whether you’re a rookie to the voting booth or an old-time pro, today’s primary will determine Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett’s competition in the general election for governor.

Last Thursday, Marquette played host to State Sen. Randy Hopper and Tom Farley, brother of deceased actor and 1986 Marquette graduate Chris Farley, as they promoted Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker. The men encouraged students to take control of their voting power and motivate others to do the same.

Students for Walker, a group dedicated to supporting the current Milwaukee county executive in the upcoming gubernatorial primary, was the final stop on a list of nine university organizations the two visited in a mere two days.

Speaking to a room of about 40 students, Hopper and Farley’s goal was simple: motivate students to vote and promote excitement for the upcoming election.

“This is a pivotal time and I’m already past next Tuesday,” Hopper said in regard to the primary. “We need your help between now and November.”

Hopper endorsed Walker shortly after he announced his candidacy in April 2009, and said he plans to stick by that decision.

“There are very few times when the right person is in the right position at the right time,” Hopper said. “I met Walker, and I knew that he was right and it was the time.”

Farley said he knew Walker was who he wanted to endorse from the start.

“Walker’s political stance follows my family’s idea of keeping it simple,” Farley said. “We’re different here in Wisconsin — politics are on a community level.”

Farley urged members of Students for Walker to recognize the power they hold as youths in politics.

“You have great ability in your nature,” Farley said. “You’re being trained to passionately think on a higher level. If you combine the intellectual and emotional, things will happen.”

Stephanie Marecki, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences and president of Students for Walker, replicated the goal of promoting student voters.

“There has been a low voter turnout in the past,” Marecki said. “So simply getting a lot of people to show up is huge in itself.”

The group was created in September 2009, with volunteers working at fundraising events and phone banks in an effort to motivate student voters.

Craig Maechtle, a junior in the College of Business Administration, said the organization is the only one at the university backing a specific candidate.

“There aren’t any groups for Mark Neumann or Tom Barrett here,” Maechtle said. “We’re trailblazing for future generations.”

This trailblazing, however, could end sooner than hoped if the current GOP polls hold true and Walker’s campaign ends in defeat.

According to the Rasmussen Reports, Mark Neumann recently took a 1 point lead over Walker going into Tuesday. Neumann has about 60 percent support of the Tea Party.

Both lead against Barrett according to the reports, with Neumann holding a 48 percent to 44 percent lead, and Walker 47 to 44.

Blogs on both Neumann’s campaign website and WisPolitics.com spoke of uncertainty on Walker’s side due to recent polls. This uncertainty resulted in Walker attacking Neumann with negative ads.

Avoiding retaliation, Neumann signed a pledge not to run negative TV attack ads or mailers in the closing days of the campaign, asking Walker to do the same.

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