Wisconsin has been torn apart by Scott Walker’s ideological civil war and his divide-and-conquer assault on our values.
Walker’s my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing is the wrong way to get things done in Wisconsin. It may have made Walker a rock star to the national right-wing billionaires, but it moves us backward on key issues like jobs, education and women’s health. And it has bitterly divided co-workers, family members and friends.
Quite simply, we cannot fix Wisconsin and move forward as long as Walker remains governor.
I am running for governor to put Wisconsin first, not my own political career. I’m running to fight for jobs, not ideology. And I’m running to restore trust and integrity to state government — I’ll never need a criminal defense fund paid for by billionaire donors.
I’m taking this campaign directly into neighborhoods, pulling up a lawn chair and listening and talking with people. I’m not afraid to shake hands with people holding Walker signs. This is the leadership Wisconsin needs to truly move forward.
Walker’s divide-and-conquer assault on our values has produced dramatic results, but not the kind that the people of Wisconsin want.
• Under Walker, Wisconsin has lost more jobs than any other state in the nation.
• Under Walker, Wisconsin suffered the deepest cuts to education in state history.
• Under Walker, hardworking men and women faced an unprecedented attack on their workplace rights.
• Under Walker, a war on women has been waged that has weakened protections for equal pay for equal work, and jeopardized women’s health and reproductive freedom.
• Under Walker, taxes went up on seniors and low-income working people, while the super rich and big corporations got $2.3 billion in massive tax giveaways.
These are not our shared Wisconsin values. And through it all, questions continue to swirl about the criminal corruption investigation into Walker’s time as Milwaukee County executive.
Six of his associates have been charged with 15 felonies and three misdemeanors. Walker has opened a criminal defense fund, bankrolled by wealthy right-wing activists. While he claims he is not a target of the probe, state law allows these funds only for those under investigation or facing charges. Walker’s explanations simply don’t add up, and it’s time for straight answers. The people of Wisconsin deserve to know if their governor is the target of a criminal investigation — before the election.
A recent report showed that Walker has spent more time in the past year visiting other states raising money than he has spent in many Wisconsin counties. He’s spent his time flying around the country raising money and playing right-wing rock star to the extreme conservative elite.
My priority is Wisconsin. I’m running to restore trust, accountability and honesty to our state government. I’m running to put Wisconsin first, to focus on jobs, to strengthen education and to protect SeniorCare, Family Care and BadgerCare.
We cannot afford to keep a governor who is most interested in his own job and his special-interest allies. We cannot afford to keep a governor who bolsters his reputation with the radical right-wing across the country by dividing Wisconsin.
I hope to earn your vote on June 5 so we can work together to restore Wisconsin values and priorities, and move our great state forward.
Tom Barrett, a Democrat, is mayor of Milwaukee and a candidate for governor in the June 5 recall election.