Scott brings his brown bag lunch to the office every day and rolls up his sleeves, except the office is much bigger now and the stakes even higher. The leading Republican Gubernatorial candidate for the State of Wisconsin, he drives his 1998 Saturn from event to event, touting his proven record of fiscal conservatism through 8 years as the Executive of Milwaukee County, one of the bluest and most liberal Democratic strongholds in the State. Starting out in the State legislature as a representative for the 14th Assembly District (Waukesha), the seat currently held by recently featured conservative Leah Vukmir Leah Vukmir, Scott took a message of government reform and reduction to the County of Milwaukee when he ran for executive in 2002 and won. The rest was history:
•Reduced the county workforce by more than 20%
•Lowered the county debt by 10%
•Introduced 8 consecutive budgets without an increase to the property tax levy from the previous year.
•Improved the county's bond rating
•Milwaukee County Parks won the prestigious 2009 National Gold Medal for Excellence in the Park and Recreation Management Program
•Eliminated the waiting list for long-term care for older adults through the Family Care program.
•Milwaukee County's Mitchell International Airport received the Transportation Safety Administration's Partnership Award.
•Invested over $199 million dollars in renovations and improvements to General Mitchell International Airport without increasing the property tax levy
•Airport improvements helped attract nearly 1,000 jobs from Southwest, Air Tran and Republic airlines.
•Implemented a pension obligation plan to save Milwaukee County taxpayers $ 237 million.
Scott Walker grew up in the town of Delavan, Wisconsin just north of the Wisconsin border outside of Milwaukee. He comes from a financially modest background. His father is a retired preacher. As he makes his way around the State of Wisconsin, Scott brings a powerful campaign built largely on the social networking and grassroots efforts. He has an amazing Internet presence and uses the power of Facebook, Twitter, and bloggers to spread his message.
According to his campaign site:
Scott's Brown Bag Guide to Government applies the same kind of small town values and common sense ideas he follows in his personal life:.
1. Don't spend more than you have.
2. Smaller government is better government.
3. People create jobs, not government.
When it comes to serving the public, Scott Walker puts his money where his mouth is there too. From 2002 through 2010, Scott and Tonette Walker have given back over $370,000 of his salary to the county.
Scott Walker's government reform campaign helped sweep him into the Milwaukee County executive's office in 2002, after serving nearly nine years in the Wisconsin State Legislature. At the time, Milwaukee County was on the precipice of an organizational and financial meltdown; rocked by greedy politicians who had voted to allow themselves and hundreds of career bureaucrats to retire as millionaires at the taxpayers' expense
Here is my interview with Scott as he explains his philosophies and the direction of his campaign fresh off of his endorsement for Governor by the Republican Party of the State of Wisconsin:
1. NOW THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ENDORSED BY THE REPUBLICAN PARTY OF WISCONSIN, WHAT IS THE NEW FOCUS AND DIRECTION OF YOUR CAMPAIGN?
Well, its really about taking that support from literally thousands of conservative activists and applying it to getting our message out for the fall elections and our focus is really on 2 parts:
1) Being in the position to take that government back and put it in hands of the people.
2) In doing so enacting strategies to get government out of the way so that the people of this State can create more jobs.
2. WHAT ASPECTS OF YOUR CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR DIFFER, IF ANY, FROM YOUR CAMPAIGNS FOR COUNTY EXECUTIVE:
In this case we have a larger audience and so from that standpoint, there is a lot more travel and I’ve been doing it for some time but I believe that’s important because I believe that people in one part of the state are not the same as others. There certainly are common themes, common values, common concerns of the economy but the Chippewa Valley is different than the Fox Valley and the Fox Valley is different from Delavan, down in Walworth County where I grew up, a town of 8,000; The Coulee Region down by La Crosse and you go down the line. Different parts of the State have very different issues and as the candidate for Governor, and ultimately as the Governor, I’ve tried to symbolize through my actions, not just my words, that I understand those differences and I am going to be here to work with people once I’m the governor.
THE WALKER FAMILY
3. THE OBAMA/DOYLE/BARRETT MACHINE IS ALREADY CRANKING UP ITS ASSAULT AGAINST YOU. WHAT KINDS OF STRATEGIES WILL YOU DEPLOY AGAINST THEIR WELL-FUNDED RHETORIC?
We are going to 1) And I being elected in Milwaukee County, which is, you’re right under the gun all of the time; I like to say that used to coming to work with body armor on and a 2x4, so we’re used to being under attack and we don’t let anything sit long. We come out and we whack at it, we pile on it, and we beat back any mistruths, and so with a TV ad or a press release or anything else like that we’re going to come out and set the record straight immediately and we’ve done that already in a couple of episodes and we are going to be continuing to do that. 2) The other key thing is that we are going to, in the end, not let the Democrats to get us off of our message, which is the other 2 things I’ve previously mentioned:
Making it clear that we have a track record and we’ve got a strategy to take the government back and put it back on the side of the people again, combined with the fact that our strategy in getting government out of the way is ultimately what we need to get this State’s economy back going again. They are going to try to take us off message, they are going to try bring up other issues, but we’re going to answer them, bring up to the media and the public the errors of their attacks, and get to work on our election strategy which is really about making the State work again.
4. WHAT VITAL COMPONENTS OF YOUR UPBRINGING DO YOU BELIEVE HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO YOUR LIFE AND VALUES AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, YOUR LEADERSHIP?
Certainly, it starts with my faith and my family and I think my faith in Christ certainly has had a tremendous impact on where I am not just personally but professionally as well; how I treat people and how I like to be treated all comes out of that. Certainly a good chunk of what brought me into my faith are my parents. My dad is a now a long-since-retired minister and my mother, worked part-time, and she had a tremendous impact on who I am, a great role model. Along the way I was involved with a lot of things from school and sports and Scouts. I also am an Eagle Scout. Twenty-five years ago, in 1985 I went to the American Legion, Badger Boy’s State, and the Boy’s Nation programs and that had a great influence, not just from learning about government politics but ultimately learning from those veterans who put on a program called, “The Power of Public Service” and I found that be very impactful. And I think the good people I’ve worked with along the way and the constituents I’ve had in the Assembly, now as County Executive, and the people I’ve met around the State all have had a powerful influence on who I am and the ideas I have and how I choose to govern.
5. YOUR REPUBLICAN OPPONENT MARK NEUMANN HAS MADE REPEATED E-MAIL ATTACKS AGAINST YOUR CAMPAIGN. NOW THAT YOU ARE ENDORSED, DO YOU FEEL, IT AT ALL NECESSARY TO RESPOND TO THOSE ACCUSATIONS?
In the end these are the same distortions that the State Democrats are putting out, which is kind of unusual to have a Republican doing that and saying that, but the reality is if you look at the issues out there, there is just no basis to them. You look at the Harley rides (motorcycle rides around the region) and the fact that we’ve done 7 consecutive years of doing this and that everybody down the line has acknowledged that in each of these years the intent was to get out and promote tourism, not to do anything else out there, the fact that we go to 5 states and not just Wisconsin, we think everybody can see through that and it’s bad enough that the Democrats distort the facts on that and they are proven wrong every time but it is an unusual to have a Republican putting out those sorts of mistruths. It’s just unfortunate that they’ve decided to go to the State Democrats Web sites and the pick up the same false attacks but like I said, in the end we are going to keep on track, we are going to point out the errors in any attacks on us, and we are going to get back on a positive message to get the State working again.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2010
Contact: Jill Bader (414) 453-2010
ICYMI: Rasmussen Poll Shows Walker 50%, Barrett 43%
Walker over 50% for first time, still the only candidate who can beat Tom Barrett in November
Wauwatosa – Keith Gilkes, campaign manager for Scott Walker, released the following statement on polling showing Scott Walker over 50% gaining ground on Tom Barrett.
“Wisconsin voters continue to move away from the Tom Barrett-Jim Doyle agenda of big taxes and big spending and towards Scott Walker and his plan to create 250,000 jobs in his first term.”
Included in today’s poll:
• “Walker has consistently proven to be the slightly stronger GOP candidate against Barrett.”
• Among independents Walker leads Barrett 50% to 34%; does 5 points better than Neumann with this group.
• Walker has, by far, the highest favorable ratings and lowest unfavorable ratings of any candidate. His favorable ratings are 55 favorable to 36% unfavorable (32% very favorable) to Barrett’s 50-43% (23% very favorable). Meanwhile, Neumann is viewed favorably by 47% to 42% unfavorable (13% very favorable).
• Walker has the highest favorable ratings of any candidate with his own party. Walker is viewed favorably by 90% of GOP voters (65% very favorably), Neumann is viewed favorably by 73% of GOP voters (26% very favorably) and Barrett is viewed favorably by 84% of Democrat voters (41% very favorably).
Election 2010: Wisconsin Governor
Wisconsin Governor: Walker (R) 50%, Barrett (D) 43%
Republican Scott Walker for the first time earns 50% of the vote in the race to be the next governor of Wisconsin. It's his best showing to date.
A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the state finds that Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the likely Democratic gubernatorial contender, gets 43% support against Walker, the country executive of Milwaukee County. Two percent (2%) prefer some other candidate, while five percent (5%) are undecided.
Two weeks ago, Walker led Barrett 48% to 44%.
Barrett is now in a virtual tie - 45% to 44% - with the other top GOP hopeful, former Congressman Mark Neumann. Five percent (5%) favor another candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.
The Democrat posted a narrow 45% to 43% lead over Neumann in the previous survey.
Walker has consistently proven to be the slightly stronger GOP candidate against Barrett, with support back to early February in the narrow range of 46% to 49%. In those same surveys, support for Barrett has ranged from 40% to 44%.
Neumann has picked up 43% to 47% of the vote against Barrett, who has earned 39% to 46% in those matchups.
Barrett has no strong opposition for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Voters in both parties will pick their nominees in September 14 primaries.
The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Wisconsin was conducted on July 27, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
The Wisconsin Senate race is still a toss-up, with Republican Ron Johnson and incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold in a near tie.
Male voters in the state favor the Republican candidate in both gubernatorial match-ups. Women favor Barrett if Neumann is the Republican in the race but break even in a contest between Barrett and Walker. Among voters not affiliated with either political party, both GOP candidates hold double-digit leads over the Democrat.
Neumann is viewed Very Favorably by 13% of all Wisconsin voters and Very Unfavorably by 20%.
Thirty-two percent (32%) of voters in the state share a Very Favorable opinion of Walker, while 23% view him Very Unfavorably. For Barrett, Very Favorables total 23% and Very Unfavorables 27%.
All three candidates are well-known in the state. At this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with strong opinions more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
Forty-six percent (46%) of Wisconsin voters rate their personal finances as good or excellent, well above the national average. Just 15% give their finances a poor grade. Yet only 16% say their personal finances are getting better these days, while 51% feel they are getting worse.
Democratic Governor Jim Doyle is not standing for reelection. Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Wisconsin voters now approve of the job he is doing as governor. Sixty percent (60%) disapprove.
Read more conservative profiles at conservativefeatures.com