Patti Wenzel

Walker rolls up his sleeves

By - Jan 4th, 2011 04:00 am
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Scott Walker address the inaugural gathering from the capitol rotunda.

Almost immediately following the ceremonial pomp and circumstance of the gubernatorial oath, Scott Walker pulled two bills from his jacket pocket. One was to be forwarded to the state senate, the other to the assembly, in an effort, according to Walker, to “open Wisconsin for business.”

Walker repeated his election day battle cry three times during in his inaugural remarks to state officials and citizens, and emphasized it by selecting Liza Mauer, CEO of Tool Service Corporation of Wauwatosa, to be the Mistress of Ceremonies for the event.

The ceremony included the swearing in of Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Attorney General J. B. VanHollen and State Treasurer Kurt Schuller. Secretary of State Douglas J. LaFollette was sworn in prior to the ceremony and was not present, due to a family vacation. Former governors Martin Schreiber, Anthony Earl, Tommy Thompson and Scott McCallum also watched the inauguration.

The receptive audience and polite political opposition cheered as Walker reaffirmed his campaign promises, saying he would improve the state’s education system to make our students competitive in the global marketplace, protect our natural resources, restore economic vitality to the state, honor the foundational role of family and get government out of the way of the small businesses he promises will create 250,000 jobs in the next four years.

He firmly stated he will not raise taxes to fill the $3.3 billion gap coming with the 2011-12 budget, but close it by trimming state services that are not considered essential.

“Increasing taxes is off the table as it will counter our efforts to have economic growth.” This particular comment elicited a few questions from one particularly vocal protester in the crowd. Walker did not respond, but went on to  reference the state constitution, our forefathers and Ronald Reagan as the inspiration for his plans.

“Our constitution is of the people, for the people and by the people. When it was approved in 1848, they envisioned a brighter future for themselves and their children. It begins simply and speaks to the source of our liberties — the creator, not the government.”

He added that Wisconsin’s success depends on adherence to the constitution and the reaffirmation of the values our state was founded on — justice, moderation, temperance, frugality and virtue.

“These are the values on which we were formed and on which our state will travel forward,” Walker said. “Under our administration, state government will do only what is necessary – no more, no less.”

And Reagan’s observation that as “government grows, liberty contracts,” is where Walker pulls his belief that government must be stopped from reaching into our pockets and lives.

The Walker family prepares to party at the inaugural ball

“I will call a special session today, where we will present a bold set of reforms aimed at helping businesses create jobs. This is our blueprint to spur our business environment,” he said, waving the bills in the air. “Unite and pass these reforms into law and create more jobs for our citizens. Pass our plan by the end of February to get Wisconsin working again.”

Walker described the bill’s contents as relief from taxes, regulations and litigation for small businesses; policy reforms to allow small businesses to offer health care, and changing the Department of Commerce from a regulatory body to an über-state Chamber of Commerce.

“We will send a clear message to business owners: Now is the time to invest, stay here, grow here and, if you’re out of state, bring your jobs here. We have the most talented workers in the world.”

Photos courtesy of WisPolitics Flickr.

0 thoughts on “Walker rolls up his sleeves”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, that’s what he said: “improve the state’s education system to make our students competitive in the global marketplace.” He said that, but, in looking over what he has said and done in the past, I don’t see much hope on that issue. I will be excited and supportive if it is so.
    He also said the he will “protect our natural resources,” and again, he hasn’t said or demonstrated anything to allow us to think that he will do so. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce might have something to say about that.
    But, what frightens me the most is his plan to “get government out of the way of the small businesses…” Reducing or eliminating government oversight is a direct order from WM&C and indeed the national Chamber of Commerce, the big campaign funding source itself.
    Yeah, it makes me nervous. I hope that everyone will be watching closely…

  2. Anonymous says:

    I may be wrong, but I think Walker’s demise will be spurning light rail/mass transit.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Regarding Tom Kovacich’s comment, he may well be absolutely on target. Some of the federal funding that Scott Walker rejected has gone to California, which is very serious about developing a new high speed rail system to help them restore their state’s economy.
    And, those funds are being matched by China! China has the largest such system in the world and they are interested in investing in California “for fun and profit!”
    Just think, maybe we could have had China investing in Wisconsin – – –

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