Walker rolls up his sleeves
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.
“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.
“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.