Gubernatorial candidate and current Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker told a University of Wisconsin crowd Tuesday the key to rebuilding Wisconsin lies in increasing the job market and lowering unemployment, something he feels is pertinent to all students.
Brought to campus by the UW chapter of Students for Scott Walker in partnership with the College Republicans, Walker said his campaign revolves around jobs and once jobs are taken care of, other issues are easier to tackle.
Nick Novak, chair of UW Students for Scott Walker, said they asked Walker to speak prior to the Republican Party of Wisconsin’s endorsement simply to get his message out there.
“I think it’s really important to get students informed now, especially students who are graduating so they know what they’re graduating into,” Novak said.
Walker focused his speech around the basis of his campaign — jobs.
Walker added the government does not create jobs, but rather establishes an environment conducive to job growth and creation.
“I think the best way to create a positive environment to retain and grow jobs and attract more jobs in the future is to get government out of the way of the private sector,” Walker said.
Walker also said he thinks many politicians sell students short when speaking on campuses, and what he hears from students focuses on the job market and whether they will be able to find jobs in Wisconsin post-graduation.
He added the best possible way to keep students in Wisconsin are “good paying, decent, forward-thinking jobs.”
Another area concerning UW students is the diploma policy with the law schools at Marquette and UW, which allows graduates to practice law in the state without taking the state bar examination.
Despite the recent scrutiny the policy has come under, Walker believes it is part of a long-standing tradition and one more way to keep graduates in the state.
While Walker has pledged he would not increase taxes if elected governor, he did acknowledge cuts must be made in these tough economic times to compensate.
One area where Walker said he sees possibilities for reduction is wages in the public sector, which he felt are unsustainable.
“Public sector wages need to be put in check with private sector wages,” he said. “The biggest thing you can do in a government is get those under control.”
The other component to his plan would be growth, especially concerning venture capital, he said.
Walker said reforms such as eliminating the state income tax on retirement would help keep possible investors in the state from fleeing for places such as Florida and Arizona where such a tax does not exist.
Attendee UW junior Lindsay Bembenek felt the turnout for the event was great and believed that Walker will help add a positive viewpoint amid the dire topic of the economy.
Walker’s campaign, however, has encountered setbacks reflected by a recent public opinion poll released by St. Norbert College as well as a poll conducted jointly by Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and UW which both report public awareness of Walker is relatively low for a gubernatorial candidate.