Two of the three major gubernatorial candidates delivered speeches at Monona Terrace Tuesday, with Republican candidate Scott Walker pledging to bring 25,000 jobs and 10,000 new businesses to Wisconsin by the year 2015 if elected in 2010.
Walker spoke regarding the large number of people whom he has seen scared about the future of the state’s economy, and said, should he be elected, he would work hard to solve the problem.
“As of Nov. 2, 2010, we don’t have to be scared anymore, because help is on the way,” Walker said.
According to Walker, the way to create jobs within the state is to follow a six-step plan that would lower taxes, decrease government business regulations, implement tort reform, improve education, make health care more affordable and strengthen infrastructure.
Walker said although his proposal may sound big, it is manageable.
“We’ve made bold promises, but we’ve kept them,” Walker said.
He added the problem is not with the state of Wisconsin itself or its workforce, but with government regulation and excessive tax burden. He said rather than having “big government” he wanted to try to restore personal rights and liberties.
“Leaders need to side with people, not with government,” Walker said.
The speech was delivered as part of a conference called “Business Day in Madison,” which was hosted by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also spoke at the event.
According to Barrett’s campaign spokesperson Phil Walzak, Barrett’s speech also focused on the economy and emphasized his experience in working with Wisconsin’s businesses to decrease unemployment.
“From helping transform the Menomonee Valley from a desolate industrial wasteland to a thriving commercial sector that is home to 2,000 jobs, to working with businesses… to bring more good jobs here, no other candidate matches Tom Barrett on job creation, ” Walzak wrote in the e-mail.
Democratic Party of Wisconsin spokesperson Graeme Zielinski characterized Walker’s claims regarding job creation as “outrageous,” saying Barrett is the candidate whose political history shows prioritizing job creation, not Walker’s.
“These promises that Scott Walker made sound nice, but there is not a shred of evidence that he can produce this kind of change. This is an example of political opportunism,” Zielinski said.
Zielinski also said Barrett doesn’t have to announce a plan to create jobs, because he’s been creating them steadily throughout his term.
“Now that Scott Walker sees that the economy is a political issue, he’s paying lip service to it. But time after time we’ve seen that the only job he cares about is his own,” Zielinski said.
Despite many differences, both camps seem to agree the economy and job creation are top priorities in the state of Wisconsin. Both candidates were optimistic about the future of job creation, citing Wisconsin’s workforce as a draw for companies to relocate to the state.
“I believe that we can bring economic opportunity and prosperity to everyone here in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said. “I believe in Wisconsin.”