Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


McCallum is the choice for governor

Students in Wisconsin seem to be less interested in the upcoming
gubernatorial election than usual. Many of my friends didn’t even
know elections were coming.

Gov. Scott McCallum is seen by many as a governor who was never
elected and a leader by circumstance. Attorney General Jim Doyle’s
background activities as attorney general have been questionable at
times, and there are talks Doyle may have been indicted in the
caucus scandal had it not been for friend and political ally Brian
Blanchard conducting the investigation.

The best way to find out which person is the best candidate for
students is to look at what the candidates have previously done and
to contact the campaigns and see what they could speak to and what
information they can provide. The capability of a candidate’s staff
is usually a good way to judge the capability of a candidate.


When calling the campaigns, both were friendly and polite. I
spoke to one of Doyle’s press people, and asked her to direct me to
where I could find information on issues that affect students or if
she could possibly e-mail me or fax me information. She said she
would “get back to me” with the information I was looking for. I
spoke to her three weeks ago … and am still waiting.

I called McCallum’s campaign and spoke to his press secretary —
whom I have never met — she was on the phone at the time, but she
called me back within two minutes of my initial phone call. She
e-mailed me some information about McCallum’s education plans in a
matter of hours. She was helpful, though my subsequent e-mail
requests were ignored.

Give McCallum and his team some credit for their fast initial
response and effort, even if they need to work on their follow-up.
At least they cared enough to respond.

Besides responsiveness to students, keeping tuition affordable
while maintaining high standards of excellence, working to stop the
current “brain drain” in Wisconsin and creating new jobs are three
important issues that directly effect students.

While it is good to hear Attorney General Jim Doyle wants to
make education one of his priorities, Governor McCallum has his
record to stand on, which demonstrates his commitment to education
is not simply an empty campaign promise.

During the past election cycle, McCallum capped tuition
increases and signed into law a bill that will now keep
financial-aid increases consistent with tuition increases. Thanks
to McCallum, the days of your financial aid remaining the same from
year to year while your tuition increases by 10 percent are

Wisconsin’s best and brightest students seem to flee the state
after graduation for jobs in Minneapolis, Chicago, New York and
other cities. Known as the “brain drain,” McCallum is focusing on
some of the reasons why people leave and looking at incentives to
keep us bright students in Wisconsin.

Currently, Wisconsin is in the top three most-heavily-taxed
states. McCallum would like to cut personal income tax and cap
property taxes as soon as the economic downturn ends. He is also
pursuing a plan for student-loan forgiveness to UW graduates
staying and working in Wisconsin. Both of these proposals will
encourage and even attract middle- and high-income individuals to
live and work in Wisconsin.

McCallum’s tax cuts will not only help stop the brain drain, but
will encourage spending and stimulate growth. Such stimulation of
growth in Wisconsin’s economy will increase the demand for new
jobs. It was not too long ago that the job market was hot and
unemployment was low. A tax cut could be the kick start our economy

Doyle is offering a proposed new spending of at least $2.7
billion. This would force income taxes to increase by 31 percent or
the sales tax rate to increase by an astounding 41 percent. Either
of these options will only lead to students fleeing the state at an
even faster pace.

The upcoming gubernatorial election is important to all of us,
because almost all of us will be graduating in the next four years
(some of us sooner than we would like). An accessible governor
promoting economic growth, keeping higher education affordable and
working to cut taxes is the candidate that is best for

In this election, Governor Scott McCallum meets all the needs of
UW students, and for the benefit of the future of our great state
he should be re-elected.

Matt Modell ([email protected]) is a senior
majoring in journalism. He is in Washington D.C. this semester for
an internship.

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