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Green Bay Press Gazette - Tom Barrett Column: Restore Trust, Honesty to State Government

Op-Ed

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By Tom Barrett

Wisconsin has been torn apart by Scott Walker's ideological civil war and his divide-and-conquer assault on Wisconsin values. Walker's my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing is the wrong way to get things done. It may have made Walker a star to the national, right-wing billionaires, but it moves us backward on key issues like jobs and education. And it has bitterly divided so many coworkers, families and friends.

Quite simply, we cannot fix Wisconsin and move forward as long as Scott Walker remains governor. I am running for governor to put Wisconsin first, not my own political career. I'm running to fight for jobs, not ideology. And I'm running to restore trust and integrity to state government -- I'll never need a criminal defense fund.

I'm taking this campaign directly into neighborhoods -- pulling up a lawn chair and talking with people. I'm not afraid to shake hands with people holding Scott Walker signs. This is the leadership Wisconsin needs to truly move forward.

Scott Walker's divide-and-conquer assault on our values has taken a toll:

» Under Walker, Wisconsin has lost more jobs than any other state in the nation.

» Under Walker, Wisconsin suffered the deepest cuts to education in state history.

» Under Walker, hardworking men and women faced an unprecedented attack on their workplace rights.

» Under Walker, a war on women has been waged that has weakened protections for equal pay for equal work and jeopardized women's healthcare.

» Under Walker, taxes went up on seniors and struggling working families, while the super-rich and big corporations got $2.3 billion in massive tax giveaways. These are not our shared Wisconsin values. And through it all, questions continue to swirl about the criminal corruption investigation into Scott Walker's time as Milwaukee County Executive. Six of his associates have been charged with 15 felonies. State law allows funds like the one he set up for people under investigation or facing charges. It's time for straight answers. The people of Wisconsin deserve to know -- before the election -- if their governor is the target of a criminal investigation. A recent report showed that Scott Walker has visited other states more often than he has visited many Wisconsin counties. Especially in a rough economy, Wisconsin's governor should not be jetting around the country hosting lavish fundraisers -- he should be in Wisconsin, focused on creating jobs.

My priority is Wisconsin. I'm running to restore trust, accountability and honesty to our state government. I'm running to put Wisconsin first, to focus on jobs, to strengthen education and to protect SeniorCare, Family Care and BadgerCare.

We cannot afford to keep a governor who is most interested in his own job and his special-interest allies. We cannot afford to keep a governor who bolsters his national reputation by dividing Wisconsin.

I hope to earn your vote on June 5 so we can work together to restore Wisconsin values and priorities and move our great state forward.


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