Governor Scott Walker attends the Oneida County Republican luncheon in Rhinelander
Gov. Scott Walker was in Rhinelander Wednesday afternoon to attend the Lincoln/Reagan luncheon sponsored by the Republican Part of Oneida County. There were more than 250 attendees at the event that was held at the Quality Inn.
Besides the Governor there were also several state and local dignitaries who attended. Oneida County’s Sheriff Grady Hartman spoke to the group as well as 34th District Rep. Ron Swearingen. Sen. Tom Tiffany, 12th district, also addressed the crowd in addition to Brad Schimel who is running on the Republican ticket for the state’s attorney general position.
Walker’s next term depends on whether he can beat Democrat Mary Burke in the November election and his main purpose in coming to Rhinelander was to campaign. He held a picture taking session before the luncheon began and mingled among the crowd shaking hands.
“Ask yourself this question, ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?’” he asked the attendees. “Four years ago, we had a 9.2 percent unemployment rate and today that rate has dropped to 5.7 percent. How about that for a shift?”
He also talked about the actual job creation within the state since he’s been in office.
“Wisconsin is one of 22 states that has created 100,000 new jobs since I’ve been in office,” he said. “We created more jobs in the first three years of my office than all eight years of Governor Doyle’s term.”
Walker was also proud that he had eliminated Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion deficit.
“We got our fiscal house in order and paid off our bills,” he said. “We reduced taxes by two billion dollars and I can guarantee you that your property taxes will be lower in 2018 that they were in 2014 and in 2010.”
Hartman, who Walker appointed as Oneida County’s sheriff when Jeff Hoffman retired, told the crowd he was grateful for the chance to serve as sheriff and will be running unopposed for the position this November. He reviewed some of the programs he has put into placed since he became sheriff.
“I started a forensic lab that will expedite catching and charging sexual predators,” he said. “I’ve also started a sexual offender verification program which has resulted in one arrest already. Another issue statewide is the increase in heroin and meth use. I’ve put more deputies on that without raising taxes and using the resources we already have within the department.”
Swearingen also spoke.
“I know who he (Walker) is as a person with morals and standards that he has stuck to,” he said. “This governor has not forgotten the Northwoods. He implemented the Wisconsin Walleye Initiative where 500,000 walleye fingerlings will be released in our lakes. There was more money put toward tourism and we also acted swiftly when we had the propane issue this past winter. Wisconsin will be better prepared if that becomes an issue again.”
Tiffany addressed the crowd about inflation and passing new mining laws.
“We have reformed those laws so that guy on the flag can go back to work,” he said.
At a short press conference after the luncheon the governor was asked about more programs to help rural schools, particularly with transportation fees.
“There will be some reform in those areas,” Walker said. “I’m looking at some programs that will aid in transportation costs.”
Highlights of the speech are below or to see the entirety of Gov. Walker’s speech, click here.