Walker, Evers campaign in Rhinelander
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6
BY EILEEN PERSIKE
With only a few days until Election Day, Gov. Scott Walker and his Democratic challenger Tony Evers each stopped in Rhinelander Friday as part their final campaign swings through the state. Evers is traveling in a yellow school bus for his “tour for change,” and Walker, celebrating his birthday, is touring the state with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in a coach bus.
At Red Arrow Products, a manufacturer of liquid smoke and other cooking flavors, Kleefisch spoke to the Republican supporters in attendance, telling them a small business tax credit under the Walker administration would disappear if Evers is elected.
“The manufacturers and agriculture tax credit is gone,” she said. “That’s gonna cost Wisconsin jobs, guys. All of the governor’s hard work, the collective hard work to bring this economy back could go away in a moment under Tony Evers.”
The race, Walker said, couldn’t be clearer.
“If you want more jobs and higher wages, then I’m your candidate,” he said. “If you want more spending and higher taxes that will lead to fewer jobs, then vote for Tony Evers.”
Touting the low unemployment rate, Walker said on the state website, “everyday there are about 100,000 job openings; that means there are more career opportunities in the state of Wisconsin than there are technically unemployed people to fill them.”
Building the workforce is one of his priorities, Walker said, before talking about his plan to expand youth apprentice-type programs to seventh and eighth grades, “and start getting kids interested in the trades early on,” make sure every student graduates and has a “game plan” going forward. He is also moving beyond the state’s borders, with the Walker administration recruiting millenials across the Midwest, and active duty military personnel around the world, “because we’re the number one state in American for veterans benefits.”
Both Kleefisch and Walker referenced healthcare, an issue that has claimed a lot of attention during this election cycle.
“[Walker] announced a bill back in January that says, ‘hey insurance companies, if you want to do business in the state of Wisconsin you must protect people with pre-existing conditions,’” Kleefisch said, adding that the bill also states that insurance companies cannot charge more. “That is what Gov. Walker has said from the very beginning.”
Walker, seeking his third term in office, asked supporters for help, and said his campaign is “countering millions and millions and millions of dollars of lies. Flat out lies,” regarding his stance on the Affordable Care Act and pre-existing conditions. He said everyone in the state living with a pre-existing condition is covered.
“We can protect people with pre-existing conditions without protecting the failure that is Obamacare,” he added. “I’ve been saying that for a long time.”
Across town, Evers, the State Superintendent, referenced Wisconsin being part of a multi-state federal lawsuit that seeks to overturn the ACA.
“[Walker’s] running around saying he’s for all those things at the same time he is in federal court getting rid of those things,” Evers said to supporters at a downtown restaurant, adding that “it would also get rid of that part of Obamacare that allows people up to the age of 26,” to stay on their parent’s health plan. Evers also said he would “take that Medicaid [expansion] money the first day” he becomes governor.
“This campaign is about the issues that face all Wisconsinites, not just Democrats or Republicans,” Evers said. “What unites us is so much more than what divides us. Republicans want good schools just as much as you do. Republicans want to make sure our water is safe just as much as you do. What we are talking about are Wisconsin values, not necessarily Democrat values. “
Good roads and infrastructure investment are two other thing Evers said everyone favors.
“We cannot afford to be 44th in the country with our roads and out bridges,” he said. “We can bring Republicans and Democrats together and do it in a way that is hopefully not raising taxes.”
That “whole issue of $1 a gallon” tax increase, Evers added, “I wouldn’t vote for myself if I said that.”
Evers said he will “bring back science to the state of Wisconsin,” and stated the “need to have an independent DNR secretary that reports to an independent board and science will be used to make decisions.
Saying the state is “in a world of hurt,” that needs to be changed when it comes to public education, Evers said his budget as state superintendent of schools will be good for northern Wisconsin.
“We’re going to value those kids who struggle, who might come from a poverty background or kids who have disabilities, need mental health therapies and after school care.”
Evers closed his comments by telling attendees, “This is gonna be about who comes out to vote. Period.”
Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6. Wisconsin polls are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For voting information, visit www.myvote.wi.gov.