Vote Barrett to Keep Walker from Sending Us off the Rails

Wisconsin faces a projected $2.7 billion deficit. To balance the budget, we need a governor who not only knows how to cut spending, but who knows where to make smart, sustainable cuts. That is why we endorse Tom Barrett for governor.

This is not to say Walker is unqualified to cut fat from the budget-he has shown integrity as a public official by giving $370,000 of his salary back to Milwaukee county since his election in 2002. During his tenure he has proposed tough cuts to balance Milwaukee’s budget. He has some good ideas for the state, too. He wants to lift the Wisconsin’s nuclear energy moratorium, which would re-establish a clean (yes, clean) form of energy while reinstating engineering jobs that were stifled along with the ban. He even agrees with Chancellor Biddy Martin’s new Badger Partnership plan to give UW-Madison more autonomy and run the university more like a business.

However, taken as a whole Walker’s platform is unconscionable. His claim to create 250,000 jobs by 2015 is a fabrication much lauded by other Wisconsin editorial boards, but just because it is a number does not make it a fact, or even a projection of a fact. Walker’s approach to handling government money is unreasonable as well. Walker has pledged to spend the funds specifically allocated for high-speed rail on other transportation projects in the state, which is patently impossible, as the federal government has specifically allocated these funds for high-speed rail. Hypocritically, Walker claims to promote infrastructure jobs while spurning funds already allocated to do just that.

Meanwhile, Barrett has proposed policy that will support job retention and creation instead of denying the importance of government involvement and yes, intervention at times. One example is his education reform proposal, which would make income levels more of a factor in areas receiving school aid, which now relies largely on property values. This can be problematic in areas that have high property values-such as Door County or other vacation home locales-that still have relatively low wages. This is a smart, simple solution to effectively allocate school aid and retain state teaching jobs without raising taxes.

Walker is right in asserting that adult stem-cell research is catching up to embryonic stem-cell research in terms of research value, mainly thanks to UW-Madison’s own research team led by professor Jamie Thomson. However, to cut funds or ban embryonic stem-cell research in the state as Walker has hi.

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