Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he’s being targeted because he upset powerful union bosses in Washington who depend on dues from public-sector employees to keep their power.
“I took on the third rail of taking on the most powerful special interests in Washington,” Walker said. “Now they are spending 10s of millions of dollars to take me out.
“I believe that we will prevail four weeks from this Tuesday.”
He predicts that his victory would send a message across the country that voters want change.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in Wisconsin campaigning for the embattled Wisconsin governor earlier this week and similarly predicted that his race to keep his job has national implications.
The governor told a conference call sponsored by Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition that he faced a $3.7 billion deficit and did what was necessary to balance his state’s budget without hiking taxes or laying off workers.
So far, Walker has raised over $13 million to fend off his recall election challenger on June 5. If Walker succeeds in beating the challenge, he would become the first sitting governor to fend off a recall in the nation’s history.
Walker touted his record of reducing taxes and increasing job creation, noting that unemployment in Wisconsin has fallen from the high of 9 percent in 2009 to 6.8 percent today, the lowest since 2008.
He contrasts the results of his tax cuts and abolition of collective bargaining rights for public-sector employees with that of neighboring Democratic-controlled Illinois, which faced a similar deficit a year ago. The neighboring state, however, still languishes with the same deficit problems as it did a year ago.
“Illinois saw fit to balance its budget by raising taxes by 2/3,” Walker said.
Instead, Illinois has a 9 percent unemployment rate, has closed 14 state facilities and has cut its Medicaid programs.
“We lowered property taxes for the first time in 12 years, and we got the economy back in the hands of the people,” Walker said. “We avoided cuts in Medicaid. We balanced not only the state budget, but local budgets not just for now, but for years to come.
Walker also touted a review of Wisconsin’s friendliness to business by touting a review in Chief Executive magazine suggesting that his state has gone from 41 down to 20 in terms of its hospitability to doing business.
“We thought more about kids and grandkids than our own political careers and turned the economy around,” Walker said. “When you care for people in need, the best thing you need to do is to make sure they are not permenantly dependent on government.
“We want to put money in the hands of hardworking people and not into the hands of special interests.”
Walker contends that school teachers and other public-sector employees should be able to invest the money they otherwise would have taken out of their paychecks as union dues toward their goals and not those of the unions.
“Government should work better for the people without massive layoffs,” Walker said.
Reed said his groups plans on distributing voter guides and making over 100,000 phone calls on Walker’s behalf between now and the election.