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January 30, 2015

Walker talks about security concerns posed by foreign enemies

PHOTO: Rick Wiley, national Republican consultant with Governor Walker

Governor Scott Walker (PHOTO: Rick Wiley, national Republican consultant)

The governor spoke in Washington DC Friday on a variety of thoughts and ideas with a national perspective.

As commander-in-chief of the Wisconsin National Guard, Governor Scott Walker told the Washington audience he has concerns about threats posed by ISIS and other enemies abroad, and the impact on Wisconsin.

The guard’s adjutant general is also the governor’s homeland security adviser, keeping Walker informed on confidential security threat assessments. “I see on an ongoing basis legitimate concerns about the threat to national security state by state and across this country.” That’s why, the potential presidential candidate said there’s a need for affirmative, solid leadership in Washington.

AUDIO: Walker said the threats from this nation’s enemies are to be taken seriously. “To me it’s not a matter of if there’s another attempt on American soil, it’s a matter of when.” :24

If in a position to do so, Walker said he would do everything in his power to make sure families could sleep safely at night knowing someone was looking out for their best interest and security. Walker was participating in a lecture series in the nation’s capitol.

Walker kicked off the American Action Forum’s Fred Malek Lecture Series, which, according to their website, provides an opportunity for leading policymakers and thought leaders to discuss solutions to pressing national policy problems.

Milwaukee Democrat hopes to work with Republicans on inner city poverty

Wisconsin Capitol Building (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Wisconsin Capitol (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Democrats in southeastern Wisconsin say suburban Republicans should have consulted with those who represent the city of Milwaukee before unveiling a plan to fight poverty in their neighborhood.

Representative David Bowen (D-Milwaukee) says he’s “still digesting” the 25-page document from Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) that they unveiled on Wednesday. “I think it’s very important that those who’ve been elected in those districts are a part of that conversation,” he says, “So, I’m willing to have that conversation with my colleagues but I’m very disappointed that they did not reach out.”

Bowen was born and raised in Milwaukee. The former Milwaukee County Supervisor would love to sit down with his colleagues across the aisle and talk about bipartisan solutions that were not included in the report.

Struggling public schools would become charter schools, under the GOP package of proposals. Also, there would be corporate tax breaks for new businesses, and a localized version of right-to-work.

“The biggest issue that I see is that I’m ready to move forward on proven strategies to reduce poverty, not experiments.”

Bowen says addressing living wages is a proven method to help families struggling to get by, but notes it’s not included in the GOP proposal.

Bowen is hopeful this report will be the beginning of discussions on the difficulties faced by Milwaukeeans.

Governor Scott Walker says he needs to review the package before passing judgment.

GOP lawmakers unveil plan to fight poverty in Milwaukee

Wisconsin State Capitol (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Wisconsin State Capitol (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Two state Republicans unveil an ambitious plan to fight poverty in Milwaukee’s central city.

Under-performing urban public schools would become charter schools, under the package of proposals that seems to follow Governor Scott Walker’s theme of going “big and bold.”

“Yeah, I mean, on one hand they are,” agrees state Representative Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield). “On the other hand,” he says, “It’s amazing they haven’t been done yet. I mean, schools have been failing for decades. They continue to operate without changing the status quo.”

Kooyenga says the status quo isn’t working, so he and Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) are offering special rules and exemptions for inner city neighborhoods and business zones, and strict rules for public schools.

“If somebody says they don’t agree with anything in the package, I think they’re on another planet. There’s a lot of stuff in there everyone can agree on. There’s a lot of stuff in there which I know will bring about some change to the economy in those neighborhoods.”

Among other things, the 25-page plan eliminates corporate income tax for new companies that set up shop in urban zones. There’s a localized right-to-work provision for businesses in those areas, and incentives to groups that help newly-released prisoners avoid committing new crimes.

Kooyenga, Vice-Chair of the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, points out 2014 marked the 50-year anniversary of the war on poverty. Since 1964, taxpayers spent over $22 trillion to combat poverty. He says little, if any, progress has been achieved.

State Representative David Bowen hopes to work with Kooyenga and other lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle on this issue.

Walker deflects attention of newly-formed group from himself, says it’s about ideas

Governor Scott Walker delivers his fifth state of the state address. 1/1315 (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Governor Scott Walker delivers his fifth state of the state address.  (PHOTO: Jackie Johnson)

Governor Scott Walker said unlike other prospective candidates out there who have political action committees (PACs) with the “intention of promoting themselves,” his tax-exempt committee, Our American Revival, is “all about ideas.”

Speaking in Racine Wednesday morning, Walker said the committee is about pushing ideas that build the foundation for transferring powers away from the federal government and back to the states. He said the answers to the problems that ail the country are not going to come out of Washington DC or its leaders. They’ll come from the states and ultimately, he says, from the people.

“President Reagan said it well in his first inaugural address. We should all remember the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.”

The governor said forming this committee allows him to get an idea of what the people think. “Part of setting a committee up like this is to talk about the ideas that I think that will help transform America, put the power back in the hands of the American people.” He said he wants to see whether that’s an idea that resonates with others.

AUDIOWalker said he worries about the future of this country. 1:12

Walker said he worries about the future of America, but is also optimistic. He pointed to various states with “common sense conservative leadership” that he said have been able to turn things around. He believes the same can be true for the federal government. Walker said the country needs fresh leadership with big bold ideas and the courage to act on them — and that leadership has to come from outside Washington. The governor wouldn’t say definitively that he’s running for president, but it sure sounds like it. “I don’t see anybody else out there who meets each of those three criteria.”

Walker announced the formation of a tax-exempt group on Tuesday that would raise and spend funds to increase his national profile and help deliver a message. He expects to make a formal decision about a presidential candidacy within a few months.

Thanks to WRJN for contributing to this story.

Right-to-work not dead in Wisconsin

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald

Sen. Scott Fitzgerald

The controversial right-to-work legislation might not be on a fast track in Wisconsin, but it’s also not a dead issue. That’s according to state Senate majority leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau). “It’s still out there. I think it’s still something that deserves debate. The votes are probably there in the Assembly, which is odd that there’s so much focus on the Senate I guess, but that’s fine. I’m not counting noses, I’ve said all along. I’m still talking to members about how they feel about the issue.”

Fitzgerald says he understands that Governor Scott Walker is concerned about the Capitol becoming full of chaos and sending a message to people outside the state that once again we have an unstable state government in Wisconsin.”

It’s “premature” to say a right-to-work bill for Wisconsin isn’t going anywhere in the legislature, according to Fitzgerald, who says, “We’ll continue to talk about the issue.”

The earliest the bill would come up in the Senate, he says, would be after the April election to fill a vacant Senate seat. Under right-to-work, employees of private companies are not required to join unions or pay union dues.