Gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke was back in Wausau Thursday, campaigning in an area she says is still struggling to recover from the recession under Governor Scott Walker’s administration.
Burke toured Wausome Foods, where Brian Gunning and his staff have been making specialty cheese crackers. Wausome Foods is a local start-up business that is now seeing a need to grow to meet demand for their snacks. Burke says they talked about the number one problem new businesses and recent start-ups have. “We talked about access to capital, and that’s one of the main issues that I hear as I travel around the state and I talk to entrepreneurs.”
Like her opponent, Burke’s top priority is job creation. However, she criticizes Scott Walker’s administration for not putting enough into small start-ups and for how the state uses its economic development resources. “We’ll, make more access to capital available. We actually know right now under Scott Walker that WEDC actually isn’t even using the capital and resources available to it, so what we need to do is cut the red tape. Make sure that the capital and resources that are available are getting to the places and the entrepreneurs who need it the most and who can utilize it to create the most jobs.”
Burke says it’s about “using the existing resources more wisely, and I don’t think that that’s being done. We know that WEDC actually lost track of taxpayer’s money. We know that they’re actually not even using all of the funds appropriated to them, so it’s actually you getting the biggest bang for the buck and using taxpayer money more wisely.”
The Walker campaign is critical of Burke’s tenure under former Governor Jim Doyle as Commerce Secretary for losing jobs. The Burke campaign is critical of Walker’s leadership saying we’ve gained some jobs, but nine other Midwestern states are doing better at creating jobs. “Certainly we have created jobs coming out of the recession, but every other state has, and in fact, we are not creating jobs at the same rate, so 10th out of 10 Midwestern states and dead last? I don’t know, I’m competitive enough to know that we can and should be doing better than that, and as Governor, I’m going to make sure that we are.”