With a format more like a conversation than their first meeting the candidates for Governor went round two Friday night.
During the second debate between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, a town hall participant asked on how to prevent brain drain, talented human capital leaving Wisconsin. Barrett says stem cell research is a key solving that problem. He takes issue with his opponent focusing funding toward adult stem cells rather than embryonic stem cell work saying “politicians should not be telling these world renowned scientists what they should do.
Walker says scientific breakthroughs will come through use of adult stem cells rather than embryonic stem cell research. Barrett referred to a Pro-Life Wisconsin survey in which his Republican opponent’s answer suggested he would ban embryonic stem cell work. Walker says in the questionnaire he was referring resources within the power of the Governor, in other words, state funding.
When asked about an upcoming budget shortfall, Walker says he would require state employees to begin putting money toward their pension, five percent. Also he wouldn’t fill the state jobs that are currently vacant but for which are already budgeted. Walker says he use that money to fill the budget hole.
Democrat Tom Barrett says he would favor eliminating certain Constitutional positions like Secretary of State and State Treasurer. He also wants to crack down on Medicare fraud and would also allow state employees and local employees to get involved in the same purchasing pool to drive down health care costs.
Social programs like Wisconsin Works and Badger came up. Barrett says under Walker’s tax cuts, the programs would be decimated. Walker says such programs could remain a priority as shown in his time as Milwaukee County Executive in which the county expanded care for seniors and disabled people.
The candidates appeared on WISN’s Upfront with Mike Gousha while other ABC affiliates took questions from participants.