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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

 10:55 PM 

Walker tells supporters he wanst to build on 'positive' foundation of reforms

In a fiery 15-minute speech, Gov. Scott Walker told supporters in Waukesha he wants to build on the “positive” foundation of his reforms.

“We’re just getting started,” Walker said.

He said his policies have moved the state forward. Among the things Walker touted were closing the budget deficit without raising taxes, a decrease in property taxes and 15,600 jobs created in the first three months of 2012.

“We’re not going backward, we’re going forward,” Walker said.

Time and again in his speech, Walker asked those gathered at the Waukesha Co. GOP headquarters if they wanted to go backward. He tried to connect his opponent, Tom Barrett, to the policies of the Doyle administration, while also criticizing Barrett for a 28 percent increase in Milwaukee’s unemployment over the last eight years.

Walker said “out-of-state special interests” were trying to take control of Wisconsin’s electoral process.

“They can take their money, they can take their people, and they can go back to New Jersey or Washington or Chicago,” Walker said, drawing raucous cheers from the crowd.

The guv was joined on stage by his family and made reference to his sons several times during the speech. He said he has put the next generation ahead of the next election by making tough choices.

“Isn’t that what you elect us to do?” Walker asked, again drawing loud cheers from the crowd.

Walker’s wife Tonette spoke before the guv, as did Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and GOP state Chair Brad Courtney.

Kleefisch also went after Barrett for Milwaukee’s unemployment problems.

“Do we want to allow that unemployment rate to spread across the state of Wisconsin?” Kleefisch asked supporters.

She also noted that while some say she is the first lt. guv to face a recall in the country, she intends to be the first to do something else.

“I am going to be the first lieutenant governor in national history to be elected twice in my own first term,” Kleefisch said.

The rally was held in the GOP stronghold of Waukesha County. Courtney told the crowd the area will be important for the general election on June 5.

“We need to run up the score here in Waukesha County,” Courtney said.

-- By Arthur W. Thomas

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