• WisPolitics

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

 12:13 AM 

Walker encourages supporters in Milwaukee to make one last GOTV push

At a rally on the eve of Election Day on Milwaukee’s south side, Gov. Scott Walker pressed attendees to make one last push to get family, friends and neighbors to the polls to help him “move Wisconsin forward.”

Walker, joined by his wife, two children and his parents, took the stage to thunderous chants of “Walker, Walker” from the animated crowd of several hundred at Serb Hall who frequently interrupted his speech with cheers.

While Walker supporters rallied inside, as group of about three dozen gathered outside to protest the governor and confronted Walker supporters after the rally.

Walker encouraged voters to not only back him on Tuesday, but to vote for Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and the four Republicans on the ballot for Senate.

Walker praised the get out the vote effort so far, but said the work needs to continue through tomorrow.

“We can’t let up,” Walker said. “In less than 24 hours the polls close and every vote counts.”

While the polls show him ahead, he warned against “spiking the ball on the 10 yard line.”

He said the GOP needs not only Republicans and conservatives to vote for them, but also independents and “discerning Democrats” who he encouraged supporters to bring to the polls.

He knocked his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, saying that he has yet to explain how he would balance the budget and that he has no plan for economic development.

“This is not about personality,” Walker said. “This is about the facts. This is about substance.”
Under Barrett, Walker said taxes and fees in Milwaukee have gone up 43 percent and unemployment has gone up 26 percent.

“I love Milwaukee,” Walker said. “Which is why I want leadership that is going to help grow jobs in Milwaukee with a real plan to move our state forward.”

Walker said voters are “scratching their heads” over the recall, because he it is no longer about his reforms that sparked the recall in the first place.

Walker highlighted his accomplishments, saying the state saved $1 billion under him so far, property taxes went down for the first time in 12 years, the state has a budget surplus without increased taxes and the has added more than 30,000 new jobs.   

He also highlighted the state’s upward movement in business environment surveys, boasting that the state went from the bottom ten to the top 20, and that 94 percent of employers now see the state heading in the right direction.

He said the biggest thing holding employers back from hiring more is the recall.

“Employers like the direction we’re headed ... but they’re scared to death of us going backwards and not forward,” Walker said.

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who spoke before Walker, also encouraged attendees to get out the vote and send a message to the country.

“We’re about to send a message to this country that Wisconsin stands with taxpayers and not the special interests,” Kleefisch said. “We’re about to send a message that we stand with leaders who make the tough decisions when the going gets tough.”

Walker supporters, protesters clash
As attendees were streaming outside following the 45-minute rally, a small group of protesters marched up carrying signs and banners, pounding drums and clanging bells while chanting "Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Scott Walker has got to go" and “recall Walker.”

 The protesters posted outside the entrance as Walker supporters massed across from them and the Walker supporters began to chant “Walker, Walker!” Apart from a couple of angry exchanges, the groups remained peaceful.

After about ten minutes, a local GOP organizer encouraged Walker supporters to leave and the protesters moved to the curb next to the building to continue their demonstration.

About a dozen Milwaukee police officers showed up and observed, but there were no arrests as of 10:45 p.m.-- By David Wise


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