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
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
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