• WisPolitics

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

 11:39 AM 

Walker's campaign event offers differing opinions on guv's cooperation pledge

When Gov. Scott Walker made his victory speech Tuesday night, he mentioned his desire to move forward and put the rancorous election behind him.

"I'm committed to it whether you voted for me or not," said Walker, suggesting meetings with Dems over beers and brats.

Some Walker supporters at his victory party agreed that Walker should try to heal the rift. But many others -- along with some GOP politicians who were present -- defiantly rejected the idea of reaching out to the other side.

Kevin Hladilek, a small business owner from Kenosha, said he admires that "Walker is doing what he said he was going to do" but said the guv needs to learn to offer some compromise in the future.

"More talk about what he's trying to propose and try to come to a compromise, because, I mean, our government's not supposed to operate by just jamming any kind of legislation down our throats," said Hladilek. "Just talk a little bit more and be a little more compromising."

Edna Walls of Waukesha agreed it would do Walker well to reach out.

"I think he should put out his right hand and try to include (Democrats) in everything," she said. "Possibly include them in all the meetings and things that they have and get their input."

But Bridget Heinze of Big Bend defended Walker as a "gentleman" and doubts that his opponents will listen.

Some GOP lawmakers agreed.

State Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, complained it should be a two-way street.

"I think the other side needs to reach out to Governor Walker as well," said Darling, who survived a recall election last summer. "I think the governor tried to reach out to a lot of Democrats and he can try harder, but they also need to try harder. Their goal was to make him look bad."

Added Darling: "We're not going to give in to our principles. We're not going to raise taxes, we're not going to increase spending. We're going to live within our means and grow the economy."

Former Gov. Tommy Thompson, a U.S. Senate candidate, said people are "fed up with the divisiveness" and suggested Walker travel the state to talk to people. "The power of the governor is immense," Thompson said. "The governor can pretty much command front-page attention. ... I think definitely he's going to reach out."

Another U.S. Senate candidate, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, was defiant.

"I think we always have reached out," said the Horicon Republican. "We just never heard anything from the other side. You know, they ran an entire campaign that wasn't even based on the reason the recall happened, collective bargaining, because they see the reforms are working. So yeah, we can definitely reach out, but unless they're willing to work with us, that will never happen."

Retiring state Rep. Michelle Litjens, R-Oshkosh, said it's up to Wisconsin residents to heal their own rifts. "I have friends I haven't talked to since this started," she said. "I don't know if Governor Walker can heal the rift but I think Wisconsin can heal the rift.''

U.S. Senate candidate Mark Neumann and Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas said they're sure Walker will give it a try.

"I think he will reach out to his opponents," said Vrakas, in an interview before Walker gave his victory speech. After the speech, the former lawmaker said, "You've got your answer. I think it was great that he invited the legislators for brats."

Neumann said, "I think you saw him extend the olive leaf,'' adding that creating jobs would do the most good to calm voter angst.

U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde said Walker never personally attacked teachers or others. "This is not about individuals, it's about a battle with the unions and collective bargaining," said Hovde.

Of Walker's relationship with opponents, Hovde said, "I think he has to talk a lot, reach across the aisle. ask them to join him on the bigger mission, and it's all going to take time."

But state Dem chair Mike Tate said if Walker wants to bring the state together he needs to reach out to those who signed the recall or voted against him with actions, not just words.

-- By Kay Nolan


Back to Election Blog main page

: See newer blog items : : See older blog items :

Election Blog site feed

wispolitics.com Social News

Follow Us


Updates from WisPolitics.com on primary and general elections in Wisconsin.

Editor: JR Ross
Reporters: Chris Thompson, David Wise

· Election Blog site feed


· Campaign ads
· Audio archive
· Government Accountability Board (state elections)
· Federal Election Commission (federal elections)


· February 2007
· April 2007
· February 2008
· March 2008
· April 2008
· September 2008
· October 2008
· November 2008
· February 2009
· April 2009
· February 2010
· March 2010
· April 2010
· September 2010
· November 2010
· February 2011
· March 2011
· April 2011
· May 2011
· June 2011
· July 2011
· August 2011
· September 2011
· October 2011
· November 2011
· December 2011
· January 2012
· February 2012
· March 2012
· April 2012
· May 2012
· June 2012
· July 2012
· August 2012
· September 2012
· October 2012
· November 2012
· December 2012
· January 2013
· February 2013
· March 2013
· April 2013
· June 2013
· July 2013
· August 2013
· September 2013
· October 2013
· November 2013
· December 2013
· January 2014
· February 2014
· March 2014
· April 2014
· May 2014
· June 2014
· July 2014
· August 2014
· September 2014
· October 2014
· November 2014
· December 2014
· January 2015
· February 2015
· March 2015
· April 2015
· May 2015
· June 2015
· July 2015
· August 2015
· September 2015
· October 2015
· November 2015
· December 2015
· January 2016
· February 2016
· March 2016
· April 2016
· May 2016
· June 2016
· July 2016
· August 2016
· September 2016
· October 2016
· November 2016
· December 2016
· January 2017
· February 2017
Copyright ©2012 WisPolitics.com All rights reserved. | WisOpinion.com | WisBusiness.com  |  Website development by wisnet.com LLC  | Website design by Makin’ Hey Communications