Business Pulse: Walker steps over Doyle in governor raceWhile Governor Doyle cannot be pleased with the poll results, it should come as no surprise. We were reminded last week by Tom Hefty and John Torinus in their report, Wisconsin Flunks its Economics Test, that Wisconsin ranks below average in economic performance—sometimes substantially below average.
Last week’s question: Who do you support for governor?
Scott Walker: 58%
Jim Doyle: 24%
Mark Neumann: 6%
Last week, in response to criticism about tax and spending increases in the state budget, State Senator John Lehman told Racine area taxpayers that they should count their blessings:
Things could be much worse. "We're not in as bad shape as California, issuing IOUs," he said. "Or Oregon, where the fee for auto license plates just went from $54 to $162 per year. Or New Jersey, where property taxes in one community went up 100%."
With all due respect to Senator Lehman, not being as bad as California is not good enough. I also suggest that the Senator stop trying to convince us that Doyle's budget did not raise any “big taxes.” First, even if the statement were true, it is little consolation to the thousands of Wisconsin workers whose jobs were driven out of the state by Doyle's anti-business tax and regulatory policies. Second, it is clear from press accounts of the event that the audience is not buying the Senator’s spin.
At one point during the meeting, Senator Lehman used the word "cowardly" to describe the people who flew banners during a Fourth of July parade criticizing Lehman and Governor Doyle for increasing taxes. While I would not characterize this exercise of free speech as cowardly, I do believe that showing up at the Racine County Taxpayer’s Association after voting to raise taxes and fees by more than $2 billion may be the most courageous thing Senator Lehman has ever done.
For more information about Scott Walker, you can visit his website at scottwalker.org