By Aaron M. Rodriguez
After attending Walker’s gubernatorial announcement, the feeling of excitement for positive change was in the air. Over a thousand packed out the Lutheran college gymnasium yesterday, and I couldn’t help but notice that there were a lot of young people in attendance. Even Walker’s campaign management team was staffed with young men in their 20s. Of course, the media and their photographers were tucked away behind the audience, and a lot of people with Walker signs were seated behind the podium for good effect. But the event had a subdued and organized feeling to it.
To my surprise, I was seated next to Scott Walker’s parents. I didn’t recognize them at first, but after a few people had approached them using the appellation “Mrs. Walker”, I caught on relatively fast. I introduced myself, of course, and we talked a little bit about Scott. They are a lovely couple. They reminded me a lot of my grandparents (who are also involved in pastoral care). Walker's mother was kind and talkative. His father was very gentle, soft spoken (so soft I had trouble hearing him) and was smiling the entire time. The impression I got was that they were very proud of their son. I would have loved to talk with them more, but the mayor of Wauwatosa kept interrupting us.
After Walker spoke about Wisconsin’s depressing budget deficit and Doyle’s impressive tax-hike proposals, it got some people more than energized about the upcoming election. I believe Doyle is proposing more than 30 different tax increases in order to raise more than 2 billion in tax revenue. The idea is to plug a massive chasm in the current state budget created, in part, by unrestrained spending. This would be advantageous to Doyle so he can run successfully in the 2010 election claiming to have resolved the problem with a little slight of hand.
Walker did a good job reminding folks that tax hikes during a recession are harmful to the body politic. And if he stays on stride with this message, I think it will do him some good. There is a lot of work to be done for Walker, but first he will have to deal with his conservative rival, Mark Neumann.