State Senator Lena Taylor, an Ed Show favorite, took some time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her recent endorsement of Tom Barrett in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial recall election. Here’s what she had to say:
Why not Kathleen Falk? (Particularly because she has been outspoken about her goal to restore collective bargaining rights)
Kathleen is a great figure in Democratic politics, but I think Tom Barrett has the passion, the commitment to the issues WI needs. And he is the candidate who gives us the best chance to win. The most important thing about this election is to remove Scott Walker from power before more damage is done.
What about Kathleen Vinehout?
Again, Kathleen is a great friend and colleague. She has a long future of leadership in this state ahead, but in this crucial time for our state it is Tom Barrett who has the best ability to win this race.
Has there been any discussion among the Wisconsin 14 to endorse a candidate as a group (Sen. Erpenbach also endorsed Barrett) seeing as the group was a powerful fixture in the 2011 protests?The WI 14 proudly stood together, but in this case everyone can make their own decision. As a WI 14 member, I am proud to support Tom Barrett. And I know that 6 of the WI 14 have endorsed Barrett (Sens. Taylor, Erpenbach, Cullen, Jauch, Holperin, Carpenter). Senator Vinehout is a great friend of mine and a good colleague and was a leader in the WI 14. But aside from that, no other WI 14 members have endorsed any of the other candidates.
Scott Walker is touting his success on property taxes (property taxes went down in the state 0.4%). What would you say to that?
Scott Walker raised fees paid by Wisconsinites by $110 million, and he oversaw a WI economy that lost more jobs than any other state in the country in 2011. And he gave massive tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations while raising taxes on seniors and the working poor. From the moment Walker began his political career he has consistently campaining on no tax increases and then he raises taxes. He has no credibility on these issues, if not most issues. Watergate figure and former White House Counsel, Jon Dean, called Walker “more Nixonian than Nixon” for this kind of manipulation of the truth in the reckless pursuit of power.
How will Tom Barrett reverse Walker’s jobs record?
Unlike Scott Walker and his Republican allies, Tom Barrett will focus on jobs. Walker came into office promising 250,000 jobs. Instead he launched an ideological civil war that divided us like never before. WI lost more jobs than any other state in the country last year. I know Tom will launch a real jobs plan – manufacturing, clean energy, worker training. And let’s not forget the jobs we can create by investing in our infrastructure. These are the investments Tom will make to create jobs, investments that Walker has not and will not make.