Scott Walker started on script when he made his campaigns 3 millionth voter contact call of the election season Saturday afternoon. But when the person on the other end realized she was in fact talking to the governor himself, the call took a decidedly less formal turn.
“It is, it’s Scott Walker,” Walker said with a chuckle as the recipient of his call expressed surprise. They went on to chat sports before Walker hung up the phone to the cheers of about 30 supporters at the WISGOP La Crosse Field Office on Losey Boulevard.
“We’re here for the 3 millionth call — that is really cutting ahead of the edge from what we did in the past,” Walker said. “This year shows we have an incredible group of volunteers in La Crosse and the state of Wisconsin.”
Supporters of all ages turned out meet Walker. Walker expressed his gratitude for his volunteers and supporters and touched on his concerns and promises for the November election. A vote for Tony Evers, Walker said, would be a blow to the economy, and would raise tuition and taxes.
“The difference is simple — it’s between going forwards and going backwards,” Walker said. “Do people want to build off the success we’ve had or turn around and go backwards? That’s what Evers is going to do.”
Walker acknowledged the election would be “really, really close” and addressed what he called “all the ads with all the money coming in from Washington and attacking us.” The claim that coverage for preexisting conditions would cease under Republican leadership was false, Walker said, but that coverage would be done on a state level, rather than under Obamacare.
Addressing the 2012 recall election, Walker stated his victory gave Republicans momentum. This election, he said, “I think is going to be tougher than the recall ... now we don’t have the wind at our back, but we have the facts ... the facts are on our side.”
Under Evers, gas, income, and property taxes will increase, Walker claimed, as will government spending. During his governorship, Walker said, unemployment has reached an all-time low and UW tuition rates have been frozen. He plans to keep the tuition freeze in place in re-elected.
“He’s keeping college very affordable,” said UW-L College Republicans vice chair Brandon Hawn. Hawn is unfazed by the fervor over Brett Kavanaugh’s hearing and ultimate confirmation to the Supreme Court, saying the judge’s win has only served to “energize the Republicans” and has “backfired on Democrats in the best way possible.”
Walker said he believed any effect of the Kavanaugh nomination would be felt in federal elections, and likely not at the state level.
GOP supporter Keri Hanson said she believed there were a number of “backdoor deals” behind the testimony against Kavanaugh and believed the judge was “innocent until proven guilty.”
“(The Democrats) haven’t given him a chance,” Hanson said. “Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I have to go along with it. Give me proof.”
Hanson said she fully backed Walker and the GOP, believing they have the best interests of small business owners like her husband and college students like her daughter in mind.
“Anything that helps my husband and my family, Scott Walker is the guy,” Hanson said.
Walker touched briefly on other issues of interest to local voters, including funding for flood recovery. Walker said he expects with request FEMA assistance will be validated in four to eight weeks, and he touted $4 million available from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp, for repairs to flood damaged homes and small businesses.
Walker downplayed his the promise of his Democratic opponent, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, to introduce nonpartisan redistricting of voting districts.
“The fact is when a Madison bureaucrat is talking about an agenda for us, it’s really about the people in Madison and the big government union bosses,” Walker said. “Our focus is about things that affect the taxpayers. He’s talked about lifting the reforms we’ve put in place, and that would take money away from the classrooms. ... In terms of redistricting I think most people want the people they elected to make the decisions. ... Tony Evers is talking about billions of dollars in new spending.”
Hawn was encouraged by the enthusiasm and efforts of his fellow Walker supporters.
“I think it’s really exciting that Wisconsin is one of the three or four states with this good a ground for voter contact — I think it spells really good news for the Republicans and really bad news for the Democrats,” Hawn said, who predicted Walker will win a third term Nov. 6.