Governor Walker Wows Chamber Lobby Day
In a stirring address, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker brought down the house at the 2012 Employer Action Day, the joint legislative lobby day of the Chamber and the National Federation of Independent Business. Attendees gave the Governor three standing ovations and interrupted his speech seven times with applause.
The Governor’s speech stressed the themes of fixing state budgets without raising taxes, reducing government’s burden on employers and freeing policymakers from the unyielding grip of public employee unions. Emphasizing the impact of his reforms, the Governor highlighted Wisconsin’s first property tax reduction in 12 years and the millions of dollars of savings accrued to local school districts when they were freed from having to purchase health insurance from a union-affiliated insurer. While the Chamber believes that Illinois must find its own path to government reforms, Wisconsin’s experience is a clear message to our state that real, meaningful change can, and must, occur.
Governor Walker’s appearance at Employer Action Day lived up to expectations as a media event, as more than 25 separate media outlets covered his message to Illinois employers. Organized labor managed to show up as well with approximately 2000 protesters, well off of the initial promise of 20,000.
Summary of media coverage:
Walker Makes His Case Before Illinois Chamber of Commerce (Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)
Lessons of two states: What Illinois, Wisconsin can teach the world (Fox News Illinois)
State: Walker uses Illinois as an example (The Daily Journal)
Scott Walker Visits Springfield, Compares Self to Lincoln (NBC5 Chicago)
Scott Walker touts Wisconsin’s financial successes in Illinois (Rockford Register Star)
Walker talks unions, budgets in IL visit ahead of recall (Statehouse News)
Wisconsin Gov. Walker talks recall in Springfield (Chicago Tribune)
Unfortunately, not everyone grasped the importance of the Governor’s message. Colleagues at the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association used the Governor’s address as an opportunity to pen a pro-Quinn, pro-status quo op-ed that Governor Quinn touted in an email. Read the Governor’s email here.