In life we all have a story, and I brought you here because this is where my story begins. My story begins at St. Joe’s Hospital, February 24th 1977 just four blocks away where I was born. Like many of us, my story began with a promise of the American dream. We’ve seen that promise of opportunity taken away by harsh political rhetoric that leads to bad policies. And like many of you, I am concerned with the direction this state is going.
We live in a time in our state where our decent Wisconsin values are being trumped by corporate interests. We live in a time where leaders say our state is broke but we are balancing the budget on the backs of working citizens of the state.
That is why, today, I have decided to announce my candidacy for LT Gov of the State of WI. I could sit on the sidelines and throw stones and give great rally speeches and talk about the change we need. But at the end of the day we need to make change from within the system. We need leaders that embody the vision of the state of Wisconsin.
I have been a fire fighter for 15 years. When firefighters see an emergency we respond. We respond because we care about our community. It’s a level of service and a calling that only a few decide to take. I look at being LT Gov as another part of this service. As firefighters, we have a motto all hands working. Every fire fighter on scene is doing a task or job to stabilize the tragedy. We need all hands working now in our community to deal with the emergency in Madison.
And last February Scott Walker told us to stand down from an emergency because we don’t have anything to worry about. Because firefighters were protected. BUT we saw the emergency facing the state of Wisconsin and our middle class families. We did not stand down.
I’m running because Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch have destroyed and divided Wisconsin by catering to corporate special interests instead of the working men and women of this state. Now, we need to bring our state back together and work to create the jobs tens of thousands of Wisconsinites need.
Obviously, Scott Walker had it wrong about us firefighters. They thought we would sit idly by while others were attacked. And we won’t, because when get called we respond. And we won’t be silent until we win this.
Let me tell you a little bit about who I am. You know I’m a firefighter. But my most important job is as a husband and a dad. I want my son and daughter to grow up in a Wisconsin where we can plan for their future and dream big.
My family moved to Milwaukee from Cleveland for better opportunities. Wisconsin has always been a place of opportunity but now we have a governor who created incentives for special interest corporations on the backs of working families. We need to get back to the times when opportunities were created not destroyed.
Scott Walker talks about shared sacrifice and then they go and give their corporate supporters all sorts of tax loopholes.
Meanwhile they try kicking 65,000 people off BadgerCare, half of them children who can’t afford other health insurance. Hundreds of thousands of people (263,000) will see their benefits cut and families could see increases up to ten times their monthly health premiums.
The number of children in poverty in Wisconsin rose to 17% last year. That is unacceptable. In addition, they pass voter ID laws that act more like voter suppression laws than anything else.
They talk about improving education and then they cut 800 million from our schools so they can give more money to private classrooms with no accountability.
WE NEED TO WORK LIKE HECK TO START BRINGING JOBS TO WISCONSIN. Jobs that will be here for our kids. Scott Walker makes a promise to create 250,000 jobs and we get 6 straight months of job losses, the most of any state.
Instead of creating jobs and helping middle class families, Republicans gave $2.3 billion dollars in tax breaks to big corporations, special interests and the wealthiest taxpayers over the next 10 years
This isn’t the leadership Wisconsin needs. It’s an attack on the middle class and working families of Wisconsin. Why do they get no relief while wealthy corporate interests continue to gain?
We need to work together. Partisan politics and political games aside, it’s eating us up and we’re not focusing on what really matters.
My vision for Wisconsin is a promise where all Wisconsin youth can get a good education. Creating that future for our kids, making all of our communities strong. A promise that we will fight poverty. We will focus on expanding health care, not taking it away like we’ve seen them try to do to children and the women of this state. We will hold corporations accountable, educating our kids and creating jobs for our families.
We all have a role in shaping our new leadership – the fight is not over. Our next step is to bring this state back together.
We need leaders who preserve a balance of power so that corporate interests don’t trump our American values. I will be that leader.
In Madison, we need new and fresh leaders who understand our needs.
Someone with new ideas that are not out of touch from OUR everyday surroundings and our desire to want more in life. I am that leader.
The leader we need will invest in public schools so that every child has a chance to succeed. I am that leader.
Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, we are elected to do a job. The job is to be concerned with serving the people of this state, not just holding on to our seat.
Our state has a motto. It’s not “Divided”. It’s not “Angry”. It’s not “Afraid”. It’s “Forward”. And it’s time for leaders in Madison to act like it.
This is something bigger than just you and me. This is about Justice and this is about History. And I guarantee you we are on the right side of justice and we will make history.