March 28, 2010

Barrett campaigns here for the second time; big issue is jobs

Milwaukee Mayor -- and, more relevant, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful -- Tom Barrett brought his campaign to Racine Sunday, meeting with about 60 residents at Park 6 for a fund-raiser, meet-and-greet. This is the second time Barrett has been here during the campaign; he made his first official campaign stop at Wilson's Coffee on Nov. 15, the day he announced. As far as we know, neither of the two already-announced Republican candidates -- Scott Walker or Mark Neumann -- has been here since they began campaigning. Nor has rumored Republican candidate Tommy Thompson. (Correx: Neumann was here on Jan. 3.)

Barrett spent more than an hour meeting the faithful, and another 20 minutes or so speaking of what he hopes to accomplish as governor. With a nod to Mayor John Dickert in the front row, he spelled out the difference between being mayor and being governor: "People don't care whether their garbage is picked up by a Democrat or Republican; being mayor is a very practical job."

But as governor, he said, the issue is jobs. "My priority as governor of this state is to create, retain and attract jobs." He said he's focused on that issue as mayor, and pointed to recent successes in landing new operations by Republic Airlines and Talgo. "That didn't happen by accident; we were pro-active," he said. Taking note of some criticism regarding Talgo, the Spanish train manufacturer, Barrett said, "I don't care if they're from Mars."

As governor he promised to look at existing programs by such agencies as the Department of Commerce, WHEDA, the DNR and others, "and I will put more meat on the bones that are working." Pointing to State Sen. John Lehman and Rep. Cory Mason, among "name" Democrats in attendance, Barrett said he would focus on programs like ones they have proposed, tying tax credits to job creation. "Getting our fiscal state in order" is a top priority he said, noting that states with governors from both parties -- Arizona and California headed by Republicans, for example; and Illinois and Michigan by Democrats -- are in trouble.

"It sounds masochistic," he said, but "I would rather have someone who shares my values making the tough decisions. In hard times, someone who shares our values is important. You saw that last week in the debate on health care." Voters, he said, should ask those who want to repeal the new health care bill "why they would want to deny health care to that child who needs it."

"The debate has to change now. They've had their fun for the past 12 months, talking about Death Squads and Armageddon. Well, there is none of that."

Holding up his still-bandaged hand, injured in the August State Fair Park incident when he aided a woman who was being attacked, Barrett said voters should take away two lessons about him from it. First, Wisconsin has "tough challenges," a "a tough, tough period" ahead, and "Tom Barrett doesn't run from a fight." And, the second lesson, Barrett said -- with a smile -- as he pointed out that the attack he broke up was really about five blocks from the State Fair. "Tom Barrett doesn't like to pay for parking."


  1. Hopefully, his vision of adding jobs is different from Obama. Obama's idea is to add a ton more federal government jobs we have to pay for with fewer private sector jobs.

    Sorry Tom, you sound like you would be another Jim Doyle term and Wisconsin can't afford another four years of Doyle type governorship.

  2. Let me see:
    Tried to take over MPS Failed
    More taxes in Milwaukee
    More Business leaving Milwaukee
    More job losses in Milwaukee

    Side bar is he even running?

  3. Barrett will truly give a "hand" to helpcreate jobs in Wisconsin

  4. Big city mayor holding his own and better. He's got the chops. Certainly he knows when to do the right thing.

  5. Big city mayor holding his own and then some. Has the chops. Certainly knows how to do the right thing.

  6. Actually, we do know that Mark Neumann has been to Racine. It was the first stop of his 'Mark on Mainstreet' tour, during which he also stopped at Wilson's Coffee. A summary of his visit may be found on his web page.

  7. Remember this guy endorses the train proposal from Milwaukee to Madison. Why should this not happen?

    The train leaves downtown Milwaukee with a couple stops along the line. The Badger bus is about a fast in getting to Madison.

    The train drops you off at the Danne County airport - then you must take a bus or cab to get downtown.By the time you did thid the bus is faster.

    The Badger Bus makes a couple stops in downtown Madison.

    The train costs 3 times more than the Badger bus.

    The Badger bus has more times running than the train. In peak times, the Badger bus add more busses.

    Tommy boy also endorses KRM - do I say more? Tommy Boy is not the right choice.

  8. Ian - why would you let Tommy Boy into your facility???

  9. The future of America is with trains, not buses. Good trains are coming all over th US - why not in Wisconsuin too. Barrett is able to see beyond the day-to-day nickel and dime mentality of this issue. Our kids and grandkids will have a good future because of Barrett's convictions!

  10. 12:04 - you are an idiot. How many times are you going to take the train from Milwaukee to Madison and get let of at the Dane county airport only to have to catch a bus or cab to get downtown at 3 times the cost of the bus. That train will cause millions into the future to maintain and one that no one will take. Not if you can get there by bus or car faster and at a minimal price. Jacko - this is not Europe and the state will not be able to subsidize this on-going cost. Both the Metra and Amtrack are running in the red. What makes you think this will be any different - Barrett and you are both idiots. Fortunaely Scott Walker will get in there and kill this idea.

  11. With so many issues facing Wisconsin a couple of people here seem to be stuck on a train of calling and criticizing with no actual useful suggestions of their own.

  12. 1:35 - so wrong you are - don't approve this train plan. That's my suggestion. If anyone can challenge my previous points - have at it.

  13. I'd often take the train from Milwaukee to Madison - probably at least once a week. There will be easy bus transfers from the train station in Madison to go to the farmer's market, UW activities etc. The train system in Europe is beautiful. As we run out of energy and get used to doing a bit of walking to get to our destination, the trains are what will be used.

  14. 9:29 - so you would spend over $50 once a week and spend more travel time than the bus or a car. I don't think so, and you know what if you don't have a required reason for making this trip, I'd bet any money that you do it once a month at most. Those trains will be empty if this foolish financial bust goes through. There is no comparison between Milwaukee and Madison with Europe.