Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is visiting Minnesota Thursday to speak at the super secret, super conservative Freedom Club spring event. Walker is another of a string of extreme conservative candidates to attend meetings with the Freedom Club behind closed doors with their secret members.
But before shmoozing with Minnesota’s uber-secret conservative group, he met with the GOP House and Senate Caucuses behind closed doors at the State Capitol.
Republican lawmakers reportedly cheered when Walker entered the room. And Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt stood with Walker as he took questions from the press.
Walker, who got a rousing cheer upon his entrance w @kdaudt, also has speeches to Minneapolis Business Partnership and Freedom Club today
— Brian Bakst (@Stowydad) April 23, 2015
Minnesota Republicans were certainly excited, posting pictures with the Wisconsin Governor and tweeting their appreciation for his visit.
— Roz Peterson (@rozpeterson) April 23, 2015
But working families in Minnesota know that celebrating Gov. Scott Walker is a very, very dangerous path to follow.
Wisconsin is underperforming Minnesota in almost every economic indicator. Wisconsin’s job growth lags behind the national average and has a jobless rate of more than 5 percent. Minnesota on the other hand, keeps pace with the national job growth numbers and has a very low 3.7 percent unemployment rate.
In a recent editorial, The LaCrosse Tribune summed the numbers up nicely, proclaiming Minnesota the winner of this border battle:
“How else do the states compare? Forbes ranks Minnesota as the ninth best state for business, No. 7 in economic climate and No. 2 in quality of life. Wisconsin is ranked 32nd, 27 and 17 on the same measures. The cost of doing business in Minnesota is 0.2 percent below the national average. Wisconsin is 1.7 percent above the average. The median household income in Minnesota is about $60,000. It’s just below $52,000 in Wisconsin.”
How did Minnesota become the clear front runner in this competition? With progressive leaders putting working families first, not corporations and the wealthy.
Governor Dayton asked the wealthiest Minnesotans to chip in their fair share, taking the burden off the middle class. This allowed progressive leaders to make crucial investments in education, early learning, and affordable college education.
Governor Walker took the opposite approach. He’s proposing slashing nearly $300 million from state colleges, which some deans have already said would almost certainly result in layoffs .
Walker’s budget gimmicks and cuts are now leading Wisconsin onto shaky financial ground. His office recently announced the state will be missing a $108 million debt payment due this summer in order to balance their budget, a move critics say will result in higher costs down the road.
By missing the May payment, Walker will incur about $1.1 million in additional interest fees between 2015 and 2017.
Now, across the river in Minnesota, Governor Mark Dayton is facing a budget surplus, which he wants to invest in all-day pre-kindergarten for all Minnesota four-year-olds.
Minnesota Republicans are firmly against Gov. Dayton’s plans, and instead support Governor Walker’s approach of cuts and tax handouts to big businesses and big corporations.
I think it’s obvious which route is the smart choice for a thriving state. Somebody should mention that to Governor Walker during his visit.