Walker talks jobs in Janesville visit
WCLO's Stan Stricker reports on Gubernatorial candidate Tom Barrett's message to the crowd gathered in downtown Janesville Wednesday
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JANESVILLE Gov. Scott Walker donned a John-Deere-green hat and talked about Wisconsin's $60 billion agriculture industry on Wednesday during a visit to a farm equipment dealership in Rock County.
Walker visited Mid-State Equipment, 4323 E. Highway 14, Janesville, where he spoke to about 50 people, including reporters and Mid-State employees. He used agriculture as an example as he pushed the theme of a growing Wisconsin economy.
Walker, a Republican who grew up in Delavan, said agriculture is an industry that drives a state's economy. In Wisconsin, agricultural exports make up a big portion of the state's overall exports.
"That's why we're going to continue to focus on agriculture in the future," he said.
Walker took a short tour of the Mid-State facility. The sales, service and rental business is one of seven Mid-State locations in the state, Vice President Chris Frodel said. The company employs 185 people in Wisconsin including 40 in Janesville, she said.
Walker's tour included the roomy, two-seat cab of a John Deere tractor and a short chat with Mid-State employees. Then he held out his tie so television reporters could clip on microphones for a news conference in the equipment bay of the dealership.
When asked, Walker said he wasn't taking for granted a 7 percent lead in a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday. According to the poll results, more respondents—50 percent to 43 percent—believed Walker would do a better job with the economy than Barrett.
"We've never had anything like this in Wisconsin," Walker said, referring to the gubernatorial recall election scheduled Tuesday. "We don't know what's going to happen June 5."
Walker said he will work until the polls close Tuesday to promote the message that his reforms have lowered property tax rates and created a budget surplus in Wisconsin.
Walker took a jab at his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, saying that the rate of violent crime in Milwaukee has increased during Barrett's watch.
Walker said Barrett's administration is responsible for misreporting assault statistics in the city. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that it found at least 500 cases in which aggravated assaults had been misclassified as lesser assaults and skewed the reports of violent crimes in the city.
"It's not the rank and file that's the problem. It's farther up the line," Walker said. "Therefore, it's the leadership responsible for those errors."
When asked how voters should react to the news that Walker transferred $100,000 into a legal defense fund, Walker said voters should be glad to know he is hiring attorneys to deal with an ongoing criminal probe into the actions of some of his former aides and associates in Milwaukee County.
That way he can focus on his job, Walker said.
"They (voters) want me helping the people of the state create jobs," Walker said.