By Sen. John Lehman
In 2010, Governor Walker rode a wave of promises to victory, the biggest of all being to create 250,000 jobs and get Wisconsinites working again.
Four years later, after all his attacks on public sector unions, teachers, and the middle class, those promises have been in vain.
Our great state trails the rest of the nation in job creation, just 35th in the country at adding private sector jobs; and 9th in the Midwest since taking office in 2011.
In over twenty years in public service, from my years as a high school teacher to today as a state Senator, I’ve never seen a governor willfully cause this much destruction to the state of Wisconsin.
I entered the race for Lt. Governor because I cannot sit on the sidelines while we fall further behind.
What I’ve seen Scott Walker do to this state has depressed many people, and some have lost faith that the Wisconsin we all knew is gone forever.
Our state, the home of the Progressive movement, Fighting Bob La Follette and the Wisconsin Idea, has seen our reputation as a laboratory of democracy tarnished by Scott Walker’s pay-to-play culture of corruption that prioritizes the needs of a wealthy few over the greater good.
While the governor talks of “prosperity,” families from Racine to Superior still struggle to get by each month.
I think it’s time they had someone in the Capitol fighting for them, creating jobs and providing relief that truly helps them get ahead.
No longer can we have a governor who believes the path to prosperity is built on a “divide and conquer” strategy that pits worker against worker and neighbor against neighbor.
Families cannot afford a governor who lets all the gains go to the top and can offer only a trickle for working class.
It was not too long ago when my plans included retiring home to Racine after a long and fulfilling career as a public servant and champion for middle class issues – but then I met Mary Burke.
Mary inspired me to get in this fight alongside her and turn Wisconsin around. I know that Mary has what it takes to grow our Wisconsin economy and strengthen the middle class.
She has a real vision to create a top ten economy, not just a jobs number that will play well during the 10 o’clock news report. She supports workers and wants to restore collective bargaining rights for our public employees.
Mary understands the importance of marriage equality, is a staunch defender of the environment, and will fight to ensure women’s health care decisions are made by a woman and her doctor.
Seeing eye-to-eye on the issues is just half the battle.
We both know that we have a long road ahead of us to beat Scott Walker and his political war chest, pumped full by out of state billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch Brothers.
However, I have an unyielding belief in the people of Wisconsin because of what were able to do in 2012 in Racine.
That year, we stood up against the Republican agenda and big money.
We were outspent, but it did not matter; we had the power of the people on our side, we organized, and we won.
I have the utmost faith that we can do that again this year.
I am running not for myself or because of political aspiration; I’m running for the future of our state.
Despite the last three years, I’m still optimistic, and I believe the way to end the division and return Wisconsin to greatness is to elect Mary Burke our next Governor.
I look forward to serving as her Lieutenant Governor and getting to started right away to put people back to work, to level the playing field for our middle class families and moving this state forward.
With your help, we will turn our state around and make Wisconsin a leader once again.