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Falk Talks Jobs, Education, Endorsements During Milwaukee Visit

Dane County Democrat and candidate in likely gubernatorial recall election announces plan to restore technical college funding by closing corporate tax loophole.

Just two weeks after she announced her campaign to run against Gov. Scott Walker in a recall election — and possibly other Democrats in a primary election — former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk made her campaign pitch about job creation, school funding and collective bargaining in luncheon Wednesday hosted by WisPolitics.com.

Already, she has received endorsements from WEAC, AFSCME, Emily's List and Clean Wisconsin. With the unions, she signed a pledge to veto any budget that does not restore collective bargaining. When Patch asked whether the pledge indicates a loyalty to unions, Falk said she made the pledge because she wants to be upfront and honest about what she will do as governor.

"Us candidates are supposed to tell people what we will do to accomplish their goals, and people want collective bargaining. I have been openly asked about what I will do to get that done, and this isn't the time to be wishy washy," Falk said. "This is the time to stand up and say which side you are on, and I'm on the side of collective bargaining."

Falk also used the luncheon as an opportunity to announce her jobs plan for the state. The plan, dubbed "Invest in Success," would restore the $36 million that was cut from state technical colleges by closing a tax loophole that allows multistate corporations to avoid paying Wisconsin taxes on profits generated in Wisconsin. Falk said the loophole cost the state $46 million in the biennial budget and will rise to an annual cost of $40 million starting in 2013.

With one out of five high school graduates going on to technical college, and Walker stating nearly 33,000 job openings in Wisconsin are unfilled because employers cannot find skilled workers, Falk said her plan will help technical colleges provide worker training and create partnerships that connect worker training to available jobs.

"His philosophy is to give big tax breaks to a few companies, and then the biggest cuts in public education," Falk said. "My philosophy about how you balance the budget is through shared sacrifice, and that's what I've done as a county executive."

In an e-mail statement, Walker campaign spokesman Tom Evenson said the plan would hamper economic development by increasing taxes on corporations.

“Kathy Falk is a one-trick pony with one answer for everything: “Raise taxes," he said. "Falk’s plan would put a wet blanket on Wisconsin’s economy by saddling job creators with over $350 million in job-killing tax increases. Wisconsinites simply cannot afford Falk’s failed tax and spend policies.”

Since her candidacy announcement on Feb. 8, the campaign season is still young. Falk said she plans to reach out to both Republicans and Democrats on the campaign trail, saying she campaigned in conservative Waukesha County just last week.

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma) has also declared her candidacy, and Secretary of State Doug LaFollette is reportedly entering the race later this week. Falk said she is not sure whether there will ultimately be a Democratic primary. And, of course, many observers believe Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett also will run.

"I'm just grateful we live in a democracy," she said. "I would never talk somebody out of running for office."

There is no scheduled date for the recall election, which was triggered after Democrats filed more than 1 million signatures a month ago.

Originally from the south side of Milwaukee and raised in Waukesha County, Falk graduated with a law degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison and spent 20 years as an environmental lawyer, mostly through her work as a public intervenor in the state Department of Justice. She was elected Dane County executive in 1997, a post she held for 14 years.

In 2002, she lost a three-way Democratic gubernatorial primary to former Gov. Jim Doyle and Barrett, and in 2006, she narrowly lost the attorney general election to Republican J.B. Van Hollen.

At the age of 60, she said she was motivated to re-enter the political scene after seeing Walker's policies play out in Wisconsin, which she said have led to six straight months of job losses in the state.

"We just want good schools for our kids, decent health care when we need it, a decent paying job and some clean air and water to enjoy those few hours of the day when we're not working," she said. "We don't ask for much, and Gov. Walker has set our state back on every barometer."

Walker's campaign could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

While Walker stocked $12 million into his campaign warchest in 2011 and ran a series of campaign advertisements, Falk said the polls show it has not been effective.

"Once you have lost someone's trust, no amount of money can get it back," Falk said.

$$andSense February 24, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Falk Talks Sounds dirty. Looks like Tom is getting a handle on the caps lock too. Jawohl mein kameraden! Mein Fuhrer Scott Walker ist der best. Alles hail!
Bob McBride February 24, 2012 at 02:59 PM
She picked up another union endorsement yesterday - SEIU.
Alfred Kell February 24, 2012 at 03:30 PM
Falk You never created a job in her miserable life as a gubmint employee....will be a cake walk for Walker to beat this broad.
Alan Ray February 24, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Kathleen Falk is endorsed by unions and that’s it. There are no businesses , chamber of commerce, or other pro-business groups that would even consider backing this lunatic. She claims she’s worked with unions and negotiated contracts that saved taxpayers, but I’m wondering how that can be? In her 14 years as CE of Dane county, she increased the budget by 60%. She raised taxes over 10 of those years. She increased the property tax levy by 11.6% in her last two years…09-10. She is all about spending, taxing and increasing entitlements…after all, in 2010 Madison teachers signed a new 4 year contract PRIOR to ACT 10 legislation so they could keep their wages and benefits on the backs of the taxpayers. Wisconsin has saved over 900 million in less than a year because of responsible legislation by Walker. While there is a structural debt of approximately 3 billion that was left from Doyle, we did manage to erase a 3.6 billion dollar deficit and save over 70 million a year in interest. These responsible acts help spur economic growth but Falk can’t understand this. Wisconsin is on the right track in hopes that public unions go away in a few years and give personal responsibility back to the individual instead of Big Brother Unions.
Dennis February 24, 2012 at 05:14 PM
There is no such thing as a tax loophole, it is merely a tax law that some don't agree with. As for corporate tax breaks, both sides do it it lure buisness. Look at lefty Tom Barrett, hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars to try to get buisness, they all do it! Falk will be no different. The more people we can get back to work ASAP, the better off we will all be, more income tax revenue, more spending, more sales tax revenue! Maybe, just maybe, we can then begin it lower more tax rates and maybe, just maybe begin to slowly restore some benefits, but for now, everyone has to share in the , here in Wisconsin as well as the US, per Barrack Hussain Obama
clearthinker February 24, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Oh thats right. I almost forgot about the prank played on the gov by the left-wing sicko that the Wisco Dems love so much. You know, the sicko who wants US troops to die and to be maimed.
Greg February 24, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Yes, that is the exact type that Keith and his ilk want to walk march step with. Just the thought of that call makes him all giddy.
Greg February 24, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I guess that's the lipstick on the pig...
Greg February 24, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Here is a link to a story quoting Keith's hero. http://militarygear.com/asp/2011/02/23/ian-murphy-loathes-the-troops/
Bob McBride February 24, 2012 at 06:27 PM
I don't know that, in and of itself, it's the lipstick but it's certainly an indication that the lipstick fund will be a more healthy one going forward.
Mike in OC February 24, 2012 at 07:50 PM
I would rather be a Walker than a Falker....
Dan Wood February 24, 2012 at 09:05 PM
"Once you have lost someone's trust, no amount of money can get it back," Falk said -- and I agree. Now that Wisconsin has been shown what the public unions are REALLY all about, they have lost our trust. The only "jobs" Falk is interested in is public sector jobs funded by taxing the private sector. This is not how an economy stays healthy.
morninmist February 24, 2012 at 09:12 PM
@ Bren You hit on an important point--we NEED a Gov who is loyal to the people of Wisconsin and not one (Walker) to is loyal to ALEC! .............. Bren 5:41 pm on Thursday, February 23, 2012 Mr. Hoffa, there are estimates and there are estimates. Some are based on historical evidence and reasonable assumptions, and others come right out of the place in the brain that also imagines unicorns and the sasquatch. 250,000 new jobs by 2013 is a sasquatch, in my opinion. I've had enough unicorns and sasquatch, people's lives are being adversely impacted. I want a governor for Wisconsin, not ALEC.
morninmist February 24, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Oh yeah Mike Conrad! We get such an education from our drop-out-of-college Gov!! Mike Conrad ‏ @mikeconrad1 .@GovWalker just tweeted about snow: "It is wet & heavy.” Quite the revelation from He-Palin. #WIRecall #RecallWalker
Greg February 24, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Scott Walker is loyal to me, and i'm a Wisconsin people. I think Governor Walker is doing a great job. He is doing what I elected him for. I am not ALEC and your opinion sucks.
Greg February 24, 2012 at 09:32 PM
Maybe a pig with more money, but this pig still lives in a house of straw.
CowDung February 24, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Digging pretty deep there, morninmist...
Mike in OC February 24, 2012 at 10:58 PM
@morninmissed .... who is mike conrad?
Blue Iris February 24, 2012 at 11:42 PM
When Patch asked whether the pledge indicates a loyalty to unions, Falk gave an answer that did not address the question. Typical.
Blue Iris February 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Yes why can't "they" figure out how to stop the businesses from walking away from WI? Look at the epicenter Madison. In Dane County Madison just lost several "large" businesses to Middleton. Wonder why? It was due to a little 5 letter word that starts with T and rhymes with axes. How do you expect Kathleen to make things better for the State of Wisconsin when all she has in her eye sockets are dollar signs and a syringe in the tax payers backside.
Bren February 25, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Greg, unless you are a legislator or high level contributor to ALEC or make more than $250,000k, Scott Walker will pay you lip service to get your vote and use your support to help his benefactors at Wisconsin's expense. Let's talk about how "great" a job he's doing when the rest of his draconian budget cuts hit in July (if he's still around). I'm sorry that you think my opinion "sucks," but I have to base my views on the man's deeds and numbers. My brain is just wired that way. Promises: 250,000 new jobs by 2014 and a GAAP balanced budget. Results (as I have posted before): 200 years to reach 250,000 new jobs at current rates and a $3,000,000,000 GAAP deficit with a $143,000,000 projected cash shortfall (or $117,000,000 after glomming onto $26,000,000 of the mortgage settlement to correct his budgeting error). Additional results: $5,000,000 for unnecessary Voter ID law, public and private sector layoffs, $1,200,000,000 in cuts to K-12 public school education, cuts to Homestead and EIC credits (i.e., tax increases on the poorest), a potentially environmentally disastrous mine project that will create only 700 permanent jobs with mid-level pay, $1,200,000 spent on hiring private law firms as part of gerrymandering project and resulting litigation (to-date), etc. We need a governor who represents all of our interests, not just those of the wealthy. Blue Iris, a link would be helpful.
morninmist February 25, 2012 at 02:35 PM
It is a lovely day in WI and Dems are working hard to out the 4 Recalled Senators and Rebecca and Scooter. john hershberger ‏ @hershinmad Good Morning #WiUnion #WiRecall #RecallWalker 1 year ago vimeo.com/20928996 I love my state. http://vimeo.com/20928996
morninmist February 25, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Mike I have no idea but he sends a good tweet. CowDung---Walker had to dig deep into his brain for that tweet! ha ha!
morninmist February 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Walker and TeaGOP just lost more women voters-and the folks who support them! Walker and pay equity Cap Times editorial February 25, 2012 Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk strongly opposes Senate Bill 202, which turns the clock back on equal pay protections for women. We know that Gov. Scott Walker is unlikely to listen to his leading challenger in the recall election, former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. But on the question of pay equity, he should. Senate Bill 202, authored by Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, would gut Act 20, the equal pay enforcement law passed in 2009. The act, which includes stiff penalties, makes it easier for women to bring wage discrimination cases. As PR Watch noted, “Previously, victims were required to pursue lengthy administrative remedies through a state agency. SB 202 removed the compensatory and punitive damages for violations of Act 20, leaving it a toothless tiger.” Not surprisingly, Grothman’s bill passed on a party-line vote. If Walker does not veto it, he will make an even better case for why Wisconsin needs to replace him, and why it makes a lot of sense to do so with a woman. Here’s what Falk is saying:... http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/walker-and-pay-equity/article_dd0e83a1-5f19-5fb4-a7e7-334de2c8c282.html#ixzz1nP9FBziv
Bren February 25, 2012 at 03:06 PM
I just don't see the point of legislation like this. It simply gives a thumbs up to discriminatory business practices. I can't imagine any person of character supporting wage discrimination against women. If a company is engaging in this practice, it is reasonable to assume that there are other issues as well. Yes, it's a recession, but why is the economic situation being seen by some as an opportunity to roll back the reforms that reflect a society that has gained in sophistication, wisdom, and cultural appreciation? It is the 21st Century, not the 17th, when men in Salem, Massachusetts were put into stocks for smoking tobacco on the street or indulging in a profanity, and women were similarly punished for gossip.
Tim Scott February 25, 2012 at 03:08 PM
"SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS/AP) - Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn laid out a pretty grim budget Wednesday afternoon. His plan includes closing 59 state facilities, from prisons to offices of the Department of Human Services. "Today, our rendezvous with reality has arrived," said Gov. Quinn during his speech. In his budget address Wednesday, Quinn said the need to lower state spending "gives us no choice." Gov. Quinn talked a lot about restructuring the state's Medicaid program as well as strengthening the public pension systems." http://www.kfvs12.com/story/16989115/quinn-to-propose-closing-prisons-in-grim-il-budget The compassion of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) is eternal! Hopefully the financial death for the union public employees he discarded under the wheels of the bus will be quick and merciful. To think that Evil Incarnate Governor Walker Scott Walker would subject union public employees to the ignomy of pay cuts and paying more for their benefits and pensions - why they might lose their gas-guzzling SUV, vinyl-sided McMansion, or (GASP) not be able to afford that Spring vacation in Florida. It's inhumane subjecting union public employees to "death by 1,000 cuts". Imagine not being able to outspend your neighbor! SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!
morninmist February 27, 2012 at 03:30 PM
The recall election is a GO-- Walker the weasel is not challenging any recall sigs. HE has NOTHING! http://elections.wispolitics.com/2012/02/citing-time-crunch-walker-camp-wont.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed
CowDung February 27, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I didn't realize that twitter was only for sharing 'deep thoughts'...
Bob McBride February 27, 2012 at 04:01 PM
It's for deep thoughts exclusively, CD... Kim Kardashian ‏ @KimKardashian Reply Retweet Favorite · Open Wow Angelina went fun & sexy!!!! LOVE
morninmist February 29, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Ah, a good day for Wisconsin. Go Kathleen! http://www.politiscoop.com/us-politics/wisconsin-politics/766-scott-walker-in-a-political-free-fall.html Tuesday, 28 February 2012 14:36 Walker in a Political Free-Fall Madison – Gov. Scott Walker’s window of opportunity to change the public’s perception of how well he is doing his job has slammed shut. In recent months, Gov. Walker’s campaign and Koch funded friends have saturated Wisconsin television airwaves with commentary attempting to mask the destructiveness of his draconian polices. With six straight months of job loss in the Badger State, Wisconsinites are more apt to believe what they are experiencing and observing in their communities rather than what they are seeing on television. When you couple steady job losses with massive cuts to BadgerCare and education and when you consider a recent report indicating the state’s budget is still not balanced,... According to PublicPolicyPolling.com or commonly referred to as PPP, a recent poll of 900 Wisconsinites was conducted Thursday through Sunday. With the poll having a margin of error of plus or minus 3.27 percentage points, three of Gov. Walker’s possible opponents were ahead of him in the poll, and five others were not far behind. From the PPP Poll: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett led Walker 49% to 46% Kathleen Falk led Walker 48% to 47% ... ..

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