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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Neumann, Walker spar for GOP nomination

Republican gubernatorial candidates former congressman Mark Neumann and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker wrangled for votes in a televised debate Wednesday, just a few weeks before the Sept. 14 primary.

 

Politely seated shoulder-to-shoulder at Marquette University Law School, the two candidates spent an hour answering questions from viewers across the state.

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Job creation, government spending, taxes and education dominated the discussion with the two competitors.

 

Walker promised to cut state spending and repeatedly accused the Doyle administration of mismanaging state finances, while Neumann pledged to cut the ""size and scope"" of state government by 1 percent each year, if elected.

 

A property tax proposal by Neumann proved a contentious policy point. Neumann has proposed letting Wisconsin taxpayers forgo paying 2011 property taxes if they choose to pay 2012 taxes monthly instead of once annually.

 

""It's outside the box … not career politician kind of thinking,"" Neumann said.

 

Walker dismissed the plan, telling Neumann, ""your tax bill doesn't go down, you just change the date [you pay].""

 

Throughout the debate, Neumann focused on his work in the private sector, attempting to differentiate himself from Walker with references to ""career politicians."" Neumann also harped on his college education, drawing another distinction with Walker, who dropped out of school before completing his bachelor's degree.

Both men agreed they would stop the planned high speed rail line connecting Madison and Milwaukee, if elected.

 

""People in Wisconsin will not see high speed rail in Wisconsin if I'm elected governor, period,"" Walker said.

 

Neumann promised to use the $810 million funding from the federal government as tax breaks for Wisconsinites. According to the state Department of Transportation, the money is earmarked specifically for the high speed rail project.   

 

The winner of the Sept. 14 primary will advance to face Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in the general election for governor Nov. 2.

 

An August poll by Rasmussen suggests Walker would fare better against Barrett.  A hypothetical Walker/Barrett elections gave Walker 49 percent of the vote and Barrett 41 percent. Neumann/Barrett left Neumann with 45 percent and Barrett 43 percent of the vote.

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