Walker Whispers Hopes of Refueling Mining Discussion

Jun 6, 2012

Scott Walker is not taking much time to drink in the sweetness of success after surviving a contentious recall campaign.

Early Wednesday, the Governor visited a small company in Oak Creek before heading to his office in Madison.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence stopped at the family-owned manufacturer to learn if Walker’s immediate plans are environmentally related.

Gov Scott Walker is center stage at family owned manufacturer in Oak Creek

Steelwind Industries suspended business as usual, so an assortment of 150 workers, executives and friends could fill a makeshift auditorium.

A crew repurposed an industrial lift, to hoist a giant American flag above the spot where Governor Walker would speak.

He strolled into the plant – his demeanor relaxed, although his voice showed signs of a long election night.

Still, Walker says, he does not intend to rest.

“A little bit later I’m going to be in Madison; it’ll be good to see them all to see my Cabinet in the Capitol to talk about what each of our state agencies can do because a lot of things we’re going to do, do not require a change in state law, so they’re not things that we have to vote on but they are things we need to act on,” Walker says.

Walker promised jobs – THOUSANDS of them – during his first bid as governor.

As the dust around the recall settles, Walker exudes confidence that good jobs are on the immediate horizon.

“I’m convinced today that for businesses I’ve visited all across the state and for a lot of others I’ve heard about, that today is the first day of the takeoff in terms of jobs and growth and prosperity in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker says.

Walkers’ “job creation” comments seemed short on specifics.

“You know we still want to enforce common sense – we still want clean air, clean land and clean water, we want public safety and public health, but you can enforce things that are based on common sense and not just a bureaucratic red tape,” Walker says.

Back to business at Steelwind Industries

Following promises of a great future for everyone in the state, the audience rose to its feet with hoops and hollers.

The Governor huddled briefly with reporters after satisfying a crowd hungry for handshakes and photographs.

He underscored his desire to meet with Wisconsin’s entire Legislature in the coming days.

“Just to kind of break the ice and figure out how we can of break the ice and figure out how we can get passed this. As I mentioned last night, the election I s over; we’re no longer political opponents – we’re all Wisconsinites and I think overwhelmingly there’s more than unites us than divides us. If we can hone in on the things that allow us to move forward, that’s what we really want to focus on in the coming days,” Walker says.

Only months ago, a series of divisive debates consumed the Legislature – perhaps none more contentious than legislation to ease the permitting process for iron ore mining in the northern reaches of Wisconsin.

Now, post recall, Governor Walker expressed confidence he can build consensus among lawmakers to push a bill forward.

“That’s something we’ll try to and figure out a way to bring people together on that, absolutely. I think that something that was on the horizon in the past, but I think the recall elections put a barrier up, so I think now that it’s passed, we’ll get there,” Walker says.

Walker’s optimism may be tested.

Although he comfortably triumphed over opponent Tom Barrett in the recall election – several counties in the proposed mining region near Lake Superior voted overwhelmingly Democratic.