If elected governor, Republican Scott Walker would oppose the state’s domestic partner registry as well as benefits for the same-sex partners of state workers, he told the Milwaukee Press Club.
Appearing at the club’s June 11 Newsmaker Luncheon, Walker said he objected to the way Gov. Jim Doyle inserted the measure creating the registry into the state budget in order to get legislative approval. Doyle also used the maneuver to extend employee benefits to the same-sex partners of state workers, including those in the University of Wisconsin System.
“I vetoed a similar measure in Milwaukee County, and I would hold the same position as governor,” Walker said.
As Milwaukee county executive, Walker nixed an ordinance late last year that would have given domestic partner benefits to county workers. Walker cited budgetary concerns in rejecting the measure, saying it would cost taxpayers as much as $4 million annually. But similar benefits provided by the City of Milwaukee, which has a much larger workforce, cost $216,000, according to city officials.
Walker said he had no philosophical differences with his Republican primary opponent Mark Neumann. A former congressman, Neumann has said that he would never hire an open gay or lesbian to work for him. Walker later clarified that he did not agree with Neumann on that particular position, but he characterized the difference as “personal” rather than philosophical.
Walker declined to answer WiG’s question about whether he had open gays or lesbians serving on his staff.
During his appearance before the press club, Walker tried to ignore Neumann’s candidacy, directing his remarks on differentiating himself from his likely Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “I don’t talk about Mark unless you guys ask about him,” Walker said.
Walker said a Barrett administration would be “a third term of Jim Doyle.”
“I’m diametrically opposed at every level with what Jim Doyle has been pushing the past eight years,” he said. “(Doyle and Barrett) put their faith in the government.”
Instead, Walker said he would model his administration after that of former Gov. Tommy Thompson. Walker vowed to create 250,000 new jobs by cutting taxes, decreasing government regulation and limiting corporate legal liability.
Walker said he opposes a proposed Milwaukee-to-Madison high-speed rail project as well as global warming legislation.