Madison, Wis. (WFRV)-- Your Local Election Headquarters is getting you ready for next Tuesday's Primary in the Governor Walker Recall by profiling all four of the Democratic candidates.
Wednesday, Local 5's Millaine Wells talked with Kathleen Vinehout in Luxemburg.
On why she got involved in politics:
"I became involved in 2006 because I very much wanted to bring affordable health care to farmers. I spent 10 years milking cows and running the family dairy farm and I was elected to the senate back in 2006. I ran with no name recognition, no prior service and no money, and I won by turning out a whole lot of people in rural areas. I come from a rural area and sort of a grassroots campaign style and I'm bringing that same style to running for governor ".
"All over the state when I talk to small businesses they say Kathleen, if you can bring us affordable health insurance we can create more jobs. It's hurting our profits, it's hurting our ability to grow. This is a solvable problem. I've written the bill, I know how to fix it and I'd very much like the opportunity to get it done".
Vinehout was one of the so called "Wisconsin 14". The State Senators went to Illinois to delay a vote on Governor Scott Walker's budget. Vinehout says she was representing the majority of her constituents, by leaving the state and giving them time to understand the bill. She supports collective bargaining, but says it doesn't belong in the budget.
"Attaching the budget to collective bargaining will make restoring collective bargaining more difficult, not less difficult. We do need collective bargaining. A wise executive lifts up the voice of the people. Business people know that the people who work in the company are the companies most important asset. The same would be my approach to being governor. We need to make sure that the worker is at the table. so collective bargaining is a necessary part of making the state run well. I come from a union family. My father was a laborer. Where I taught in college, I was an officer of the AFT local. As Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Higher Education I worked hard to pass legislation that gave university faculty and staff the right to collectively bargain. A right Governor Walker stripped in Act 10".
Vinehout has written an alternative budget which you can see here.
"I have written an alternative budget on not raising taxes, but on how to fund government in a different way including funding for schools and veterans programs which are my two priorities. I will and have worked with Tony Evers on fixing our school funding formula. Back in 2010 school superintendents all across the state said that I had done more to help public education than any other legislature. In my alternative budget I fully fund the technical colleges. I think this needs to be at the top of the list. Right now we're seeing a skills gap. There are employers that want to hire people and there are people who want to go to school to get the skills but we see very long waiting lists at technical colleges all across the state".
On having experience in state government:
"Kathleen Falk and Tom Barrett both come from experience as an executive in a large city. We currently have a Governor who was an executive of a large city and that hasn't gotten us very far. We need someone who can be independent, who can work across the aisle, that can heal the divisions among us and has current experience in state government".