Mike McCabe says a run for governor next year looks likely, and he expects to make an announcement sometime after Labor Day.
More than 200 people from around the state have signed a letter to the former director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign asking him to run.
“It’s not my idea. I’m not volunteering for this. But I’m being drafted. And it’s inspiring to see people from every part of the state — north, south, east and west — getting off the sidelines and deciding to take matters into their own hands,” McCabe said on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“They are looking for a different kind of leadership. They don’t want to wait for the parties to tell them who they can choose from. They want to find somebody they can get excited about,” he said.
“So what I have told them is, I’m willing to do this, but you can’t do it alone and if there are enough people willing to do the work with me, I’m willing to do it,” he said.
McCabe said he has not decided whether he would run as a Democrat or an independent.
“That’s obviously one of the questions that has to get answered in the weeks and months to come,” McCabe said.
McCabe, whose work with the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign tracked the role of money in politics, said his campaign would have to be “people powered and crowd-funded.”
“I’ll tell you this. If this election comes down to money alone, some candidate is going to win, but the people are going to lose. Because they end up with representation that doesn’t really represent them,” he said.
Also on the program, state Sen. Alberta Darling said the Senate Republican caucus could be in for some rough debate over transportation funding in the 2017-2019 state budget.
Darling is the Senate co-chair of the Joint Committee on Finance.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald recently suggested the state might borrow against GPR funding in the short term, and consider toll roads as a source of revenue longer term.
“We have to figure out what our positions are, because in our Senate some people agree with the majority leader and others don’t want any more bonding,” she said.
“I think that debate is going to be pretty rough in our caucus,” the River Hills Republican said.
Darling said tolls are a user fee that would be paid by tourists and out-of-state traffic.
“I think it is an option that many people would like to see, but it’s definitely not a consensus option right now,” she said.
“We can’t solve the problem in one budget,” she said. “But I hope we have a vision about where we’re going, and what kind of commitment we’re going to make for it.”
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