State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout told backers she’s running for guv to “turn the state’s priorities upside down” and “put people first,” according to prepared remarks from her campaign.
Vinehout planned to say at her formal announcement in Black River Falls that includes investing in the state’s workers, making public schools the top priority, ensuring affordable health care is available to everyone, building and maintaining infrastructure, and providing a living wage and free tuition at tech and two-year colleges.
She also backs a new funding formula for K-12 that relies less on the property tax.
But she also did not provide details on those priorities or how she would find money to invest in transportation, including mass transit.
Vinehout noted she has written alternative budgets each of the last four cycles; she said those budgets used the same amount of money, but allocated it to different priorities.
“This is my vision for Wisconsin: A state where we build from the bottom up, not from the top down,” Vinehout was to say.
The western Wisconsin Dem has a mixed record with abortion rights groups. But she says in her prepared remarks that Planned Parenthood has recognized her record supporting women’s health issues.
She also will tout her work on Healthy Wisconsin, which would have provided health care to all Wisconsin citizens with a plan funded by a payroll tax.
The state GOP today knocked her for supporting it nearly a decade ago
“Governor Walker has fought to return authority to hard-working Wisconsin taxpayers, delivering some $8 billion in tax cuts by the end of 2018,” said state GOP spokesman Alec Zimmerman. “Meanwhile, tax-and-spend liberal Kathleen Vinehout wants to take us backwards to the days when she authored the largest tax increase in state history, and ran to Illinois to protect big government specials interests.”
Vinehout earlier today released a more than four-minute video, calling for Wisconsin’s own health care solution and a leader who listens.
“Wisconsin needs a real leader, a leader who listens, who does their homework and focuses on solving the problems people have in their daily lives,” Vinehout says.
In the video, Vinehout says her dad was a union laborer and her mom a nurse and she was able to go to college even though it was difficult to afford. She was later a college professor, but became a full-time dairy farmer and decided to get involved in politics. She said she ran for state Senate because she didn’t have health insurance and she wanted to change that for farmers and small business people paying “way too much” for poor insurance.
“I knew there was a better way, and that’s what got me involved in politics,” she says in the video.
Vinehout, 59, was first elected to her western Wisconsin Senate seat in 2006 and has twice before mounted guv bids. In the 2012 recall elections, she finished a distant third in a five-way Dem primary for the change to take Walker. A little more than a year later, she was considering another run when she was involved in a car wreck and badly hurt her arm. She opted against formally entering the race while recovering.
She joins a steadily growing Dem field that already includes: state schools Superintendent Tony Evers, Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik, state Rep. Dana Wachs of Eau Claire and activist Mike McCabe. Those still considering a bid include former state Rep. Kelda Roys, former state Dem Party Chair Matt Flynn and Mahlon Mitchell, head of the state firefighters union.
Read Vinehout’s prepared remarks: