Rebecca Kleefisch

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefish at the Liberty Coalition TEA Party- Sept. 3, 2011

Rebecca Kleefisch
September 03, 2011— Sheboygan, Wisconsin
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Thank you. Thank you all so very much, you know it is unfortunate that last year on this day, I couldn’t join you. On Facebook and Twitter, and on the web, I am known as “RebeccaForReal,” so when you go home, please check it out. Yesterday I posted on my Facebook Isaiah 53:55, “by his wounds we are healed.” Last year I was not with you because last year, I was in the hospital. I had been diagnosed two weeks before my primary with a grapefruit sized tumor in my gut. I was one of the 81 people, every day, in the state of Wisconsin who are told the words, “you have cancer”. But truly, “by his wounds we are healed”.

It was one year ago yesterday that I had surgery to get rid of that cancer. In April I finished my regimen of chemotherapy, and in May, I got a clean bill of health. So I’m sorry I wasn’t here last year, I missed you all. But I’ll tell you, two years ago, it was on this very stage that I told you that when our story is on the front page, the headlines would read “Wisconsin is open for business again.” Ladies and gentleman isn’t it true, our story is being told and Wisconsin is open for business.

Friends, you are the ones responsible for this. In the fall of 2010, we rose up and we demanded of our leaders that they do government better, leaner, smarter. We rose up and told those in charge, that we were taxed enough already, 5.5 million people in the state of Wisconsin, and one of them had the courage to do the budget that we needed. The budget that turned a 3.6 billion dollar budget deficit, left to us by the previous administration, into a 300 million dollar surplus. The budget that makes the tough choices, choices like you and I have to make in our families and small businesses, every single day. The budget that freezes your property taxes for 2 years. 5.5 million people in the state of Wisconsin, and the one that had your back, was Governor Scott Walker.

Now let’s not forget about your legislature. Because last year, you had a choice and you know it. Wisconsin had a choice and you put republicans in charge of the executive branch, of the state senate, and of the state assembly. You put us in charge, and we said we will do government better, leaner, smarter. You put us in charge, and this is the team that gave you concealed carry. You put us in charge, and this is the team that gave you photo ID at the polls. You put us in charge, and this is the team that guaranteed that Wisconsin is open for business.

You know friends, here in Wisconsin we stand in pretty stark contrast to our neighbors to the south, Illinois. You know that nearly every state in this nation started the year in deep fiscal crisis. Some governors, like Governor Scott Walker, chose to do it without raising taxes. Some governors, like Governor Quinn down in Illinois, have not met a tax they do not like. So when Illinois passed what’s called an “amazon tax,” a tax that would have taken between 20 and 50 percent of some businesses revenue down in that state, I decided that I would call some of those businesses and offer them greener pastures in which to grow jobs.

Greener pastures in Wisconsin, where we have no “Amazon tax” like they have in Illinois, and no 9.75% sales tax like they have in Illinois, and no estate tax like they have in Illinois, and no food for consumption tax like they have in Illinois, and no prescription drug tax like they have in Illinois, and no energy for manufacturing in the winter tax like they have in Illinois, and no Chicago Bears, who collapse in epic football games, like they have in Illinois.

Ladies and gentleman, in January, you know the whole legislature answered your call for more jobs. Less than a month into our brand new administration, while most Governors around this country were just getting sworn in, and finding the bathrooms in their state capitols, Governor Scott Walker was already making sure that Wisconsinites had tax free health savings accounts. Governor Walker was already busy making sure that we had a more nimble, flexible department of commerce so we could really step on the gas for job creation.

Governor Walker was already hard at work making sure that Wisconsin soared from number 41 best place to do business under the previous administration to number 24 best place in the nation to do business. The fastest rate of growth in the surveys history. You put us in charge, and we did what you asked, and there is more to come.

You all know that some people had a problem with that. Our brave legislators faced intimidation, aggression, bongos, bullhorns, protest signs that would make you blush. But they stood by you. Some of them knew that by voting for the budget repair bill, the bill that simply asked our government employees to make some of the small sacrifices that we in the private sector had been experiencing during the darkest times of an economic crisis for years, our legislators knew that some of them, would not return.

They were willing to risk it all. Because they knew, in order to lead, you first must serve. In order to do a budget that didn’t raise taxes, the broken budget had to be repaired. You put us in charge, and when our team stood up for the little people against the big, national unions, our legislatures were awarded with recalls. But friends, you were there for us again. You knocked on doors, you made phone calls, you voted, and you prayed. The will of the people was not defeated in the state of Wisconsin, but strengthened and renewed.

And friends, if big labor and the progressive activists and the paid protestors want to make another run at us, we will prove it to them again and again and again, that the will of the people will not be steamrolled by special interests.

You know they call this class warfare. So let us be the class that fights for the most vulnerable. Let us be the warriors for the American dream. Let us be the defenders of our children’s futures. This fall while we aggressively pursue ways to grow jobs, they will aggressively pursue ways to distract us and divide us, do not let them. The budget repair bill worked. From Kaukauna to Brown Deer, from Pittsville to the city of Milwaukee, and yes we are still waiting for a nice hand written thank you note on that one, it has worked.

Children are back at school, and it worked. In December you’re going to go to your mailbox, open your property tax bill and say, it worked. You elected us. And it worked. I know you’re sick of the negativity. We are too. I know that you could do without the constant elections. We wish we could just focus on the jobs. But we need you. Thank you for electing us. And thank you for what you will do to fight for what is right once again.

God bless you, and god bless the great state of Wisconsin.

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