Red, white and blue

Gov. Walker stays mum on recall decision while pushing mining jobs

CREATED Feb 28, 2012 - UPDATED: Feb 28, 2012

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  • Gov. Scott Walker. | Photo: Nick Montes

MILWAUKEE - In his first public appearance since Governor Scott Walker's campaign decided not to file challenges over the reported 1 million or so signatures on recall petitions, he remained quiet about that decision.

"In our case, the campaign has and will continue to respond.  I'll let the campaign volunteers...talk about it," said Walker at an appearance to discuss mining legislation and job creation at P&H in West Milwaukee.

The governor did say, however, that even though he's not challenging recall signatures, his campaign will stay the same on its focus.

"The bottom line is, we're staying focused on helping the people of the state create jobs...things are improving.  We've got more opportunities to put our friends and neighbors back to work."

Walker's opponents, the Democrats, have a different take.

"Try to repair the terrible damage he's done to the state," claimed Wisconsin Democratic Party spokesman Graeme Zielinski.  "Maybe look good in front of those cameras.  But, we all know these are empty promises."

In his appearance, he talked about trying to get new jobs in mining and technical education.

"Market those jobs.  Market those opportunities.  Market those careers," appealed Walker in his speech.

Walker said Tuesday he is encouraging lawmakers to break their impasse over legislation that would streamline the state's mining permitting process.

The Assembly has already passed a bill designed to help a Florida company open an iron-ore mine in northern Wisconsin. But it doesn't seem to have enough support in the Senate.

Republican Sen. Dale Schultz and Democratic Sen. Bob Jauch have offered an approach that they say protects the public interest while balancing the desire to move quickly to create jobs.

Walker said Tuesday he wasn't endorsing any specific bill, but said he didn't like the Schultz-Jauch bill. He said it doesn't create enough jobs.

He also said Wisconsin has a long history as a mining state, and people here understand how important the industry is to the state economy.