Jul 13, 2018

Wisconsin Dem Guv Candidates Debate — Tony Evers Bashes Students, Stands Alone on Key Campaign Issues

Wisconsin candidates for the Democratic Party
nomination for governor appeared at forum at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on July 12, 2018
Campaign Analysis

Public Schools Chief Takes GOP Positions Far to Right of Democratic Field

Madison, Wisconsin — The eight candidates for the Democratic Party nomination for governor appeared at a forum last night and made news as one candidate backed higher tuition for technical students, said Foxconn is here to stay, days after panning marijuana legalization and opposing mass pardoning of non-violent 'offenders.'

On the campaign trail, seven candidates for the nomination have blasted skyrocketing mass incarceration in Wisconsin and declining state support for college and technical schools.

Tony Evers has defied the field, dismissing calls for free tuition for technical schools and rejecting candidate calls for marijuana legalization and mass gubernatorial pardons, (Keith, Fox6Now-Milwaukee).

At last night's debate held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Evers rejected a popular proposal that technical college students get free tuition for two years, delivering an unexpected slap.

"I think there should be some skin in the game," said Evers, suggesting tech students are not invested in their education and training under the tuition-relief proposal, (Fannon, WKOW-TV-Madison).

Earlier this week, Evers, the Superintendent of the Dept. of Public Instruction, continued his move to the political right on the issues of legalizing marijuana and mass pardoning, a tact garnering derision from candidate Matt Flynn, who called Evers "Republican-lite."

Flynn has repeatedly called for "legalizing marijuana and pardoning people who are locked up for possessing the drug," (Keith, Fox6Now-Milwaukee).

Evers comes from small-town, overwhelmingly white east-central Wisconsin, where he served as superintendent of the Oakfield School district, carrying on the provincial culture of the region, a fact Evers attempts to obscure in his campaign website, (Meet Tony Evers).

Evers also differs from Flynn in particular and rest of field broadly on Foxconn.

Reports WisPoltics from the debate:

Later, Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn pressed Evers on the [Foxconn] package. Declaring he would 'kill the Foxconn deal,' Flynn noted Evers has no experience as a commercial litigator and suggested he was just repeating what he’d heard from others.

Evers countered it was a 'horrible deal' and 'we’re giving them way too much.' He supported reworking the contract.

'The bottom line is we have to have a "plan B",' Evers said. 'I can’t sit up here and tell the people of Wisconsin, by the way, this isn’t going to happen. They’re already there. Since they’re already there, we have to make sure the people of Wisconsin are treated fairly.'

Flynn and the rest of the field's opposition to Foxconn, mass incarceration, and strangling student debt marks a contrast from the white man from Plymouth and Oakfield.

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