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Flynn says he'll get 'aggressive' in governor's bid

Milwaukee attorney Matt Flynn speaks to members of the St. Croix County Democrats last week in Wisconsin. He's joined by fellow gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers (right). Mike Longaecker / Rivertown Multimedia

NEW RICHMOND — Matt Flynn said he'll be a fighter for Wisconsin against Scott Walker, casting the Republican governor as one who's left the state awash in corruption.

"We need an aggressive candidate against that guy," he said, arguing the two previous Democrats to challenge Walker hadn't gone on the offensive enough to win.

The Milwaukee lawyer and longtime party official made his case to become the state's next governor to a group of St. Croix County Democrats Thursday, Jan. 11, in New Richmond. He was joined at the event by fellow gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers; they're among about 10 Democrats seeking to challenge Walker in November.

Flynn castigated the concessions granted to Foxconn in reaching a Walker-orchestrated deal that brings the tech firm to eastern Wisconsin. He said Walker had the same answer each time Foxconn sought an exemption — from environmental regulations to tax incentives.

"He said 'yes sir,'" Flynn said. "That is damn wrong."

The former Democratic Party of Wisconsin chairman said he plans to use his legal expertise to reverse what Walker started.

"I am going to put an end to Foxconn," Flynn said.

On education, he assailed Walker's funding approach and called for full funding of K-12 and the University of Wisconsin System.

Flynn named health care another top priority, saying he would fight to recapture the $1 billion Walker turned away for Medicaid expansion and use those funds to make the state's BadgerCare program open to all residents.

Touching on environmental issues, Flynn attacked regulatory relaxation under Walker, including laws governing high-capacity wells.

"We are going to be an environment state again," Flynn said.

He and Evers took audience questions, including one that probed how they would address rural and agricultural issues.

Flynn said he prefers to embrace all 72 Wisconsin counties. There was no urban-rural divide among those he served with in the Navy, he said.

"We're all on each other's team," Flynn told the audience.

On transportation funding, Flynn said he's open to user fees and trucking assessments as revenue streams, but said he opposes toll roads.

The candidates were also asked about the state's now-disbanded Government Accountability Board, which was dissolved in 2016 when separate ethics and elections commissions were established.

Flynn said he would "absolutely" restore the GAB if elected.

"We have a corrupt government in Madison," Flynn said.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is a regional/enterprise reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage includes St. Croix County government, higher education and state politics in Wisconsin. 

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