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Matt Flynn on issues facing the construction industry



Milwaukee Attorney Matt Flynn, a longtime fixture in Wisconsin’s Democratic party, is one of eight Democrats hoping to face Walker in the November Governor’s race.

Flynn previously served as the chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin for two terms and was co-chair of John Kerry’s presidential primary campaign in Wisconsin. He holds a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has long worked for the large Milwaukee firm Quarles & Brady, drawing criticism for defending the Milwaukee Archdiocese during a series of priest sexual abuse scandals.

Flynn has run and lost four times for statewide office, including three bids for the U.S. House of Representatives and a run for U.S. Sentate.

Here are his responses to The Daily Reporter’s questionnaire:

1.      If elected, how would you manage the state’s existing deal with Foxconn and development expected to follow the company to southeast Wisconsin?

I would use litigation to rescind the contract with Foxconn. It was an unconstitutional agreement.

2.      If you plan to back out of the state’s deal with Foxconn, how would you change plans for supplemental road projects along Interstate 94 and elsewhere to support the manufacturing campus?

I would use the funds we save to invest in infrastructure and other needs, including roads across the state, not just in Racine County. I would allow Foxconn to come to Wisconsin, but only if they get none of our tax dollars and obey all of our laws, including environmental laws.

3.      Does the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. effectively shepherd economic development in Wisconsin? Why or why not?

No, the WEDC is essentially a slush fund for Scott Walker’s donors. As governor, I will reform the WEDC to a department that makes honest loans by honest standards, without regard to political contributions.

4.      What role to private sector unions play in Wisconsin’s economy? What policies would you enact or support to further this view of them?

Private sector unions are vital to the economic health of Wisconsin. As governor, I will reverse Right-To-Work and restore Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law.

5.      Would you seek to repeal Act 10? If so, how would the state pay for the higher costs associated with a stronger bargaining position for public sector unions?

Yes, I will repeal Act 10. Act 10 has not saved the state money, it has only created a teacher shortage and suppressed wages in both the public and private sectors. I will substantially increase funding to public education with the goal of reducing reliance on property taxes. I will pay for it by rescinding the Foxconn contract and eliminating the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit. I will also legalize cannabis, and us the tax revenue from it in part to fund public education.

6.      Do you support reinstating prevailing wage on state construction project? Why or why not?

Yes. Wages are too low in Wisconsin. The real median wage adjusted for inflation is lower today than it was under Jim Doyle. Workers deserve higher wages.

7.      Does Wisconsin need new or higher taxes to pay for infrastructure projects? If so, what taxes would you enact or raise to pay for these projects? If you would not add or raise taxes, what parts of the state budget could be cut to pay for new infrastructure?

I would re-index the gas tax to help pay for our infrastructure needs. I will also lobby for and accept all federal funds for infrastructure, including the $800 million in train money that Scott Walker rejected. I will also rescind the Foxconn contract and eliminate the Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit.

8.      What is the solution to Wisconsin’s shortage of workers?

Higher wages and better full-time jobs. The Republicans have frozen wages for the last eight years. I will repeal Act 10 and Right to Work; restore prevailing wage; raise the minimum wage; reinstate an objective Civil Service; eliminate corruption in state government; end the Foxconn deal; restore clean water by reinstating an independent DNR with more scientists; restore local control; and restore funding to the UW system and to K-12 education to historically high levels; when all of these have been accomplished, people will flock back to Wisconsin to live and work.


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