• WisPolitics

Friday, June 11, 2010

 8:12 PM 

Lawton calls for more efforts to get money out of politics

Barbara Lawton, in her final convention speech as lieutenant governor, expressed regret that her promise to get money's influence out of politics has not been fully realized.

“Eight years ago I stood before you and I told you with a great sense of resolve and had every intent to deliver on, was that as your lieutenant governor I would make it my number one priority to restore integrity to government and get the money out of politics,” Lawton said. “And I couldn't do it alone. It just didn't happen.

“And in a very real sense we are still held hostage by a system that guarantees we will have government we will never afford as long as it is designed by special interests.”

Lawton encouraged attendees to demand candidates work to bring about campaign finance reform.

“Insist that they promise to provide leadership on full campaign finance reform,” Lawton said.

Lawton spent much of her speech discussing the need for economic development and for Democrats to tackle the tough work of financial and environmental regulation and fighting global warming through passing a clean energy bill.

Lawton said the state is facing a choice where it must either make cuts or increase revenues in order sustain its budget. Lawton pointed to cuts already made and questioned from where more could come. The solution, she said, is to increase revenues without raising taxes by promoting economic growth.

Doing so will require the state to go beyond investing in infrastructure such as roads and bridges and into investing in “21st Century infrastructure” such as broadband Internet and “human capital” through education geared toward boosting productivity.

Lawton, pointing to the oil spill in the Gulf, called on businesses to bear the cost of environmental damage they create.

“Can't we see now that businesses must simply carry the cost of environmental degradation on their balance sheet?” Lawton said to applause.

Lawton encouraged Dems to work to elect and support candidates.

“We have to reengage in the old-style retail politics that pulls people out of that swirl of anger and anchors them back in the story of what we can do together with a real vision of the future.”

Listen to the audio: http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/100611Lawton.mp3

-- By David Wise

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