Ron Packard, CEO and Founder of K¹², introduced Friday Night’s keynote speaker for the Western Conservative Summit, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker. Recent education initiatives were just one of many examples Walker would touch on in his remarks. School Vouchers have long been considered a touchy subject, making headlines again throughout Wisconsin as the deadline passed last week for Schools to take part in the program. Along with vouchers, and open enrollment, Walker touted Wisconsin’s recent changes to labor laws, leadership and the American Ideal.
Walker quoted Ronald Reagan as saying “The Federal Government did not create the states, the states created the Federal Government.” Listing his accomplishments in the State of Wisconsin, and highlighting some of their most innovative reforms, the Governor spoke in detail about the importance of State based reform efforts, and conservative involvement in local government.
Scott Walker began his remarks at this year’s Western Conservative Summit with an immediate reference to the now infamous recall attempts made against him. Speaking about his victory in the recall election, Walker credited his success to citizen’s desire for Leadership. The Governor’s success was a hard won fight, and one that helped propel Walker to the top of certain conservative circles.
As the issue of education reform took center stage in Walker’s remarks, he played to the anxious crowd with a simple phrase that summarized his numerous reform efforts: “Teachers now can be hired and fired on merit” Walker exclaimed to an explosion of applause.
The meat of Walker’s remarks, and no doubt the best received passages, were focused on American Leadership, and the American Dream. Describing the conservative vision for America and her communities as a belief that “success should be measured by how many people no longer need public assistance.”
Under Walker, the once very blue state of Wisconsin has seem a slew of conservative initiatives gain a foothold. Education reform, including voucher programs and changes to teacher’s tenure requirements, were bitter battles in Madison. The Republican Governor has been highly praised in conservative circles for his ability to connect with average voters, and make inroads in the most unlikely of areas. Walker shared with the attendees his recipe for conservative success when he stressed to the audience that conservative need to overcome their image of insincerity, adding at one point that “compassion is about giving people the tools they need to get back into the game.”
“I don’t remember growing up, hearing anyone say ‘when I grow up, I want to be dependent on the government!’” Walker circled back to the idea that Independence is rooted in an independence from Government; saying at one point that Dependence on the government should be temporary, and rare.
Walker’s remarks were well received in a crowd decidedly right of center. His success with reforms previously thought impossible, highlighted the strong optimism that was already present in the room. The Fourth Annual Western Conservative Summit was called to order as attendees cheered on one of the Republican’s most recent success stories.