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Mahlon Mitchell, campaigning for governor in La Crosse said he “learned different lessons” than Gov. Walker, who attended same high school



Wisconsin firefighters union president was not thrilled about Foxconn deal

The signs for Mahlon Mitchell’s campaign for governor bear the image of a firefighter’s helmet.

Mitchell is highlighting his background as a career fireman. The Democrat is the president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin. He joins a dozen other Democrats who are hoping to unseat two-term Gov. Scott Walker.

Mitchell said Walker’s eight years in office has divided more people in Wisconsin than united them.

Local firemen were among the supporters who heard Mitchell speak yesterday at the Bodega in downtown La Crosse.

Mitchell was among the union leaders who took part in protests of Walker’s collective bargaining bill introduced six years ago.

Mitchell talked of how Wisconsin’s middle class is shrinking faster than in any other state. He said the state’s economy needs to change with wage increases and more accessibility to health care.

The Democrat said that, although the Foxconn deal may bring more jobs to the state, he disagrees with how it was done.

“You can’t say, on one hand, that you can give $3 billion away to a foreign company, but we don’t have money to adequately fund our schools and we don’t have money to adequately fund our roads and our infrastructure,” Mitchell said of the incentive package given to Foxconn — the largest such package given to a foreign company in U.S. history.

Mitchell also said the state’s 3.2 percent unemployment rate only scratches the surface to how to measure Wisconsin’s economy.

People are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet,” he said. “Yeah, they’re not going to follow the employment-rate calculation but people are struggling.”

Mitchell ran for lieutenant governor five years ago in the recall campaign against Walker, and won the primary to get on the Democratic ticket with Tom Barrett.

He pointed out that he and Walker are graduates of the same high school in Delavan, Wis., but claims that they “learned different lessons.”

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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