Kristen Dexter waved her hands in a snow-covered parking lot at the intersection of West River and South Bridge streets in Chippewa Falls on Tuesday morning.
“Welcome to the Golden Corner,” she said to to more than 60 cheering supporters on the property where recall signatures were collected against 23rd District state Sen. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls).
Dexter, an Eau Claire Democrat who defeated Moulton for the 68th Assembly seat in 2008, announced she will challenge Moulton if a recall election is certified by the state.
“We’ve lost faith in you,” she said of Moulton. “You’ve changed. Now, it’s time for you to go.”
The state Government Accountability Board is in the process of certifying whether there will be a recall election for Moulton’s seat. Dexter said recall supporters collected 21,500 signatures, well over the number needed to trigger an election.
Dexter said Moulton and another recall target, Republican Gov. Scott Walker have violated the public trust and divided Wisconsin.
She said one in five children in Chippewa and Eau Claire counties are in families who are struggling in a down economy.
“We are 45th among states in economic recovery,” she said.
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At the same time, she claimed Walker’s cuts to education are the second largest in the nation, and charged that Moulton didn’t know when to put his district above his party.”
Paraphrasing the late University of Minnesota and U.S. Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks, Dexter said: “You’re governing worse and worse each day. Right now, you’re governing like it’s next month.”
After her announcement, Dexter was asked by a reporter what she would do to cut the unemployment rate in Chippewa County, which increased from 6.5 to 7 percent in December.
Dexter said her priorities are different from Moulton, who she said has a history of rewarding people who do not need help.
She decried cuts to education made during Walker’s administration, saying the area cannot fall behind in producing strong technical schools that produce skilled workers.
“Tax cuts will not grow the economy (alone),” she said, adding that tax cuts are part of a grand scheme to improve the economy.
Dexter said she fully supports controlling emissions from frac sand mines, a move the DNR announced on Tuesday that it will not do.
She said she supports moratoriums on new sand mines. The moratoriums give communities time to say what needs to be done for a mine to get approval, she said.