On Sunday, the Racine County Eye ran an op-ed from Bill Folk, candidate for the Secretary of State, to Jay Schroeder. Here’s Schroeder’s response.
Having spoken with many conservative voters at various Reagan/Lincoln Day dinners and caucuses, I am convinced that my campaign for Secretary of State is on the right track for Wisconsin. My plan remains focused on educating and empowering the people of Wisconsin to eliminate the Office of Secretary of State once and for all.
As a candidate with a background in business, I can recognize wasteful spending when I see it. The Secretary of State’s office is a drain of over $1,000,000 on the biennial budget, on things like excessive rent of $80,000 per year and a leadership salary of $68,556. In 1995, the Secretary of State personnel were cut from 49.5 employees with a budget of over $5.5 million dollars to 6.5 employees and a budget of approximately $3.5 million. Despite the loss of duties and staff, the salary of the Secretary of State has continued to increase.
To demonstrate my commitment to closing the books on the office I pledge to give back over $18,000, a 27% reduction of the regular secretary salary, this will be accomplished by returning more than the first three paychecks to the taxpayers of Wisconsin. This common sense plan will not only make the position the lowest paid Secretary of State in the nation, but also reduce the salary to less than that of state legislator. With such limited duties, why should the taxpayers pay the Secretary of State more than our legislators that have far more responsibility? This is called walking the talk. If it is good enough for the hardworking taxpayers of Wisconsin, it is certainly good enough for an office that needs to be eliminated. I am running for the Office of Secretary to make sure that Wisconsin voters will have the chance to eliminate this outdated office.
Some may say this idea is unattainable and the elimination of the office is far from reality. I would like to correct that assumption by assuring voters that the state legislature has already moved towards the first step to eliminate the State Treasurer’s office this year, and there are strong signs that a bill to eliminate the Office of Secretary of State will be introduced in the next session.
Even if the legislature is able to pass the bill, the office can only be eliminated by a state wide referendum in which I will lead the way in fighting for smart government through educating and empowering the people to eliminate the office. While some of my opponents seem to believe that more government is the solution, I cannot help but recall President Reagan’s remark that, “Government is not the solution, government is the problem.” I look forward to restoring not this position back to its bloated past but restoring our state back to its glory.”