|Governor Scott Walker Inauguration Ceremony and New Legislators Ceremony|
|Written by AP|
|Tuesday, 04 January 2011 10:30|
Photography By Terry Mayer
By Margaret Plevak
MADISON — Among the advice Gov. Scott Walker has received in the days surrounding his inauguration on Monday was a bit of sound counsel from his parents — along with words from the late, legendary Green Bay Packer coach Vince Lombardi.
Pat Walker said she and her husband Llew were giving their son a framed Lombardi quote for his new office as an inspiration in his new job: “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.”
The couple also gave their son a personal, heartfelt letter expressing their pride, encouragement and a suggestion or two.
“Always remember and listen to the people who voted for you and those who did not vote for you. They may share good ideas with you,” they wrote.
Their words also are a reminder of his roots.
“We are thankful that you have strong values from influences with family, friends, from your church involvements, from Boy Scouts, from growing up in Delavan, from Boys State and Boys Nation, from your schools and workplaces,” the letter reads.
In the week before the inauguration, Pat Walker reminisced in a telephone interview about her son’s childhood, which included time spent growing up in Delavan, where her husband was pastor at the First Baptist Church.
She recalled a boy who drew designs on plain white napkins for his brother’s birthday party; raised money for Jerry Lewis’ Muscular Dystrophy Telethon through a lemonade stand and backyard carnivals; even made his own Halloween costumes, including Batman one year and R2D2, a “Star Wars” robot character, in another.
“I think he used my rose cones to make that costume,” she said.
She talked about the son who made Eagle Scout rank, who attended the American Legion’s Badger Boys State Program in Ripon and Boys Nation in Washington, D.C., programs that she said “whet his appetite” for politics — and culminated in his becoming Wisconsin’s 45th governor.
“Llew and I were both saying it’s still kind of hard to fathom,” she said. “We know he’s elected. But it’s a feeling of ‘Is this for real?’ Our little boy grew up.”
Traces of that hometown feeling were still evident amidst the pomp of Monday’s inauguration ceremony. Inside the crowded Capitol rotunda, photo flashes constantly erupted from cell phone cameras and musical groups ranging from a hand bell choir to a polka band played such varied selections as “America the Beautiful” and “The Age of Aquarius.”
Leading the pledge of allegiance during the ceremony were six Boy Scouts from Troop 328 in Delavan, the same troop where Scott Walker earned his Eagle Scout rank in the mid-1980s, said Scoutmaster Mike Ploeger, who noted that Llew Walker was once pastor at the church that currently sponsors the troop.
“It’s quite an honor to have all that history and to be a part of this today,” Ploeger said.
“Just being here is very exciting,” said Scout Aaron Craig, a Delavan-Darien High School freshman whose first visit to the Capitol had been during the rehearsal for the ceremony.
David Stebnitz, president of Stebnitz Builders in Delavan, attended Monday morning’s prayer breakfast at the invitaton of Pat and Llew Walker, and watched the inaugural ceremony from near the top of a third-story stairwell. The distant view hadn’t dampened his enthusiasm.
“ It’s been great. It’s such an experience to have someone from Delavan be the leader of our state, and especially someone as honest as Scott is,” Stebnitz said. “One thing I like about Scott Walker is that when he says something, you can pretty much count on that it’s going to happen, that he will follow through on his word.”
Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-Lagrange, who attended the inauguration ceremony, remembers serving with Scott Walker in the Wisconsin assembly years ago.
“We had our offices next to each other. So we were neighbors both in proximity as far as the towns that we lived in, as well as our offices,” Kedzie said. “I know him very well and am extremely enthusiastic for him. I know that he will do great things for the state and I’m more than anxious to work with our new governor to accomplish those goals.
Not everyone was happy about Wisconsin’s choice of governors — protestors were outside the Capitol Monday morning and one was removed by security guards early in the ceremony.
The protests didn’t surprise Kedzie.
“I think people are anxious just because of the state of the economy, but I think that they will understand that they, too, are part of the solution, helping to work toward resolving our needs here in the state,” he said. “But better times are ahead. I think there’s a real sense of enthusiasm and opportunity here. We have a large task ahead of us but I haven’t felt this kind of optimism in a long time.”
For ours or Governor Walker’s? Walker’s went great. I’m looking forward to working with Gov. Walker. I’m looking forward to being sworn in and being the next representative for Janesville. It’s a great experience and it’s a great opportunity they’ve given to me and I appreciate it very much.
I’m sure the overwhelming will be coming later on. But right now, it’s just enjoy the moment and sit back and start to work.
I was really glad to hear Governor Walker’s speech. It included everything that he campaigned on. I know Scott, so I knew that was coming, but I think it was refreshing for a lot of people to actually hear someone now that they won in an election and are being sworn in, planning on following through what they campaigned on, which we knew he was going to do, but now everybody else knows he is going to do it. We’re looking forward to this special session, ready to get to work on the jobs package, and get more details on that—we’ve been given a lot of details on it, but over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to know a lot more of the actual jobs plan. It’s a nice, ceremonial day, but first thing tomorrow, we’re getting to work.
I’ve been up here, working out of Rep. Tom Lothian’s office a day or two a week ever since the election basically. Making sure that I’m up to speed so we’re ready to go. It’s one of the biggest things that I said would benefit the district to send me there was the experience I got up here. I wanted to make sure I’ve dotted all my I’s and crossed all my t’s. But looking back, it’s good to be in this room now instead of the staff area in back and we’re ready to get to work. Excited about it.
Oh, yeah, I’ve got it pretty easy having Delavan in my district. It was his Cub Scout troop that was here from Delavan today. It makes my life a little bit easier having a hometown guy from my district, who’s still got plenty of friends and parents living in Delavan, which I kind of hope helped win the election a little bit, having his support. But yeah, people in my district especially are really excited. They were all Walker supporters since he was playing t-ball, so it’s got to be great seeing him grow like this and become governor.
I think that people in my district are willing to give Scott a chance to create some jobs and put Wisconsin in the right direction. I think they’re not as enthusiastic as in Tyler’s, but they’re willing to give Scott Walker a chance.
Rock County is hit pretty hard. I think it’s essential that we work together with the governor to get these jobs proposals going, look at them and get something going fast so we can get some relief and start creating jobs.
MADISON — Gov. Scott Walker wasn’t the only one being sworn at the Capitol in Madison on Monday. Members of the Wisconsin State Assembly were also holding an inauguration ceremony that marked their 100th session.
As representatives gathered and mingled in assembly chambers before the ceremony, family members and friends looked on, and the 132nd Army Band Brass Quintet played a medley of songs, including the Fats Waller classic, “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”
The recent Republican landslide victory during November’s elections is reflected in the makeup of Assembly members in the 2011-2013 session: 60 Republicans, 38 Democrats and one Independent.
For members of the Wisconsin Legislature’s freshman class from Walworth and Rock counties, Inauguration Day held promise.
“I’m looking forward to being sworn in and being the next representative for Janesville,” said Republican Rep. Joe Knilans of the 44th Assembly District, which covers most of Janesville. “It’s a great experience and it’s a great opportunity (voters) have given me, and I appreciate it very much.”
The grandeur of the marble-columned State Capitol or historic Assembly chambers didn’t faze Knilans, 46.
“I’m sure the overwhelming part will be coming later on, “ he said. “Right now, it’s just sit back and enjoy the moment, and then start to work.”
At 27, Republican Rep. Tyler August is young, but he isn’t a stranger to Assembly chambers. August served as chief of staffing the Madison office of former Rep. Tom Lothian of the 32nd Assembly District, which covers southern Walworth County.
“I’ve been up here, working out of Tom’s office a day or two a week basically ever since the election, making sure I’m up to speed and ready to go,” he said. “The experience I got up here is one of the biggest things that I said would benefit the district. But looking back, it’s good to be in this room now instead of the staff area in back, and I’m excited about it. We’re all ready to get to work.”
“I would say (Monday) was certainly humbling,” said Republican Rep. Amy Loudenbeck of the 45th Assembly District, which covers Beloit, Clinton, and part of Janesville. “To be a part of the 100th session, is very historic, and it’s such a time of stepping up and serving the people of Wisconsin. There’s a lot of promise, but great responsibility as well. We’re ready to get to work, right-size our government and get job creation going.”
With Delavan in his district, August found the new governor’s hometown connections a boon.
“People in my district especially are really excited,” he said. “They were all Walker supporters since he was this high, playing t-ball, so it’s got to be great to see him grow like this and become governor.”
August said Walker’s inaugural speech touched on “everything he campaigned on. I know Scott, so I k new that was coming, but I think it was refreshing for people to actually hear someone right now who won an election, is being sworn in, and is planning on following through what he campaigned on.”
Knilans said he’s looking forward to working with the new governor, but his constituents are depending on Walker to follow through on jobs. Although Rock County’s unemployment rate saw a recent dip to 9.4 percent, the area has been hit hard, he said.
“I think that people in my district are willing to give Scott Walker a chance to create some jobs and put Wisconsin in the right direction. I think it’s essential that we work together with the governor to get these jobs proposals going, look at them and get something going fast so we can get some relief and start creating jobs.”
On Tuesday, after a day of orientation meetings and settling in for freshmen legislators, Loudenbeck believes Assembly members both new and seasoned are focused on employment and the economy, and will collaborate over party lines.
“I have a good sense that there will be bipartisanship and a willingness to work together,” she said. “We can set a great example in state leadership.”
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|Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 15:53|