Wisconsin governor candidate Mike McCabe said today that, once elected, he will periodically take the governor’s office on the road, bringing cabinet secretaries and other agency officials with him to give people in urban and rural areas of the state alike greater access and more of a voice in state government.
“People shouldn’t have to travel to the State Capitol to be heard and served by their state government. It should come to them,” McCabe said. “For many in our state, it’s not practical or affordable for them to take off work to make a trip to Madison, so they end up not getting the representation they deserve.”
Having state government set up shop from time to time for even a week in inner city neighborhoods and in rural communities not only will give residents greater opportunity to voice their concerns and learn about state programs and services they may not know about, it gives state officials greater insight into the problems people are struggling with.
Four-term Republican Governor Tommy Thompson was the last to take state government on the road and move the governor’s office around the state.
“That was Tommy Thompson’s best idea,” McCabe said. “Regardless of where they are found, good ideas should be put to work for the betterment of our state.”
When he started his campaign for governor, McCabe announced he will not live in the Governor’s Mansion once elected and will not accept the fully salary of the governor but rather will be paid one dollar less than the average Wisconsin worker earns. The current salary of the governor is more than $147,000 a year. According to recent figures available from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage in Wisconsin is in the neighborhood of $45,000 annually, or less than a third of the governor’s salary.
McCabe made the commitments to decline the full salary and continue to live in the 1,400-square-foot home he shares with his wife and son for the same reason he wants to move the governor’s office around to different parts of the state.
“Governors should be servants, not masters. To me, that means a governor is under the people, not above them. And it means the people shouldn’t have to go to the governor, the governor should come to them,” McCabe said.
When asked early on where his campaign would be headquartered, McCabe answered “in living rooms and at kitchen tables all across the state.” Today he added: “Once elected, I want the governor’s office to be that close to the people as well.”