Taking a jab at Gov. Scott Walker's record on jobs, independent gubernatorial candidate Hariprasad "Hari" Trivedi says he's confident he can show positive job growth a year after the election — or he will return his full annual salary.
"I do not believe either Scott Walker or Tom Barrett are capable of producing sustained job growth, given their records," Trivedi said. "If elected I am confident and committed to resolving this issue."
Trivedi, whose campaign got a splash of attention when he , insisted his pledge was not a gimmick. He challenged Walker and Barrett to match it.
"Rhetoric is free. The citizens of Wisconsin deserve a more concrete commitment," he said on his website, trivgov.com. He added he wanted to make the office more "accountable" for results.
Trivedi sent a notarized pledge to state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
"I am strongly committed and confident to be able to rejuvenate the state's economy with my platform," he wrote. "I hereby pledge that if Wisconsin does not experience a positive job growth over a 12-month period after being sworn into office as governor (after a 3 month run-in period) I will return the funds corresponding to my year's salary to the state.
"I further pledge I will not accept for the funds to be replaced or re-channeled to me by a back-door mechanism such as via a 'gift' or 'donation' from any person or any entity," Trivedi wrote.
If the salary can not legally be returned, he said he would gift the equivalent amount to the Milwaukee Public Schools, "where an unacceptable nearly 81 percent of children qualify for free or reduced cost meals and for some of whom that is the only real meal of the day."
A kidney specialist and professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Brookfield resident, Trivedi cited statistics showing Wisconsin had the worst job loss in the nation from March 2011 to March 2012.
He said he would grow jobs in Wisconsin through efforts to create an influx of capital, enhance tourism, improve agricultural productivity and focus on education, among other tactics.
Trivedi was a write-in independent candidate for governor in the November 2010 race when Walker defeated Barrett to succeed Jim Doyle. Trivedi received less than one-tenth of one percent of the vote, while the top-vote getting independent candidate earned less than one-half of one percent of the more than 2.2 million votes cast statewide.