Now that Scott Walker has survived the recall, how about telling the truth?
We anticipated a nice gift but Santa fooled us and left a big lump of coal in our stocking. Did Tom Barrett really lose by 7 percentage points? How is it possible? Looking back on the Justice David Prosser squeaker, it was difficult to accept that a little known attorney could come within an eyelash of defeating a sitting Wisconsin Supreme Court justice while a popular well-known mayor got whomped by a lackluster college dropout.
Governor Scott Walker won big but it occurs to me that he is not really better off. We are certainly not better off. He is a national figure but he isn’t ready for prime time and, in my view, never will be. I abhor Representative Paul Ryan’s budget but compared to Walker, Ryan is a genius. He does not need Walker to share the spotlight.
In a way, the burden just shifted from Barrett to Walker. Walker kept demanding Barrett’s plan — now it is Walker’s turn. Think about it. He is back to job creation — said he might still create 250,000 jobs in his four-year term (and send a block of cheddar to the moon). Questions arose during the recall about the quality of jobs to be created by our modern-day Harry Houdini. He refused to tell us where he has already created jobs and would not say if the jobs are “family supporting.” One would hope that minimum wage jobs with no benefits would not count. We will press him for answers.
From election day forward, jobs he claims are his should be posted on the Internet so that we can check on his progress and evaluate his claims.
He claimed that he balanced the budget — OK, tell us about it. Did you borrow money to balance the budget? Your TV spots claimed ad nauseam that your reforms are working. Really? Don’t be shy! Tell us about your reforms and the progress you have made. And how about telling us about the John Doe investigation? Did you testify? Have you spent the $160,000 in your criminal defense fund yet?
One of your priorities is supposedly education. Did you favor Biddy Martin’s University of Wisconsin campus sale? Would you support it if it comes back?
You said “right to work” will not get to your desk — but what if it does? Will you veto the bill? Why not? Private sector jobs won’t increase state costs if the workers are unionized. So it is really none of your business.
Give us a glimpse of your social agenda. Will you or will you not support a woman’s right to choose? Are you a Rick Santorum clone?
Do you support Michigan’s emergency manager law, the radical anti-democratic “reform” that allows the state to take over financially distressed cities and school districts? (The state has taken over three school districts and four cities, starting with Benton Harbor.) As county exec in Milwaukee you toyed with a bankruptcy filing for the county — and you were pushing for a committee to help manage the county’s finances. The idea of filing bankruptcy is radical stuff. Do you support the Michigan approach of taking power away from elected officials? Will you veto any bill calling for a Michigan approach?
Now that the election is over, what did you mean when you told ABC Supply’s Diane Hendricks (the woman who gave you $500,000 and paid no state income taxes for 2010) that you would divide and conquer?
It is time to stop the purchasing of our democracy. We need public financing of campaigns.
(A version of this article originally appeared in the opinion section of the Capital Times.)
June 12, 2012
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Ed Garvey is editor and publisher of FightingBob.com.