Journal Sentinel Still Likes Walker
"We recommended him (Scott Walker) in 2010. We see no reason to change that recommendation." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial, May 20, 2012
Like a stopped clock, the Journal Sentinel is consistent in its support for Governor Scott Walker. It would take more than the following to make the editorialists admit they had been wrong:
1. Trains. Walker rejected $810 million in federal money to build a railway between Milwaukee and Madison, even though the state needed the hundreds of jobs that would have been created. The grant would also have improved service to Chicago, and Walker is now seeking federal funds for that purpose. Walker also intends to put two Talgo trains already built and paid for in storage. (Walker incorrectly claimed that the railway funds could be used to build roads, except they can't.)
2. Concealed Carry. Walker backed and signed a totally unnecessary bill that now allows Wisconsin residents (with minimal training) to tote loaded guns on our streets. The Castle Doctrine, also signed by Walker, encourages people to shoot trespassers, and a man in Slinger has already done so with impunity.
3. Photo ID. Walker backed and signed a bill that would have required over 200,000 qualified voters to get a special photo ID in order to vote. Two courts have already declared this law unconstitutional.
4. Partisan redistricting. Walker backed and signed the most viciously-partisan redistricting law in my lifetime. Democratic districts in Milwaukee County were sliced-up and merged with Republican areas in Waukesha and Ozaukee Counties. The homes of several Democratic incumbents were cut out of the districts they now represent---or was that coincidence?
5. Budget. Walker's budget provided about $140 million in tax-breaks for corporations while cutting state aid to public schools, the vocational college system and the University of Wisconsin. The $3 billion deficit was nearly eliminated by imposing sacrifices on public employees, students and the poor, while asking nothing at all from the well-off. The tax-cuts, together with easing of regulations, were intended to stimulate the creation of 250,000 private-sector jobs in four years, but at the current rate of job creation (using Walker's own figures) that would take more than eight years.
6. Union-busting. Walker admitted in a videotaped private conversation with a big campaign donor that his elimination of collective-bargaining rights (and other rights) for public-employee unions (other than police and firefighter unions) was part of a "divide and conquer" strategy against all unions, which I surmise this Governor hates with a passion. Since these rights were established in 1959 under the leadership of Governor Gaylord Nelson, three Republican Governors have been elected (Knowles, Dreyfus and Thompson), none of whom even questioned these union rights.
The editorial quoted above actually noted some of these issues, but still urged voters to retain Walker June 5. From the latest polls, it appears that Walker will survive the recall by about five percent. Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is expected to win by more, against little-known opponent Mahlon Mitchell. If that happens, Tom Barrett can kiss-off any dreams of winning statewide office, though he can perhaps beat Henry Maier's record of being Mayor of Milwaukee for 28 years. But Mitchell, young and articulate, will have established a claim for another Democratic nomination under more favorable circumstances, such as a state senate seat from Dane County after Fred Risser retires.
Gerald S Glazer