Scott Walker: the Great Divider
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published an “opinion piece” which, in essence, stated that recalls should be limited to cases of misconduct in office, because recalls are distracting and divisive and “too easy.”
Excuse me? Thousands of people across the state, many of them enduring threats and assaults, spent countless hours standing in the rain and snow during two cold Wisconsin winter months to collect almost a million signatures and that was “too easy”?
And Walker’s not the one doing the dividing????
Codswallop. I wrote the editor of the editorial page:
Dear Mr. Haynes,
Should I ever doubt the reason why the newspaper industry is dying, all I need do is re-read the recent “opinion” piece, “Tighten up rules governing reasons for recall elections.” to erase all doubts from my mind.
First thing is: if you’re going to publish an “opinion,” make sure it’s an informed opinion based on facts, not fiction.
The person who wrote the piece (nice how it’s anonymous) based the entire premise on this misstatement: “It’s bad enough that recall fever has dragged Wisconsin into the muck of bitter and ugly political contests such as the kind we saw last summer. Worse is that it’s taking attention away from legitimate political fights such as the Republican presidential primary and local contests on April 3. And even worse is that it’s contributed to such a poisonous atmosphere in Madison that it becomes difficult, if not impossible, to get the people’s work done.”
(Please note: “the people’s work” is not eliminating consumer and tenant rights, women’s rights, repealing equal pay, disenfranchising voters, cutting people off from medical insurance, raising taxes on the poor, or otherwise harming the vast majority of “the people.”)
You must be living in another dimension, because in this one, “recall fever” isn’t to blame for anything. The “poisonous atmosphere” is due to Scott Walker and his Republican sidekicks. It’s due to their lies, their secrecy, their back room, behind closed and locked doors deals, their late night votes, their blatant violations of the constitution, state laws, and court orders, their abuse of power, their selling out the people of this state for their campaign donors and special interests, their throwing the poor, the elderly, students, women, consumers, tenants, the environment and minorities under the bus to advance their private agenda.
Scotty made clear from the beginning that this was all about him and his power to do what he wanted – and he would negotiate nothing.
The mining bill died because it was a bad bill, a bill written by a private company for its sole benefit, a bill that would poison our pristine north woods and the watershed of the Bad River tribe in exchange for unsubstantiated claims of “high paying jobs” (which likely would have gone to out of state workers).
So when you (or whoever the anonymous author was) blame an inability to compromise and “political gamesmanship” due to “bitter feelings” arising from the recalls you ignore the truth and you slaughter the facts.
Walker lacks the ability to compromise; Walker and his Republican sidekicks chose to jam through not just the mining bill, but numerous bills using “political gamesmanship” including calling votes before the time scheduled for the vote and while the members of the other party weren’t even in the room.
And the statement that “the recall” is “taking attention away from legitimate political fights such as the Republican presidential primary and local contests” eliminates facts all together and proceeds straight to complete fabrication.
People aren’t paying attention to the Republican presidential primary because of the Republican candidates. When the choice is between Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum, and Tweedle Dumber, most folks would rather have a root canal then have to pay attention to what can best be described as the “Titanic” meets “The Three Stooges.”
If it’s impossible “to get the people’s work done” then point your finger in the right direction: at Scott Walker.
Not long ago, your paper endorsed him for Governor, claiming his experience as Milwaukee County Executive (a job he obtained through a recall – imagine that!) showed he was better qualified than his opponent. Of course, news reports have shown his time was spent running up debt as he kicked the can down the road for the county and took actions that exposed the County to millions of dollars in liability. And there’s that little matter of the John Doe investigation (it seems much more likely that Walker’s illegal campaign activities have dragged Wisconsin into the muck, if muck there is). And perhaps you should listen once again to his conversation with “David Koch.”
The Fourth Estate should be supporting Walker’s recall, demanding his resignation, and staunchly defending the existing recall/democratic process – not supporting Robin Vos’s plan to change it.
His proposal to change the recall process only protects the guilty. Misconduct as the only reason for a recall? These guys took secrecy pledges, have wasted millions upon millions of tax dollars to implement special interest laws – were willing to send bounty hunters to Illinois to kidnap the 14 and drag them back to Madison: they wouldn’t recognize misconduct if it bit them on the ass – or looked back at them in the mirror.
Instead of blaming “the recall,” place the blame squarely where it belongs – on Scott Walker.