Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Walker's tenure as governor has hurt Wisconsin's values

Walker's time in office shows he wants to move our state in a corporatist direction


Seven days until the recall election.


The critics of the recall have bashed it incessantly, errantly claiming it's fundamentally over a singular issue, disregarding that it was they who in the past have tried to recall elected officials on the same premise.

The critics are wrong, however, despite their hypocrisy, to make the claim in the first place.

This recall election may have had its start over one issue, a big one even -- workers' rights to collectively negotiate their contracts. It may have snowballed since then, becoming an election over Walker's failure to create jobs in the state, his de-funding of our children's education, his appointment of cronies and the sons of political donors to high-paying positions of power, or his likely involvement in a federal investigation looking into embezzled funds, illegal campaign activities, and bid-rigging.

There are many more issues that may have sustained the recall effort beyond the initial catalyst of removing the rights of middle class public sector workers. But in the end, it's all about values.

The dichotomy of these issues puts Walker squarely at odds with those he's meant to represent.
  • Do we value our children enough to say tax cuts to corporations might need to be less than the cuts to our schools?

  • Do we value working men AND women enough to tell them we'll protect equal and fair wages against corporate malfeasance, beyond what's minimally expected of us?

  • Do we value hard work and qualified expertise to hire only the best and brightest to our agencies, or do we use those appointments to reward those who have aligned with us politically?
In short, do we subscribe to the values that have previously made Wisconsin the envy of the nation? Or do we transform our state into one that engages in pay to play corporate opportunism, that disregards Wisconsinites who earn an income below a six-figure threshold?

The current governor has consistently opted for the corporatist route, siding with monied interests while ignoring those of the middle class...and he's got nothing to show for it. Knowing this, Walker has engaged in a campaign of misinformation, half-truths, exaggerations and lies designed to paint no better a picture of himself but rather to unfairly discredit his opponent.

Don't be fooled by Walker' propaganda of pessimism. The alternative to Walker is "hope," not despair. His recall beckons a call towards a positive future of unity, of compromise for the greater good, embracing not the mantra of "divide and conquer" but of "Forward -- TOGETHER."

We don't have to be rich versus poor, worker versus owner, men against women, people against government. We can cater to the interests of all instead of a small elite. We can reject Walker's message that, unless you make millions of dollars, you're not worth a damn to the lawmakers that are meant to represent you.

In our Wisconsin, it has always been the case that the power entrusted to our leaders was derived by the people themselves, and NOT from a single class of people or of corporate influences. Understanding that fact, we created a method of removing elected officials we ourselves saw as no longer adequate to serving our needs. We call that method the recall.

Now is the time, if ever there was one, to utilize that power. Scott Walker has lost the confidence of the people he governs. He has similarly proven he was never out to gain it.

For that, his recall is wholly justified, his continued tenure a danger to our democratic tenets. To put it bluntly, Wisconsin is better off without Scott Walker.

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