Monday, November 9, 2015

Yes, Gov. Walker, you do deserve criticism after Oscar Mayer

Looking beyond Kraft Heinz, Walker has failed to stimulate economic prosperity in the state

Gov. Scott Walker doesn’t want to politicize the loss of 1,200 jobs at the Oscar Mayer plant in Madison. And he doesn’t appreciate critics that are “[looking] for someone to blame” for the losses casting their eyes in his direction.

But here’s the thing: recent criticism of the governor isn’t just about the most recent loss of jobs in the state’s capital city. Sure, a case could be made that Walker and his associates at the failing Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation should have seen the writing on the wall, and that early efforts to appease Kraft Heinz with offers to stay in Madison should have been made.

Beyond that, however, is a disturbing trend that the governor has failed to address: in this year alone, more than 10,000 layoff notices have been made to workers across the state. The 1,200 jobs lost at Kraft Heinz merely serve as a exclamation point on a larger problem, of an economy in shambles under Scott Walker’s watch.

Walker has tried so hard to make this state a pro-business one. He repealed legislation that strengthened equal pay for equal work laws, passed right-to-work (for less) legislation, removed collective bargaining rights for state workers, allowed corporations to write their own legislation (and subsequently signing it into law), and replaced the Department of Commerce with a quasi-private organization that has spent millions of taxpayer dollars more wildly than a teenager with a parent’s credit card.

After all of that, a company with nearly a century of history in his state’s capital city couldn’t find it in their best interests to stay, much less move elsewhere in the state. They instead plan to pack their bags and move in 2017.

So yes, the governor’s actions do deserve some criticism. But not just his actions with one organization or company: what he’s done for his entire tenure, his failure to produce the number of jobs he promised to create, and his relentless insistence that the state is prospering despite producing one of the slowest economies in the nation, should all be on the table for scrutinizing.

Republicans in the legislature and the governor himself put forth a slew of laws to the detriment of Wisconsin citizens in the hopes of luring businesses elsewhere to flock to Wisconsin. Instead of creating a corporate climate that appealed others to rush here, we can hardly keep the companies that remain in the state within our borders.

The citizenry isn’t blind to this: Walker’s recent failed presidential run has opened their eyes, and voters across the state now prefer a more liberal direction moving forward.

Walker will remain in office until at least 2018, and Republicans will do their best to try and manipulate election laws even further than they already have to retain legislative districts. Still, there’s reason for being optimistic: Wisconsinites from Beloit to Bayfield are waking up. And they’re not happy with the state that Walker has changed Wisconsin into.


  1. We need to sue to get rid of the gerrymandering they have done or all the nay votes won't get rid of them

  2. At long last, things are coming to a head. People are waking up, and they're not fooled any more.