Wednesday, February 3, 2016

On the fifth anniversary of the Wisconsin protests, there are reasons for optimism

Wisconsinites now understand just how terrible the governing style of Scott Walker really is

Five years ago this month, Gov. Scott Walker dropped a proverbial bomb on Wisconsin.

In one fell swoop, his proposal to restrict state workers from exercising their right to bargain contracts collectively ignited the passions of millions of Wisconsinites across the state.

His move led to hundreds of thousands of protesters descending on the Capitol lawn in Madison. The protests gained national attention and prompted a recall election against Walker.

The governor won that recall election, and a subsequent re-election two years later. His backers implied that these wins were a vindication of his ideas.

But we stand here now, five years on, and see that Walker is not vindicated in his actions. Six in ten Wisconsinites now see him in a disapproving way, and only 38 percent approve of the way he has handled his job as governor (PDF).

And it’s not hard to figure out why:
All of these terrible ideas (and much, much more) that have sent Wisconsin backwards began with Walker's collective bargaining law five years ago. We thousands that protested in the Capitol Rotunda came together to recognize his failure as a leader in the first few months that he had assumed power.

Sadly not every Wisconsinite saw what we did in February 2011. But I’m optimistic today because the people of this great state are starting to see the light.

They now understand that Walker has been a terrible governor. And a majority agree -- he should never run again for the office he currently holds.

That’s a positive sign that things in Wisconsin won’t always be this way. Walker won’t be governor forever, and the state’s voters are rejecting his methods of governance -- which means we can restore Wisconsin’s progressive values in the years ahead.

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