We need to fix what Walker's done to Wisconsin, with or without him.What has happened to our beloved Wisconsin? The state that I’ve called home for my entire life is slowly crumbling. At almost every problem you can observe, you can see Gov. Scott Walker’s fingerprints are there.
Jobs are recovering from the recession at a slower rate than the rest of the Midwest region, and we’re not doing well nationally either. What jobs DO get created pale in comparison to what we had pre-recession, as income growth has been dismal since Walker took office as well.
The jobs creation agency that the governor put in place of the Department of Commerce has been mired in controversy. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has handed out millions of taxpayer dollars as loans, funds that have rarely been accounted for, and that may have been improperly granted to donors of Scott Walker’s campaigns over more deserving businesses.
Our schools are getting their budgets cut, teachers are left with little to no job security, and the governor is now proposing removing standards for obtaining a teaching license.
Women are earning less than what they earned since the governor took office, likely due to the fact that the governor and his Republican-led legislature repealed a law that was meant to be a stronger enforcer of the equal pay law.
These are just a small tidbit of things that we’ve seen under Walker’s leadership -- the list really could go on, and on.
Now, the man who worships Ronald Reagan (and makes bodacious claims of voting for him despite being under age at the time) is planning a run for the presidency, claiming that the president who allowed his administration to illegally sell weapons to Iran to fund a war in Central America is a better foreign policy leader than the president who killed Osama bin Laden.
We can do better than this disaster of a governor. The good news is the people of Wisconsin are finally opening their eyes to this governor’s track record -- only two of every five respondents in a recent poll approved of Walker’s job performance while 56 percent disapproved of the way he was running the state (PDF).
So where do we go from here? We need to undo the damage that Walker has wrought to Wisconsin.
We need to raise the minimum wage so that the people of this state earning the least can afford to provide for their families. We also need to restore the cuts to the Earned Income Tax Credit that Walker imposed on working families.
We need to fully fund our schools, from kindergarten to college, and lessen the burden of fees for students attending universities in our state, beyond the “tuition freeze” sound bites that the governor is so accustomed to making.
We need to treat every person in this state -- women, gay and lesbian, transgender, white, black, Latino, Asian, and more -- fairly. Especially among minorities, Wisconsin is failing, becoming one of the worst states when it comes to racial disparities in the nation. That needs to change.
That's just a start. In short, we need a governor that gets Wisconsin’s traditions. Yes, we’ve been a high-tax state in the past -- but what we’ve gained from those taxes has been an enormous blessing. We have some of the best educated students in the country; a parks system that is envied across the country; citizens who, in times of need, are tended to, taken care of, and brought out of trying times that they themselves could never have imagined escaping on their own.
Our current governor doesn’t get that. He’s too busy running for higher office, and when he’s in our state he’s only for appeasing corporate interests.
That’s not the legacy of Wisconsin. We thwarted such thinking in the beginning of the 20th century. And in time we’ll do it again.
I’m making a special request: Gov. Scott Walker, make the call now. Either govern our state, and do it in a way that makes Wisconsin a better place, or just resign already, and run for president so we can move on at home. We’re tired of the controversy you have brought to our state, and we’re sick of you ignoring the problems at home while you’re campaigning.
If you are going to leave, leave already. Don't drag it out any longer.