My Thoughts Thursday: The Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race

First of all, I don’t usually get into big statements about politics. I learned from the family gatherings in the past that even people who love each other can reduce each other to vile names and tears. I believe calling each other illogical, idiotic, and numerous other words are completely uncalled for when discussing differing opinions. And, I will still stand behind that any day of the week, month, or year. I think everyone should at a minimum voice their own opinions in the ballot boxes on election day, because every opinion does matter.

However, I am very disappointed in the outcome of the gubernatorial race in my home state of Wisconsin. I am not upset that a Republican won, because I don’t really care about his label. The truth is differing opinions are what both help and hinder change. If we all had the same ideas, we would live in perpetual sameness for better or for worse. I am upset because a governor is supposedly the leader of a state and anybody who purposely comes in to create an us vs. them mentality as soon as they walk in the door, should not be leading our state. Period. End of story.

For those of you who don’t know, after the last gubernatorial election in 2010, Scott Walker came into office and immediately set to work eliminating the collective bargaining rights of the public sector workers, while simultaneously painting them as leeches to the taxpayers money and greedy goblins who took all the time in the world to accomplish nothing. Those government workers workers included your child’s public school teachers, the public defenders who do everything in their power to ensure you get a fair trial no matter how much you make, the prison wardens who are the boundaries between convicted felons who have not yet repaid society and your family, as well as your emergency teams: paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. These government workers were and are taxpayers as well.

However, Walker with his policies and slandering of these hard working people, divided our state. People actually turned their backs on their friends as teachers had to be let go due to drastic budget cuts to schools. These now displaced teachers received pay cuts and little support. Even though many of them had helped their friends who had lost jobs in the private sectors due to the economic downturn. He also pitted the rich in our state against the middle class and the poor, due to his decisions which flip flopped based on how his rich supporters felt on an issue (drilling etc).

For me, the blaming and shunning of a particular group of people in a society sounds a little too similar to Russia during the revolution and Germany in the 1930s. Maybe it’s just me though.

Walker also promised 250,000 jobs in his initial campaign, but proudly boasted creating 110,000 during his more recent one. However, he eliminated the possibility of thousands of jobs when he broke off a contract to build a high speed railway between Milwaukee and Madison that was already being paid for by the federal government. Can someone please explain to me why costing the State money to break a contract for work that benefited Wisconsin workers, was already being paid for by the federal government, and had the potential to attract private companies into Wisconsin, was a good idea?

I would rather have an ineffective Governor that did absolutely nothing but sit there and twiddle their thumbs for 4 long years than have this “gentleman.” I just don’t seem how fear-mongering and pointing fingers is good way to run a government. Then again, it might just be me.

What are your thoughts on the Wisconsin race? What impact do you think it might have for the future of the state? Do you agree or disagree? Did I get my facts wrong? If so, please cite a source.

Disclaimer: I have the power to approve and not approve comments. I am perfectly willing to post responses from all sides, but I WILL NOT allow any name calling. It is not needed for a rational debate. If I don’t approve your comment, I will try to email you with the reason I will not post it, so you can still have your opinion read. That goes for both my liberal and conservative readers!

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About Danielle Beranek

Life can get away from you when being young, married, and still fairly fresh out of college. Taking on a pet, student loans, going back to school, and soon a new house is enough to leave ones head spinning. For me, life is crazy, but only on the outside.
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4 Responses to My Thoughts Thursday: The Wisconsin Gubernatorial Race

  1. Tommy Dunne says:

    I love reading your blog, but I have to voice an opinion here, where we differ. You asked for a response and I’ll be civil.

    -Eliminating Collective Bargaining. First, it’s not a RIGHT, it was privilege that was abused. Public Workers and Teachers Unions (not teachers) negotiated everything, and I do mean everything, pay, benefits, vacations, hours, breaks, who they got insurance from, ect. They had local governments and school boards in a corner. Accept our demands or we strike and shut you down. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/09/09/cps-teachers-still-engaged-in-intense-talks-to-avoid-strike/) School districts were forced to buy health insurance from the Unions insurance company, WEA Trust, and not able to shop around, Their budgets would be locked in fixed costs. When you have a set budget if 80-85% is tied up these demands, it takes a lot of skill to find money in other areas, including cutting local programs and in the school cutting programs like art, and gym.
    They money wasn’t there. After giving the local governments and schools the tools, they were able to save money by getting different insurance, and instead of their budget being locked in they could be flexible, hire more teachers and keep programs running. One thing you know for sure is that Act 10 worked, and the Democrats in this state use it. (http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/mayor-tom-barrett-proposes-raises-to-offset-workers-act-10-costs-b99361257z1-277494891.html) If it was an still an issue, they sure didn’t run on it. Because it’s working, school districts love it, and more teachers are being hired because of it. (http://legis.wisconsin.gov/assembly/steineke/eupdates/Pages/Act-10-and-the-Kaukauna-School-District-.aspx)

    – 250,000 Jobs Promise. It was a big goal, and he didn’t get it. A promise broken, I’ll admit that. But I also defend it, in a state that in the past 4 years we have had 3 Gov. Elections, why would any business want to invest in this state when you don’t know who is running the state. Now, I’m not saying he would have gotten the goal, but that did not help.

    -High Speed Rail. High Speed Rail, The numbers in 2010 (http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/111362019.html) High est. of ridership, that would supplement the operating costs. Now this could have been true, or it could have been lower but estimates are that. If the ridership wasn’t there, the taxpayers would have been on the line filling in the gap in operating costs. To take an example of what could have happened you need to only look at California. I can site numerous sources but I leave it to you to see what this state could have been under. Over running costs, lawsuits and the taxpayer on the hook, when the money ran out.

    I voted for Walker, and would do so again. This state has moved forward, and in the next 4 years, I think we will all be better off.

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  2. henak8010 says:

    Interesting perception that Wisconsin has moved “forward” in the past four years, Tommy. Let’s see, punishing his political opponents by the denial of worker rights that have existed since the 1950s and have resulted in both high quality service to the citizens and protection of the employees against irrational or arbitrary actions against them, tax give always to the wealthy at the expense of the rest of us (major cuts, for instance, in transfers back to local governments while blocking the ability of local taxpayers to make up the difference by increasing local taxes), limiting or denying local control, backwards economic policies that have caused Wisconsin job growth to trail both the national averages and the rest of the Midwest (especially in comparison to that in liberal states such as Minnesota), devastating cuts to public schools, stealing money from public schools to pay to send middle class kids to private and religious schools under the “school choice” program, refusing to accept the federal expansion of Medicaid, costing the state millions in a debacle that even other rightwing governors have labeled as idiotic ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/10/23/kasich-only-political-or-ideological-people-oppose-ohios-medicaid-expansion/), rewarding wealthy contributors with watered down mining rules so they could ravage the environment for their own profit, implemented political gerrymandering to guaranty that the GOP would remain in power in the Legislature even though a majority of votes voted against them, voter suppression measures designed to prevent Democratic voters from voting, refusing to exercise his constitutional power (and obligation) to grant appropriate pardons and commutations, legislation that benefits his contributors by unreasonably limiting the damages that his corporate and wealthy contributors must pay to the victims of their wrongdoing, constant lies about both his record and those who oppose him, undermining the state tradition of clean government, and tearing the state apart. Seems like just the opposite to moving forward to me. Sounds a lot more like full speed backwards to me.

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  3. henak8010 says:

    BTW, Danielle, very nice job of demonstrating just a few of the many ways in which Gov. Walker has seriously damaged the state and its future. Too bad more people didn’t know or care about the facts before the election.

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  4. henak8010 says:

    Danielle is correct in striking out “idiotic” as a description of Governor Walker’s decision to cost Wisconsin taxpayers millions of dollars by rejecting Medicare expansion. The actual terms used by Ohio’s Gov. Kasich, who likewise is on the extreme right wing of the GOP, are that “only ‘Political Or Ideological’ People Oppose Medicaid Expansion, and that such people would “rot in hell” because there is no rational, principled basis for such opposition. I do not personally agree the Governor will rot in hell, but there is no question that his consistent choice to place politics over the good of the state is NOT moving forward. http://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2014/10/23/kasich-only-political-or-ideological-people-oppose-ohios-medicaid-expansion/

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