In the interest of accuracy, let's not hear it in the State of the State address tonight.
Scott Walker, his conservative appointees and legislative allies' backgrounds, beliefs and records radically say the opposite - - "NonWisconsin."
It's amazing how far this crop of right-wing extremists have taken Wisconsin from its great, Progressive tradition - - and I use that in a bi-partisan sense because the Progressive movement that is deep within the state's experience actually began among Republicans - - to drag us back to an era when special interests ran the government for their own private benefit, not the common good.
You can see the connection between what's happening in Madison under Walker and the New Extremists and the bad old, pre-Progressive days in this account published by the Wisconsin Historical Society:
"Until the 1890s, a few [Republican} party leaders tightly controlled Wisconsin's legislative agenda. At the same time, the rise of big business after 1870 had concentrated economic power in the hands of a few privileged individuals. These two groups, party leaders and business leaders, often overlapped, personally and pragmatically, as the interests and actions of government and business converged.Here's a brief look at some of Walker's NonWisconsin lowlights:
Progressive Republicans, in contrast, believed that the business of government was to serve the people. They sought to restrict the power of corporations when it interfered with the needs of individual citizens. The Progressive Movement appealed to citizens who wanted honest government and moderate economic reforms that would expand democracy and improve public morality."
* Walker wants to remove state rule-making powers - - a very important state function because Wisconsin rules have the power of law - - from the legislature to his office.
That's a power grab that upsets the checks-and-balances among the branches of government, blocks transparency and opens the door even more widely to special-interest influence.
And special interest already have more than a foot inside that door.
*Manufacturers and insurance companies have won from Walker and his legislative followers without authentic cause award ceilings in injury and liability cases - - a huge victory for the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
* Real estate interests, for example, have won Walker's pledge to impose severe restrictions on how a land owner may use his or her property by barring the installation of most wind turbines - - some even with approvals in hand - - thus killing a growing industry with well-paying jobs that will also create cleaner energy, according to a business coalition.
* And Walker created a firestorm when he asked for a special law to stop the state's full wetlands' permit review procedures so a popular fishing equipment store could be built on a small wetlands near Lambeau Field in Green Bay.
The company has wisely back off, saying, with some logic, that a store that sells to anglers doesn't fill wetlands, but Walker's intention to use the legislative process to make an end-run around an existing policy and procedure - - for a major campaign donor, to boot - - speaks even louder about how far from Wisconsin tradition and environmental protections he is willing to drag the state on behalf of a special interest.
* He appointed the home-builder Cathy Stepp as Department of Natural Resources Secretary after her active, high-voltage assault on the agency's task to balance private and public interests and the integrity of its employees.
And to fill out the DNR management group, Walker appointed two more senior officials from the home-builders major trade association.
It took only days for Stepp to replace the DNR's Milwaukee office director, with little substantive explanation, but signaling that the office would be more closely aligned with what a typical Department of Commerce would typically do, according to this DNR email.
* Or how about these legislators' recent proposal to let municipalities provide drinking water not continuously disinfected for viruses and dangerous chemicals?
In a state which has led the Great Lakes on water quality and quantity issues?
But now some legislators believe that Walker and Stepp will so effectively dilute the DNR's mission that even the assurance of safe drinking water statewide will no longer be defined as a Wisconsin priority.
*And these departure from the Wisconsin Idea will not be not limited to filling wetlands or grabbing off legislative power by the Governor or turning the DNR into a business promotion agency - - as if environmental quality and reasonably balanced government don't also draw businesses and visitors to the state.
Walker has installed Dennis Smith, an out-of-state anti-government ideologue at the helm of the State Department of Health Services - - a department that evolved from a belief in public health and has been replicated across the country in the name of good and decent governance.
Read the department's history in the electronic version of the Executive Branch of Wisconsin Blue Book, and you will see an activist tradition with the public welfare in mind that began before the phrase "safety net" entered the policy vocabulary:
"The Department of Health Services combines supervision of many state and local functions that had developed separately in the 1800s... By the time the federal government entered the field of public welfare during the Great Depression of the 1930s, Wisconsin had already pioneered a number of programs, including aid to children and pensions for the elderly (enacted in 1931). The Wisconsin Children’s Code, enacted by Chapter 439, Laws of 1929, was one of the most comprehensive in the nation."Smith has written that the states could save money by dropping Medicaid.
They both oppose the new health care bill, so more good news for the insurance companies and bad news for people with pre-existing, or human conditions
The Walker way is NonWisconsin..