Back in February, I posed this question, principally to moderate Republicans and editorial boards which supported Scott Walker's gubernatorial run:
Is there an overreach anywhere in this radical performance by a governor elected with just 52% of the vote that gives you genuine pause about where Walker and his extreme team are taking the state?It's worth asking today, too, in light of these and other efforts to tilt the playing field away from citizen involvement and towards a far-right agenda, and guaranteed Republican office-holding and corporate self-interest:
* Despite polling to the contrary, Walker has said he will sign any bill sent to him legalizing the concealed carry of firearms in Wisconsin, and it looks like we are about to go from a state banning the practice to approving one of the most radical examples in the nation - - a bill without a requirements to pass a proficiency test, get training or obtain a license. And without prohibitions carrying a concealed weapon in places where there should be no deadly weapons - - from taverns to the State Capitol.
* Walker's signing a highly-restrictive Voter ID bill into law - - with supporters masking its deliberate partisan framework and intent to discourage Democrats' voting in cities, and on campuses while citing the flimsiest and fanciful justification: a handful of wrongfully-cast ballots or improperly-registered voters. Do we condone in Wisconsin such an assault on citizen rights?
* Walker seeking and being given the power to veto any and all departmental administrative rules, aggregating to the Governor's office public review procedures previously held by the Legislature, and in a public hearing process.
* Walker planning to change the structure and governance of both the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and, separately, the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus - - both frequent targets of the far-right, and now targets of opportunity for Walker's conservative, corporate interests to control.
* Through Big Government budgetary, fiscal or rule-making manipulations from on-high in Madison, Walker is overruling local control and forcing a decline in numerous quality of life programs and practices by starving the financing of sewer improvements, water quality, education, police and fire-fighting staffing, transit operations - - and more. Examples related to water policy, among the many - - here and here.
* Walker and Company's efforts to change the rules and rush through permission for an out-of-state iron company to dig a four-mile long open-pit mine near Lake Superior that will inextricably degrade sensitive watershed acreage.
* Walker and the Legislature being enjoined from implementing his surprise, unjustified bill to strip unions of their collective bargaining rights - - that "bomb" of his that the Journal Sentinel editorially said would have led to his defeat had he disclosed it during the campaign.
Walker and his Legislative allies are recklessly using the power of the state to increase the reach of the Executive branch and cement a long-lasting Republican majority that will expand the influence of corporations that have little interest in public input about public resources.
It's past time, but not too late, for opinion leaders in the state send Walker this message: Stop The Overreach.
The recall organizing for both Walker and his Senate sycophants - - already ahead of the opinion-makers' moxie - - will continue the push to right (no pun intended) the wrongs that the Right has already perpetrated from Walker's weak base, a 52% November margin of victory.