Reclaiming Wisconsin From Closed Door Arrogance
Wisconsin's motto "Forward," represented in state tradition and Capitol statuary, is taking a beating in Madison these days.
What could better describe the collapsing state of public affairs and open, confident government in Wisconsin right now than conservative State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser - - having already admitting he'd called the Chief Justice "a total bitch" and had threatened to "destroy" her - - now denying he'd recently grabbed a liberal colleague in her office by the throat?
Investigators have to sort out conflicting accounts, with six Justices as witnesses. Imagine.
That's bad enough, but there's more to despair about in the other branches of state government, too.
We've got the authoritarian Republican Gov. Scott Walker - - his administration having blocked access to the State Capitol in Madison before and during debate on $66 billion of state budget spending and taxation - - planning to take that budget to another city two hours away, on private property, and signing it into law Sunday with the public again locked out.
And his Republican party openly running fake opposition candidates in this summer's recall elections to confuse voters and gain election scheduling and fund-raising advantages.
While GOP leaders work in secret on both Congressional and state legislative redistricting plans.
None of this is "Forward" in a state that is in a state of crisis.
Are the closed door, the faked ballot, the packed Legislature, the surprise attack on unions and now distorted justice and contorted Justice(s?) the new official emblems of Wisconsin?
Are these the faces we show school kids, prospective employers, tourists, new residents, enrolling undergrads from out-of-state and their parents?
Successfully turning the State Senate away from right-wing Republican control through this summer's recall elections would be a step in liberating Wisconsin from its conservative takeover and the unacceptable behaviors it is displaying to a horrified and stunned public.
Wisconsin under Walker is not just a train wreck, it is a veritable wrecking crew. A more appropriate motto under Walker would be "Havoc."
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