Saturday, September 16, 2017

Walker's WI is model hard-right "chamber of commerce" state

[Updated from 9/15/17] 

True story:

A friend walked by the house in early 2011 after Walker had dropped his Act 10 bomb on an unsuspecting citizenry, and asked, more or less in shock: "I wonder what they would have said if we had won and had just gone for everything?"

"They" being the right, talk radio, and the newly-invigorated Grand Old Party.

"But we'd never have done that," he said, addressing his own rhetorical question, dismissing equivalencies. "We're too nice."

My friend is a public employee. By "everything" from Walker and the right, he meant their broad assault on public sector bargaining, workers' rights and personal budgets, and union power.

In retrospect, his definition of "everything" turned out to be oh-so-narrow; note that the long-delayed State budget finally passed Friday on the strength of sops to the right no one predicted during the bad old Act 10 days, like Walker's pledge to speed up a broadening cut in blue-collar worker wages on state projects like highways, and a new attack on teachers by devaluing the licensing procedure, thus their profession and achievements.

For the record, here's an off-the-top-of-my-head accounting of the "everything" that Walker and the right went after following Act 10 - - telegraphed in 2010 by his appointment of a developer to run the Department of Natural Resources with "a chamber of commerce mentality" - - including all the fresh deplorables wrapped up in Foxconn Folly and the ideological mess that is the budget about to pass which passed the State Senate Friday night after further, selective partisan secrecy and one-party deal-making.

'Right to work,' passed. Prevailing wage rate on state and road projects killed. $7.25 minimum wage hardened. Food stamp eligibility reduced, food stamp drug-testing escalated, tax cuts for business expanded, tax cuts for high earners expanded, taxes for working poor increased in two budgets. 

Wetland fillings, stream bank development, lake bed development (Foxconn) encouraged by Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" WI DNR. Endbridge tar sand pipeline capacity expanded w/out substantial environmental review, solar installations and wind turbines discouraged or obstructed. Hybrid and electric vehicle fees boosted. Vastly expanded sand mining, Gtac iron mine, more sulfide-rock/cyanide-aided mining, and proposed North 40 mine along Menominee River all pushed over local or Native American sovereign nation objections. 

Local home rule authority over collective bargaining, public employee wages, environmental protection, taxing levels, transit extensions, voting hours, streetcar/sidewalk/bike path programs and other local powers and initiatives blocked, barred or defunded. 

Climate change & DNR science positions deleted. Regulated businesses, even with fewer inspections, encouraged to write their own operating permit conditions. CAFO size limits overturned and oversight rolled back, contaminated well water tolerated, groundwater for big users privatized, permanently. Clear Power Act/air fought. Multiple US EPA clean water policies slowed, fought. State phosphorous rule implementation weakened by 25 years. Forest land owners allowed tax breaks on increased acreages formerly open to public access.

Federal Amtrak funding turned back. Broadband funding turned back. Medicaid funding turned back. Voter ID implemented. Gerrymandering drafted in secret. Planned Parenthood defunded. Public school funding slashed, private school funding boosted, UW funding slashed, faculty hours Big Brothered, UW 'research' turned right. 

Judicial Commission and Government Accountability Board altered, watered down or stuffed. Campaign, third-party coordination fund-raising approved. State Supreme Court recusal rule rewritten by donors to serve donors. State Supreme Court turned right, State Supreme Court Chief Justiceship turned right. 

NRA agendas implemented, including approvals for concealed carry, elimination of the 48-hour handgun post-sale possession waiting period, establishment of the so-called 'Castle Doctrine' self-defense privilege, and expanded hunting on public lands.

State corporate lending, under Walker chairmanship (WEDC), corrupted. State 2017-'19 budget repeatedly delayed & amended in secret, budget flexibility, even solvency imperiled for 25 years (Foxconn), and turned into campaign re-election tool (Foxconn, Walker).


As I said, it's an incomplete list. Commenters will add more. But that's what going "for everything" is doing to Wisconsin, and why it will take forever, if ever, to turn things around here.



Anonymous said...

Some of the by-standers include USA Today newspapers across Wisconsin, local broadcast TV stations and most Democratic Party legislators who should be hounding every manner of media outlet 365 getting out the message of what is occurring, and of course Peter Barca. Not to forget the 45 percent of the people who do not vote in gubernatorial elections. Writes Craig Gilbert on the 2014 general election race:

... Wisconsin saw its highest November turnout for governor since at least 1950, based on unofficial, nearly complete results from the Associated Press.

Turnout was more than 54.5 percent of voting-age adults.

That is lower than the 57.8 percent who turned out in the June 2012 recall election but higher than in any mid-term election for governor in at least 64 years.

The previous high was 52.4 percent in 1962.

Wisconsin's turnout will be one of the highest in the nation, if not the highest, said Michael McDonald, a turnout expert and political scientist at the University of Florida.

JB said...

In the middle of the night last night, I was wondering, "What do the Republicans envision for Wisconsin?" And when will they own up to it?

Do they want a less educated, less sophisticated populace, unable to deal with the world as it exists today, much less in the future?

Are they trying to pollute the state?

Do they believe only the wealthiest should have clean air and water? And how does that square with the existence of CAFOs adjacent to DePere, and Mike McCarthy's neighborhood?

For those relying on venison as a protein source, should it be a crapshoot whether you're exposed to a prion disease or not?

Do they believe everyone owns cars? Or that everyone should own a car?

I just cannot picture the world as people like Chris Kapenga, Steve Nass, Tom Tiffany, and Scott Walker define it. Theirs is truly unreal.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

JB- Your answer is "Yes." They (and the dopes who vote them in) are truly that limited in their thinking.

And you wonder why we continue to lag behind? I don't. I just don't get why so many people accept this crap.

Anonymous said...

Walker was sure ACT 10 would be his big thing to campaign on in his run for president, which lasted 70 days when he went bankrupt. He campaigned around the country using Act 10 as 'I can do that for your state,too and I am sure foxconn is not only going to be used for 2018 reelection, but 2020 run for president.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

That's his plan, but I don't see it working out too well for him. Saying "Hey, we're probably better than Illinois" isn't going to impress anyone, either inside or outside the state.

We are following the Kansas route right down the tubes. And people will LOOOOVE all the potholes in the rest of the state next year while we throw this money at Foxconn.

Middle class guy said...

Still waiting for jobs to "take off like a rocket ."

Anonymous said...

In order to throw the Walker regime out on its ass, the next candidate to run against him must understand a few basic "facts", at least I view them as facts, about Wisconsin.
1. Wis Republicans will always vote Gop. You will not win them over.
2. Wis Democrats will usually vote Dem. If they have a candidate they aren't excited about, they will not vote. Give them a candidate to get excited about.
3. Wis independents cast more votes for someone who sells him/her self better than the other candidate. Walker is a moron, yet enough ind. voted for him to allow him to win the election.
4. The average Wisconsin voter will often vote for the candidate who they "think" shares their values. So looking at a couple of issues, religion and guns, the moron has pulled in a lot of votes by claiming to be christian, even though he has been ruling as an immoral antichristian, and by claiming to be a hunter and outdoorsman, which he is neither. The key word here is "think". The Dems need to realize the average voter will not research facts.

If the Dems get out the truth about Walker and his fellow fools, they will win by a landslide. The issues to focus on are simple:
1. Walker's character. He is a liar and should be a convict.
2. The laws he has changed.
3. His anti-hunting and anti-fishing agenda. The Dems need to get only a few groups behind them: Trout Unlimited (stream degradation, we already hate him), Whitetails Unlimited (CWD), and Ducks Unlimited (habitat destruction), are just a few examples. Give them issues they can support and they will gain the votes needed
4. Stealing money from the middle class and giving it to FoxConn. How dare people like Barca steal my money and kiss Walker's butt at the same time after having Walker steal money from my paycheck.

Yes these are only tiny examples of the issues, but these alone will gain thousands of voters. Walker has done nothing to gain votes and lots of things which should cost him votes. The Dems need to wake up and go after the governor's chair. He is the worst governor in the country and in Wisconsin's history. If they can't unseat him then they might as well shut their party down.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Well stated, and it all stems from Number 1. "Walker is dishonest, corrupt slime who does not give a Damn about you."

It has the added advantage of being true.

Doorman60 said...

Walker is an example of a man who has no love for anything but power. He has never been to a concert, play or camped, walked fished or hunted. No love for any of the things that make a life joyful. What is this man running from?