For Walker the Campaign Has Already Begun
I’m sure by now all of us are aware of the recall campaign going on to remove Scott Walker from office. What some of us may be unaware of is the television ads that have already come out in favor of Scott Walker and against the recall.
In particular, the ads I’ve seen have tried to hit back on one of the biggest reasons for the recall and that is what Walker has done to our education system. Walker and his administration have taken an axe to public education in Wisconsin, with higher education being cut by $250 million over two years in the first cuts and then with the budget lapses (budget cuts 2.0) higher education was cut another $65.6 million over two years. The combined impact of these massive cuts has been that, among other things, the Department of Corrections now receives more money from the state than higher education. To put it another way, Walker cares more about jails and prisons than schools.
But the television ads have been attempting to refute that. They have a woman involved in education, whether a high school teacher or a school board member, talk to the camera and say how everyone said the budget cuts would be horrible but actually they’ve done pretty well. I would first like to say that woman who is on the Waukesha School Board violated a policy that she cannot speak for the school board when it comes to partisan issues like this recall. She may have been speaking for herself, but that defense only lasted until the words “School Board Member” appeared under her name.
The other ad I’ve seen features a high school teacher who talks about how it isn’t about popularity for Scott Walker and he is just doing what is right for Wisconsin. I don’t believe her because if it wasn’t about popularity, Walker wouldn’t have ads like that. He is trying to shore up his support and popularity while saying he doesn’t really care about popularity and poll numbers.
These ads are also trying to say that all of us who are working to recall Walker are wrong when it comes to what is happening to education. They are trying to say that these new “tools” Walker has given the education system are somehow a net gain despite the budget cuts and that public education will get along just fine. I have a question for that: When schools get shut down due to budget cuts, how are they supposed to use those tools Walker gave them? You can’t use something when you don’t exist. Schools have been shut down (or are slated to be shut down) because these budget cuts have taken away so much money that they simply cannot continue to teach Wisconsin’s children.
Everywhere you go you will find someone who is a Democrat or a Republican, which is why Walker is able to find the token high school teacher or school board member who supports his agenda despite the evidence. Walker has indicated he doesn’t want a recall election for various reasons, such as how it is a waste of money and distracts him and his administration from governing Wisconsin. There are quite a few ways how Walker has wasted money already, such as with the new Voter ID law and how Republicans prolonged the recalls in the summer by placing fake Democrats into the elections to force primaries, that such claims by Walker need to be taken with a grain of salt or simply ignored altogether.
Then there is the assertion the recall prevents him from focusing on his job. That is the point. We want him out of office. We here in Wisconsin are in the middle of recalling our governor, something that has only been done twice in American history and never before in Wisconsin, because we see the horrible impact that Walker is having on our state. If Walker thinks the recall is just unions and out-of-state activists trying to bring him down, he shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
But the reason he is worried is because this is a massive grassroots movement that Wisconsin has never seen before. This is what democracy looks like. The recalls were enshrined in our state constitution to give ordinary people the ability to remove elected officials from office if they felt those officials were not representing them. This is why Walker is being recalled. He is not representing us, the people of Wisconsin.