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There is an extremely pivotal statewide election coming up on June 5, 2012 in Wisconsin. After turning in nearly one million signatures, the people of Wisconsin have a chance to end Governor Scott Walker’s oppressive regime and replace him with someone more attuned to the needs of Wisconsinites. More than likely, there are voters in Wisconsin who are undecided, but if they need to be convinced to vote against Scott Walker in June, here are 18 reasons why Walker should be kicked out of office in shame.
1. Repeal of Equal Pay for Women)
In April, Scott Walker signed SB 202, which effectively repealed an equal pay law that has protected women from pay discrimination since 2009. For three years, women had the ability to take legal action against their employer at any time it was discovered that they were being paid less than a male colleague for doing the same work. The repeal of this law is just a piece of the Republican war on women and gives employers the freedom to pay women less money, weakening women’s ability to have purchasing power in the economy.
2. Anti-Abortion Laws)
Speaking of the war on women, three days after repealing the equal pay law, Scott Walker signed three anti-abortion bills into law. One bill bans insurance policies offered through the state health insurance exchange program of the Affordable Care Act from including abortion coverage, which could also ban coverage of some contraceptives.
Another bill signed by Walker basically repeals a law requiring educators to teach about contraception as a birth control method. The new law allows teachers to not discuss contraception at all and forces teachers to promote abstinence as the ONLY way to prevent disease and pregnancy.
The third bill forces women to be alone in the doctor’s office when seeking an abortion so that the doctor can interrogate her about why she wants an abortion. Scott Walker is certainly not an ally of women’s health.
3. Relationship with Koch Brothers)
It was a prank phone call that revealed a lot about Scott Walker and his allegiance to Koch Industries. When a David Koch impersonator called to congratulate Scott Walker on his 2010 Election victory, he was immediately connected directly to the new Governor with little to no investigation. The caller of course was revealed to be a fake, but just the fact that Walker rushed to talk to the billionaire right-winger showed who was important to him. Since that day two years ago, Walker has worked hard to turn Wisconsin into the national testing ground of the Koch agenda. Working closely with Koch funded group Americans for Prosperity, Walker has gutted Wisconsin’s labor unions, killing collective bargaining, and supporting bills that kill environmental legislation. The Kochs have poured millions of dollars into Wisconsin to keep Walker from being recalled. All of this should be worrying to any voter in Wisconsin, because if any politician in America is a puppet of the Koch brothers, it’s Scott Walker.
4. Wisconsin’s Terrible Jobs Record)
Dead last. That defines Walker’s record on jobs. In his second year as Governor, Wisconsin lost over 20,000 jobs. That’s way worse than the second worst jobs record in the nation: Rhode Island with only 4,000 jobs lost. And no one can really say there is any bias in those numbers either because Wisconsin’s neighboring states of Iowa and Michigan, both Republican controlled, have job gains. That’s embarrassing for Walker, considering he touted his policies as being a blueprint for job creation.
5. Union Busting)
Walker’s tenure as Governor will forever be marked by his decision to mercilessly attack labor unions and collective bargaining. Following the commands of his Koch donors, Walker signed a bill in March 2011 that ended most union rights in the state of Wisconsin, including the right to collectively bargain for pay and benefits. Walker said the law would grow popular over time, but what it actually did is get him recalled, which is why an election is taking place in June. Under the law, police, firefighters, teachers, nurses, and many other public employees will no longer get to negotiate their pay. Ending collective bargaining changed nothing in the budget but Walker gleefully threw these workers under the bus to please the Kochs. But he also did it to purposefully divide the people of Wisconsin. In a damning caught on tape moment, Walker described to big campaign donor Diane Hendricks how he was going to turn Wisconsin into a ‘right to work for less’ state. His plan? Divide and conquer.
“Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”
This quote alone should infuriate the people of Wisconsin enough to want to end Walker’s career.
6. Killed High Speed Rail Funding)
Upon winning election in 2010, Scott Walker vowed to kill high speed rail funding. And he did exactly that. Walker gave back over $800 million in federal assistance to build a high-speed train between Milwaukee and Madison, which cost the people of Wisconsin thousands of jobs. The high speed rail would not only have created thousands of jobs, it would have created a greener mass transit system that would have helped alleviate America’s dependence on oil, and would have helped America catch up to the rest of the developed world. Europe and Asia have invested heavily in high speed rail, which makes transportation much faster and cheaper across land. The people had a chance to help get America moving again, but Scott Walker took away the money and the jobs that would have made it possible.
7. Signed the Grover Norquist Taxpayer Protection Pledge Against Raising Taxes)
Republicans hate taxes. Most Republicans in the US House and Senate are beholden to one man in Washington who isn’t even an elected official. Grover Norquist has this anti-tax pledge that he gets Republicans to sign, forcing them to promise that they won’t raise taxes under any circumstance, even if the fiscal health of the nation is at stake. This pledge has prevented a compromise that would both cut spending and raise taxes on the wealthy to deal with the national debt. Governors are not immune from this pledge. They sign it as well. And Scott Walker signed it too.
Walker has remained true to his allegiance to the non-Wisconsinite Norquist, signing tax cuts into law that benefit corporations and the wealthy while cutting everything from health care to education. Walker touted the tax cuts as being great for business and jobs, but the only thing Walker has gotten from the massive cuts is the worst jobs record in the nation.
8. Chris Christie Backs Him)
Only a bully would endorse another bully, and since Chris Christie has endorsed Scott Walker and supports everything he has done to the people of Wisconsin, I’d say Walker’s connection to the bully-in-chief of New Jersey is also a good reason to kick Scott Walker to the curb.
Christie has bullied everyone from teachers, to police officers, to firefighters, and nurses, the very same groups of people Scott Walker has targeted since taking office. So it’s really no surprise that Christie is campaigning for Walker in this recall election. I’m just wondering how many people in Wisconsin Christie will threaten to secure his fellow bully’s political survival.
9. Voter Suppression Laws)
Wisconsin’s new GOP backed voter suppression laws won’t be in effect during this recall. A judge made sure of that. But the laws could be in play during every election thereafter, which is a threat to democracy and the right to vote. If higher conservative courts rule the measure constitutional, the voter ID law will require every person of voting age in Wisconsin to show an ID at the polls before proceeding to vote. Those without IDs don’t get to vote, even if you’re a registered voter. Among the groups most affected by this law include college students, women, senior citizens, and minorities. Thousands of people in Wisconsin live on a fixed low income and therefore may not be able to afford to get a state issued ID. The law also restricts voter registration by requiring those who register other voters to have a license to do so. In other words, Walker wants to charge American citizens money for democracy. If Walker isn’t defeated in June, the people of Wisconsin should prepare to have their right to vote further restricted to the benefit of Republicans.
10. Over Half Of Campaign Cash Is From Out-Of-State Sources)
Money in politics has become a real problem and nowhere is this more evident than in Wisconsin, where Scott Walker has taken in millions of dollars from the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity among other outside sources. Because of this out-of-state money and a law that gives a recalled governor the ability to take in unlimited amounts of cash to defeat their opponent and limits the money raising ability of the opponent, Walker has been able to raise and spend $21 million to the Democrat’s $2 million as of May 2012. Two-thirds of Walker’s campaign cash has come from donors outside of Wisconsin.
Because of this outside money, the people of Wisconsin can’t really be certain that their governor is beholden to them or the outside entities who are basically buying the election for Walker. That should any citizen in Wisconsin, since it is clear that outside forces want Wisconsin under their thumb.
11. Mitt Romney Endorses Him)
Mitt Romney is the presumed Republican Presidential nominee, and he too supports Scott Walker. This alone is a huge red flag since Romney has called for a budget that gut Medicare, Social Security, veteran’s care, food stamps, Medicaid, education, infrastructure and just about any and every program that benefits American citizens. That kind of budget will most certainly affect Wisconsin, which has already been gutted by Scott Walker. The last thing Wisconsinites need is a Governor and President who will work together to burn the state down. Besides, Romney supports Scott Walker’s agenda and that agenda can only get worse if both are in office at the same time.
12. Veterans Funds Scandal)
During his time as Milwaukee County Executive and his run for the governorship, Scott Walker’s aides were stealing money out of a Veterans fund that is supposed to be used to help the families of fallen soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan and Iraq and to help care for wounded vets and their families. Tens of thousands of dollars were stolen and used for personal expenses such as trips to Hawaii. So in addition to being a corrupt governor, Scott Walker surrounds himself with corrupt people. If there is one thing Walker and other Republicans like to trumpet about, it’s the troops. But apparently, the troops don’t matter much when money can be made.
13. Gutted Public Education Funding To Pay For Tax Breaks For Corporations)
How are people in Wisconsin supposed to compete for jobs if they can’t get a top notch education? That’s a question Scott Walker failed to ask when he slashed aid to public schools by almost $800 million to fund his tax cuts for the rich and corporations. It was by far the largest reduction in Wisconsin history and the second biggest cut to education in the country. Walker says he wants to bring jobs into the state by enticing businesses with tax relief, but what kind of business would want to hire people who don’t have a decent education? And that’s exactly the point. To compete in today’s global economy, education is the key to getting a job. But that kind of logic is apparently lost on Walker who has been waging war on teachers and students since taking office. Teachers have been laid off, students are being forced to learn in bigger classes sizes, and money is so tight that many programs such as art and music have had to be scrapped to save cash. That significantly harms the overall education of our kids. Education cuts do not create jobs, cuts only take away the tools that help create jobs.
14. War Against The Environment)
Wisconsin has always been a caretaker of the environment. In fact, Wisconsin boasts of some of the most beautiful waterways and scenery in the country. It’s a paradise for people who love the great outdoors. From hunters to fisherman to hikers and campers, people in Wisconsin love nature. But Scott Walker doesn’t.
During his time as Governor, Walker has weakened environmental standards for water and mining and is trying to sell public lands to the highest bidders. He has also made deep cuts to energy conservation programs and eliminated energy independence efforts.
According to the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, Walker has waged war against recycling, wind power, Wisconsin’s wetlands and rivers, and regulations that prevent pollution.
When Walker tried to kill a popular recycling program in Wisconsin, even the Republican controlled legislature refused to go along with the plan. Walker’s plan to eliminate the recycling program would have cost Wisconsin 97,000 jobs and over $5.4 billion in economic activity. Companies across the state that depend on recycled materials like landscaping firms, electronics recyclers, plastic and paper mills, and metal producers would have been forced to close their doors and lay off employees.”
Walker also cost the state thousands of jobs by being hostile towards wind energy companies who wanted to bring wind power to Wisconsin. The companies felt Walker was so hostile that they refused to bring their business and jobs into the state. The wind development was two years in the making before Walker killed it.
Walker also tried to make it easier for corporations and developers to destroy wetlands by attempting to weaken regulations that protect the fragile and extremely important environment. He also made an attempt to weaken anti-pollution rules and is still lax on punishing those who violate pollution laws.
Clearly, Walker is no friend of the environment and the WLCV has a well documented record of this. Wisconsin simply would not be the same without it’s environment.
15. Opposes Health Care)
Walker has voiced his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which prevents insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, allows kids to stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26, and covers 30 million Americans who don’t have insurance.
As Governor, Walker has eliminated funding for women’s health programs that provide preventive care for over 50,000 women a year. That means less money for things like breast cancer screenings and other services. Walker has also proposed kicking 65,000 people, including nearly 30,000 children, off of BadgerCare, a popular program paid for by Medicaid and created by a former Republican governor.
Scott Walker doesn’t care about the health of people in Wisconsin. He only cares about how many lives he can destroy before he exits office.
16. Supports Arizona Immigration Law)
Arizona’s SB 1070 is by far the most discriminatory and restrictive anti-immigration law in the nation. It allows police to question anyone who they think might not be an American citizen. So Americans living in Arizona now have to carry identifying documents that prove they are citizens. The law especially affects minority populations since police are less likely to ask white people for their papers. Scott Walker supports this law and wants a similar law like it in Wisconsin, which would likely be as bad for business there as the law is in Arizona.
“I am disappointed by the federal judge’s ruling to block Arizona’s right to enforce the rule of law without interference from the federal government. As governor, I will sign similar legislation to the Arizona Law to ensure the taxpayers of Wisconsin are not paying for benefits like Badger Care and in state college tuition for people who are here illegally.”
Do the people of Wisconsin really want a governor who supports legal discrimination?
17. Tax Breaks For The Rich And Corporations)
While demanding sacrifices from the workers of Wisconsin, Walker was busy handing tax breaks to the rich and corporations.
Walker signed “tax breaks and new loopholes for the wealthy and big corporations that cost over $200 million in this budget and a staggering $2.3 billion over the next ten years,” and “actually increased taxes on working families by $56 million by cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
These tax gifts “will reduce taxes by 95% for some of the state’s largest corporations and his biggest campaign donors. Because of Walker’s actions, many middle income Wisconsin families will pay a tax rate more than 10 times higher than that paid by some of the state’s largest and most profitable companies.”
18. Relationship With ALEC)
Scott Walker was an active member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) when he was a Wisconsin state legislator in the years from 1993-2002, even listing his ALEC membership in his Wisconsin Blue Book profile.
ALEC is a Koch Industries backed pay for play conservative organization that gives corporate leaders the chance to write model legislation for state legislators to introduce across the country. ALEC has pushed everything from tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, to ending environmental regulations, to voter suppression laws, to Stand Your Ground laws such as the one in Florida that led to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Scott Walker has pushed much of the same kinds of legislation as you have already read. He’s also pushed other ALEC bills.
As a young legislator in the 1990s, Walker worked with then Wisconsin Republican Governor Tommy Thompson in a successful effort to pass ALEC’s Truth in Sentencing bill. The bill benefited the Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), which housed overflow Wisconsin inmates out of state for many years. CCA is a private prison corporation that profits off of imprisoning people. As a result, their business is to make sure as many people as possible are incarcerated, which could pressure and has pressured the justice system to send more people to prison, even if they are innocent.
Scott Walker should be thrown out of office by the people of Wisconsin. Based on Walker’s record, it would be foolish for Wisconsinites not to do so, especially when they are already so close to getting their state back. The result of this recall election will be felt for many years to come. Wisconsin can either be the state that fires the first shot against the dangerous Republican agenda that is sweeping the country like a plague, or they can keep Walker in office and encourage Republicans to keep destroying America without consequence. The people of Wisconsin have been on the front lines fighting against this destructive agenda longer than anyone else. A Walker victory on June 5th would be devastating to Wisconsin and the nation. Scott Walkers stands against everything that the American people support, jobs, education, health care, the environment, clean energy, women’s rights, civil rights, our veterans, etc… This election is going to help decide whether or not America still has a soul. The people of Wisconsin need to be ready to cast their votes while they still can.