EDITORIAL: Is it working? Let’s wait, see - Beloit Daily News: Opinion

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EDITORIAL: Is it working? Let’s wait, see

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Posted: Saturday, May 26, 2012 10:00 am

Incumbent Walker should be allowed to finish term.

LET’S SAY IT STRAIGHT: Scott Walker doesn’t deserve to lose his job.

Yet.

Nothing he has done in just under a year and a half in office is so off-the-charts intolerable that he should become the first Wisconsin governor tossed out by voters in the June 5 recall election.

Yes, some of his policies — particularly all but ending collective bargaining for public employees — involved radical change and enraged substantial numbers of citizens. Critics say the governor’s policies are not just wrong, but amount to ideological warfare and court economic disaster. Supporters say Walker is changing Wisconsin’s investment climate and shedding its anti-business reputation, which will lead to a strong economic turnaround as time goes by.

Our take: After less than 18 months it’s too early to tell, and the outcome is unclear. But Walker has made a number of business-friendly changes that are promising. Let’s see how that works out the rest of his four-year term.

FRANKLY, THE UNION issue just won’t hunt with the general public. The vast majority of private sector workers have paid out of their own pockets a growing portion of rising health insurance costs for years. Likewise, most private retirement plans rely on individual savings to a large degree. The idea that private sector workers would feel some sort of outrage because Walker made public employees kick in for their insurance and retirement plans, never made sense.

In fact, if Walker had been more tactful and less confrontational on the issue of collective bargaining rights we doubt there would have been a recall. If the governor had instead reformed the mediation-arbitration system and, perhaps, removed certain volatile items from the negotiating table — health insurance, for example — his overall approval rating likely would have been much too high to tempt recallers.

Unfortunately, that’s not what he did. Now Wisconsin has the dubious distinction of being the most polarized state in America. Walker blames the unions for that, and the unions blame Walker.

They’re both right. Walker’s my-way-or-the-highway style, refusing to build consensus or talk to political opponents, invites turmoil. Unions and their supporters have been eager to oblige.

The result is a state mired in chaos and uncertainty, which clearly has damaged Wisconsin’s ability to rebound economically. Neither side can escape blame for this unsightly mess.

ON JUNE 6, the chaos must stop. If Walker loses the June 5 vote, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is Wisconsin’s new governor, the war should not start anew with Republicans plotting revenge.

And if Walker wins, the opposition needs to stand down. That doesn’t mean opponents should bow and scrape and give Walker whatever he wants. It means it’s time to work with him to get Wisconsin’s economy moving and jobs growing.

Likewise, if Walker wins, he needs to swallow hard, ingest a little humility and knock off the bully style of governing. No one elected him emperor of Wisconsin. Nearly half the state rejected him in 2010. Odds are, the 2012 recall vote will be a squeaker, too.

The job description requires the winner to be governor of all the people, not just those who support him or give him money. The partisan warrior pose may make Walker a national hero to the hard right, but it has hurt this state. Walker should make room at the table for other voices. Those who disagree with Walker are not bad people. Sometimes, even, they’re right and he’s wrong — listening with an open mind can help avoid missteps that carry high costs in both dollars and goodwill.

HERE IN WISCONSIN, we ought to treat each other like friends and neighbors. This state lost its way, went temporarily insane. Whoever emerges as governor after the recall vote must fix that before real forward progress is likely to resume.

We believe Scott Walker has made many tough but good choices (along with a few cringe-worthy mistakes). We think he deserves the opportunity to carry on, pressing forward with both eyes fixed on jobs and the economy. We urge him to conduct himself in a much more inclusive way.

Judge him on the outcome, in 2014.

A FINAL WORD: The Walker-Barrett race is not the only one on June 5. Republican Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is challenged by Democrat Mahlon Mitchell, president of the state firefighters union. We presume Walker supporters will vote for Kleefisch while Barrett supporters pick Mitchell. Since the Beloit Daily News previously has argued this is an unneeded, do-nothing, make-work job that wastes taxpayer dollars, the paper makes no endorsement for lieutenant governor. Additionally, a handful of Senate seats will be decided, with control of the body at stake. The current Senate breakdown is 16 Republicans and 16 Democrats, with one vacant seat. While we will make no specific endorsements, we believe Wisconsin would be best served if control of the Senate shifts to Democrats. Single-party control of all levers of power leads to overreach. Look south to complete Democrat control in Illinois to see that principle in practice. Likewise, the past 17 months of total Republican control in Madison contributed to the excesses, leading to polarization. The people are best served by divided government, in which neither party can impose its will and officials must search for some semblance of common ground to accomplish anything. Wisconsin has had enough government-by-steamroller.

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Welcome to the discussion.

29 comments:

  • billtinder posted at 3:57 pm on Sat, Jun 2, 2012.

    billtinder Posts: 4666

    Those numbers signing the recalls petitions aren't any higher then the amount of votes cast against Walker in the last election. Hardly a cause to start celebrating, I do believe the voting will be close, with Walker eking out another win.

    We'll know what the people of Wisconsin chose soon.

     
  • luckydog posted at 9:02 pm on Fri, Jun 1, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    If the Democrats can get the inner city people to turn out like they did to vote for Obama in 2008 Scooter is toast. The only reason he won in 2010 is because without Obama on the ticket to motivate them they didn't turn out. So get the vote out and get rid of the lieing weasel.

     
  • Mr Data posted at 3:35 pm on Fri, Jun 1, 2012.

    Mr Data Posts: 3824

    A reliable source, and trusted mentor of mine, explained to me to disregard the polls.

    TOO many signed the RECALL petiton to lose now. It's a shoe in .. Barrett wins big.

    Yes Bill .. it will be the poll at the election day that win.

     
  • billtinder posted at 9:19 am on Fri, Jun 1, 2012.

    billtinder Posts: 4666

    Governor Walker said " the only poll that means anything is the one on election day". I agree with him, much to everyones suprise.

     
  • luckydog posted at 9:15 am on Fri, Jun 1, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    Agree with the stae part but not the nation part.

     
  • Mr Data posted at 7:27 am on Fri, Jun 1, 2012.

    Mr Data Posts: 3824

    Strange, but true.

    Only in Wisconsin.

    The latest political polls show Walker UP by 5 points over Barrett, and Obama up by 11 points over Romney.

    I am obviously in the minority as I have no respect for either, and oppose both.

    People must be happy with how poorly this state and this nation are functioning.

    I'm not! I know both our state and our nation can do much, much better with different leaders.

     
  • luckydog posted at 6:55 am on Fri, Jun 1, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    The only term I want to see Walker finish is the one he gets after trial and sentencing.

     
  • billtinder posted at 7:12 pm on Thu, May 31, 2012.

    billtinder Posts: 4666

    Yeah, it makes me sad[sad] when those mean ole conservatives say all that true stuff about those poor misunderstood barbarians. Something must be done..... I know ! We can just laugh![beam]

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 12:47 pm on Thu, May 31, 2012.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1294

    This is getting good. The poor conservatives are now claiming to be the persecuted ones! How many disrespectful mean-spirited comments have been flung at Democrats, liberals, union supporters, public employees, and teachers since all of this started? Who hurled those remarks? Conservatives. NOw they are the persecuted ones. [beam]

     
  • Mr Data posted at 6:11 pm on Wed, May 30, 2012.

    Mr Data Posts: 3824

    RJ83 hit the nail right SQUARE on the head when he says (or admits) .."You think that those of us that are conservative are too stupid to think on our own." Exactly! And I say the same can be said for the liberals. They are also too stupid to think on their own.

    Ask of any of us who do not pledge our undying, irresponsible loyalty to any political party. We are out in the REAL world paying dearly everyday for the never-ending sins of the two major political parties' relentless stupidity - dumbocrats and repugnanicans!.

    It's very insulting when words like these are written .."You should actually try to understand your adversary, rather than forming an incorrect, negative opinion. The attacks on us personally are just plain wrong. We are your friends and neighbors who just have a different opinion than you when it comes to what we feel needs to be done for our state and country. " How sophomoric.

    First of all -- why do ANY of us have to be adversaries? The conflict is only all about your personal political party's loyalty telling you how to think, how to vote, what to demand, what to accept, how high to jump, when to jump.

    We're all Americans, Wisconsinites, Beloiters, neighbors, and TAXPAYERS. We should ALL be united standing for doing the best for everyone; not just doing whatever is best for those of us who hold the 'same opinion'.

    Whatever happened to compromise, negotiation, parity, equality? those American values seem to have disappeared. And I blame ALL of you in these blogs, in this state, and this nation who claim to be conservatives or liberals, rather than striving to be good Americans.

    I can tell you millions (and our numbers are growing fast!) of us are truly unbigoted, independent thinkers. We REAllY do look at the honest to goodness FACTS before we pick a side. We end up supporting a multitude of views that are what is needed for the betterment of this nation, this state, this city!

    I know I’m preaching to the deaf and blind. But your political bigotry makes you all are complicit in the nightmare too many good people in this nation are having to endure because of all the political malpractices we have to live through thanks to your political parties' (both of them) incompetence, their insensitivities, their unfairness, and the unnecessary evils they push onto all of us every chance they get.

    You may be proud to be a conservative or a liberal. I truly feel sorry for you. You are being duped.
    Take a step back and with OPEN eyes honestly look at what corrupt, evil shennanigans is being pulled on all of us every day by our two major political parties, and their loyal leaders. It's sickening!

     
  • luckydog posted at 5:09 pm on Wed, May 30, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    Unfortunately most conservatives confine their research to Fox News and the Rush Limbaugh radio show. That's the only explanation I can think of for some of the off the wall opinions I see being expressed by those who claim conservative beliefs.

     
  • RJ83 posted at 1:09 pm on Wed, May 30, 2012.

    RJ83 Posts: 58

    I have to laugh when I read the comments from those of you that lean left.

    You think that those of us that are conservative are too stupid to think on our own. In reality, most of us study the issues in depth, therefore having a strong grasp of what they are. We use this research to form an opinion, we don't rely on party leaders or the media to give us an opinion. We are not blindly following an agenda put forth by "wealthy" business leaders, we are voting based on what needs to be done, however painful that may be for all of us. We care about the future for our children, not just what is best for us right now. We feel that you are responsible for your own success or failure, not the government. We care about the future of our country and believe that it is the best place in the world. We believe in American exceptionalism and will fight very hard to maintain it.

    You should actually try to understand your adversary, rather than forming an incorrect, negative opinion. The attacks on us personally are just plain wrong. We are your friends and neighbors who just have a different opinion than you when it comes to what we feel needs to be done for our state and country.

     
  • Mr Data posted at 7:49 am on Wed, May 30, 2012.

    Mr Data Posts: 3824

    Mentor .. you failed to include in your quote from blog this info .." .... Groups like the League of Women Voters, who sued to block the state’s Voter ID law, pointed out that one-to-two points of fraud would mean that 30,000 to 60,000 voters were cast illegally in 2008. If the governor gave it more than a moment or two of reflection, he’d also recall that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen took a serious look at fraud in that election and uncovered 20 illegal votes cast. "

    Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a staunch republican, could NOT find any evidence of the level of voter fraud Walker talks about in the 2008 election the League of Women Voters sued about.

    Mentor, I said that Walker is over the top with his dillusional, paranoid comments on Voter Fraud. I stand by that comment and I will not help validate any of Walker's silly accusations / implications that votes against him are 'corrupt' rather than an honest demonstration of another point-of-view in this state.

    I cannot say this enough, or make it more clear. The democrats too often tell us that oppostion to President Obama (especially by the Tea Party) is because of racism. And republicans have stolen one from the democrat's playbook and are now telling us that opposition to Walker is due to Voter Fraud.

    The more we see about these two public leaders, the more they look very much alike.

    Both need to be fired for the miserable jobs they have done, and the harm they have caused to this state, and to this nation.

     
  • luckydog posted at 6:45 am on Wed, May 30, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    Mentor your posts are kind of hard to follow. Not sure of what you are trying to say in the latest, but no I don't think it's o.k. It's just kind of obscene when all these out of state billionaires send in the money to keep their right wing agenda alive in Wisconsin.

     
  • Mentor397 posted at 11:53 pm on Tue, May 29, 2012.

    Mentor397 Posts: 1407

    Mr. Data wrote: "Now Walker has expressed his 'opinion' about voter fraud in the coming June 5 recall election in the wake of the state’s controversial voter ID law being suspended by the courts. "I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially," Walker says."

    Be careful how you say that. Are you saying that every time someone says "I think", or "I thought" and they turn out to be wrong that they're lying? If that's not true, then you've failed to prove your point. If it is true on the other hand, you must see deception everywhere. That's what an opinion is. It's what someone thinks, as differentiated from facts. But hey, maybe you're right.

    Teacher: Billy, now what's four plus eight?

    Billy: I think it's eleven. Right?

    Teacher: LIAR! INFIDEL! BURN THE STUDENT!

    (Staff expels little Billy)

    Teacher: Now Suzy, could you tell me what you think four plus eight is?

    No, no, keep going Mr. Data. I find this revelation amazing.

     
  • Mentor397 posted at 11:44 pm on Tue, May 29, 2012.

    Mentor397 Posts: 1407

    Again luckydog, is seems your entire argument boils down to, "Well, it would be okay if we were getting as much, but since we're not, it's wrong."

     
  • luckydog posted at 9:28 pm on Tue, May 29, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    The real problem is that so many voters will automatically cast their vote for Walker just because they are Republican and have always voted Republican. They don't realize that thr Republican Party of today has been hi-jacked by the Teabaggers and the looney right. You know Mr Data I have a friend who is a staunch Republican and Walker supporter. He works at a polling place for each election. He told me he's never seen a case of someone trying to vote under a false name and he doesn't think we need a voter photo ID law.

     
  • Mr Data posted at 9:59 am on Tue, May 29, 2012.

    Mr Data Posts: 3824

    Are you kidding me, BDN? Walker is negative liability for thios state and its future.

    The vengeful, radioactive partisanship in Wisconsin today is due to Walker.

    And everything from jobs to crime to unemployment numbers to tax collections and now to voting fraud, this RECALL is making a mockery of the WI state election process. Walker takes rhetorical aim at what are otherwise somewhat intelligent folks who he feels he can win over with his lies; and he launches HIS rhetorical firebombs (LIES) to further his position – whether they are true or not..

    And conservatives, true to their party, buy it -- hook, line and sinker.

    This type of governance by falsehoods is applied in government today - in Washington DC and in Madison WI. This political tactic gets votes but makes it impossible for our political parties’ leaders voted into office in government to ever come together to craft effective solutions to legitimate issues for our state.

    The latest Gov. Scott Walker firebomb, who as politicians go, has been having a very difficult time telling us little white lies as most politicians do lately was just released. Walker’s lies have been BIG, blatantly bold lies.

    Now Walker has expressed his 'opinion' about voter fraud in the coming June 5 recall election in the wake of the state’s controversial voter ID law being suspended by the courts. "I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially," Walker says.

    Ironically after all was said and done with the RECALL petition verification, very few signatures were tossed out. A minute fraction of only 1% we not accepted. That would have been the perfect place to commit a fraud. And it just didn’t happen. No doubt Walker is trying to energize his voting base. Cases of voter fraud, thankfully, do remain very rare in Wisconsin in no small part to the dedicated county clerks and election officials upholding the tradition of clean elections.

    The remarks are in the usual format for walker; ie, ..over the top. Groups like the League of Women Voters, who sued to block the state’s Voter ID law, pointed out that one-to-two points of fraud would mean that 30,000 to 60,000 voters were cast illegally in 2008. If the governor gave it more than a moment or two of reflection, he’d also recall that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen took a serious look at fraud in that election and uncovered 20 illegal votes cast.

    Personally, I do not have a problem with a law requiring all of us to show an ID to vote. I show my ID today for so many other things that I am surprised something as important as voting has not already required proof of who the voter is for many years! But for Walker to tell us this state is frought with voting fraud is way over the line. Perhaps Tom Barrtet should be worried about this, too?>

     
  • beloit51 posted at 8:34 am on Tue, May 29, 2012.

    beloit51 Posts: 1639

    MY point is...VOTE.This election IS Wisconsin's Future.RETAIN Governor Scott Walker.

    "Your Humble Servant".

     
  • luckydog posted at 4:44 pm on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    No Bill, we might get more money if the fat cat billionaires were on our side, but they're not. Oh yeah, that would be because only the Republicans offer them lower taxes for the rich, concessions for corporations, and lax enforcement of environmental laws. Bill I don't know what point I'm helping you make. That wouldn't be easy since I can hardly ever figure out what your point is.

     
  • billtinder posted at 11:26 am on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    billtinder Posts: 4666

    You might get more money if your cause were more popular. Oh yeah, and thanks for making my point for me![smile]

     
  • Mentor397 posted at 10:26 am on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    Mentor397 Posts: 1407

    @Lucky - so now your argument isn't about the money, but the fact that your Democrats aren't getting as much? Sounds... greedy.

     
  • luckydog posted at 6:42 am on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    Come on now mentor. The amount contributed to the Democrats for the recall by unions is dwarfed by the $25 million from the billionaires that want to advance the Republican right wing agenda on a national scale. And the Democrats who left the state were doing their job preventing the anti-union legislation from being rushed through with no debate.

     
  • Mentor397 posted at 1:04 am on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    Mentor397 Posts: 1407

    @Lucky - No they're running to national unions and raising money from them. But thanks for making my point for me. It's okay when Democrats do it, because you support THEM. Potayto Potahto.

     
  • Mentor397 posted at 1:03 am on Sun, May 27, 2012.

    Mentor397 Posts: 1407

    @Lucky - No, they're running to national unions and raising money from them. Potayto Potahto.

     
  • luckydog posted at 9:41 pm on Sat, May 26, 2012.

    luckydog Posts: 3536

    The senate Democrats that left the state did so as a concious strategy to prevent the Walker union busting bill from being ramrodded through with practically no debate. They did not run all over the country raising money from various right wing donors.

     
  • Delavan Mike posted at 1:58 pm on Sat, May 26, 2012.

    Delavan Mike Posts: 1294

    While I do not agree with everything Mr. Barth wrote I will commend him on another fair and balanced editorial. While he did endorse Walker completing his term he also acknowledged Walker has made some mistakes and has been very polarizing. He also made a point I have promoted often: at least one house of the Legislature should represent the minority party to avoid over-reach. Even if Walker wins it is important the Democrats gain control of the Senate so Walker cannot ram everything he wants through the Legislature.

     
  • Mentor397 posted at 11:42 am on Sat, May 26, 2012.

    Mentor397 Posts: 1407

    @cynicaleye - did you really just berate Walker for leaving the state when there was work to be done? What of the Democrats who fled to Illinois in order to prevent a legislative quorum? Oh right, it's okay when Democrats do it, because they have good reasons.

    Every politician is in the pockets of the wealthy somewhere. Politics is run by money, elected by money, and supported by money. Blinding yourself to one side of the political spectrum doesn't change that.

     
  • cynicaleye posted at 11:13 am on Sat, May 26, 2012.

    cynicaleye Posts: 488

    Actually, Scott Walker does deserve to lose his job. He has shown that he is in the pockets of the wealthy, Diane Hendricks for example. She wants to get rid of unions, gives Scott a boatload of money, Scott makes his play to get rid of unions. He has lied to the people of Wisconsin from day one. Instead of staying in Wisconsin working to solve our problems, he has been traveling all over the country appearing at conservative meetings. He is slowly but surly destroying public education in Wisconsin. His hatred for teachers and public employees is all to obvious. His agenda is to turn over Wisconsin to the wealthy and the corporations. Too bad he never completed his education. Should have studied history.

     

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