I have never read a news story such as the one that I found online Thursday afternoon. If I have ever read such a request following an election, I can not recall it at this time.
Just about ten days since being elected Governor of Wisconsin, and many weeks shy of having any official power, the requests from Scott Walker were most direct.
Walker asked Governor Doyle to…..
….stop working on a number of key initiatives, including converting the Charter Street power plant on the University of Wisconsin campus to bio-fuels.
….stop a new implementation of the federal health care law
….stop negotiating contracts with state workers
Would Scott Walker like Governor Doyle to press his suits and walk the dog too? Trim his nose hairs?
We get the fact that Walker has a lot of ideas and notions that he wants to work on. Some of them he will even find some bi-partisan help with.
But to come into the ballgame as cocky and demanding as the news story shows the new governor to be is a political blunder. No one likes arrogance in an elected official, and politicians in the statehouse have long memories. It has been my experience that some humility and goodwill goes a long way in making things move in a positive direction under the dome. It is a lesson that it seems Walker can not learn fast enough.
Earlier this year Walker got too far ahead of himself in an interview. In early June he made a most unconstitutional comment.
“I am not even waiting until January 3rd, on November 3rd I am going to march over to the State Capitol and start taking over…”
At the time I commented, “There is much to be concerned about when the power-hungry nature of a candidate spills out so effortlessly when prodded for a throw-away answer.”
After the news today it seems I was right about Scott Walker.
There is a time to put forth ideas and work for change. That time, however, comes when one has the power. For Scott Walker that will come only after Inauguration Day. He may not like it, but those are the laws of Wisconsin.
Until then Walker is just another person who can spit up-wind all he wants. In the end Walker should expect nothing more from Governor Doyle than the polite reception and honest assistance during the transition that any decent person provides after an election.
The actions by Walker have met with tough words from others who have served as Wisconsin Governor.
The Journal Sentinel interviewed Thursday past governors or their most senior aides going back to 1977. All agreed that no incoming governor has made requests of an outgoing governor that are on par with the size of Walker’s requests.
“What’s going on now is unprecedented and in my own view is it’s inappropriate,” said former Gov. Tony Earl, a Democrat. “Mr. Walker will become governor in January. He’s not governor now.”