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Lets Not Make Fixing Kitchen At Governor’s Mansion Partisan

December 11, 2012

Everything has taken on a highly partisan edge over the past two years in Wisconsin.  From the protests at the Capitol over collective bargaining, to the recall elections, and now to the court battles over much of what Governor Scott Walker signed into law.  But let us be reasonable about where the lines of partisanship should extend, and not allow it to cross over into the upkeep and maintenance of the Governor’s Mansion.

The wife of the Governor, Tonette Walker, is working to raise funds to cover $478,000 in improvements to the industrial kitchen and residential kitchenette at the executive residence in Madison.  It is a worthy project, and one that she deserves credit for taking on as a project.

The mansion is one that every resident of this state can be proud of for its history and beauty.  The work that takes places there for every governor, regardless of political party, serves our state.  It is a working home as dignitaries visit, business luncheons are conducted, and many special events take place at the residence in Maple Bluff.  As such, the maintenance and upkeep to the building is one that must not lapse.

Sadly, it has.

The last time the executive residence kitchen was remodeled in 1986  Governor Tony Earl was serving the state.   With the high volume of entertaining and use the home receives there is no doubt the aging appliances are in  need of replacing, and the kitchen space needs to be remodeled to allow for better use.

There is just no way to say that this project is not worthy of being undertaken, or paid for because a conservative Republican was elected to office.  There is no room for partisanship in making sure this wonderful residence remains as charming and functional as it needs to be for the purpose it serves the state.

It is ironic that this issue comes up as the movie Lincoln is creating enthusiastic fans at the theatre.    It should be recalled that Mary Todd Lincoln was also ridiculed for spending too much money on the White House.  But she was right to do so, as was Jacqueline Kennedy a century later.   Both understood the value of the home they lived in, the historic imperative of maintaining it, and the wisdom of making an investment for future generations.

Much of the same can be said for Tonette Walker.

I applaud and support her efforts.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2012 7:50 PM

    Deke, we agree.
    Don’t worry, we’ll disagree again soon.

  2. December 12, 2012 2:23 PM

    I don’t have any problem with upgrading the kitchen at the Governor’s Mansion, nor even to the state paying for it. Indeed, the state *should* pay for it; it is a state-owned building used frequently to conduct state business. But it should be done the way any other state project is done: by issuing an RFP, accepting bids, and choosing the one that provides the best value for the money. If it turns out that it genuinely can’t be done for less than a half-million dollars, so be it, but color me dubious that it can’t.

  3. Mark E. Bye permalink
    December 12, 2012 9:54 AM

    For the amount of time Walker spends in-state, a new microwave from Sears ought to do the trick.

  4. CommonCents permalink
    December 12, 2012 8:46 AM

    I have no problem with Tonette raising private money to make the repairs. Let her get it from Scott’s fatcat contributors, (such as Stephen & Nancy Eihorn), who believe in less government, cutting their taxes, and cutting funding for education and the upkeep of our schools, transportation infrastructure, parks and other public venues. Even though it may be a worthy project, it’s the hypocrisy of the Walkers even suggesting taxpayers foot the bill that is galling.

  5. Steve Carlson permalink
    December 11, 2012 4:05 PM

    I gotta call BS. Replacing old appliances can’t cost close to a half a million dollars. If it was good enough for the Doyles it should be good enough for Tonette.

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