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Caffeinated Politics Strongly Endorses Tony Evers For Wisconsin Governor

October 28, 2018

Today the Wisconsin State Journal endorsed Tony Evers for Wisconsin Governor.

In addition, it is also time for this blog to add an endorsement.  My perspective is that we need to again have the tone and comportment in our state politics of the kind that we knew from our past.  It is vital that we correct the harsh and damaging rhetorical course that we are now on, and arc towards our commonalities.  

There are many issues voters in Wisconsin can point to where a change in policy would allow for a better outcome.  From voting rights, lax environmental regulations, union rights, or women’s health we have witnessed Governor Scott Walker advancing the most convoluted reasoning for passing his proposals.  There are a whole raft of legitimate reasons why voters want a change in governor come this November’s election.

But over and over as I view the political landscape the larger need of Wisconsin becomes most clear.  There is no way to miss the troubling issue which has been front and center since Walker’s first inauguration.  In an attempt to further his national profile Walker used public employees in the state as a weapon.  Walker worked to demonize them, trying to make teachers, scientists at the DNR, and public safety workers somehow unworthy of their roles or their wages.  In attacking public workers he split families into opposing camps, drove wedges through communities, and in so doing tarnished the reputation of our state.

We can have legitimate differences about the role of unions and connected issues.  Having discussions about this issue, or any other, is most appropriate.  What is not healthy is to use the “us” and “them” approach of the kind Walker did to achieve his political desires.  I say political desires as there has always been a career ladder that has, first and foremost, appealed to Walker.  Policy moves have always been mere tools for his personal advancement.

I continuously hear from friends scattered across the country about their lack of respect for this state based on what Walker and his Republican legislatures have done.  Wisconsin was once viewed as the place of open and clean government, unblemished natural resources, and a populace that was generous in spirit and deed.

Walker did not find those attributes of the type which could garner his bona fides with national conservatives who give money and support for presidential nominations.   Instead, Walker needed to dig deep and mean with divisive policy proposals in order to capture the imaginations of those he needed to impress in his climb upwards as a politician.  That political climb, is after all, the only career field he has ever known.

But for the sake of Wisconsin, it must end.

We need to have a state where, once again, competing ideas can be discussed in civil ways.  We need to lower the voices and rancor which has, sadly over the past eight years, not been the norm.  We must get back to the point where at the end of the day–whether we agree or not–we can grab a meal together or play a round of golf as friends.  Too many stories of hostile Thanksgiving meals due to Walker pitting one group against the other must end.

The person to help take the steps leading us back to the Wisconsin we all knew as younger men and women is Tony Evers.  I will conclude my heartfelt endorsement of Evers with his words which echo my hopes.  And our collective needs.

“We have divided this state politically to a high level of partisanship where we can’t even figure out how to fix our roads. It started with pitting people against each other during Act 10 and it’s continued to this day … that has to end and that can end as long as we have the right governor. I’ve been elected by Democrats and Republicans and Independents. I can certainly work with people from across the aisle and make that happen.”

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