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Evers didn’t learn from Walker -- Warren J. Gordon

January 4, 2019

As that crafty political gadfly Gore Vidal once observed, most politicians tend to speak in code: Their message is not in the words spoken, but rather what remains unsaid.

No one illustrates this pattern better than our current Gov. Scott Walker. He never campaigned for governor by threatening to devastate the collective bargaining rights of public employees. He won by promising to create 250,000 jobs, a goal that wasn’t met. And when he ran again in 2014 he expressed no interest in national office, until he was re-elected and turned around and launched a spectacularly inept presidential campaign.

For some reason, incoming Gov.-elect Tony Evers failed to learn from Walker’s example. Instead, Evers won by telling voters what he actually intended to do if elected: rebuild the state’s crumbling transportation system, withdraw from a multi-state lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act, and abolish the troubled Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

Fortunately, calmer heads in the state Legislature saw through this ruse and quickly enacted legislation to curtail the governor’s ability to allocate transportation funds, handle state lawsuits, and control the appointment of WEDC leadership positions.

After all, what would become of this state if politicians actually started keeping their promises?

Warren J. Gordon, Madison

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