"HE'S OUT, IT'S OFFICIAL. OMG I'M CRYING," texted my friend's son, who was just 11 years old when Walker dropped "the bomb" on Wisconsin. "My first ever vote helped take out the man who uprooted our family."
An uprooted state will be Walker’s legacy. The formally folksy feel of Wisconsin was shattered by Walker’s “divide and conquer” politics. His policies drove a wedge between families and communities across Wisconsin. Walker's Act 10 and his big money politics upended small family budgets and many lives in big ways.
Walker’s politics are, indeed, personal. He and his GOP cohorts have gutted my teaching profession, sent my aforementioned friend and his family packing, cost me over $30k in take-home pay over his two terms, weakened my kids’ and students’ public schools, and heaped enormous stress on my family. In Walker’s Wisconsin, teachers and their families do more, for less, and with less.
Walker exploited the 2008 recession to scapegoat public employees. He bragged about balancing the state budget on the backs of public educators, like me, and state workers while giving a free pass to the reckless investors responsible for the recession that caused Wisconsin’s budget problems.
Walker abused the power of our state’s highest office for personal political gain and his presidential ambitions. His attacks on teachers and state workers and their unions were mostly payback to his big money donors.
Furthermore, Walker diverted precious tax dollars to a failed school voucher program, his business supporters, and foreign companies.
With gerrymandered GOP control of the state legislature, newly-elected Tony Evers and his team won’t be able to undo the Walker injustices, but this election will hopefully mark a defined turn, turn, turn in Wisconsin's state politics. Enough with the uprooting. It is "a time to plant."
Wisconsin's divisive politics of the past eight years belong to Walker. He can pack them up with his belongings. Together, somehow, we move forward Wisconsin.