Mike Tate Column: Dreams of Wisconsin's Next Governor
The following was originally published as a column by Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate in the Wausau Daily Herald
Wisconsin's next governor will be quite different than Scott Walker.
We are in the final stages of collecting the signatures necessary to recall Walker, in a vast, people-powered movement fueled by an historic rejection of his radical agenda.
Walker's strategy will be to prolong the period before the recall is certified, with wasteful lawsuits and other shabby game-playing, but it will not hold off the inevitable.
The question will then turn to the candidate who will replace him. I have no doubt Walker's successor will be able and qualified. And I know, whoever emerges, he or she will be much more than that -- because that is what Wisconsin is now demanding.
Wisconsin's next governor will unite Wisconsin after the division it has endured under Walker and necessarily will work with all sides to come up with real solutions to the common problems we face. Wisconsin's next governor will value moderation and respect all sides of the argument. He or she will not put their party before the good of the people.
In doing so, first and foremost, Wisconsin's next governor will focus on jobs. He or she will do more than parrot empty slogans, employ cheap parlor tricks and pay more than lip service to a jobs crisis that now has our state shamefully leading the nation in job loss. Wisconsin's next governor will focus on small businesses as the engines for jobs growth and understand that, instead of childish name-calling, regional economies grow together, not in a zero-sum vacuum. Wisconsin's next governor will value 21st century high-tech jobs and infrastructure jobs that help sustain families and communities.
Wisconsin's next governor will honor Wisconsin's values, including a commitment to public education, vocational education and the University of Wisconsin System. Horrific and historic cuts to education will have long-term consequences to our economy and our standards of living -- our next governor will correct this. He or she will also value our society's commitment to the elderly, the sick and the poorest among us, who disproportionately bear the brunt of the cuts to service that have paid for a radical agenda.
Wisconsin's next governor will be fiscally responsible and will not balance the budget on the backs of Wisconsin's working families. Taxes and fees are rising all over the state under Walker's budget to finance a $2 billion tax giveaway to powerful corporations. Meanwhile, taxes have risen for seniors and working families. Our next governor will understand that everyone, including the super-rich, have a responsibility to help fixing the fiscal damage Walker's policies have visited upon Wisconsin.
Wisconsin's next governor will honor and cherish our respected democratic institutions instead of damaging them for short-term shabby partisan gain. The right to vote and participate in our democracy should not be limited only to the fortunate and the richest among us.
Finally, Wisconsin's next governor will value transparency and have the highest ethical standards. Wisconsin's next governor will be beyond reproach and have not even the slightest whiff of corruption about him or her. Residents of Wisconsin will be certain the next governor is working for them in the sunshine, not plotting against them for corporate special interests in the shadows.
The coming year will bring great change with it. Thankfully, so will Wisconsin's next governor.