I worked for the public transit system in Milwaukee at the time, a system repeatedly slashed and burned by Scooter during his 8 year regime as county executive. Since most of our funding had been made up for at the state level, I knew nothing good was coming. Walker was quoted years prior (props to whomever can dig up the JS link) as saying that the county didn’t even need public transit because a true sign of economic success was that every county resident could own a car.
You can’t make that shit up.
Within days of the election he returned federal “choo choo” money that would’ve included Milwaukee & Madison in a regional economic corridor from Chicago to Minneapolis (after a European train company had opened a plant in an economically-depressed area of Milwaukee), he touted legislation to pave over wetlands to put up a fucking Bass Pro (good luck catching those bass when they drown in cement), he cut funding for cutting-edge alternative energy research at UW Madison (you can make energy from algae and moss for very low cost/resources) and put severe limits on wind farms (after another Euro company (wind) opened shop within Milwaukee city limits).
All this in the state that invented Earth Day.
Already moving along with my San Francisco job hunt, the union thing happened and attacks on teachers began. My mom taught in Beaverton, OR for 20 plus years so I had a duty to defend. I spent my last weeks in Wisconsin protesting and packing. The night of my going away party they crammed through the legislation in a closed door meeting.
I left. I hid from politics. I felt this amazing weight lift off me. Though the drum of the recall talk beat the loudest, other Walker policies made there way to my ears: a freaky tea party social agenda. Planned Parenthood defunding, crazy abortion rules, proactively banning domestic partner hospital visitations, repealing equal pay guarantees.
This is more than just the unions. This is about disenfranchising every non-upper middle class, white, straight, male voter. These people breed and I doubt there’ll even be an earth left for their inbred children.
For the extra-special breed of moron who thought a vote for Walker was a vote against the recall? Learn your goddamn history. The man came to power via Citizens for Responsible Government (HA!) a group who recalled practically the entirety of Milwaukee County government in 2002 (which they fully admit/brag about on their website).
I know California is a fucked up place, politically. But I can’t imagine it would ever revert to the goddamn Middle Ages.
I do know there a lot of people fighting the good fight, keeping the spirit alive in Wisconsin and I commend them. I’m just saddened that a place I once loved so deeply has fucked itself that badly.