Paul Adair is a 21-year Germantown resident, retired scientist, writer, and lecturer. His blog post was originally published on March 8, 2015 on GermantownNow and is republished here by permission.
Last week, Right-to-Freeload was jammed through the legislature in an "extraordinary" session. Elected officials, who claim to represent you, took an active roll in passing this bill that will likely lower your salary and benefits. Alberta Darling cast the deciding vote in the State Senate and Dan Knodlwas responsible for shoving the bull bill through Assembly committee .
All that is left is for Scott Walker to make a brief Monday stop-over in Wisconsin to sign the bill, which he says that he will do. Walker's decision to enact Right-to-Freeload comes after a long history of misdirection, evasion, and prevarication on the issue.
In May 2012, Walker said, "It’s not going to get to my desk. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure it isn’t there because my focal point, (is) private sector unions have overwhelmingly come to the table to be my partner in economic development."
In December 2014, he stated, "As I said before the election and have said repeatedly over the last few years, I just think right-to-work legislation right now, as well as reopening Act 10 to make any other adjustments, would be a distraction from the work that we're trying to do.”
Walker misled Wisconsin voters in both 2012 and 2014 on Right-to-Freeload. Now that he is safely re-elected and is trying to court conservative Iowa voters, he is singing a very different tune. Addressing his base in a RedState editorial, the Governor (who told us he would do everything in his power to keep RTF from reaching his desk) wrote, "I’ve supported Freedom to Work for years, dating back to my time in the state legislature when I co-sponsored it."
Not all candidates for President are so misleading and misdirecting as Scott Walker. For example, President Obama campaigned in 2008 on ending the Iraq War, instituting a national heath-care plan, investing in clean energy, and protecting a woman's right-to-choose. That is exactly what he has done.
During the same election, John McCain was also honest and clear about his plans for America. And during the 2012 election, Mitt Romney often recited a litany of specific actions he would take "on day one". One might expect any serious candidate for leader of the Free World to make their policy plans similarly transparent. But campaign policy transparency is not the Walker way.
However, Right-to-Freeload is not the only issue on which Walker has been less than truthful. During his 2014 re-election campaign, Walker repeatedly tried to sound moderate on reproductive rights. In an infamous ad, he spoke about implementing a law that leaves choice "between a woman and her doctor". However, after being safely re-elected, Walker has come-out for a 20-week abortion ban and has even voiced his support for a radical "personhood" amendment to Iowa Republicans.
In addition to misleading us, there are many major policies that Walker simply did not reveal to us until after being elected. During his 2010 gubernatorial campaign, he never breathed a word about his scheme to end collective bargaining rights for public sector workers. However, this ill-considered act was one of his first in office. He rightly figured that he would not be elected if he confessed his real plans to the voters.
During the 2014 election, Walker again concealed his plans from us. He waited until after the election to announce his rejection of the Kenosha casino. He never mentioned his plan to cut $300 million from the UW system. He did not say that he would cut even more funding from K-12 public schools while making his religious-school voucher program unlimited and statewide.
During his current run for President, Walker is using the same playbook that he used in Wisconsin. He is willing to say anything to get elected. Lacking any desire or inclination to tell us his real agenda for America, Walker resorts to meaningless and vague generalities. He talks about planning to do "Big and Bold" things, but won't tell us what those things are. He talks about being "decisive", but doesn't want to share with voters what that means.
Throughout Walker's political career, he has campaigned on vacuity and misdirection. With presidential contender Walker's lack of policy specifics, it is no wonder that the national press has been trying to decipher the candidate by other means. The silly questions about President Obama's patriotism or religion are such attempts, as are questions about Walker's belief in evolution. However, candidate Walker has evaded even these trifling questions, refusing to commit to any actual positions.
So what would President Walker do? Nobody knows but Walker. If the past is any indication, he won't tell us the truth during his Presidential campaign. Walker's entire career has been built on slippery campaigns of deceit, misdirection, and prevarication. His positions will be obscured until he actually takes office. By then, it will be too late to reject his radical agenda. For the future of our country, our democracy, and our children, I hope we never have to find out what President Scott Walker plans to do to America.