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LETTER: Recall effort began with poor decisions

To the Editor:

The real recall election that is fast approaching is a direct result of the policies, legislative procedures and hypocrisy of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican majority in the legislature. It started with the budget repair bill, which included more power for the Governor's office and a significant reduction in public workers' pay. It also included the elimination of collective bargaining for public employees, something Gov. Walker never campaigned on.

It quickly became evident that Gov. Walker and the Republicans, including Sen. Sheila Harsdorf, had no interest in citizens' concerns about this controversial bill. They refused to even negotiate, let alone compromise on it. This approach to governing resulted in the largest protests in the history of the state. Part of that protest was an occupation of the People's House and the Democratic senators leaving the state, which forced the public debate that these policies deserved. We all know the Republicans would have responded the same way if this had this been a full frontal assault on their core values and economic well-being.

The recently passed state budget is another example. "We're broke" says the Governor, but we're not too broke to provide tax benefits for corporations and the wealthy by taking it out of the hides of public workers, schools, the working poor and the less fortunate.

The Republicans have also engaged in questionable legislative procedures. On several occasions they coordinated behind closed doors to end legislative debate so quickly that most of the Democratic lawmakers did not even have a chance to cast their votes. When the budget repair bill was suddenly not a budget repair bill, the Republicans slammed it through in a five-minute committee meeting that was in clear violation of open meeting laws. The Supreme Court said they have no say over how the legislature conducts its business. Apparently open and transparent government does not apply to Republicans.

Hypocrisy? Both Gov. Walker and Sen. Harsdorf have been openly critical of including policy in budget bills, but they had no problem doing it themselves in the budget repair bill. While "we're broke," the Republicans passed the Voter ID law that will cost Wisconsin taxpayers more than 6 million dollars a year to fix a problem that doesn't exist. Their concern for the integrity of elections was demonstrated by their campaign strategy of running fake Democratic candidates in the recall elections. This forced primary elections that confused voters and cost taxpayers almost half a million dollars. "We're broke," remember? The Republican senate majority leader said that all the Republican senators being recalled knew about this ploy, yet these same senators, including Sen. Harsdorf, claim they knew nothing about it. Somebody is lying.

Sen. Harsdorf has abandoned us and embraced the divisive policies and tactics of Gov. Walker and the Republican majority. The recall process is the remedy provided by the Wisconsin Constitution. If you want someone who will listen and truly represent everyone, vote for Shelly Moore for state senate on Aug. 9.

Bob Wright