When Chris Abele took over as Milwaukee County Executive after Scott Walker resigned prematurely to become governor, he found the office in a shambles. Walker had accumulated so much deferred debt that the county was paying more to service it than to provide county services. At a recent political forum, Abele said that no one in county government had even received a performance review when Walker was in charge.
On June 6, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced to a cheering crowd at PrideFest that he was keeping the courthouse open that evening for same-sex couples to get married. Abele didn’t want lesbian and gay couples who’d been waiting for years to have to wait any longer after a federal judge overturned Wisconsin’s same-sex marriage ban earlier that day.
Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen and the state’s other GOP leaders claim that fiscal responsibility and small government are the top goals of their public agenda.
But Walker and Van Hollen’s prolonged, costly and doomed legal battle to deny same-sex couples in Wisconsin the right to marry defies both goals. It’s yet another entry on the long, long list of politically motivated decisions made by Walker that have cost Wisconsin taxpayers money and jobs.
Sustainable energy is one of the world’s fastest-growing industries — and it’s the best medicine available for our dying planet. But thanks to the state’s current leadership, most of whom owe fealty to the fossil-fuel industry, Wisconsin is losing out on the jobs as well as the environmental rewards of having proactive sustainable energy policies.
Gov. Scott Walker and his tea party acolytes despise government (even though Walker’s worked in it nearly his entire career). They preach that government is inherently tyrannical, wasteful, inefficient and corrupt. Their overriding agenda is to eliminate as many government agencies and regulations as possible and turn public functions — from school systems to prison systems to sewage systems — over to for-profit corporations.
Determined to protect their fossil-fuel backers from the financial consequences of the environmental policies put forward under President Barack Obama’s green energy agenda, House Republicans on July 11 attached a bevy of amendments to the fiscal 2015 energy and water spending bill.
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen vigorously sought — and obtained — a stay of U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb’s decision finding the state’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional. A joyous week in Wisconsin that saw more than 550 same-sex couples marry came to an abrupt halt, and Van Hollen asked the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn Crabb’s decision.