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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, May 25, 2024

State GOP lacks transparency, honesty

For the great majority of my life, I do not remember Wisconsin being the nationally funded political free-for-all it is now. Ever since the state Republican Party came to power the relative peace has fallen apart.

My biggest issue with the state GOP is the total lack of transparency and truth. Remember when the Department of Administration, under Gov. Scott Walker, outright lied about damages caused by protesters? It was no accident the estimate was initially $7.5 million and then quietly brought back to reality to a figure around $200,000 as of this month. This is an example of my own government knowingly providing false information to slander my, and many other fellow citizens’, character. The administration even tried to intimidate and bully my own professor William Cronon, who has contributed great knowledge to the university. Republicans filed Open Records requests in attempts to prove Cronon was promoting a political candidate with university resources. To treat him in such an antagonistic manner, a caring citizen and highly respected professor, is morally wrong.

This type of behavior by elected representatives should never be tolerated. And their behavior was not, hence the massive protests last year that are continuing into this year. Instead of conceding some of his egotism after the protests broke out, Walker did the most mature thing he could think of by again lying about his real intentions with the budget and curbing union rights with his belief that he is offering “tools” to schools and municipalities. He held this facade all the way throughout the initial protests and chaos.

Had Gov. Walker simply been far more honest and forthcoming about his and the state GOP’s plans, maybe people wouldn’t find him so outrageously despicable. Instead, we were treated to videos of children getting ticketed for holding a small sign protesting Walker quietly. This is what I call a jack-booted thug. Albeit, a cowardly one.

I say cowardly because it seems instead of being an adult and actually attempting to address the grievances of his own people, Walker chose to be insulting and inflammatory in his Fox News-only media appearances, which he seems to have plenty more time for than making a public address. He could at least try to make a speech without planting supporters in his State of the State address by having state troopers—who should not have even been at the Capitol—sneaking people in through backdoor parking structures.

On top of this, the state GOP even had the audacity to openly manipulate and hurt our electoral process by running fake Democratic challengers in the upcoming recall election. In fact, the state GOP disregards its own laws and electoral process so much it has done this for both the gubernatorial and senatorial recall primaries.

I also find it striking that one of the first fake Democrats to run in a recall came from the notoriously conservative city, Muskego, Wis. Following this, the GOP just happened to reward Muskego with an appearance by presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney.

Last, but certainly not least, I must bring the downright disturbing and shocking statement made by Walker on tape last year. For those who do not know, Walker was asked by a liberal blogger, who hilariously got through Walker’s phone filters, whether or not he considered “planting troublemakers” within the protesters. To this, Walker, the elected leader of the state of Wisconsin, responded by saying “We’ve thought about it…” This is purely disgusting and anybody who excuses or supports this is equally despicable.

With the quiet, cowardly repeal of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act of 2009, it’s obvious the state GOP has doubled down on its repulsive actions and intends on making their snake-like zeal a party anthem. I understand that different parties pursue different policies, but they should at least be open about their intentions. If the past year has taught us anything it is the national GOP needs to get out of Wisconsin and stop making the state its national testing ground.

Matthew a junior majoring in political science and environmental studies. Please send all feedback to opinion@dailycardinal.com.

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