Democrats Need Alternative to Evers
His lack of imagination, lack of courage, lack of strategic thinking is just stunning.
Democrats deserve a choice. Do they want to nominate Tony Evers again and, at best, get four more years of wishy-washy or do they want to take a chance on actually making a difference?
Tony Evers is the Stockholm Syndrome Democrat. For the second time in two chances he signed a Republican budget that bears no likeness whatsoever to what he sent them. It, as you would expect, slashes taxes for the rich, underfunds public education, continues to make Wisconsin the only Midwestern state that has not expanded Medicaid and squanders the governor’s only piece of leverage to get fair legislative maps, which all but guarantees another decade of Republican majorities.
As I wrote recently, when I urged Evers to veto the entire budget, here is a summary of what he got:
- Evers wanted $192 million more for the UW System. They gave him just over $8 million.
- Evers wanted another $1.6 billion for K-12 education. The Republicans gave him only $128 million. They later sent school districts a lot more, but then they required them to use the money to cut property taxes, so that the new money didn’t represent a real increase for education. It was just a sham to make sure the state gets $2.3 billion in Federal COVID relief. Evers now says he’ll try to boost that another $100 million. Great. Now, he got one-eighth of what he wanted instead of one-tenth. This is what Evers calls a big win.
- Evers wanted almost $90 million to increase the state’s support for special education programs from 28% of costs to 50%. The Republicans nudged it up to only 30%.
And those were just Evers’ top priorities. They also cut his Stewardship Fund proposal from $70 million a year to $32 million, and there was a host of other stuff that they cut or eliminated.
Two years ago I wrote that Evers should veto the entire budget and hold out for a non-partisan redistricting commission and the Federal Medicaid expansion. Instead, he tweaked around the edges and signed Robin Vos’ budget. Two years later he did exactly the same thing.
In 2018, I supported Evers because, while I knew that he wasn’t dynamic, I thought he was the only Democrat who could win. Since he only won by 30,000 votes, I was probably right about that. Maybe that will be true again in 2022.
But, at the very least, Democratic voters should get the chance to decide for themselves, in the August, 2022 primary, if they want to take their chances with Evers again and, at best, get another four years of weakness, or go with someone who might stand up to Robin Vos and the Republicans.
Please, somebody, step up. Give us a choice.