Wisconsin, with a gerrymandered legislature and a crony capitalist, lame-duck governor, was never going to have an easy transition back to a tradition of democratically representative government and sound economic policy. The men who engineered years of the wrong approach were never going to go gently to the political outer darkness that, deservedly, awaits them.
And yet, and yet, the underlying demographics in Wisconsin are unfavorable to the WISGOP. They can inhibit these changes, but they cannot prevent them.
Governor-elect Evers promises that he “will take any steps possible” to prevent Republican lawmakers from removing key powers from his new administration. (I supported Evers in this race, and one would have hoped – but not truly expected – that he would have had a fairer start than the WISGOP is giving him. No doubt, he wasn’t looking for any of this, but a steady and firm response will do him well, and only increase his popularity with his fellow Wisconsinites.)
It’s worth noting that the WISGOP wants to change the WEDC’s board structure to increase the Republican majority’s control over it, but [e]ight former economic development directors tell lawmakers not to change job creation board (“If the head of WEDC isn’t a trusted, even central, part of the governor’s cabinet, the whole economic development enterprise will suffer”).
Indeed, the WISGOP’s efforts will only speed the collapse of the WEDC as an agency.
In any event, for Whitewater and other small towns, there are nests of state capitalist and ‘development’ men, hawking government spending for ‘tools,’ ‘partnerships,’ and ‘capital catalysts.’ These tools have been tried for years in Whitewater, and for it all we’re still a low-income economy.
No one, however, should have expected any less than the worst from this legislature’s gerrymanderers and this outgoing administration’s schemers.