Appeals to Scott Walker: Don’t stain legacy, veto bills
MADISON, Wis. — A bipartisan group of political figures appealed to Gov. Scott Walker to avoid staining his legacy and behaving like a sore loser by signing legislation that would weaken the powers of the Democrat who defeated him.
Rather than notching another partisan victory in his final weeks in office, they said, Walker should think bigger. Think of your recently deceased father, they pleaded. Think of former President George H.W. Bush. Think of Christ.
“You can have a long, successful career ahead,” longtime Republican and major GOP donor Sheldon Lubar wrote to Walker in a deeply personal email. “Don’t stain it by this personal, poor-loser action. Ask yourself, what would my father say, what would the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus Christ, say.”
Walker, never one to shy away from a fight, gave no signs Thursday of tipping his hand. A spokesman said only that he was reviewing the bills. He’s been generally supportive of the measures in the past, without promising to sign or veto them.
The choice is whether to satisfy fellow Republicans, who passed the bills over objections from Democrats, or strike them down to let his successor, Tony Evers, take office under the same rules in place when Walker was in charge.
“It just gets back to what does he want to be remembered for,” said Democratic state Sen. Jon Erpenbach. “It’s time to set aside your political beliefs and do what’s best for your state.”
Another Democrat, state Sen. Tim Carpenter, asked Walker to consider the letter Bush left for his Democratic successor, Bill Clinton, wishing him well.
“Governor Walker, PLEASE do the right thing and leave Governor-elect Evers your best wishes for him, his family and the state of Wisconsin,” Carpenter said in a statement. “Governor Walker, what do you want your legacy to be?”
People gather to protest at the Capitol Rotunda in Lansing, Mich. The incoming Democratic governor of Wisconsin said that he plans to make a personal appeal to his defeated rival, Gov. Scott Walker, to veto far-reaching GOP legislation that would restrict the new administration’s powers.