Ap­peals toWis­con­sin gov­er­nor: Don’t stain le­gacy, veto the bills

The Mercury News Weekend - - NEWS - By Scott Bauer

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 would­weaken the pow­ers of theDemo­crat 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 Pres­i­den­tGe­orge H.W. Bush. Think of Christ.

“You can have a long, suc­cess­ful ca­reer ahead,” long­time Re­pub­li­can and ma­jor GOP donor Shel­don Lubar wrote toWalker 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 great­est­man­who 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 the­mea­sures 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 towhat does hewant 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. TimCar­pen­ter, askedWalker to con­sider the let­ter Bush left for his Demo­cratic suc­ces­sor, Bill Clin­ton, wish­ing him well.

“Gover­norWalker, 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. “Gover­norWalker, what do you want your le­gacy to be?”

Evers said he planned to make a per­sonal re­quest to Walker for a veto. If that failed, Evers said, he would con­sider le­gal ac­tion.

Lubar, who first shared his email with the Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sentinel, urged Walker to con­sider his fu­ture.

The mea­sures make it more dif­fi­cult for Evers to undo the le­gacy of Walker and Repub­li­cans, who have had full con­trol of Wis­con­sin’ s gov­ern­ment for eight years. That in­cludes pro­tect­ing a work re­quire­ment for some peo­ple re­ceiv­ing state health care and block­ing Evers from with draw­ing Wis­con­sin from a multi state law­suit seek­ing re­peal of the Af­ford­able Care Act.

The bills could also make it harder for Evers to rene­go­ti­ate a $3 bil­lion sub­sidy for a Fox conn Tech­nol­ogy Group man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity, a deal spear­headed by Walker.


Wis­con­sin Gov. Scot­tWalker, above, has not in­di­cat­ed­what he plans to do in re­gard to leg­is­la­tion that would­weaken the pow­ers of his Demo­cratic suc­ces­sor, Tony Evers.


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