As a follow up to yesterday’s guest blog post (Thanks again, Corey!) I thought I’d share the conclusion of this interesting fact check from PolitiFact Wisconsin on Gov. Walker’s claim that he campaigned on his plan to pass the legislation that has been at the center of the protests. Here is the conclusion. Please feel free to read the whole thing.
Let’s sum up our research.
Walker contends he clearly “campaigned on” his union bargaining plan.
But Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the bare-bones of his multi-faceted plans to sharply curb collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did. We could find none either.
While Walker often talked about employees paying more for pensions and health care, in his budget-repair bill he connected it to collective bargaining changes that were far different from his campaign rhetoric in terms of how far his plan goes and the way it would be accomplished.
We rate his statement False.
If this claim is true, and there is certainly plenty of evidence quoted in the article to back this up, this is shameful. If Gov. Walker intentionally downplayed and misrepresented his intentions, this is politics as usual of the worst kind. How can he claim a mandate from the people to do this if the people didn’t know they were voting for a candidate who would do this? As I’ve said before, I am registered Republican, and I find this appalling. I can imagine why the Democrats in Wisconsin are so up in arms. (Note that the same organization fact checked Gov. Walker’s claim about increasing health care share and still being below the national average and found it to be true. They seem to be relatively even handed, having checked out a couple of their other checks.)
Also, for those of my friends who believe in the power of prayer, and there are many of you, please be in prayer for those on both sides in Wisconsin. Certainly, wisdom and discernment are in need. Also, humility to consider the views of political opponents without demonizing them would also be helpful. I would especially ask that you be in prayer for Corey. His reading of the signs of the times indicate that there are many jobs at risk, including his wife’s. Couple that with the unavoidable pay cut that this legislation will require, and there is good reason to believe that the home he has been remodeling with his own hands may be an untenable dream for him and his family. Please pray for wisdom and grace for him, and that the hovering clouds would not impact his ability to teach the students who are entrusted to him. He is a man with considerable God-given talents (even if he does not believe in God), and it pains me to see my friend having to “see the writing on the wall” (the Daniel 5 reference seems oddly appropriate) in this way.