Labor

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorses Scott Walker

|

Newspaper endorsements are usually not worth a dime (much less the 50 dimes you have to pay for them), especially in prominent races where people know more about the candidates than the pompous editorial writers doing the endorsing. (I know, I was a such a writer for a decade at The Detroit News.) But the fact that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, no fan of Scott Walker's, endorsed him this morning might have some symbolic value. It might not win him any voters given that there are very few undecideds in this election, but despite its mealiness, it might give him some aid and comfort if and when he completes his term. Via the Wall Street Journal, here is what it said:

No governor in recent memory has been so controversial. No governor in America is so polarizing. Everyone has an opinion about Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Here's ours: We see no reason to remove Walker from office. We recommend him in the June 5 recall election.

Walker's rematch with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett was prompted by one issue: Walker's tough stance with the state's public-employee unions. It's inconceivable that the recall election would be occurring absent that. And a disagreement over a single policy is simply not enough to justify a vote against the governor. . . .

Walker brought some of this animosity on himself. He chose an in-your-face style from the start. To his credit, the governor now acknowledges that he did a poor job of building support for his policies. "The one thing if I could go back in time is I would try to spend a little bit more time building the case," he told the Editorial Board earlier this year. . . .

To his credit, Walker has helped to right the state's finances with a minimum of gimmicks—the governor reported recently that the state may be able to book a $154 million surplus next year. This good news has been lost in the clutter surrounding an unnecessary recall election that will cost as much as $18 million just to stage, according to the Government Accountability Board. . . .

And while we think Act 10—the law that clipped the wings of most public-employee unions in the state—was an overreach of political power, we understand and supported the need to rein in the state's labor costs. Municipalities and school districts as well as the state needed more control over their budgets, which Act 10 provided. . . .

It's time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state. We've had our differences with the governor, but he deserves a chance to complete his term.

What's more, it says that the state's lacklustre job perrformance is not Walker's fault.

Go here for the full endorsement.