Overall, Governor Walker’s demonstrated a real failure of leadership.
Businesses have to have demand for what they do before they hire. And for whatever reason, Wisconsin companies are doing less hiring over the past few months than their peers in other states. Even the much-maligned Illinois has performed better. There is no obvious answer to this riddle.
Walker seems to believe the magical thinking that Wisconsin can recruit businesses from other states. This approach has seldom worked for the Badger State. It is far better to create incentives and capital pools for start-up businesses. But the centerpiece of that effort – a bill to jump-start venture capital – flopped because Walker couldn’t persuade his own party to abandon a risky version of the bill in the Assembly last year. Another centerpiece initiative – to loosen mining regulation – did too little to protect the environment and couldn’t achieve bipartisan support. Republicans thought they could ram it through without proper input. They were wrong. We suspect former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson would have found a way to get both bills passed.
Walker’s Republican colleagues in the Legislature did find time for voter ID, promoting abstinence in the place of comprehensive sex education and other issues that play well with social conservatives. But their lack of political discipline was disappointing at a time when the state needs smart strategic thinking and execution and to maintain a laserlike focus on the main problem the state has: a lack of jobs.
Like we said: The eyes came off the ball.
Wisconsin, you have chance to rectify this situation on June 5th. Vote these collective failures out.