Scott Walker – Weak, Meek & In the Past on Domestic Partnership Benefits

Scott Walker just doesn’t get it.  He says he wants to be bold on benefits, yet he is weak and meek.

In playing to his base by threatening to veto domestic partnership benefits for Milwaukee County employees, he’s positioning himself against economic development, against fairness in the workplace and against creating the best workforce possible.  He’s also positioning himself against today and tomorrow’s knowledge-based economy, where the name of the game is getting the best employees you possibly can.

According to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Scott Walker had this to say about domestic partnership benefits:

Walker said it made no sense for supervisors to “even consider adding any new benefits. If anything, we need to be more bold in wage and benefit reforms so we can achieve a real balance between the public and private sectors.” (emphasis added)

Unfortunately he doesn’t get it.  Being bold and achieving a balance results from matching or exceeding the private sector, not trailing behind them while caving to your right wing supporters.  The  private sector is providing domestic partnership benefits for their employees.  In fact, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in their publication 2009 Corporate Equality Index, found that 305 large businesses achieved a rating of 100 on the index.  This rating means that they are not only providing domestic partnership benefits but they are recognizing the importance of their LGBT employees, customers and suppliers in their policies and business decisions.

Here’s the index for those of you interested in learning more.

I scanned the index and found several Wisconsin-based companies that Scott Walker would do well to emulate as he seeks to “balance” private vs. public.  These companies were ranked on criteria that included domestic partner health benefits.  Every single one of these companies with the exception of Wisconsin Energy provide domestic partner health benefits.  Here’s their scores:

  • Alliant Energy (Madison, WI) – Score 80
  • American Family Insurance (Madison, WI) – Score 95
  • CUNA Mutual Group (Madison, WI) – Score 65
  • Foley & Lardner (Milwaukee, WI) – Score 100
  • Miller Brewing (Milwaukee, WI) – Score 90
  • Quarles & Brady (Milwaukee, WI) – Score 80
  • Robert Baird (Milwaukee, WI) – Score 90
  • Wisconsin Energy (Milwaukee, WI) – Score 55

I have a couple of suggestions – if you work for one of these companies and support your workplace policies, when Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign comes asking you for money, say NO, not until he supports domestic partnership benefits for county employees.  If you are a voter that believes in fairness in the workplace for all employees then I suggest you vote for someone other than Scott Walker.  His views will take our state backwards rather than forward as we transition towards a knowledge-based, high tech future.


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