An open letter to Tonette Walker

From my email inbox comes this little nugget (titled “Holiday Spirit”) from Tonette Walker, the wife of Republican Gov. Scott Walker:


Scott, Matt, Alex, and I wish you and your family a blessed holiday season.

While we may differ on how to address the challenges we face together, there are many things we share. It’s important to focus on those things, such as our sense of community and service to our friends and neighbors. The holiday season is a time of giving and rejoicing in the blessings we have as both Wisconsinites and as Americans.

Our family recently joined about 200 other volunteers to help prepare the Milwaukee Rescue Mission’s Christmas celebration. Our family is blessed to have so much to be thankful for and it is important for us to give back to those in need.

Here’s my response to Tonette Walker:


Thank you for your holiday wishes.

You’re absolutely correct that we differ on how to address the challenges we face in our state, because you and your husband seem to believe in an ideology that works to put more money into the pockets of corporations and the rich at the expense of so many middle and lower class citizens and families here in Wisconsin. The holiday season is indeed a time of giving and rejoicing in the blessing we have, but thanks to the ideologically extreme policies of your husband, far too many Wisconsinites are finding they can’t give as much and have less to rejoice about.

No doubt your family is blessed to have so much to be thankful for because your husband not only draws a healthy six figure salary from the taxpayers of Wisconsin, but he also received a raise earlier this year. Unfortunately, my family and I don’t have as much to be thankful for, because while your husband got a nice raise, he made sure to cut my take-home pay by thousands of dollars this year alone. If you and your husband were so concerned about “giving back” to those in need, I’d strongly encourage you to engage in an open, honest dialogue with just a few of the many middle class public employees who are now struggling mightily just to make ends meet thanks to the steps your husband has taken in the name of his political ideology.

Zach W.
Husband, father, and public employee


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59 thoughts on “An open letter to Tonette Walker

  1. Scott Walker draws down a hefty income from the taxpayers of this state, but Tonette is wealthy in her own right, from what I understand. How can people like that understand people like us? I don’t think they can!

  2. Tonette – You must be a strong person to support the actions of your husband. I live in MN and am very sorry for the way WISC. people are being treated. I don’t think there will be a lot of Merry Christmas’ in WI and the USA.
    Gene Schwartz
    Mankato, MN

  3. It must be nice not to have to worry about money. I work for the State. In healthcare. . Thanks to your generosity. .I can no longer afford to stay in my house. You are a person of privilege. When. Was the last time you gave up a luxury or a necessity just to keep a roof oer your head?

  4. You guys just can’t put politics on the back bunner during christmas can you? Not only that but your comments are not factually true. For example Scott Walker did NOT take a pay increase so you should know better than that. 2nd hurting middle class people? I feel as if thats not the case because for one many property taxes went down.

    1. We can’t put politics on the back burner because walkers actions have caused the pot to be boiling over and it’s well on it’s way to destroying everything we own. Maybe you have the security of having money or a secure job. Property taxes going down are not necessarily a good thing. Services to those in need are cut to make that reduction. If everyone paid their fair share this wouldn’t be a problem.

    1. From that very same article:

      Walker took office in January and was paid $144,423. That’s $7,331 more than his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.

      So if Scott Walker is making $7,331 more than his predecessor, doesn’t that count as a pay raise?

    1. Indisputable and irrefutable.

      Walker took office in January and was paid $144,423. That’s $7,331 more than his predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.

      That’s a quote taken directly from the PolitiFact article cited by Mike-ah and jf.

    1. Scott Walker has not given back one single cent of his governor’s pay, and he stopped giving back his County Executive pay several years before he left that office.

  5. Wondering where the author of this letter is so he can tell us about this pay increase he was talking about. Oh come out come out where ever you are.

    1. Sorry Mike-ah, but I had to work all day, so I wasn’t able to spend my day commenting here, unlike you.

      As to your comment(s), I’ll just note that it’s an irrefutable fact that Scott Walker is receiving more in compensation this year than his predecessor did last year. Walker may not have given himself the raise (though I never said he did), but the facts are the facts – Scott Walker got an increase in salary over what Jim Doyle made last year.

      Thanks for playing!

  6. Tonette, I live in Minnesota, but I was born and raised in the once great state of Wisconsin. If I could sign the recall petition, I would in a heartbeat, so that Wisconsin can become “great” again. You people should be ashamed of yourselves for what your husband and his cronies are doing to the state of Wisconsin. The whole country is watching. I’m ashamed to say I’m from Wisconsin!

  7. Tonette, Thanks to your husband, tomorrow is my last with a school district I’ve worked for for the last 11 years. I fear what is to come since I am now unemployed. While I could not afford to, I retired because I feared your husband would take my pension for his agenda. My husband and I have signed the petition to recall your husband and I just hope and pray that we can go on and stay out of the soup lines. Happy Holidays.

  8. In Walker’s case, the higher salaries were proposed by Doyle’s administration and approved by state lawmakers in 2008.

    Direct quote. GOML

    1. And yet, that doesn’t refute what I wrote. Scott Walker’s salary is now higher than his predecessor’s. That’s a raise.

      I never wrote that Walker gave himself the raise, but the fact remains, he got a raise.

      1. Zach, you are seriously not this thick. By saying what you did, you know exactly what you are trying to imply and are being disingenous. Walker had nothing to do with the pay he receives. If you have such a problem with it, where was your post when it was instituted before Walker took office?

        Just because the salary is higher when you get a position than someone who formerly had the job, doesn’t mean you got a pay raise.

        Is your problem with the salary itself or that Walker is receiving it? You are being petty and dishonest. Will part of your petty recall platform be to lower the governor’s (any governor’s) pay?

        1. You can read whatever you want into what I wrote, but I meant nothing more than what I wrote. The fact is, Scott Walker received a raise over his predecessor. I never once wrote that he gave himself that raise, because I know full well he didn’t, but that does not negate the fact that he still got a raise.

          For what it’s worth, I think the governor (regardless of who holds that office) should not receive such an exorbitant salary. There’s no reason we need a governor to be pulling in a six-figure salary.

          1. We need to overhaul what all the elected people earn and the kind of benefits they get. Why did Kleefisch only have to pay $85 for her cancer treatment? Why did we, the taxpayers, pay for most of her care? It’s outrageous!

            1. Anon, funny you should say that. You want to overhaul what benefits state elected officials get. That is precisely what Scott Walker did earlier this year!

              State officials are included with all other state employees as far as benefits go. So if you are truly OUTRAGED by what Kleefish had to pay or not pay for her cancer treatment, it is only a result of what those dandy collective bargaining agreements negotiated over the years. Glad you are outraged too!

                  1. She has better health insurance than everyone else. She did not have to collectively bargain for what she got she gets what the lawmakers decide they get.

                    The problem is she wants to make sure only she gets that

          2. Fine, but if it’s just a matter of fact, then why is it even relevant to mention in your letter?

            I understand you now have the opinion that the governor makes too much, but where was your post when the increase was approved prior to this year? Do you believe it is appropritate for the president to make what he’s making?

            1. It’s relevant to mention because Scott Walker got a healthy increase in salary this year while at the same time asking state employees to be glad to see their take-home pay cut by thousands of dollars per year.

              Where’s Walker’s “shared sacrifice” in all of this? How’s he sacrificing along with the rest of us public employees?

          3. Also Zach, I never thought I would see the day when you are outraged by government employee salaries. Are you also offended by bus drivers making six figure salaries? You must be with Anon who is just outraged that taxpayers have to pay for Kleefish’s care… along with every other state and local employee.

            1. If it is inappropriate for the governor to make six figures, is it also inappropriate for tech college instructors? Just wondering where you draw the line or if you are being selective because you dislike the governor? Will your recall candidate run on a platform to reduce exorbitant state employee salaries (including the governor’s salary)???

              1. “Will your recall candidate run on a platform to reduce exorbitant state employee salaries (including the governor’s salary)??? “

                I don’t know, because I can’t predict the future…..though you knew that.

              2. Its the other way around Forg. if the Governor came in with the issue that public employees make too much shouldnt he have been the first one to cut his wages? Or was he of the opinion that everyone but he made too much money.

                The republican philosophy “what is good for me is not for thee.”

            2. Forgot, the vast, vast majority of public employees don’t make six figures. Sure, you can trot out exceptions to that rule, but by and large rank and file public employees aren’t making six figures.

              1. That wasn’t my question… though you knew that. If you find it in appropriate that the governor makes six figures, do you then find it offensive that other state employees are making that as well (whether they are exceptions or not)?

        2. I find it interesting that Walker worked very hard to torpedo both the federal rail grant and the union contracts before he took office, yet had no problem with the raises the legislature approved for him. Go figure.

    2. Doesn’t matter WHO approved the pay raise. The point is that he ACCEPTED the pay raise during a time that he was preaching “shared sacrifice” and forcing a pay freeze on state workers.

    1. You’ll never run into him at a soup line unless cameras are there. Word is, he only showed up long enough for the cameras to take video of him serving and then left.

  9. Twisted meanings. The facts are what ever politicians say they are. The truth is whatever Walker and his treasonist friends say it is. The rule of law is what ever tunnel visioned legislators say it is. If this is a democracy we should not have to live with this hypocrisy.
    Perhaps the single most important change in political life is an honest campaign finance reform. Let the voice of people really be heard. Make the wealthy play by the same rules as everyone else. Have genuine compassion and understanding for the poor.
    History appraises societies in various way, yet, over time, those ways are the same. History measures a societies’ justice by how it handles its criminals. History measures a societies’ compassion by how it handles its mentally ill. History measures a societies honor by how it fulfills its obligations. And history meansures a societies’ health by how it treats the lowest and most needy of its people.
    Scott Walker and his administration gets failing marks in all these measurements!

  10. Huh, It seems Mrs. Walker offered a genuine Christmas greeting and you replied with a typical, snide liberal diatribe. Lighten up a bit. And by the way, just got my property tax bill and it went down!

  11. Thumbs up Zach. My guess is the person that they handed a food tray to was a paid actor. Or how about Chris the businessman in the other commercial. His business went from $400,000 a year in 2002 to 5.6 million in 2009 all under Doyle

  12. Miss Tonette, I don’t know how you can live with such an EVIL man. You must have the same character as your husband. I DO NOT believe for one minute that you and your family have received death threats. That is YOUR party that makes those kind of threats…never a progressive/liberal/democrat would do such a thing. I have two sons who both have recall bumper stickers on their cars and they have been sworn at,given the “finger” and followed and almost run off the road. I worry about my sons too just because your cronies disagree with their freedoms to speak what they believe in. We have been out on the streets collecting signatures and also have been sworn at and called horrible names. I truly wonder what promises have been made to you and Scott by the Koch Brothers. There is no doubt in my mind that you will become multimillionaires because you have furthered that CRAZY agenda. I will smile when this becomes true because I know that there has NEVER been anyone ripping Wisconsin apart like you two have. SHAME ON YOU!!!!

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