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10 Ways Scott Walker Is Selling Out His Constituents to Corporations

Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state.

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6. DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS: This week, Republican lawmakers moved forward on a bill that would require voters to present a photo ID from the DMV at the polls, making it significantly more difficult for the elderly, the disabled, college students, and rural residents to participate in elections. While Republican lawmakers insist the bill is necessary to prevent voter fraud, there have been almost no documented cases of fraudulent voting in the state. Instead, the Wisconsin State Journal writes, the GOP bill is going “ overboard in limiting ballot access in a state proud of its long history of high participation in elections.”

7. CUTTING JOBS, LOSING THE FUTURE: Last fall, Walker killed an $810 billion federally funded high-speed rail project, forcing the Transportation Department to pull its funding. Walker’s decision killed 130,000 expected jobs and forced the Spanish company Talgo to close its Milwaukee factory and layoff its 40 person staff. A spokeswoman for the company told The Daily Reporter that “the state’s decision to back away from the high-speed rail project sends a terrible message to businesses considering locating in the state.”

8. STIFLING INNOVATION: In late January, Walker introduced a bill that would ban wind-powered energy from Wisconsin and exacerbate the state’s dependence on out-of-state coal. If passed, it’s estimated that the law would immediately eliminate $1.8 billion in new wind power investments and jeopardize eleven currently proposed wind projects. After a public outcry earlier this month, Walker’s bill is (for now) dead.

9. “NAKED POWER GRAB”: Earlier this month in a party-line vote, the legislature ceded “ extraordinary control” of the state’s rule-making oversight process to the governor. Walker now has complete power to draft agency rules which the legislature must then either approve or reject. The law gives Walker the power to write rules for formerly independent state agencies like the state Departments of Justice and Education — and most ominously the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics watchdog.

10. POLITICIZING STATE AGENCIES: A provision in Walker’s budget repair bill would convert thirty-seven state employees from civil servants to political appointees — consolidating his power over state government and expanding his power to “hire, fire and move key employees to carry out his agenda.”

Since his inauguration just two months ago, Walker and the Wisconsin GOP have taken unprecedented action to undermine the state’s unions, environmental regulations, long-term fiscal health, social welfare programs and basic democratic structure. As Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said Tuesday, Walker has stopped acting like the Republican governor of a Midwestern state and has instead “basically taken on the position of a dictator” with a “vision of America that’s similar to somewhere like Nigeria or Pakistan.”

 
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