Empower Wisconsin | Jan. 29, 2020
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — By golly, folks, turns out Gov. Tony Evers is a political coward.
The Democrat apparently was so busy Tuesday he didn’t have time to welcome Vice President Mike Pence to the Statehouse. Evers and his spokespeople originally wouldn’t say what kept the governor away. But golly gee, wouldn’t you know it, after taking some heat the Evers’ team came up with an excuse Tuesday, insisting he had “meetings outside the building.”
The governor’s spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, claims the vice president, who appeared at the Capitol for a school choice event, hadn’t reached out to Evers and that the governor’s office learned about the visit from state Capitol police.
That sounds odd. But even it that was the case, isn’t it kind of customary for the governor to at least acknowledge a vice president when he comes to the Capitol — a special occasion that hasn’t occurred in more than 60 years?
Evers apparently couldn’t move his schedule around to accommodate the vice president. Instead, the governor asked the media to do his bidding for him.
On Monday, he told reporters he hoped someone would ask the vice president if he agrees with U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who suggested smaller dairy farms will have to adapt and compete on an economy of scale in order to survive. Democrats, particularly Evers, have pushed a faulty narrative that President Trump doesn’t care about the plight of small farmers and the troubled dairy industry.
Sounds like the governor thinks that’s an important question, though. Just not important enough for him to personally ask Pence.
The truth of the matter is, school choice-hating Evers didn’t want anything to do with Tuesday’s rally. He has worked to undo Wisconsin’s successful voucher program since his days as state superintendent. He sought to freeze statewide enrollment in his last budget proposal.
Instead, Evers’ liberal activists turned out to shout “Shame! Shame!” at the vice president and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, a staunch proponent of school choice. And his lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes, injected racially charged comments into Pence’s stop.
“In case this hasn’t been mentioned, the rally in the Capitol today was the most interaction many of those adults will ever have with black and brown children,” Barnes tweeted.
In case this hasn’t been mentioned, the rally in the Capitol today was the most interaction many of those adults will ever have with black and brown children.
— Mandela Barnes (@TheOtherMandela) January 28, 2020
That’s not only wrong-headed, it’s wrong. Many of the adults who attended the Capitol rally are in education, daily striving to make better the lives of children of color and all students hungering for a better education — a way out of poverty and the public schools that have failed them.
The governor could take his lieutenant governor to task for such offensive sentiments, but he won’t. That would take courage. And that’s not an attribute you’ll find in a political coward.