Empower Wisconsin | Oct. 9, 2019
Tony Evers wasn’t interested in genuine campus free speech when he was superintendent of the state Department of Public Instruction, and that hasn’t changed now that he’s governor.
As the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents moves closer to putting in place disciplinary rules for students who disrupt free expression on campus, Evers remains unmoved.
“(He) voted against the proposal while he was a member of the Board of Regents and his position hasn’t changed,” Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff told Wispolitics.com.
In 2017, the regents approved an overall policy designed to protect free expression on campus. It requires that those found responsible for substantially hindering freedom of expression be expelled from school, after three violations.
The policy was drafted after high-profile incidents of liberal students trying to silence conservative speakers. In November 2016, a group of protesters disrupted and effectively shut down conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro’s speech at UW-Madison.
Evers was the one dissenting vote. The liberal, with designs at the time of securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, called the policy “a little bit about a solution seeking a problem.” He said he worried the regents’ were chilling speech.
Never mind that liberal institutions and their armies of like-minded left-wing students have chilled conservative speech for years.
Regent Jose Delgado grew up in Castro’s Cuba. He knows what the left’s chilling of speech is all about.
“I came to this country from Cuba when I was 14 years old,” Delgado said before casting a vote for the free expression policy. “I lived under a government that tightened the grip on public opinion, which ultimately led to violence.”
It should come as no surprise that Evers would so easily dismiss the silencing of conservative speech on campus. As governor, he has blocked a conservative news organization from his budget briefing, and he has been criticized for his administration’s open records failures.