Who should be Wisconsin’s next governor, Scott Walker or Tony Evers?

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Welcome to "Political Posturing," featuring opposing views on current issues important to Wisconsin's business community. In this column, Wisconsin Business Alliance Board President Brad Werntz and conservative columnist David Blaska offer their opinions from the left and the right, respectively.

Tony Evers, because he’s running for the right reasons.

By Brad Werntz

For our next governor, we need someone who cares about Wisconsin, not their national profile. On this criteria, it’s got to be Tony Evers, an affable, familiar, and a real-deal Wisconsinite. Evers has a proven track record of being able to hold a line while working with people with whom he disagrees. Evers is compassionate, honest, and caring. He’s in politics for all the right reasons.

Electing Evers would mean a return to decent Wisconsin public servants who work for everyday Wisconsinites. For those who remember Proxmire, Nelson, and Bronson La Follette, electing Evers means returning someone like that — and the quiet pride that comes with it — to our state politics. Evers is compassionate, thoughtful, and non-dogmatic. He solicits input and dialogue from others, which leads to better ideas and outcomes for Wisconsinites.

For lieutenant governor, Mandela Barnes is not a status quo candidate. Barnes gave up his Assembly seat in order to challenge a sitting Democratic state senator and fight for our schools. Barnes is sharp, fearless, and smart, and he’ll bring the fire to the lieutenant governor’s office like no one else can. We can count on him to stand up for our communities.

Wisconsin needs a new governor, and the Dems have a ticket that is refreshingly different from any we’ve seen so far. It’s a ticket rooted deeply in the issue that matters most to voters — education. Evers believes that the education of Wisconsin’s children should be our number one priority, and with Barnes on his team, Wisconsin will bring education back to the forefront.

Wisconsin has dropped in most rankings from education to health care to the economy under Walker, and Evers has the knowledge and experience to bring our state back. His priorities for budgeting will be schools and the economic well being of ordinary people, not billions for billionaires, Foxconn, and corporate giveaways.

No doubt about it: Evers needs to be our next governor.

Brad Werntz is a small business owner in Madison.



 Walker, unless you want to turn Wisconsin into California.

By David Blaska

Let's face it — this state is a mess. It’s one of the highest-taxed in the nation. Voter turnout is low, no doubt due to voter suppression. Unemployment is higher than the national average. Housing is the third-most expensive among the 50 states. Poverty is the worst. The roads are wretched.

Oh, sorry. That’s pure-blue California, not Wisconsin. But it will be Tony Evers’ task to convince voters that Scott Walker has turned our beloved state into a dystopian hellhole. Like California, which is on fire.

After listening to a debate among the eight Democrats then vying for their party’s nomination, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Christian Schneider wondered, “What state are they living in?”

Unemployment in Wisconsin is seventh lowest at 2.9%, behind only Iowa in the Midwest. Our housing is the 13th most affordable. Poverty is the 10th-lowest. Voter turnout is the second highest in the nation. Only two states have a better quality of life — measuring environmental health and civic engagement — according to the same survey in U.S. News & World Report.

We’ll give you Wisconsin roads; they ARE wretched, although seven states are worse. But at least Scott Walker put the kibosh on Jim Doyle and Barack Obama’s high-speed rail scheme.

We do know Evers (“Mr. Excitement”) is not going to cut taxes. Walker and his Republican legislature have eased the tax burden by a cumulative $8 billion in eight years of reducing taxes — income and property. Democrats talk about refinancing college student debt. Republicans froze tuition six years straight. Evers may blast Foxconn but he’ll welcome all those new taxpaying jobs.

As the teachers union’s governor, he will be busy dismantling Republican education reforms. School choice and Act 10 — gone! Militant teachers again will be free to “teach to the contract.”

The party line is Republicans are starving school kids. So who called Walker’s latest education budget “kid-friendly”? None other than State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers.

David Blaska is a Madison columnist and blogger. Find his blog at davidblaska.com.

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.