March 29, 2005: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: State Government: The Capital Times: Ed Garvery says: Does Jim Doyle really like being governor, or is he telling us he is ready to move on?

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Tunisia: Special Report: RPCV Jim Doyle, Governor of Wisconsin: Special Report: Governor and Tunisa RPCV Jim Doyle: March 29, 2005: Headlines: COS - Tunisia: Politics: State Government: The Capital Times: Ed Garvery says: Does Jim Doyle really like being governor, or is he telling us he is ready to move on?

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Ed Garvery says: Does Jim Doyle really like being governor, or is he telling us he is ready to move on?

Ed Garvery says: Does Jim Doyle really like being governor, or is he telling us he is ready to move on?

Ed Garvery says: Does Jim Doyle really like being governor, or is he telling us he is ready to move on?

Ed Garvey: Doyle systematically alienates progressives

By Ed Garvey
March 29, 2005

Democrat Jim Doyle won his party's primary for governor three years ago with slightly more than a third of the votes. Since then he has ignored or locked out the two-thirds who did not make him their primary choice but voted for him in the general election, where he squeaked past a very weak Republican opponent.

Once in office, Doyle has systematically alienated his base of support. So we ask: Does Jim Doyle really like being governor, or is he telling us he is ready to move on?

He intentionally antagonized environmentalists with a misnamed "job creation" bill that did not create jobs but did please the big-business community and developers. He antagonized hunters and fishers with proposed new fees while keeping the Department of Natural Resources secretary's job as an in-house political position.

Environmentalists want to support him, but he's done nothing toward reinstating the public intervenor position that used to help financially ill-equipped citizens when irresponsible development, from factory farms to ethanol plants, threatened their air, water and enjoyment of property.

Instead of addressing regressive taxes, Doyle's brain trust copied the Republicans with a property tax freeze that saves homeowners a dollar more. Then he suggested a bold initiative to add taxes on (and I am not making this up) diapers, tea, chocolate chips and packaged ice.

When will taxpayers think about this incumbent governor? When they get their property tax bill, change the baby's diaper, drink their bedtime cup of tea, when Grandma bakes her famous chocolate chip cookies with little Maggie, and at party time as Jim goes to the liquor store to get some ice. Whoa, Nelly!

But Doyle isn't done yet. He's proposed raising tuition, thus alienating students (and parents). Students asked him for a tuition freeze and he responded, "You are living in a dream world." Nice touch.

His tuition increase would be so large it would block many children of working families from pursuing the dream that Langston Hughes summed up best in his "Dream Deferred" poem. So parents and students will think about him as they visit the student loan office.

Taxpayers will think about him when they realize that all gasoline may soon have 10 percent ethanol because of the lobbying efforts of the huge agribusiness boys. But hey, if your fuel injector doesn't work, don't blame the governor.

While he was warming up, Doyle got to make two appointments to the Public Service Commission, which was taken over by the utilities a dozen years ago. But "his" PSC is no better for ratepayers and those concerned citizens who fight the utilities on behalf of citizens than it was under Tommy Thompson appointee Ave Bie. So ratepayers, small and large, will think about Doyle when they pay their inflated utility bill or when they see how much money he has raised from the utilities for his upcoming campaign. They won't be thinking good thoughts.

But what about the usually strong base of support for Democrats called state employees? We have honored state workers in Wisconsin since the days the progressives protected them with civil service. But Doyle privatized the collection of voter data and gave a $15 million contract to an out-of-state company while promising to reduce the state employees' ranks by 10,000. Now he wants to privatize the lottery so more Badgers can be conned into wasting money on the false dream of sudden riches.

In fact, Doyle is so wedded to privatization that he got into trouble with conflicting news releases involving his own Department of Transportation over phony cost-savings for outsourcing.

And then we look to him for reform of our totally corrupt political system? Well, who should know better about the evils of money in politics than a former 12-year attorney general?

Here is what Bill Moyers says about money in politics in his new book "Moyers on America": "The soul of democracy - the essence of the word itself - is government of, by and for the people, and the soul of democracy has been dying, drowning in a rising tide of big money contributed by a narrow, unrepresentative elite that has betrayed the faith of citizens in self-government."

What did Doyle say when running for office? "My No. 1 priority will be campaign reform." Since his election, the corporate elites have tightened their grip on our state - with help from the governor.

Moyers reminds us of the truism that "whoever puts on the brief cloak of power - prince, pope or politician - is reluctant to take it off again."

Perhaps Jim Doyle doesn't want his current job. But more likely than not he enjoys the cloak of power while he listens to advisers whispering in his ear, "Raise the money! If you raise enough, you win."

Isn't that what Moyers is talking about? The destruction of the soulof democracy.

There is time for a change in direction, but not much time. It will come about only when a chorus of progressives tells Doyle that time is now.

Ed Garvey is a Madison lawyer, political activist and the editor of the Web site. E-mail:

When this story was posted in March 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

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Story Source: The Capital Times

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Tunisia; Politics; State Government



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