As all eyes are on Wisconsin during the historic gubernatorial recall election, it’s important to remember that the state government is meant to serve its people, not national political interests. Thousands of dollars have funneled into Wisconsin to support Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his opponent Tom Barrett, a Democrat and current mayor of Milwaukee, who was defeated by Walker in the 2010 general election. Walker’s out-of-state contributions account for more than half of his total fundraising for the recall effort. Likewise, two of Barrett’s top campaign contributors are national education labor groups. Both candidates are getting a lot more out-of-state support than they did in their first match-up, even former President Bill Clinton dropped by the state to campaign for Barrett.
Experts argue that the recall election is an early litmus test to see whether the left or right will prevail all over the country come November. Neighboring states like Minnesota can learn a lot from Wisconsin about how voters have reacted to Walker’s polarizing conservative agenda, but let’s do just that: watch and learn.
Many students at the University of Minnesota, whether they are Wisconsin residents or not, have an opinion regarding who should govern the state, but it’s not our place to decide Wisconsin’s future no matter how strongly you lean left or right. Pushing a national agenda on a state with unique needs is unfair to residents and taxpayers who have a lot more invested in the outcome of the recall election than national political parties and interest groups.
UMN students have traveled to Florida colleges to collaborate with students on various projects.
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