Last year, just as Scott Walker was getting his official pre-official presidential bid running at full speed, it was discovered that he wanted to do away with the Wisconsin Idea.
What is the Wisconsin Idea? Well, this:
First summed up by UW President Charles Van Hise in 1904, the Wisconsin Idea means that "the borders of the University are the borders of the state." Van Hise declared that he would “never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches every family in the state” and this has long been the core philosophy of the UW System, which has worked hard over the decades to generate programs that serve people and communities all over the state.Walker wanted to take that language out of the mission statement after more than a hundred years of it being held up as a national and international standard. He wanted to remove it because he didn't believe in it. He wanted to use the entire university system as a way to deliver yet even more corporate welfare to his wealthy campaign donors.
When the people of Wisconsin learned of this unspeakable act, the outrage was instant and overwhelming and growing bigger every day.
Walker, not wanting to derail his campaign wagon, quickly distanced himself from this and said that it was merely a "drafting error." Needless to say, no one believed him.
When an open record request was done, Walker withheld hundreds of pages of emails regarding the changes to Wisconsin Idea. He was sued by the Center for Media and Democracy, The Progressive magazine and two individuals, whom won in the court of law.
Walker released 86 more pages of emails and they revealed that - brace yourself now! - Walker lied about his involvement with the changes being proposed to the Wisconsin idea. Not only was he aware of these changes, he wanted them and directed his staff to make them:
Records released Friday by Gov. Scott Walker’s office in response to a judge’s order make clear he sought controversial changes in 2015 to the University of Wisconsin System’s mission statement, known as the Wisconsin Idea.This is all getting rather tedious. Not only is Walker as corrupt as any politician could be, he's not even very good at it.
The office made public 82 pages of records late Friday after Dane County Judge Amy Smith said Walker’s office erroneously withheld 12 email exchanges and six of nine attachments from the public.
One January 2015 document reviewing System comments on proposed changes to its governing structure says Walker requested a “simplified and clearer mission and purpose statements.”
In another — an email that had previously been made public — a budget analyst says that Walker “is recommending revising the UW’s mission and statement of purpose.”
The gentle reader can peruse the emails themselves, all 86 pages of them, here.