Memo to Linda Cross: A good conservative Republican, name of Scott Walker, has been governor of the State of Wisconsin since January 2011. Here we are, seven years in, and the statewide school chief is a liberal Democrat.
The state superintendent of public instruction is ALWAYS a liberal Democrat no matter who is governor. A liberal Democrat won no matter what the Republican challenger, whether it was Dr. Lowell Holtz in last week Tuesday’s election, whether it was State Rep. Don Pridemore four years earlier, whether it was Rose Fernandez in 2009, whether it was State Rep. Greg Underheim in 2005, or whether it was (cough) Linda Cross in 2001.
That the definition of madness, Linda — doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Which is why your Humble Scribe, posted to the Republican state convention as a delegate last year, introduced a measure to bring education into the big tent of the governor’s appointed cabinet. The only major governmental enterprise relegated to an off-year, little noted election.
We have no patience with the prattling of so-called good government goo-goos that education should be “above” politics. That’s prog-speak for “let the experts make the decisions.” We know who those experts are: the teachers unions. Nor are we fooled by the non-partisan label attached to these off-year elections. They are as partisan as a a Tammy Baldwin fund-raising letter.
Education, in fact, is the most partisan of all endeavors. More partisan than the environment, highway safety, insurance, veterans affairs, taxation, child welfare, banking, health, or job creation. All of which are answerable to the governor, though his appointed cabinet secretaries. The governor, of course, is answerable to the people. It is how these endeavors are arranged at the federal level (the president appoints the attorney general as well as the secretary of education; it Wisconsin, the A.G. is elected).
It is about accountability. Shouldn’t education be at the same table as transportation, natural resources, taxation?
But you, Linda Cross, were worried what might happen if a Democrat were elected governor. Might said Democrat appoint a liberal secretary of education? You asked that question during debate at the 2016 Republican state convention over my proposed constitutional amendment. Worry no more, failed candidate Cross. A Democrat is certain to appoint a liberal secretary of education.
But when the people vote into office a conservative Republican, we can be assured that said governor will appoint a conservative to oversee education. A conservative who will encourage school reform, who will welcome school choice, who will put a spike into common core — unlike the spate of liberals running the education shop.
Somehow, your reputation as a candidate for superintendent of public instruction — fail though you did — carried the day. Convention delegates narrowly defeated my proposal for a constitutional amendment to allow the appointment of a cabinet-level department of education.
That kind of thinking gave us another four years of liberal, teachers union toady Tony Evers. Even with Scott Walker in the governor’s mansion. Nice going, Linda Cross.