Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News earlier this week:
Actions have consequences, or so goes the adage. For some, however, they can make devastating decisions that impact millions of people without ever feeling the slightest sting from their decisions. Such is the case with Governor Evers and so many other government officials and bureaucrats.
Empower Wisconsin obtained Governor Evers’ official schedule through an open records request, and it is appalling. Evers’ schedule shows that the man, lifelong government apparatchik that he is, will never be accused of being a workaholic. His calendar shows that most weeks the governor is averaging a languid schedule of something between 30 and 36 hours of work. “Work” time includes time being transited to and fro in a chauffeured car or on the state plane provided by state taxpayers.
A normal workday for Governor Evers has been quite leisurely. He wakes from his nightly slumber in the cavernous and luxurious mansion provided to him by taxpayers overlooking Lake Mendota in the tony community of Poplar Bluff. He typically begins work in the mid-morning with perhaps a phone call or perhaps a video conference in the Executive Mansion. Usually after lunch, he will be chauffeured the 3.4 miles to his office in the state Capital building. Almost without exception, he is back at the mansion by 5 p.m. in time to catch reruns of “The Carol Burnett Show” on Decades TV.
It’s good to be the guv.
More infuriating than Evers’ semi-retired schedule is the specific schedule he kept during those whirlwind days earlier during the pandemic. In those early days when we were seeing the spread of COVID and getting false projections that it could kill millions within weeks, Governor Evers maintained his normal workload.
As Empower Wisconsin highlights, on March 13, 2020, Evers ordered the closing of all K-12 government and private schools. This marked the beginning of educational and psychological damage to our kids that will last for decades and caused untold upheaval in families throughout Wisconsin. On that day Evers started his workday at 9:30, made it to his office at 2 p.m., and was back in the mansion by 5 p.m.
On March 23, 2020, Governor Evers announced that he was going to order all “non-essential” business to close the following day. This single authoritarian act forced millions of Wisconsinites out of work, pushed many Wisconsin small businesses into bankruptcy, and brutalized families who lost their source of income with a stroke of Evers’ pen.
That day Evers put in a hard day of work — for him. He got up early and began working at 8:30 a.m. He made it to the office at 1:15 p.m. and was still back at the mansion by 5 p.m. He burned the midnight oil with a work call at 6 p.m. before ending his workday.
The point of this is not to ridicule our governor for his pathetic work ethic and disinterest in actually doing his job. The point is to highlight how easy the governor has had it while his actions have destroyed livelihoods, crippled kids’ futures, and forced families into dependency.
Throughout the pandemic, Governor Evers was never touched by the consequences of his decisions. He never went a single day without a paycheck or generous benefits. He never had to cut back on groceries, turn down the heat in winter, or skip paying a few bills to get by.
Governor Evers never felt the pain of a small-business owner who sat at her desk and made the hard decisions to drain her family’s savings to keep the business afloat for another couple of months in the hope that they might be able to make it. Evers never sat across the table from good people and had to take away their livelihoods because there was no more money. The governor was blissfully eating ice cream in his free mansion when single moms went home and had to explain to their children that they needed to save money because she had lost her job.
Governor Evers never had to hastily call his parents to watch the kids because schools and child care centers were suddenly closed. He never had to watch his kid, who struggled with school, sink into failure and depression because virtual learning was not working for him. Evers never had to go to work during the pandemic as so many “essential” people did, and then come home and work another four or five hours to help his kids navigate recorded lessons and homework.
While Wisconsinites were struggling with Evers’ idiotic and tyrannical edicts during the pandemic, the governor kept his lackadaisical schedule, ate his ice cream, played pickleball, and led his best life at taxpayers’ expense. It is offensive.
It is equally offensive that the governor is continuing to dole out our tax dollars in dribs and drabs as “relief” and expects people to be thankful. He behaves like an abusive husband who hands his wife a bandage after beating the snot out of her and expects gratitude. His actions deserve contempt, not appreciation.
The pandemic taught us a lot of things about the threadbare parts of our social fabric and the yawning divide between government and the people it is supposed to serve. More than ever, we need to elect people who do not come from government but seek to bring it to heel. We must never forget the havoc wreaked by Governor Evers.