Bill Kaplan: Evers, vote your heart and pocketbook

The column below reflects the views of the author, and these opinions are neither endorsed nor supported by WisOpinion.com.

A horrific week. Trump appealed to the worst in us, demonizing impoverished refugees from Central America. Engaging in constant deception. Finally, Trump admitted “no proof” that terrorists from the Middle East are hiding among the refugees. However, he and other Republicans are still whipping up division, fear and hysteria. Why? No GOP accomplishments, save huge tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

Meanwhile, the stock market plunged. Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman, warned that America was “developing into a plutocracy”. He criticized the GOP tax cuts, saying the “only purpose I can see is to try to squeeze Medicare and medical expenses and Social Security” now that there is a resultant soaring deficit.

It got worse. A racist sexist Trump supporter was arrested after mailing potentially lethal pipe bombs to Trump critics, including former President Obama and Vice President Biden. And, a racist murdered 2 Kentucky African Americans. Then a Nazi slaughtered 11 Jewish Americans in a Pittsburgh synagogue. All the while, Trump acted like a bigoted, plutocratic man-child.

However, Tony Evers, Democratic candidate for governor in Wisconsin, displayed gubernatorial leadership with a heart. He eloquently said: “Our places of worship are places of sanctuary for all of us. My heart breaks for the victims, families and first responders whose lives have been shattered by this act of violence in Pittsburgh. We must join together against anti-Semitism and hate in all its forms.” Amen!

I have met and spoken with Evers, the current elected state superintendent of public instruction. He is a highly-accomplished teacher and administrator, yet humble. Don’t underestimate the low-key man from Plymouth. Evers is tough, but civil to the core, looking to unify, not “divide and conquer”. Not a career politician, Evers is a down-to-earth regular Wisconsinite. Finally, Evers beat cancer, and now fears nothing. He has the heart and wisdom to be a great governor.

Evers is a lunch-bucket Democrat, running on pocketbook issues. He wants to restore adequate full funding for public schools (cut $800 million by his opponent). Moreover, Evers supports mitigating the $500 million cuts to the UW-System with more state funding to allow lower tuition for students. He understands that education is key to building a prosperous strong Wisconsin. Evers is focused on the present and future.

Then there is infrastructure. Wisconsin roads, highways and bridges, once the envy of the nation, are now in the bottom tier. Evers will work with Republicans to fully fund rebuilding Wisconsin to develop the economy and promote jobs. Everything will be on the table except budget deceit and fairy dust. Nor will Evers favor one part of Wisconsin over other areas.

Finally, on health care. Evers, unlike his opponent, would not have left over $1 billion of federal Medicaid funding on the table. He will take the money and expand Medicaid (80,000 Wisconsinites). Moreover, Evers will drop his opponent’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. This will preserve protections for preexisting conditions and expand health coverage.

Vote your heart and pocketbook. Wisconsin needs change.

–Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C. for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

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