January 6, 2011 4:59 PM
Since Governor Scott Walker's historically tragic decision to kill the high speed rail project that would have done so much good for Wisconsin, I've been pretty straightforward in my expression of concern for what might happen next. The legislative session is just underway, and I'm afraid we might be in for attacks on stem cell research, domestic partner protections, environmental protections, state workers and a lot more.
But let me take a moment to acknowledge positive things when they happen. The new governor's cabinet selections are actually pretty good and some of these folks have ties to Madison and Dane County. Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler is the board president of the Madison Library Foundation. Corrections chief Gary Hamblin was a well-respected Dane County Sheriff. And Eloise Anderson, who now leads the Department of Children & Families, worked for Dane County for many years.
Another good thing is that there are at least three former mayors in the administration: former Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin is Secretary of Commerce, Mark Gottlieb is the former mayor of Port Washington and is now Secretary of Transportation and former mayor of Superior Dave Ross is heading the Department of Regulation & Licensing. It's hard to serve as a mayor and not develop some affinity for municipal challenges no matter the size or location of the city.
If these appointments are an indication that moderates and practitioners are going to center the administration then there's reason for hope.