UPDATE: Governor Scott Walker's war on teachers (and other public employees) has been a catalyst to the public employee unions and many other labor organizations to stand united in a way that Wisconsin has not seen in a long time. Read Paul Soglin's thoughts here, here, and here.
Paul Soglin is running for mayor of Madison. Campaign contributions can be made out to Soglin for Mayor and mailed to PO Box 1228, Madison WI 53701. Please include contact information and whether we can use your name as a supporter. Let us know if you can volunteer or sponsor a fundraiser. State law requires you to supply employer information (name and address) if your contribution is over $100 in a calendar year. The campaign website at http://www.soglinformayor.com is able to take online contributions, but please feel free to go old school via the US Postal Service.
Did you know that Scott Walker, who is still leading that pesky Mark Neumann in the polls in the Republican primary for Governor, never finished college? He was a "C" student at Marquette in the late 1980's and dropped out in 1990. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has Walker agreeing that getting the degree is critically important and that he expects his sons to do better than he did as a college student.
Walker released a letter from Marquette that showed he attended the school for four years, from 1986 to 1990, and would have needed to stay there for at least another year to get a degree. He had 94 credits and would have needed at least 36 more. The exact number of credits he needed isn't clear because students must take classes in certain areas of study to get degrees.
Walker did not return to Marquette in the fall of 1990 when he ran unsuccessfully for the state Assembly. He said he left school after the previous semester because he'd taken a job with the American Red Cross, not because of his political ambition. He won a special election to the Assembly in 1993.
Education is an essential ingredient in bolstering the state's economy, he said, adding he believes he can make that case even without a degree himself. He said he expects his two high school-age sons will go to college.
"A diploma, I think, is just a necessity to get a job in today's economy," Walker said. "So as governor I'm going to push as many opportunities, affordable opportunities, as possible."
Asked how he performed in school, Walker said: "I'd have to go back. That was 20 years ago. I mean, I had some classes I was more interested in than others, I suppose."
Neumann graduated magna cum laude in 1975 from UW-Whitewater after majoring in mathematics and minoring in coaching. He earned a master's degree in supervision and instruction leadership from UW-River Falls in 1977.
Barrett graduated in the top 20% of his class from UW-Madison in 1976 with a major in economics and political science. He went on to get a law degree from UW-Madison in 1980, graduating cum laude.
Neumann and Barrett have released their college and graduate school transcripts; Walker has refused to do so. Both Neumann and Barrett's grades were A's and B's.
If Walker's campaign says he only had a 2.59 average, and Walker himself admits "I had some classes I was more interested in than others, I suppose," he most likely got B's or even some A's in the classes he was interested in, and some D's or F's in those he treated less seriously. If he wants to be Wisconsin's Governor, who appoints the UW's Board of Regents, members of other higher education governing bodies, and deals with a raft of education funding issues, he should let the voters know whether he passed or flunked basic college courses in math, science, history, or English.
- Barry Orton