Petition Signers Need Not Apply

Walker was for the nominee (for University of Wisconsin Board of Regents) before he was against him


From the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal:

Gov. Scott Walker’s withdrawal of his student appointment to the University of Wisconsin System’s Board of Regents — a student who signed a petition calling for the governor’s recall two years ago — is drawing fire from Democratic lawmakers.


The governor’s press secretary confirmed Thursday that Walker withdrew the nomination of Joshua Inglett, who just completed his sophomore year at UW-Platteville, but did not respond to questions about the reason for the withdrawal.


Walker refused to say why he pulled Inglett’s appointment.


“We’ve got plenty of other good candidates and we’re not going to get into specifics about it,” Walker told reporters. “We’ve made a decision to withdraw the name in our office and we’ll be submitting another name to the board of regents.”

Inglett told a Madison television station his appointment was withdrawn Wednesday, shortly after the governor’s office asked him if he had signed the recall petition.


Asked if he routinely checked potential appointees against the database of petition signers, Walker said, “I don’t do anything in that regard.”

If indeed the reason for the nomination withdrawal was the signature on the petition, then it would appear about a million individuals would no longer be eligible for appointment to state government positions.


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16 thoughts on “Petition Signers Need Not Apply

  1. Robert

    ECONOBROWSER: Analysis of Current Economic Conditions and Policy …… and Menzie’s left-wing political BS.
    Wow! A politician withdraws support of someone who comes out against him. Dems would never do this, NEVER target their political enemies….

  2. john jansen

    Professor,
    With all due respect I love this blog BUT I think your vendetta against the Tea Party Governor of the State demeans your other efforts. Why not stick to macroeconomics which you do well rather than chronicling the actions of a fellow who potentially threatens the status of tenured professors at a state run university. In that effort you are essentially a trader touting his own position.

  3. Menzie Chinn

    Robert: Thank you for your comment. I take it from your statement that you therefore approve of the Governor’s actions. I would like to have that on the record, as documentation of what constitutes appropriate ethics, in your mind.

    john jansen: Thank you for your advice. I, however, think it a good idea that people know how institutions that generate knowledge — what we are told drives economic growth in the modern world — are managed. In my opinion, a development of an economic base more oriented toward knowledge based activities is likely a requirement for a more vigorous Wisconsin economy. In that regard, I think this post has substantive economic content. If an academic institution becomes a mere appendage of the governing party, then where are we?

    To all readers — I apologize for the rapid sequence of Wisconsin based posts; for some reason, the legislature has taken action on a large number of bills during the summer, when many students and faculty are out of town…

  4. Brian

    Isn’t this the type of executive-branch position where the person serves “at the pleasure of” the governor? If so, then the governor has full power to decide who to appoint those positions.
    The only alternatives I see are (1) to make this an elected office, so that the student would have to run for this position, or (2) to make this a position that is subject to Senate approval (or however such positions work according to the laws of WI). Neither of those alternatives sounds particularly appealing for a student representative to the university’s board.
    While you may not like the governor’s actions, they are perfectly legitimate.
    To draw an analogy, President Bush (43) showed Colin Powell the door because they had fundamental differences of opinion. Whether you agree more with Powell or 43, wasn’t it 43’s right to have whom he felt most comfortable and appropriate in Powell’s position?

  5. CoRev

    Menzie, for heavens sake get your ethics in order. The Gov. floated a name for a very, very minor position which re[presents him/his positions. Upon finding that they did not agree with various of those positions, withdrew it. What exactly do you find unethical?

  6. Menzie Chinn

    CoRev: I have a suspicion had a Democrat reversed him/herself on the basis of whether one signed a petition, you would be hyperventilating. Or if you thought you saw a smoking gun email about data display (which later turned out to be innocuous), you would be more than hyperventilating.

  7. jonathan

    Do you think the quoted answer, if it’s correct, means “I don’t check stuff like this but others who did told me about this”?

  8. CoRev

    Menzie, what was your response supposed to refute? You brought up ethics. What was the ethics issue?

  9. Bruce Hall

    I can’t decide whether this falls under the category “Tempest in a Tea Party Pot” or “Much Ado About Nothing.”

  10. harrync

    The “student” representative on the U of W Board of Regents is appointed by the governor? Shouldn’t they be called the “governor’s” representative?

  11. Menzie Chinn

    CoRev: I meant ethics in the moral sense, not legal. If I were on a search committee for the best expert in “X”, I would not use a criterion of whether they like me or not to determine my selection. I’m sure you are different in your views.

  12. Tom in Wis

    “If an academic institution becomes a mere appendage of the governing party, then where are we?””

    Menzie, I largely agree with you in the substance of your ongoing critiques of our governor, and your motivation for highlighting the most recent issues related to UW makes sense. However, for better or worse, a public university is in fact an “appendage” of the government. Wisconsinites like my mother were on the other side of the fence for years, feeling like the university did not represent their values.

    Your challenge, then, is to persuade citizens who are suspicious of intellectual freedom to support — and pay for — the independence of you and your colleagues in the wake of recession.

  13. Menzie Chinn

    Tom in Wis: I think there is a difference between the university being an appendage of the government (but still nonpolitical), and the university being an appendage of the governing party. I think it a good idea to have the university insulated from day to day politics.

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