$7 million! That's how much damage protesters caused the Capitol building, according to state officials. The damage is attributed to tape residue that held signs up on the walls.
Except...doesn't that figure seem a little...excessive? If you're like me, you're probably wondering: how could all of those signs cause THAT much damage? Especially if what was primarily used was painter's tape, which doesn't do much damage to marble surfaces, if any at all.
So when Walker's officials cited the $7 million figure at a court hearing Thursday night, it seems that they may have been making the number up. In fact, the administration has since backed away from that number, having been unable to back it up with any tangible evidence.
By how much have they backed off that number? Almost all $7 million of it.
So all's fine and dandy then, right? Well, not exactly. As pointed out at Uppity Wisconsin, it's possible that the Walker administration may have committed perjury if, while under oath, they cited the $7 million figure as reason why protesters had to be restricted from the Capitol. If they knowingly lied, it could spell big trouble for Walker in the years ahead (if he's even got that).
But that's not the only thing Walker has to worry about. After having publicly stated to reporters that he'd been receiving thousands of emails in support of his budget repair bill, the media is calling his bluff. The Isthmus and the Wisconsin Associated Press are suing Walker for records of his emails, hoping to get a glimpse of what the governor qualifies as support.
Indeed, it seems highly unlikely that Walker would receive that much support without also receiving emails of discontent as well. Polls indicate that, while a majority of Wisconsinites support the economic aspects of Walker's bill, they greatly disapprove of the removal of workers' rights. Even Republican-friendly Rasmussen shows that Walker's bill has minimal support, due to it stripping the rights of workers. As a result, Walker's own approval ratings have tanked, with more than half of the state disapproving of his job performance.
What's clear is that Walker isn't being genuine with the people. His administration is pulling numbers out of nowhere regarding the costs of clean-up, and it also seems like he's lying about how much support he really has. When you combine those points with the fact that Walker considered placing troublemakers in the crowds to stir up tensions, it's disheartening to think that this man really is our governor, really is the leader of our state.
We ought to reconsider our priorities when the next election comes around, through recall or otherwise. Do we side with big business, with the very governor who is ruining our state? Or do we consider our other options, of improving our state's standing in the nation through the progressive traditions that made us great in the first place? The choice should seem obvious.