Fresh from his victory in the nationally-watched recall election in Wisconsin last week, Republican Gov. Scott Walker said Thursday he will not pursue what many in the Badger State have predicted would be the next step in his conservative agenda: making Wisconsin a right-to-work state.
“No, I’m not going to do it,” Walker told Human Events at a press breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, thus making the strongest statement yet in ruling out a right-to-work law for Wisconsin. In televised debates with Democratic opponent Tom Barrett during the recent campaign, the closest Walker had come to distancing himself from the cause that most upsets labor unions was to say, when asked if he would sign right-to-work if it came to his desk, that he “didn’t expect it to come to my desk.”
Two nights after he hosted legislators from both parties to an evening of supper and beer at his official residence in Madison — in which Walker himself served the food — the governor sounded very conciliatory toward the unions who tried to oust him. Noting his clash with public sector unions, he went on to say that he had worked with private sector unions and they would be “partners” in issues such as economic development.
Rather than pursue right-to-work or overhauling the state’s pension system in favor of a 401(k) program such as many private businesses have, Walker instead spoke of “school accountability”as a cause he would pursue when the new legislature convenes in January.