Our friend Frank Miniter has a great story published on Forbes.com that exposes the very different views on sportsmen’s issues held by Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and his recall election challenger Tom Barrett, the Democratic mayor of Milwaukee. The election takes place today and, regardless of the outcome, sportsmen are likely to be affected.
Consider these excerpts from the Forbes.com story:
Barrett is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), a group with the stated goal of “making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets,” but that has been described by the National Rifle Association (NRA) as a doggedly anti-gun-rights organization. Barrett has an “F” rating from the NRA. Walker has an “A+” rating. …
… the NRA has endorsed Walker. The NRA said in a press release that “for more than a decade, the NRA fought for right-to-carry in Wisconsin, only to have anti-gun and anti-self defense governors veto the legislation. A bipartisan majority of state legislators passed right-to-carry legislation in 2011…. Governor Walker kept his campaign promise and signed this hard-fought legislation into law.”
… Walker signed the Hunting Heritage Act into law. This legislation’s is designed to help recruit and retain hunters who manage the state’s deer herd and thereby keep Wisconsin’s ecosystems in good health.
… Walker also signed a bill to start a wolf hunting season this October.
… Though it’s difficult to say where Barrett stands on some of these wildlife issues, an interview with AP implies a different perspective. When both were asked if they support making changes to the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Walker said he’d “require that all decisions are science-based and predictable across the state [and] improve involvement of the public in decisions about hunting, fishing and trapping.”
When Barrett answered he didn’t mention hunting or even science-based management, but said in part, “The DNR cannot be allowed to continue as it is currently being run from the top as a crony-driven department that gives special breaks to polluters who are campaign contributors.”
Clearly today’s battle is one for sportsmen to keep a close eye on.
Were Wisconsin and its unions correct in holding this recall election, and should voters recall Gov. Walker? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.