Tony Evers

Tony Evers, state superintendent of public instruction, objects to being forced to be represented in a lawsuit challenging his authority by attorneys who agree with Gov. Scott Walker rather than Evers. PHOTO BY MICHELLE STOCKER

Scott Walker’s allies are suing me and the Department of Public Instruction, the agency Wisconsin voters have elected me to lead.

Walker and his ideological special interests want to take away my authority as the state superintendent of Wisconsin’s public schools — a power enshrined in our state constitution. They lost an earlier version of this case in the Wisconsin Supreme Court but they’re back at it again.

I guess, as they say, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And while you're at it, rig the game.

Let’s not forget it was Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel who delayed special elections in two legislative districts because they saw how unpopular they themselves are, and were afraid of losing. In that case, after arguments were heard, and with the threat of contempt of court looming over their heads, Walker caved and called the elections.

Walker and Schimel have teamed up again, but now against me. And they’re scared. They are so worried about losing that they are refusing to allow me to pick my own attorney. They are insisting I be represented by Schimel’s own Department of Justice in court. Yes, that’s right, I am being forced to be represented by someone who sides with the people who are suing me. Schimel’s own agency has publicly declared they agree with the conservative group suing me.

This strikes at the very core of our rights as Americans. Whether I’m talking to Democrats, Republicans, or independents, they all agree that your attorney should represent your viewpoints in court, not those of your opponents.

The Packers would never allow the Bears to call their plays. I shouldn’t be forced to have my opponent representing me in the Supreme Court.

They don’t stop stacking the deck there. They are rushing this through before Justice-elect Rebecca Dallet is sworn in.

Why is Walker so afraid of me?

As state superintendent, I’ve fought Walker’s school privatization schemes. I’ve proudly stood by our educators and fought for more funding for our public schools, while Walker has cut funding. We must never forget that under Walker, over a million Wisconsinites voted to raise their own taxes to adequately fund their schools.

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Walker’s own ads proclaim, “Democrats are winning.” This last-ditch effort to rig the system is nothing more than a desperate politician scrambling to take power from his political opponents.

This isn’t political theater for me; it’s a job I take seriously. These are our kids. This is our future. This is about fighting for the constitution, and the trust that Wisconsinites have three times overwhelmingly given me. The people of Wisconsin deserve better than desperate politicians rigging our judicial system for their own political gain.

Tony Evers is the state superintendent of public instruction and a Democratic candidate for governor.

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