Don't you just love this new batch of Republican governors? This may be the first crop to produce two governors who've pissed people off by removing paintings of the poor in their first months in office. First there was Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who took down a large labor mural because it gave businessmen the willies. Now our old pal from Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker, has removed a painting of poor, homeless, minority kids from his mansion, because he preferred some painting of an old bald eagle instead.
The painting Walker removed from his mansion had only been up since November. You can see an image of it at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's site, along with a description from commissioned artist David Lenz:
In an interview, Lenz said he carefully selected the three children portrayed in "Wishes in the Wind." The African-American girl, featured in a Journal Sentinel column on homelessness, spent three months at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission with her mother. The Hispanic girl is a member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. And the boy's father and brother were killed by a drunken driver in 2009.
"The homeless, central city children and victims of drunk drivers normally do not have a voice in politics," Lenz explained in an email. "This painting was an opportunity for future governors to look these three children in the eye, and I hope, contemplate how their public policies might affect them and other children like them."
"Wishes in the Wind" has been replaced by "a century-old painting of Old Abe, a Civil War-era bald eagle from Wisconsin." Walker's team says the decision was made to honor the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The Lenz painting has been loaned out to a Milwaukee library.
Which governor will dump a commissioned painting of poor kids or laborers or other useless bums next? Ohio's John Kasich? Florida's Rick Scott? Yeah, let's go with "Rick Scott."