Saturday, January 25, 2014

Governor Walker Preferred Not To Recognize A Sex Offender Felon For Successfully Holding A Job In Wisconsin

Governor Scott Walker And Christopher Barber

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel exposed Barber's record after Governor Walker recognized him for successfully finding and holding a job in Wisconsin during the Governor's State of the State speech.

By H. Nelson Goodson
January 25, 2014

Madison, WI - On Wednesday, Governor Scott Walker (R) during his State of the State speech recognized 13 Wisconsinites for successfully finding and holding jobs in the state. The newly hired workers were recommended to be recognized for their skills and achievements by their employers. The Walker administration had invited credible employers to recommend newly hired employees to be recognized for their achievement and successfully being employed in Wisconsin. 
One of them was Christopher Barber, 32, of Two Rivers who Walker recognized and applauded his success in front of the legislators and public for finding a job and getting hired during Walker's job creation initiative. Barber wearing his welding gear even waved to everyone at the Assembly chamber and then left the podium. 
Afterwards, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) later exposed Barber as a registered sex offender, a felon and three convictions for DWI. Barber admitted in his Facebook account that he has never voted and is not registered to vote.
When Governor Walker was asked, if he knew that Barber was a sex offender? Walker told the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) that he was upset and frustrated that a felon was allowed to stand along side him during his speech. Walker would have preferred one of the many other thousands of newly hired workers with a clean record to have been chosen instead of a sex offender and a felon.
Walker during his speech said, "Every time we help someone find a job, it makes for a strong home, a strong community, and a strong state." But, it seems felons who have paid their time to society for their crimes and attempt to integrate back into society as a productive and successful worker are not included in Walker's success stories. Did Walker open the back door to acknowledge that the entire rehabilitation process of the state correctional system has failed to rehabilitate former felons? Then why waste millions of dollars to rehabilitate felons when in fact, they are stigmatized by their own governor, the MJS and a segment of society, which brands them for life for one simple reason, so, they can fail again.
Barber was placed on the spotlight and now must prove himself that Walker is wrong in not seriously recognizing his success to move on. Will Walker apologize to Barber for having second thoughts and wishing someone else without a record should have been picked instead of Barber?
Ariens Company in Brillion, Barber's employer, picked Barber to represent them because of his success to take a welder's training and an employee who had been unemployed and was hired at the company. Ann Stilp, Ariens spokeswoman in a press release stated, "We recommended him because he demonstrated initiative in turning seasonal employment into full-time employment and used training to advance to a welder position within the company. We did this based on his job performance as an employee since December of 2012. As part of recommending him for the speech, we did not know the details of his record." Stilp also stated that the company is now reviewing its hiring process.
Walker's sudden reaction after discovering that Barber was a sex offender is shameful for not giving credit to Barber for staying out of trouble and leading a productive life. Also, it is very shameful that the MJS exposed his record and didn't even give credit that Barber has led a productive life after paying his debt to society.
The MJS reported that Barber was convicted of third-degree sexual assault in 2005 and was sentenced to ten years in prison.


Shame on Governor Scott Walker and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

So Christopher Barber is a sex offender, convicted of two felonies and three DWI's. Barber who was unemployed for a while was recognized as an economic success who had been hired as a welder at Ariens, a Wisconsin company. 
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) recognized Barber during his State of the State speech and now Barber's recognition draws controversial criticism. Well, Barber even though he is registered sex offender and a felon has shown Wisconsin citizens that people can change, work and shouldn't be criminalized indefinitely, especially when they did their time.
Walker's administration is now saying they didn't do a background check on Barber after his company recommended him as a success to be recognized by Walker. So, what does that have to do with being a success in Wisconsin. He should be used as an example of success through rehabilitation one might say. 
Shame on Walker, now he wished Barber should have been replace by someone with a clean record. Also shame on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS) for exposing Barber's criminal record to discredit him and indicating that anyone with a felony or a registered sex offender can't be productive or successful in Wisconsin. 
Both Governor Walker and the MJS do a disservice to the Wisconsin by discriminating anyone with a record. A sad day for Wisconsin.

WSJ story at link:

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