Confusion may reign in Wisconsin after the state’s Republican governor, Scott Walker, released an ad in which his lieutenant governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, endorsed him for supporting equal pay for women–even though he signed a repeal of the state law that established the equality two years ago.
Walker is in a tight race for re-election against Democratic challenger Mary Burke, with one of the most recent polls indicating the two are virtually deadlocked. Walker survived a recall attempt in 2012 that primarily stemmed from his support of stripping government employees of their right to collective bargaining.
The move by Walker’s campaign is seen by many as an attempt to try and lessen what is currently a huge lead by Burke among women.
In the first year after the law was signed in 2009, women’s median income in Wisconsin rose, according to Rothman’s post in the Hollywood Reporter. By the following year, the state had moved up 12 spots to 24th among states with the best ratio of female to male pay.
However, Republicans who backed the measure to repeal were claiming that the law had become a huge problem for businesses in the state, while also creating false claims of pay discrimination.
Despite the fact that the Republicans’ latter point was baseless, since no pay discrimination lawsuit was filed during the first two years, the bill was passed and Walker quickly signed it into law.