If you had the stomach to watch Governor Scott Walker come back to Wisconsin from his pre-2016 presidential run right-wing media tour for his “State of the State” speech, you were not surprised to hear the same tired talking points and stale one-liners from this well-rehearsed charlatan. The speech was officially titled “Bold Vision and Bright Hope for the Future”, which wreaks of a cornball throwaway that propagandists like Peggy Noonan would scribble on a cocktail napkin on K Street in Washington DC.
With weak job numbers where Wisconsin is 42nd in the U.S. for job creation, scandals like the continuing John Doe investigation and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) cronyism and corrupt mismanagement of millions of taxpayer dollars, a very divided state from his draconian policies and a very divisive lack of leadership, Walker could only come up with what sounded like talking points from his 2010 campaign speeches when he was running for governor.
Four efforts were the focus of his speech: cutting taxes so the infrastructure and public services continue to crack, getting mining legislation that will go into courts for years, further defunding public education with $1.6 billion in cuts to favor campaign contributors who are lobbying for private school vouchers and corporatized charter schools and getting more jobs through failed policies.
Under Walker’s regime, Wisconsin’s economic outlook is bleak at best. His 2010 campaign promise of creating 250,000 jobs by 2015 is far off track with only about 37,000 jobs created. Of course, expect Walker to lie about how ‘it’s on track” with bloated estimates and distorted numbers to distract from the truth.
Walker mentioned that he was interested in “healthy transportation system that includes roads, bridges, freight rail, ports, and airports.” It’s a good thing he didn’t mention commuter rail lines like the one major project that he rejected $810 million to connect Madison to Milwaukee that would have created tens of thousands of jobs and improved the state’s infrastructure and other benefits.
The Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians and the Army Corps of Engineers have already warned that they will fight any mining legislation that Walker signs and tie the legislation in courts for years because they know it will be done carelessly as nearly all of what Walker has done since becoming governor. Tribal sovereignty rights and concerns about destroying the Bad River watershed, the Penokee Hills and the Kakogan Sloughs with sulfuric acid and other chemicals and other damage will keep any mining legislation a failure.
Walker mentioned he wants Wisconsin to have high-speed broadband internet connections in rural communities, but failed to mention he rejected $23 million in stimulus money that was to be used for expanding high-speed Internet service in libraries, government agencies and schools as well as improving police, fire department and hospital communications in rural areas of the state.
There were many complaints from critics of the speech that it was long on drama and short on detail.
What is important is what Walker didn’t say what he will do. He will sign non-job creation legislation for the so-called “pro-life” interests and further embarrass Wisconsin nationally. Despite what he has stated, he will sign voter disenfranchisement legislation if given the chance. The same goes for so-called “right-to-work” legislation. Whatever the Koch Brothers and the American Legislative Exchange Council want, Walker will try to deliver like a good errand boy.
Essentially, Walker will want to swerve further to the right if he survives scandals to get in line for a possible 2016 presidential run where he will have to appeal to the far right Republican extremists where he gets his funding. He knows where the GOP money is.