It’s been stated Scott Walker has been running for President ever since he was either asked to leave or quit going to Marquette College during the Reagan years. Maybe the fantasy started when he was an Eagle Scout. That’s why he decided to profoundly state in his Presidential launch speech: “Americans want to vote for something and for someone.” That’s deep, Scott.
Let’s just say the presidential run didn’t start off well. The announcement was prematurely tweeted three days before it should have and the campaign logo itself heavily borrowed design choice from a national eyeglass company.
When you think about how a governor was responsible for having observers of Solidarity Singers in the Madison Capitol Rotunda arrested, you’d wonder why he allowed grandparents, veterans, disabled, children and those using their constitutional First Amendment rights to express themselves to be subjected to unconstitutional punishment seen in undemocratic countries. So it was mind-boggling that he started his speech: “I love America.”
Other head-scratching statements seem to spew from his mouth like a runaway garden hose, like this: “Going forward the world must know, there is no greater friend and no greater enemy than the United States of America.”
Knowing how Scott Walker has been incompetent in terms of veterans issues, it was stunning that he focused on a veteran being an integral part of his “journey”. The problem is Walker’s record is not friendly to veterans on several fronts, including have his right-hand man Tim Russell (who also set up a secret email system feet from Walker’s office) serving time for embezzling money from a veterans support fund.
A new lawyer for Timothy Russell – the former aide to Gov. Scott Walker who’s accused of embezzling more than $20,000 from a veterans group – was appointed for him by the state public defender’s office.
The move indicates Russell was likely broke or close to it. He lost his West Allis home to foreclosure last year.
There’s more. Veterans have been taking it on the chin since Walker got into power.
- One of Walker’s first acts as governor was signing AB 96 into law in 2011, a massive power grab that allowed the governor to appoint the state’s VA Secretary, powers once held by the Board of Veterans Affairs. The move essentially regulated the VA to another political weapon for Walker to wield instead of an agency suited to help veterans. Three members of the board retired as a result of Walker’s clear overreach.
- Just this last legislative session Scott Walker did a grave disservice to veterans when he signed into law AB 19, making it harder for people to pursue legal remedies and compensation for illnesses related to repeated exposure of asbestos, including mesothelioma – a rare form of cancer that disproportionately affects veterans.
- Adding insult to injury, a key policy advisor in Walker’s administration reportedly told veterans groups like Military Order of the Purple Heart, Wisconsin American Legion, and Wisconsin Veterans of Foreign Wars to “back off” from trying to persuade Walker into vetoing the bill because it would “only irritate him.”
- Walker piled on veterans in the last legislative session by signing voter suppression bills that disproportionately affect the veteran community.
Of course, Walker was given great cheers when he mentioned how Voter IDs were needed now to vote, making it harder to vote as well as add hurdles toward minorities, seniors, veterans, students and those who usually vote for Democrats. It’s incomprehensible how Walker thinks voter disenfranchisement is a good thing:
The Wisconsin requirement, one of the strictest in the nation, is part of a state law enacted in 2011 but mostly blocked by various courts in the interim. A federal trial judge had blocked it, saying it would “deter or prevent a substantial number of the 300,000-plus registered voters who lack ID from voting” and would disproportionately affect black and Hispanic voters.
Here’s an excellent video highlighting how Walker’s voter disenfranchisement tactics are wrong. Hats off to Center For American Progress.
Walker got more cheers thanks to bragging that his personal vindictiveness against womens’ reproductive rights by attacking Planned Parenthood and enacting extremist anti-abortion laws that even take away health choices for those raped or attacked through incest. He stated: “We defunded Planned Parenthood and enacted pro-life legislation.”
Doctors who perform abortions after 20 weeks could be fined and jailed. Abortion rights advocates who have medical expertise like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists found that a “clear consensus by leading medical groups is that a 20-week ban on abortion would interfere with the physician-patient relationship at a time when women are in need of empathetic, respectful care.”
So that’s why Walker stated he wants to “put patients and families back in charge of their health care decisions — not the federal government.” Right.
Walker proved that words, not deeds, are cheap by saying: “We understand that true freedom and prosperity don’t come from the mighty hand of the government, they come from empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destinies through the dignity that comes from work.”
Apparently, “empowering people to live their own lives and control their own destinies” doesn’t apply to women’s bodies or even marriage equality, which Walker is against.
Or he better be, according to theocratical zombie and Presidential candidate adversary Rick Santorum, who implied that Walker’s wife and sons don’t agree with the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality: “When your spouse is not in-sync with you — particularly on cultural issues, moral issues — [you] tend not be as active on those issues.” Rick is telling Scott to get that little homemaker and those rugrats in line… and continue hating gays! Scott will probably comply… after all, he has to win the Far-Right Wing primary vote.
Adding to the delusional tactics that other Republicans running for President in 2016, Walker delivered the “red meat” statement about so-called “Obamacare”:
“As Governor, I approved Wisconsin joining the lawsuit against ObamaCare on my first day in office. We need a President who — on the first day in office — will call on Congress to pass a full repeal of ObamaCare.”
The Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to uphold Obamacare subsidies can only be repealed through a constitutional amendment passed by all 50 states and majority votes in the Senate and House. Would Walker and fellow Republicans care if tens of millions of Americans lose the coverage they’ve got through the Affordable Care Act? Since he rejected Medicaid Expansion which took thousands of Wisconsin citizens without coverage, he’d probably love it.
Walker spoke about education issues and continued to display the Republican base love of anti-intellectualism by attacking “Common Core” standards, corporatization of public schools through charter schools and the school voucher programs, which takes funding away from public education programs.
Bragging that he attacked tenure shows the rarity that a sitting governor would try to overreach and eliminate tenure with state’s flagship University of Wisconsin brought this response:
It will inflict lasting damage on a highly successful institution that was built and nurtured with major investments by Wisconsin taxpayers over a period of 167 years…. It would be difficult to overstate how destructive and unnecessary the [legislature’s] proposed changes to tenure and shared governance are.
Walker’s vindictive and short-sighted approach to education (among other issues) can only be explained by the fact he dropped out in the spring of his senior year at Marquette University and never graduation. Walker apologists say that geniuses like Steve Jobs or Harry Truman didn’t graduate. That’s nonsensical on Jobs’ part and disingenuous regarding Harry Truman, who was a World War I vet and businessman before becoming President. He wasn’t a career government employee like Walker.
Walker stated in his speech: “Government that is closest to the people is usually the best. This is why we should move power and money out of Washington and send it back to our states and communities in key areas like Medicaid, transportation, workforce development and education.”
On the campaign trail, we hear Walker talking about improving ACT scores. Of course, he’s lying:
In January, Walker boasted that his education policies were working, citing as evidence that “ACT scores are up and Wisconsin now ranks second in the country.” But the state’s ACT college admission scores are not up, and it ranks second out of 30 states — not the entire country.
The state’s average composite score on the 2013-14 ACT college admission exam was 22.2 — exactly what it was in the 2010-11 school year, when Walker first took office.
As for Wisconsin’s ranking, ACT does not rank states. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction determined the state’s ranking by comparing its composite score with 29 other states that had 50% or more of their students take the ACT test. While Walker said Wisconsin ranks second “in the country,” it is really only among 30 states.
Walker brags about making 76,000 people go through mandatory job training in order to receive food stamps and other support.
Not accepting $65 million in federal dollars to expand Medicaid coverage for the poor costs Wisconsin taxpayers millions in additional costs.
Having rejected $810 million for a rail project with trains built in Wisconsin connecting Wisconsin’s largest cities Madison to Milwaukee and destroying thousands of job opportunities, Walker has shown he can slickly talk about promising “bold new ideas”, but his actual record shows that he is divisive, incompetent and driven to focus on his political career instead of his responsibilities as governor.
Walker campaigned in 2010 on how his promise of 250,000 private sector jobs was going to happen by 2015. He repeated that promise when he ran for re-election in 2014. So how did Walker do with his big promise?
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the state had a total of 2,470,800 private sector jobs in December 2007, when the recession began, according to the state Department of Workforce Development. That compares with 2,343,600 as of May, a difference of about 127,200.
Meanwhile, the number of private sector jobs at the end of December 2010 was 2,317,200.
That”s the final number before Walker entered office. And that”s the baseline for our monthly update. The May 2011 numbers, released June 16, 2011, showed a net increase of 26,400 private-sector jobs.
Walker has 223,600 jobs to go.
It doesn’t stop Walker from continuing to sell his brand of snake oil to those unwilling to see past his failures when it comes to creating jobs:
Walker said his state “now ranks in the top four states in the Midwest for private-sector job growth.” But the state’s job gains at the time lagged behind the national average.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ total jobs data from January 2011 to September 2014 showed that Wisconsin had a job growth rate of 4.3% compared with a national average of 6.6%, ranking it ninth at the time among the 12 states that make up the “Midwest” under the U.S. Census Bureau’s definition.
One of the most damning features of Walker’s failed leadership is what has transpired with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Walker chaired the group until he was fired by it members. WEDC gave out taxpayer-funded loans to hundreds of companies with executives who contributed to his campaigns involved in pay-to-play schemes hoping to create jobs. WEDC lost track of millions of dollars in loans, gave shady awards to questionable businesses and has cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
We’ll see how many people he tries to fool as he runs for President. His actual record can be boiled down to an extremist War On Women tactics, making it harder to vote based on the myth of voter fraud, rejecting infrastructure improvements that were already paid for, slashing funding for public and university education, attacking working class wages, refusing to raise the minimum, not enacting equal pay legislation, unneeded tax cuts for the wealthy, failed job creation and skyrocketing deficits with the largest budget in Wisconsin’s history. Add the various scandals and continuing corruption investigations into his administration to show the absurdity of Scott Walker being seen as some kind of leader.
The Koch Brothers Experiment may be in for a tailspin.