Why, oh why, can Wisconsin not hold Scott Walker to account for flagrant, outrageous hypocrisy between his pre-governor press statements and his actions as governor?
I’m going to source these three examples for you. But even so, you may find it hard to believe.
OK, here’s the first one.
Remember how Walker campaigned so vehemently in the 2011 recall, arguing that recalls should not be for political disagreements, only for actual criminal offenses?
Well, here’s Walker as recently as 2010, praising the 2002 recall that opened the way for his candidacy for Milwaukee County Executive:
You know the folks that were angry about this started a recall and they were told they needed to collect 73,000 signatures in sixty days. Well, not hundreds, not thousands, but tens of thousands of ordinary people did an extraordinary thing. They stood up and took their government back. In less than thirty days they collected more than 150,000 signatures. It was at that moment I realized the real emotion on display in my county wasn’t just about anger. You see, if it had been about anger, it would have been about people checking out and moving out or giving up. But instead what happened was really amazing. You saw people standing up shoulder to shoulder, neighbor to neighbor and saying ‘we want our government back’ And in doing so the real emotion on display was about hope.
Scott Walker says, hurrah for recalls! WHY did we not hear about this during the 2011 recall campaign?!
During Scott Walker’s tenure, we’ve seen attack after attack on open government. The Capitol has been locked down, the use of closed-caucus has skyrocketed, votes are crammed through in the wee hours of the morning, bill-proposals that used to circulate for bi-partisan co-sponsorship are now being sprung on Democrats without preview or warning.
But what did candidate Walker say about all this?
“I don’t think there should be any votes in closed caucus, on any issue. If a county board or school board can’t discuss a budget in private, then the state Legislature certainly should not. There should not be any closed caucuses on the budget.”
What’s more, he said, the budget should only entail budgetary items; there shouldn’t be any nonfiscal items in it.
“And I would make it, by statute, that the Legislature can’t vote on anything after 10 at night or before 9 in the morning,” Walker said.
I guess that would be no non-fiscal items like the 2011 “budget despair” bill, that rammed through conference committee on less than 2 hours notice, while senate Democrats sojourned across the Illinois border? (I still cannot watch the below video without tears of rage.)
And the current budget proposal is bung-full of non-fiscal items, like the predatory expansion of voucher programs that even the senate Republicans don’t want in the budget!
But who in Wisconsin knows about this? And WHY doesn’t anyone know?
Ah, but I’ve saved the worst for last.
As many of you know by now, the John Doe probe into illegal campaign activity on the part of Scott Walker aides and associates has been closed without charging Governor Walker himself. SIX close Walker aides and associates were indicted, with convictions and plea deals abounding.
As you might expect, Governor Walker’s office and water-carriers across the state are crowing loudly.
But just look at what Walker said about Governor Doyle in 2006, apropos the Georgia Thompson case! Georgia Thompson was a non-political civil servant in the Dept. of Administration, hired while Scott McCallum (R) was governor, who during Doyle’s tenure was indicted and convicted of steering a government contract toward a political contributor. That conviction was OVERTURNED in 2007, with a federal judge calling the original case “beyond thin.” Upon hearing of her exoneration, Governor Doyle said she was entitled to her job back, and said that he was looking forward to speaking to her FOR THE FIRST TIME.
What Scott Walker had to say about the “beyond thin” case of this eventually-exonerated civil servant whom Doyle had never met (my bolding):
The indictment handed down today shows how corruption can infiltrate all areas of government. Unfortunately we have a Governor and administration that condones unethical and illegal behavior. The people of Wisconsin deserve better.
Today’s indictment provides further confirmation that the Doyle administration is damaged and must be removed from the Capitol.
For the unfounded indictment of a civil servant that Doyle had never met, his administration must be removed from the Capitol.
Governor Walker, what do you think we should do about the convictions of SIX of your closest aides?
Who in Wisconsin knows about this? Why can’t this information be shouted from the rooftops, blasted through the media?
Why doesn’t such blatant hypocrisy MATTER?!