Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

He can run but he can no longer hide …

It appears that the lies that Scott Walker has told for his entire career, and his uncanny ability to stay one election ahead of any inquiries into his activities, have finally caught up with him.

Scott Walker won the Wisconsin governor’s race in 2010, in a low turnout election year, after lulling people into thinking that both parties were essentially the same. He did not bother to mention to the voters what he was telling his donors: that he intended to crush unions in Wisconsin, starting with the public employee unions. And he never shared his plan to cut $900 million from state aid to K-12 education. Gov. Scott Walker beat a recall in 2012, an election that 900,000 Wisconsinites signed petitions to force, by blanketing the airwaves with ads bought using out-of-state money he got by gaming the campaign finance laws. Scott Walker then won reelection in 2014, in another low turnout election, by flat out lying in campaign ads and public statements about his position on abortion and on unions and by glossing over his job creation record and the impending budget deficit.

In all three of those elections, he was able to get away with the lies because the captive press in Wisconsin was too lazy to investigate and report with any rigor: on his malfeasance in the Milwaukee County Executive’s office, his sleazy 2010 gubernatorial campaign activities which led to some of his staff being convicted of felonies, and, in 2014, the facts that put a lie to his boasts about job creation, the truth about the pending budget deficit, his plans for private-sector unions, and his disregard for the election financing laws of the state.

So Scott Walker won and was able to launch his presidential campaign in 2015 from the Wisconsin governor’s mansion based on the myth of his electability: “Three elections in 4 years in a state Obama won! They love me!!”

Gov. Walker forgot one little thing: once he entered the national arena, he had to dupe the entire country and he could no longer count on the Wisconsin press to print his words without investigating his deeds.  

First, the national press aggressively pursued his record, and his propensity for talking out of both sides of his mouth, reported on it and suggested that maybe there was more to the Walker story than the fluff pieces in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal archives.

Second, Walker started believing his own press releases and assumed that he could sign laws that harmed Wisconsin’s working families and propose a budget that would eat the last bit of seed corn by taking more whacks at education including the university system.

Now, the chickens have not only come to roost but feathers are flying.

The latest Marquette poll shows that only 41% of Wisconsinites approve of the job Scott Walker is doing; 78% hate that he has largely defunded public education in Wisconsin in order to give tax breaks to the wealthy and 70% are angry that he is planning to destroy the jewel of our state, the University of Wisconsin System, and specifically, UW-Madison – not only a source of pride but a huge driver of our state’s economy.

When Scott Walker buoyed the crowds at the Iowa Pig Convention in January by declaring that “you don’t have to move to the center to win the middle” what he meant was that you can just lie to the voters and when you have a lazy press unwilling to call out your lies, you can win an election.

The game is up. Ed Kilgore:

Scott Walker has a distinct advantage over the rest of the potential Republican presidential field in terms of electability arguments. They have theories and analogies. He’s got a recent track record. They can talk about attracting swing voters or boosting base turnout. He can simply point to three victories in Wisconsin-a state carried twice by Obama-since 2010. Combined with his much-bruited Destroyer of the Unions persona buttressed by other ideological crusades, it’s a seductive pitch for conservatives who want to win but who don’t want to cede an inch of policy or cultural ground to do so.

But anyone with nagging doubts about Walker’s future electability need look no further than 2015 polling on Walker’s standing in Wisconsin. […]

Keep an eye on those Wisconsin numbers as the months go by. If they keep looking like this, other candidates or their flacks may start arguing Walker just doesn’t have it any more. And there’s nothing much sadder than an over-the-hill demagogue.

Well, actually there is one thing sadder. The sad future of the State of Wisconsin and the people here, left with an educational system once considered a model for other states and a lagging economy held hostage to the trickle-down delusions of those in power who think we are just one more tax cut away from prosperity.

I hope that “the middle”, in Wisconsin at least, now realizes that they were duped. We can’t elect a new governor until 2018 but we can elect enough Democrats to the Wisconsin State Senate in 2016 to build a firewall between the awful policy choices of the incumbent governor and those things in the state we love that have not been completely destroyed.

Let’s tell the Republicans in the Wisconsin state legislature that the game is up for them, too.  

(Crossposted from Views from North Central Blogistan)


  1. John Nichols @NicholsUprising

    Is Scott Walker losing that new-car smell? Walker cuts short EU “trade mission” to attend NHGOP event but prime speaking slot goes to Rubio.

  2. Diana in NoVa

    Many thanks. How great it is to know that Scotty’s lies and misdeeds are finally coming to light. Do you agree he’s going to tank before the election season even gets going?

    He’s one we’re not going to miss at all in the “Hillary and the Seven Dwarves” saga. His nickname was “Sleazy.”

  3. It is actually not surprising that the Koch brothers think Scott Walker should be the GOP nominee.

    Walker has shown himself to be the perfect empty vessel for the Koch agenda: no brains, no heart, no soul. But the Koch money will only go so far and they could not have chosen a better bottomless pit to throw their cash into. No, they won’t run out of money but at some point the American people might be disgusted enough by the specter of rich old white men trying to buy candidates, legalized bribery as Pro Publica calls it, that winning their endorsement will become an albatross.

    At some point the constant barrage of negative ads will simply turn into white noise. I hope it is the 2016 election cycle.

  4. “Watching Scotty Blow, contd: Governor of his Own Fugue State”

    We heard the bit about buying the shirt at Kohl’s. We heard “go big and go bold.” We heard about the death threats. And we heard a lot of stunning misdirection about how rosy things are with the Wisconsin economy. (I was especially taken with how he boasted that he had turned his state into a right-to-work paradise, Walker having denied up and down throughout the last campaign that he had any such plans.)[…]

    What we didn’t hear, of course, was that, back in America’s Dairyland, they may never get out of the death spiral into which Walker has shown the actual state he allegedly actually governs. His new budget is so draconian that even some of the Republicans in his pet legislature are starting to get nervous. […]

    The folks in Wisconsin seem to be tumbling to the fact that their state, in addition to being a lab rat for corporate conservatism, has been rendered quite deliberately little more than a vehicle in which Scott Walker can run for president.

    It will be interesting to see when (if) Walker’s pet legislature finally realizes that they are just a prop for his national ambitions.  

  5. Walker wants to embrace the “don’t let ANY immigrants into America” espoused by the likes of Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions (R-AL). In a comment on Glenn Becks’ program, he suggested closing the borders to legal immigrants who come in on the H-1B visa program.

    GOP Senators Criticize Scott Walker For Casting Doubt On Legal Immigration

    Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP’s 2008 presidential nominee who has been working on immigration reform for nearly a decade, disputed the Wisconsin governor’s suggestion in a huddle with reporters on Capitol Hill.

    “I think most statistics show that they fill part of the workforce that are much needed. We have, and I’m a living example of, the aging population. We need these people in the workforce legally,” he said.

    Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican of the chamber, flatly dismissed Walker’s insinuation as “poppycock” when asked in a huddle by msnbc’s Benjy Sarlin.

    “I basically think that’s poppycock,” he told reporters. “We know that when we graduate PhDs and master’s degrees and engineers, we don’t have enough of any of those. … The fact is you can always point to some negatives, but the positives are that we need an awful lot more STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] people. … Frankly a lot of us are for legal immigration and for solving this problem.”

    Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) also disagreed with Walker.

    “I’m a supporter of the H-1B program and I think that’s what he was referring to probably, because that’s been the issue,” he told TPM. “We want legal immigration. … As a party we’ve always embraced immigrants coming here legally, following the rules. And it’s enriched our country immeasurably. It’s who we are. It’s the fabric of our success.”

    Senate Republican Conference Chair John Thune (R-SD) said he didn’t hear exactly what Walker said. “But I will say this,” he said. “I think if you talk to businesses in this country, they need workers. We have a workforce issue in this country and I know in my home state of South Dakota where the unemployment rate is 2.3 percent, they can’t find workers. So having a robust legal immigration process helps us fill jobs that otherwise wouldn’t be getting filled.”

    Open mouth, insert foot. Even one-time advisor was shaking her head at Scott Walker, Boy Blunder:

    Liz Mair, Walker’s former digital strategist who resigned amid disparaging remarks she made about Iowa, also criticized the governor. Mair wrote in a tweet, “Sad to see the full, Olympics-quality flip-flop by a former boss today. I guess some people think they can do what Romney did in 08 + win.”

    She followed it up with a few more Tweets:

    In any event, I’m extraordinarily glad I don’t have to defend a) that level of policy gymnastics or b) that specific dubious policy.

    Internal polling [for Walker candidacy] must be looking dubious, showing attrition to more grassroots-conservative-preferred candidates for him to try this one.

    Interesting that it’s being reported that Walker got the Koch nod today, bc I’m hearing that Koch folks really pissed re: imm flip-flop

    Business interests want the H-1B program. Only the frothing xenophobe wing of the Republican Party (the people he was pandering to on Glenn Becks’s program) take this sort of hard line.

  6. Ed Kilgore on governors being the best candidates with this snippet

    Once you start looking at the 2016 Republican presidential field from this perspective, the first thing that jumps out at you is how many governors and former governors are struggling with home-state unpopularity or mistakes they made in office or both. It’s entirely possible, for example, that the entire Scott Walker candidacy could be unraveled by his growing problems in Wisconsin, where a lot of people who either voted for him or stayed home are angry at him for his nasty state budget proposals or for his pattern of doing highly controversial things (e.g., making Wisconsin a Dixie-style Right-to-Work state) he disclaimed or didn’t mention when running for office. That’s because his whole electability argument is that he won over swing voters in Wisconsin three times without compromising with the godless liberals. That argument loses a lot of punch if poll after poll starts showing Walker losing his state-by 52/40 in the latest Marquette Law School survey-to Hillary Clinton.

    Right. By bamboozling the swing voters.

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