Posted by: JanF | April 17, 2015

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.

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