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Press Release
September 9, 2015

What Happened the Last Time Gov. Scott Walker ‘Wreaked Havoc’?

Politically Divided State Left With Falling Wages, Historic Cuts to Public Education and Stagnant Economy as Career Politician Pursues Higher Office

MADISON, Wis. — In the latest rebranding of Gov. Scott Walker’s flailing campaign for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination the career politician is promising he will be “wreaking havoc” in Washington, D.C. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Wisconsin has already experienced Walker’s brand of havoc, and has been left with unprecedented political division, a stagnant economy with falling wages and decresed investments in priorities like public education.

“Scott Walker has always been willing to do or say anything to try to win an election,” commented Ross. “It’s no surprise he’s now trying to boost his sagging poll numbers by promoting the same kinds of attacks on working people that vaulted him to national prominence while conveniently ignoring how his policies left Wisconsin in shambles.”

Previously Walker never explicitly campaigned on the attacks on working families in Wisconsin that left the state politically divided as never before. Other Walker initiatives, like his semi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, have proved to be unmitigated disasters while his reversing course on other issues in pursuit of his own political ambition will cut Wisconsin families wages.

Among the repercussions of Walker’s agenda on Wisconsin families are:

Falling wages: Walker’s signature attack on worker rights known as Act 10 significantly reduced the take home pay of public employees like teachers, nurses, prison guards and other state and local government workers. But other measures he has signed into law are also leaving Wisconsin families with less income. In a state where women make 81 cents on the dollar compared to men, Walker repealed the state equal pay law. He also signed a wrong for Wisconsin right to work law that will cut union and non-union families annual incomes by up to $5,000 and gutted a state prevailing wage law that helps protect jobs by ensuring infrastructure projects go to local firms that hire local workers, rather than firms that bring in lower wage workers from other states.

Record cuts to education: Walker signed the biggest cuts to public education in state history into law — $1.2 billion slashed from K-12 schools, a 30 percent state funding cut to technical colleges and nearly $700 million from the University of Wisconsin System. Meanwhile Walker has aggressively expanded an unaccountable private school voucher program favored by his presidential campaign chair and wealthy out of state donors and failed to support student loan debt reform.

Stagnant economy: The all too predictable result of Walker’s recipe of lower wages for middle class families, cuts to public education and tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations is a stagnating state economy. Wisconsin ranks dead last in the Midwest in job creation, and lags most of the rest of the nation too. A recent study found that if Wisconsin had only created jobs at the national average over Walker’s time in office instead of falling short of the national average, the state would have over 90,000 more jobs. Wisconsin lags national averages in wage growth and according to the Pew Foundation has the fastest shrinking middle class in the nation.

Political division: Walker himself declared to the woman who wrote him the largest single contribution to a candidate’s campaign in state history that he intended to “divide and conquer.” On the dividing part he has most assuredly succeeded. Polls show Wisconsin politically divided as never before, although there is an emerging consensus in the the state that Walker’s performance as governor is sub-par. In the most recent statewide poll over 60 percent of voters registered disapproval with his job performance.

Ross noted that while Walker may be declaring he intends on “wreaking havoc,” don’t expect him to take any responsibility for the negative fallout. Among the litany of excuses given by career politician Walker for his failure to create barely half the jobs he promised, he ironically blamed the “uncertainty” resulting from controversy spawned by his own actions as governor.

“We’ve experienced firsthand in Wisconsin what happens when Scott Walker wreaks havoc — falling wages, a sagging economy, cuts to critical investments like public education and unprecedented political division. His political strategists might think it’s a good campaign slogan but it’s no way to run a state,” concluded Ross.

For more on Scott Walker and the lowdown on the cronyism, corruption and incompetence that has marked his nearly 8,100 days in public office, check out One Wisconsin Now’s The Scott Walker Files website at OneWisconsinNow.org/ScottWalker/.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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