Scott Walker’s Record on Politics
Gov. Scott Walker is a masterful career politician, willing to do or say anything to get elected. He carefully cultivates relationships with key players and donors.
Walker is also willing to push the boundaries of ethics and law, which has ensnared him two John Doe investigations into activities of his campaign. In addition, he was able to take advantage of a recall fundraising loophole to raise unlimited campaign cash and solidify a nationwide network of megadonors.
His political philosophy can be summed up in three easy steps we call the Walker Doctrine: (1) Reward my donors, (2) Increase my power, and (3) Punish my enemies.
An unprecedented cross-country cash grab, driven by donations from wealthy, right-wing ideologues and special interests, turbocharged with a campaign finance loophole allowed Gov. Scott Walker to raise donations in unlimited amounts to fund expenses related to “recall defense.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on comments by Scott Walker’s Republican Governors Association related to the 2018 gubernatorial campaign.
Career Politician Scott Walker, Addressing State Big Biz Lobby Before Holding Fundraiser for Himself, Reports ‘Interest’ in Re-Election Bid
Gov. Scott Walker was interviewed by members of the state media today, after addressing a gathering of the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which has spent millions to support his political career, and before he travels tonight to the tony Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee to fete himself at a holiday fundraiser.
What’s on your Christmas wish list if you’re a governor with a taxpayer-funded mansion in which to live, a chauffeur to drive you to and from work, state planes to fly you around the state and country (or to avoid pesky I-94 traffic between Madison and Milwaukee), top-notch health care benefits for you and your family and a generous pension? If you’re Scott Walker, it’s a donation of $5,000, $2,500, $1,000 or $500 to his campaign warchest.
Top Wisconsin Republicans U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and Gov. Scott Walker have announced they will be standing with Donald Trump on stage this evening as he visits Wisconsin. With their recent statements, Trump’s Wisconsin GOP comrades also have his back when it comes to downplaying rising concerns about alleged Russian sponsored cyber attacks and media disinformation campaign designed to influence the U.S. Presidential election.
In a campaign appearance Tuesday, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump made comments inciting violence as a means to prevent Hillary Clinton from appointing judges to the federal judiciary if she is elected President.
Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump visits Wisconsin today, but top state Republicans like Gov. Walker, Sen. Ron Johnson and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos will be nowhere to be found at the event, despite all pledging their support to Trump.
Failed Republican presidential candidate and current Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has refused to condemn documented plagiarism by the Donald Trump campaign, which is the exact opposite of Walker’s thunderous condemnations in 2014 over allegations of plagiarism by his Democratic opponent.
Would Trump University Have Gotten Less Scrutiny in Wisconsin Under Law Change Proposed by Gov. Walker After Taking $10,000 Trump Contribution?
Trump University, the for-profit “college” owned by Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, has been under scrutiny by the courts and the press for business practices that left students deep in debt with little to show for their time and money. But according to a media report in the Capital Times, in Wisconsin the shady outfit could have received less scrutiny under a provision Gov. Scott Walker included in his state budget after receiving a then maximum allowed by law campaign contribution of $10,000. Trump had also previously given to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, an organization investigated by state prosecutors for allegations of illegally coordinating with Walker’s campaigns.
Gov. Walker: Endorser of Ted Cruz, Recipient of Donald Trump Donations, Lends His List to John Kasich for Fundraising Effort
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, himself a candidate the Republican Presidential nomination for 71 days, has publicly endorsed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz in the GOP race for President. But Walker has also rented out his fundraising list to Cruz and Trump’s nomination rival Gov. John Kasich for a fundraising plea hitting e-mail inboxes today.
Gov. Scott Walker, himself a 2016 Republican presidential candidate for 71 days, endorsed U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz today. In announcing his pick, Walker failed to mention the most obvious reason for his support, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross — Cruz is the only candidate still in the race who actively solicited money to help retire his massive campaign debt.
Republicans desperately trying to derail their party’s presidential front-runner Donald Trump have seen the state’s leading Republican and failed presidential candidate Gov. Scott Walker sit silently on the sidelines. Gov. Walker is the only state Republican to have received campaign contributions from Trump, a maximum $10,000 contribution, on June 23, 2014.
Gov. Scott Walker, whose presidential primary front-runner status ended with a spectacular 71-day flame out in early fall 2015, has yet to join establishment Republicans across Wisconsin trying to stop the near-inevitable nomination of Donald Trump as the GOP’s fall presidential candidate. Even a series of memorable attacks against Walker and the Republican-controlled Wisconsin state legislature’s dismal failures, haven’t been enough to get the governor to endorse any of Trump’s fellow contenders.
The reckless spending of Gov. Scott Walker’s Presidential Campaign drove him from the race a mere 70 days after officially announcing his candidacy and left him with a reported debt of $1 million. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel news report based on One Wisconsin Now’s review of Walker’s state campaign finance report raises disturbing new questions about whether in his desperation for cash to fuel his political ambition Walker tapped his state campaign account to pay the bills.
Gov. Scott Walker Previews More Partisanship on State High Court With Plot to Appoint Political Crony to Open Judicial Seat
Gov. Scott Walker appears set to add to his record of cronyism, corruption and incompetence with the appointment of his political crony, Rebecca Bradley, to yet another judicial post, time a seat on the state’s high court. Bradley has been appointed by Walker to both of the seats she has held in her brief career as a judge and is an announced candidate for the Spring 2016 Wisconsin Supreme Court seat to which Walker appears poised to appoint her.
Media reports indicate Gov. Scott Walker will announce today he is ending his run for the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary after the most recent national polls have found the one-time front runner at 0% support among voters.
Sinking in the national polls, the bumbling campaign of onetime frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, is preparing to double down with renewed attacks on working people. Career politician Walker’s desperate bid to remain competitive on the backs of the middle class and working people will be unveiled in a Monday speech in Las Vegas Nevada, hometown of anti-union, Walker mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
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.
In a weekend talk show appearance, the increasingly desperate and embarrassing campaign of Scott Walker for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination hit a new low as he opined building a fence along the 5,525 mile long United States - Canada border is a “legitimate idea.” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross today suggested five other ideas Walker ought to consider legitimate as part of his day job where he ostensibly still serves as governor of the state of Wisconsin.
With the poll numbers for his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination in free fall, former front-runner Gov. Scott Walker is desperately searching for a way to continue his 22 year career as a politician. It appears the Walker gang has decided to fall back on casting a Governor who divided Wisconsin as never before, stripped 175,000 employees of workplace rights and left the state last in the Midwest on jobs as a victim, as unintimidated by those who would question his effectiveness and his record.
Gov. Scott Walker’s recent tame rebuke of Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments about Republican Sen. John McCain’s military service comes after Walker took nearly $500,000 from Bob Perry, the architect of the notorious “Swift Boat” campaign smearing the military service of Purple Heart winner John Kerry. One Wisconsin Now today called on Walker to return the Perry money to the late Republican’s family.
Is Governor Scott Walker Betting on Support From Right-Wing Casino Magnate With Latest Las Vegas Jaunt?
Leaving behind the state of which he is ostensibly still governor, Scott Walker is off in pursuit of his next political ambition, the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. But his first stop after officially announcing his candidacy is not a traditional state such as Iowa or New Hampshire but Las Vegas, Nevada. Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now and Annette Magnus, Executive Director of Battle Born Progress, questioned if Walker’s travel is motivated by a desire for the financial backing of right-wing casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Least Surprising Announcement of the Day: Career Politician Governor Scott Walker Running for Office
Today career politician Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker makes formal his run for President. Over twenty-two years in public office, Walker has amassed a staggering record of cronyism, corruption and incompetence. One Wisconsin Now has released a compendium of research, The Scott Walker Files, documenting his long political career and including in-depth reports on the right-wing Bradley Foundation run by his campaign chair and the millionaires and billionaires who’ve funded his political ambitions and additional features like “Ten Things You May Not Know About Scott Walker” and “Walker’s World” documenting the many reality-defying statements of Scott Walker.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker touts himself as purveyor of big, bold ideas for the public good in his pursuit of the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker has instead advanced his own political career by pledging allegiance on pet issues for major right-wing funders the Bradley Foundation, run by his gubernatorial campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, and the Koch family foundations of notorious right-wing billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.
Out-of-state backers of the failed 25-year school privatization racket will be descending upon Madison today for what will likely be among many events designed to “commemorate” the quarter-century failed school privatization experiment in Wisconsin. The event is being hosted by the Federalist Society with a featured speaker from the Goldwater Institute, both of which have received huge financial support from the pro-privatization Bradley Foundation, which is headed by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe.
In what may be one of the least surprising endorsements thus far in the race for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination, billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch have said they favor Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Walker has been a long-time Koch brothers loyalist, dating back to a 2008 loyalty pledge to support the notorious brothers animus to efforts to halt climate change that could impact their business empire’s bottom line.
On his first day as governor of Wisconsin, Walker authorized a state lawsuit challenging Obama's signature health care law and, in part because of the success of states' legal challenges to the federal Affordable Care Act, later opted not to use federal money under that law to expand state health programs.
Walker has said he will “push back” on any pressure for governors to fix Obamacare should the Supreme Court rule against subsidies for states that have not set up their own exchange
SYKES: You may have a major decision coming up in a few months. If the Supreme Court rules in this King v. Burwell case that nobody in Wisconsin can continue to receive federal Obamacare subsidies, there is going to be tremendous pressure on Republican governors — including you — to create a state exchange. What are you gonna do? Do you have contingency plans in place? WALKER: We’re gonna push back. This is a problem that was created by this president and the Congress that was in the majority at that time. There’s gonna be incredible pressure — we heard it about a month and a half ago when I was at the White House with all the other governors from across the country. The president doesn’t have a fallback plan. But this is not something the state created. This is something the federal government — this president and the Congress created. They’ve gotta come up with a solution.Blaming post-King chaos on Obama and Democrats will obviously be the first thing GOP governors like Walker try to do. But Democrats don’t control Congress anymore. And according to law professor Nicholas Bagley, who has taken a close look at the administration’s options for a forthcoming legal paper, there is little Obama can do on his own. “The Obama administration has no good options for picking up the pieces after an adverse ruling in King,” Bagley tells me. “It can probably make it slightly easier for states to establish their own exchanges and it might even be able to treat some federally facilitated exchanges as state-based exchanges. But, even under the most optimistic scenario, millions of people will still lose their health coverage and the insurance markets in many states will collapse. The notion that the administration has the unilateral authority to restore tax credits nationwide is just wrong.” What this means is that, if Walker really is going to demand that the “federal government” fix the problem, that would mean demanding that Congressional Republicans participate in any such fix. The post-King mess could be particularly acute in Wisconsin: Because of a decision Walker made to shift people from Medicaid to subsidized private insurance, significantly more people may be on subsidies than otherwise might have been, meaning Walker could be on the political hook for the mess. Some 185,000 Wisconsinites qualify for subsidies.”
Audio from an Iowa event in March reveals Gov. Scott Walker joking with the crowd about his effort to evade campaign finance laws, while he rakes in potentially unlimited personal and corporate contributions to his sham fundraising operation while traveling the country on the presidential campaign trail without officially declaring his candidacy for president.
Earlier this week it was revealed Wisconsin’s richest man gave a secret $1.5 million donation to a group supporting Gov. Scott Walker before $1.8 million in tax breaks were approved for his business. Mere days later state legislative Republicans are circulating a proposal to hide even more information on the sources of their campaign cash.
Walker allowed state to contest & appeal marriage ruling, resulting in state ultimately owing $1.1 million to the ACLU in legal fees
“Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, in the lead-up to an expected presidential bid, is continuing a push to align himself with the most conservative elements of the Republican Party, writing in an email to supporters on Monday that the United States should move forward with “bold conservative reforms to improve health care,” in place of the Affordable Care Act. The ACA, despite concerted efforts by congressional Republicans and GOP-controlled state legislatures to undermine the law, has added 16.4 million people to health insurance rolls since October 2013. Walker’s email, written on the five-year anniversary of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, lambasts the health-care reform law and President Obama (emphasis his):Obamacare gets a failing grade and for once…just once…I wish President Obama would admit that he was wrong. We told him so but he refused to listen.President Obama is turning the most advanced and successful healthcare system in the world upside down.Five years into this policy debacle, the American people are saying, “So Far, So Bad.” The facts tell a different story. Not only have millions of citizens gained access to health insurance, but hospital costs have shot down by 20 percent across all states, and by 26 percent in states that have expanded Medicaid—a key element of President Obama’s health-care law.
Not-So-Sweet Sixteen Highlights the Lowlights of Gov. Scott Walker’s Deceit, Cronyism, Corruption and Incompetence
If after the first round of college men’s basketball tournament games you’re thinking your brackets are looking bad, cheer up. One Wisconsin Now has unveiled their own “sweet sixteen”, highlighting the not-so-sweet deceit, cronyism and corruption and incompetence of Gov. Scott Walker’s tenure that puts even the ugliest tournament bracket to shame.
The treasurer of the political group formed by Gov. Scott Walker to employ his presidential campaign staff in waiting is before the Wisconsin State Senate today for a confirmation vote on his appointment to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross raised serious concerns about having someone associated with Gov. Walker’s political operation currently in the processing of shaking down donors across the nation overseeing.
One Wisconsin Now is warning New Hampshire voters to beware this weekend when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker visits to audition for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination. Behind Walker’s rhetoric of economic recovery and courageous, principled action is a trail of deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence that includes a sagging state economy, mismanaged budgets, criminal investigations and payoffs to special interests – topped off with politically expedient flip-flops pandering to the most extreme Tea Party wing of the GOP.
As Gov. Scott Walker criss-crosses the country auditioning for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination instead of doing the job he was elected to do, fellow Republican legislators are running amok. The latest incident involves GOP Rep. Michael Schraa offering a tour of “off limits” parts of the Capitol, including the Governor’s office, in possible violation of state law.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has consistently opposed ethanol fuel requirements as a state legislator, Milwaukee County Executive and gubernatorial candidate. But in his audition for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination Walker has made well publicized flip flops and panders on issues like immigration, labor rights and abortion. As Gov. Walker travels to Iowa on Saturday to speak at the Iowa Ag Summit the question is, will his views on ethanol ‘evolve’?
GOP-Controlled Committee Puts Special Interests Funded by Gov. Walker’s Campaign Co-Chair at Front of the Line While Shutting Out Wisconsin Families
Seven groups that received funding from the Bradley Foundation, run by Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair, were at the head of the line to have their say at yesterday’s public hearing on a wrong for Wisconsin right to work law. Meanwhile a large numbers of Wisconsin citizens who would be hurt by the law and waited all day to have their say were denied their right to speak when the committee chair abruptly ended the hearing.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross upon passage of Senate Bill 44:
One Wisconsin Now Research Reveals Gov. Walker Campaign Co-Chair as Major Financier of Propaganda Campaign Paving Way for Wrong For Wisconsin Right to Work Law
Late last week, while traveling out of state, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker dropped his pre-November 2014 election charade of opposition to a right to work law that could cut the average Wisconsin family’s wages by over $5,000 per year. One Wisconsin Now’s research of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair, reveals the stage has been set for Walker’s latest assault on Wisconsin’s middle class for his personal political benefit with a well-financed propaganda campaign utilizing a nationwide web of front groups.
Gov. Walker’s Profile in Cowardice on the ‘Wrong for Wisconsin’ Right to Work Law Provides Preview for Nation
With the announcement that a “Wrong for Wisconsin” right to work bill is about to be rammed through the state legislature, the nation is starting to learn what Wisconsin already knows: Gov. Scott Walker will say and do anything to get elected. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that before the November 2014 election Walker said he was not interested in a right to work law that lowers workers' wages by an average of up to $6,000. But, post-election, presidential candidate Walker quickly announced he would sign just such a measure if it reaches his desk.
Private School Voucher Industry Keeps Giving Big Campaign Cash, Keeps Getting Special Treatment from Gov. Walker and GOP Legislature
According to the latest round of campaign finance filings, individuals associated with the private school voucher industry kept busy filling the campaign coffers of Gov. Walker and others, even after Election Day. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross their donations are already paying off handsomely in the 2015 legislative session.
Walker has repeatedly refused to accept federal Medicaid expansion in Wisconsin, hurting low-income workers and women
Refusal to accept Medicaid expansion comes with a real cost to those pushed off Badgercare by Walker’s plan
“As of last fall, BadgerCare had added about 97,500 adults without children who were below this cutoff of 100% of the federal poverty level, with state taxpayers covering a little more than 40% of the cost and federal money paying the rest. Meanwhile, the state has dropped about 57,000 adults from BadgerCare with incomes between 100% and 133% of the poverty level. The governor said in 2013 that the great majority of those adults losing their BadgerCare would receive subsidized coverage by buying it on the private market or through an online federal marketplace created under the health care law. So far, only about one in three has done that.”
The highly respected and nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) released new projections showing that Wisconsin is ending its current budget with a $283 million deficit, more than twice what Walker’s aides said it would be just a few months ago. And Wisconsin is heading into a $2.2 billion deficit in its next budget cycle if Walker grants all of his state agency requests. Even if he doesn’t, Wisconsin will still have a $648 million hole in the next budget just to continue operating as it does now. Walker’s $283 million deficit is so big that it should trigger a budget repair bill, argued Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Schilling (D-La Crosse), but the Walker administration doesn’t seem to be interested in proposing one. State law requires a balanced budget at the end of every cycle and a budget repair bill changes current spending to uphold the law. Walker should know that—almost immediately after taking office in 2011 he proposed one and it was his 2011 budget repair bill that included the union-busting provisions that sparked massive Capitol protests and made Walker the darling of billionaire tea party guys. Not surprisingly, Walker is trying to hush up the budget shortfalls created on his watch. Walker may be a fresh face in Iowa and California as he makes a case for himself as the Republican presidential nominee. However, his ideas are the same old failed policies of giving massive tax breaks to the rich, weakening the middle class and ending up with larger and larger budget deficits.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is on the campaign trail for a new job this weekend. Before jetting off to California to meet with the right-wing billionaire Koch brothers he’s making a stop in Iowa to address Tea Party Republican Rep. Steve King’s Freedom Summit.
Leaving behind Wisconsin and work on a state budget facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, Gov. Scott Walker is off to California for the second time in as many weeks, this time seeking the support of the ultra-wealthy right-wing power broker Koch brothers in his quest for the GOP presidential nomination.
His continued interest in exploring a 2016 presidential bid prompted a question at the Oct. 10, 2014 gubernatorial debate: Would he promise to serve a full term if re-elected? He said he was "committed" to the position and planned to be in the job for the full four years. Some media saw that as a pledge, while others saw it as something just short of that. We think many listeners likely heard it as a promise, and we’ll treat it as such.
Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County staff had a code name for his gubernatorial campaign with which they secretly coordinated strategy and messaging nearly every day: “the dark side.” [...] Most of the correspondence involves routine county business, but many of the messages were sent using private email accounts. County staff also used private emails to conduct campaign business and communicate with Walker and his campaign staff, sometimes during regular working hours. In one email from September 2009 with the subject line “county vs. dark side,” Walker’s county spokeswoman, Fran McLaughlin, warned Walker chief of staff Tom Nardelli and campaign manager Keith Gilkes about not crossing the two email systems. “I think a REALLY STRONG reminder needs to go out to everyone on the list that NO emails from the dark side can be forwarded to our county email addresses or to other county employees,” McLaughlin wrote, describing how one employee had forwarded an email to a county employee that included email addresses for Gilkes and Walker campaign adviser R.J. Johnson. “My receiving isn’t illegal — and while she sent it on her own time — there should never be a connection.” “You are correct and I will make a point with Scott that he be very sensitive to what he is forwarding and copying as well,” Gilkes responded. “I share the exact same concern and what (sic) to make sure we keep absolute separation.” “Scott is fully aware,” Nardelli replied. “It’s others who must adhered (sic) to the rule. Scott and all of us have to be constantly aware and reminded of this concern.”
The liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now was critical of Walker's decision to give proceeds to the state party rather than donate them to charity. It dubbed the event a "pay to pray" fundraiser, a nod to the $25 prayer breakfast. "Scott Walker has one foot out the door for a 2016 run for the GOP nomination for president. It’s all politics all the time for him," said One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross. "One shudders to think what Gov. Walker will do with a $70 billion state budget when he’s willing to require a political donation to ice skate or pray with him." "The Republican Party of Wisconsin isn't being inaugurated and the idea Wisconsinites have to donate to a political party to participate in activities like this is another disgraceful example of a governor whose only concern is partisan political politics," Ross continued. Ross said it was "reprehensible" that Walker recently had a "photo op" with the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County when the group won't receive any inaugural celebration proceeds.
The Best Defense Money Can Buy: Parties Involved in Criminal Investigation of Campaign Collusion Spent Millions to Help Elect Court Majority That Could Hear Cases
The Wisconsin Supreme Court, with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley abstaining, has voted to hear several appeals related to the criminal investigation of collusion between the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker and outside groups. According to news reports, one of the appellants whose case the court has voted to hear is R.J. Johnson, a paid political consultant for Gov. Walker who also directed the Club for Growth (CFG) Wisconsin, a group that spent millions to help elect Walker and several of the justices voting to hear the case.
To commemorate the gubernatorial inauguration Wisconsinites will have the chance to ice skate, party and pray with Gov. Walker – if they’re willing to donate to the Republican Party of Wisconsin (RPW). According to the official website for the inauguration, events are open to the public but tickets ranging from $25 to $1,000 must be purchased from the state GOP.
But the courtship dance began months ago and Gov. Scott Walker is continuing his endeavors to woo casino mogul Sheldon Adelson — most recently with a dinner in Las Vegas. The mega-donor — who poured more than $92 million on behalf of Republicans into the run-up of the 2012 presidential election — is scheduled to host a dinner with Walker and top party donors, the Washington Post reported. Adelson's political adviser confirmed to the Associated Press that the two would meet and Walker's campaign spokeswoman told the AP the governor is in Las Vegas for "public and private events."
‘Right-to-Work’ Backer Cites Bradley Foundation-Funded Junk Science to Justify Attack on Middle Class Wages and Workplace Safety
A Republican state legislator who says he will introduce a controversial, so-called “right-to-work” bill is basing his case in part on statistics produced by a right-wing group that receives significant support from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the source for statistics being cited by the presumptive bill author, has raked in nearly $500,000 over the last decade from the Bradley Foundation.
What does the all but announced campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination of Gov. Scott Walker mean for the upcoming state budget? Based on the comments and actions of the yet-to-be-inaugurated for a new term Wisconsin Governor, the two-year $70 billion plus taxing and spending plan will serve as a glorified 2016 campaign ad.
In the weeks before the November 4 election, the Walker administration attempted to quietly solicit bids to redevelop the Hills Farms state office complex in Madison.
Less than twenty-four hours after the polls closed in the November 4 general election, Assembly GOP Speaker Robin Vos and Gov. Scott Walker called for a dramatically expanded private school voucher program in Wisconsin, financed with public tax dollars. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, a news report revealing the pro-voucher group spent nearly $1 million in the fall campaigns and $4.5 million in Wisconsin since 2010 shows why it’s no coincidence that an expansion of the unaccountable taxpayer financed voucher program is on the short list of GOP legislative priorities.
Despite telling Wisconsin voters prior to the November 4 election that if elected his plan was to, “serve as governor for the next four years,” Gov. Scott Walker made a national television appearance on Sunday, a mere five days after election day, in which he very clearly touted himself as 2016 presidential timber. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that Walker’s weekend presidential posturing follows his election night speech in which he made mention of “Washington” as frequently as “Wisconsin.”
In his election night speech after narrowly being re-elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker mentioned “Washington” as much as “Wisconsin”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted Walker's eleven-minute speech in which he mentioned Wisconsin ten times, Washington nine times and America twelve times was a stunning display that Wisconsin's Governor has already moved on to his next electoral objective.
Campaign Finance Records Reveal Out-of-State Special Interests Funneling Support for Gov. Walker Through In-State Big Business Lobby
According to campaign finance filings, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) political action committee appears to have shifted tactics and has been funneling their television advertising support for Gov. Scott Walker through the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). The most recent reports from the RGA show their Right Direction Wisconsin PAC sent $840,000 to WMC in just over one week in mid-October. Previously the RGA was sponsoring express advocacy TV ads urging support for Gov. Walker in their own name.
Gov. Scott Walker’s Campaign Co-Chair’s Fingerprints on Latest Political Hit Job to Try to Maintain Power for Gov. Walker
The fingerprints of the Wisconsin Money Badger Michael Grebe, Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair and head of the $500 million right-wing Bradley Foundation, are all over the latest sleazy political smear launched against Walker’s opponent just six days before the election. A review of IRS records and Bradley Foundation reports reveals they have provided significant financial support for the media outlet that first reported on the smear, along with funneling millions to other groups working to advance the political interests of Gov. Walker.
U.S. Army Veteran and University of Wisconsin-Waukesha student Saul Newton will counter Gov. Scott Walker's bus tour today with his own “Wisconsin Minimum Wage, Maximum Student Debt Tour.” In contrast to Walker's lavish campaign bus and hefty $650,000 contribution from out-of-state billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, Newton will meet the Walker bus in a 2011 Jeep Liberty he borrowed from his girlfriend.
Gov. Scott Walker, who has spent every single day of his time as governor under investigation and who has refused to disclose who financed more than $500,000 in legal fees as part of the criminal investigation involving some of his closest allies, is now even telling stories about the cause of his hair loss.
In a deceptive new ad, the flailing campaign of Gov. Scott Walker is trying to whitewash his disastrous record on student loan debt and higher education. Speaking directly to camera, Walker ignores the fact students are paying $200 million in higher tuition as result of hikes he signed into law. Also unmentioned by Walker is that he’s stood in the way of a first in the nation state plan plan that would allow many of Wisconsin’s more than 800,000 student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.
A news report, based on an analysis by One Wisconsin Now of Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign reimbursements for his use of state vehicles, reveals Wisconsin’s chief executive has spent at least one full year on the campaign trail. As Governor, Walker has the use of a state vehicle, driven by a State Patrol Trooper at all times. Based on a review of open records, Walker’s campaign reimbursed the state for at least 365 instances of travel because Walker used the car for political activity.
College Republicans have produced a series of bizarre ads ostensibly intended to help embattled GOP governors, reportedly including Scott Walker in Wisconsin, appeal to women voters. The ads, based on the TV program “Say Yes to the Dress,” equate casting a vote for governor with picking out a dress. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, College Republicans aren’t the only allies of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with sexist opinions about women and their dress.
Lt. Gov. Kleefisch Hosts Schimel Fundraiser After DA Refused to Investigate Husband’s ‘Pay-to-Play’ Allegations
Months after refusing to investigate Republican Rep. Joel Kleefisch, husband of Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, for allegations Rep. Kleefisch wrote a specific piece of legislation to benefit a compare donor to himself, his wife and Gov. Scott Walker, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel will benefit from a fundraiser hosted today by the Lieutenant Governor at the Tory Lake Club in Oconomowoc.
In an “Ethics Reform Plan” Scott Walker proposed while running for Governor, he promised he would not accept contributions from the date of his inauguration until the signing of the state budget. A review of Gov. Walker's campaign finance records by One Wisconsin Now shows that for each budget he introduced between January 1 and the date the budget was signed into law he raised nearly $5.6 million from 54,000 contributions.
A reminder from April 14 of how four of seven Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices owe their current elected position to the millions of dollars in spending in their races by the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce. Gov. Scott Walker has previously asked the appeal of the Peterson ruling go directly to the state Supreme Court.
The National Rifle Association is trying to revive the flailing campaign of Gov. Scott Walker by placing a $1 million television buy for the next month in several markets around Wisconsin. The $1 million buy covers markets in La Crosse, Green Bay and Wausau.
Then-Milwaukee County Executive and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker directed his assistant administrator to “please help him out,” after being asked by Stephen Einhorn for information that was ultimately used in dozens of voter intimidation billboards that were placed around Milwaukee in the weeks leading up to Walker’s election as governor.
While studies of the voucher program have failed to demonstrate higher achievement for students, pandering to the voucher industry has been lucrative for career politician Scott Walker’s campaign account. According to One Wisconsin Now executive Director Scot Ross that may account for Gov. Walker’s call yesterday to further expand the unaccountable private school voucher program.
The right-wing “public interest” law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) and a legal expert who have raked in at least $1.75 million from the Bradley Foundation, run by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, are entering the fray to try to help Gov. Walker out of his most recent legal jam. WILL announced yesterday they are seeking to file an amicus brief to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that a John Doe criminal investigation of alleged collusion between the campaign of Gov. Walker and outside groups should be halted.
Gov. Walker Reacts to Falling Poll Numbers By Accusing Media of ‘Bias,’ ‘Incompetence,’ ‘Being Lazy’
A faltering Gov. Scott Walker took to right wing radio Thursday to deliver a blistering attack against state and national media for his latest troubles, complaining to Hugh Hewitt, “it’s hard to tell in between is it bias or is it incompetence, or is it just being lazy…In many of these cases, it may be all of the above.”
Two Weeks After Gov. Walker’s WEDC Approves Ashley $6 Million Tax Break, Ashley Owners Gave Walker $20,000
Just two weeks after Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) “quietly” approved a $6 million tax break for Ashley Furniture, the company’s owner, chairman and their two spouses each made $5,000 contributions for a total of $20,000 to Walker’s campaign, according to campaign finance reports reviewed by One Wisconsin Now.
The increasingly desperate campaign of Gov. Scott Walker hastily convened a press conference yesterday to dispute the undeniable facts that his policies and administration have been an utter failure on job creation. As Walker’s campaign spin machine shifts into high gear, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the facts remain a majority of state economic development funds doled out by the Wisconsin Economic Development went corporations whose owners and employees contributed $1.2 million to Gov. Walker and the most comprehensive survey on job creation shows Wisconsin trails neighboring states and the national average.
An analysis of recently filed campaign finance reports by One Wisconsin Now has found supporters of private school vouchers from across the country are dropping big donations on Wisconsin politicians in recent months, including over $113,000 to Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch. In total, voucher supporters pumped over $175,000 plus into Republican politician’s campaign coffers in just the first six months of 2014.
Today’s state Supreme Court decisions supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on workers and voters were spearheaded by a four-member majority bloc that was elected through $8 million in spending by two of Walker’s biggest special interest supporters – Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
A review of Gov. Scott Walker’s most recent campaign finance report reveals he continues to reap a windfall of campaign donations, nearly $167,000 in just the last six months, from individuals associated with state businesses getting tax breaks, loans and grants through his Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The latest information comes on the heels of a report from One Wisconsin Now that found Gov. Walker’s WEDC doled out 60 percent of its economic development funds to businesses donating $1 million to Walker’s campaign.
“Gov. Walker is so committed to outsourcing that's he's even outsourcing stock footage jobs overseas,” said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now.
In his campaign finance report filed today, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reports an astounding 56 percent of his campaign’s cash grab comes from individuals and special interest groups from outside of Wisconsin — $4.5 million. Since 2009 Walker has raked in over $33 million, roughly 51 percent, of his campaign cash from individuals and special interest groups in states other than the ones he ostensibly represents.
Gov. Walker’s Campaign Launches Political Attack on a Successful International Corporation Based in Wisconsin that Provides 1,000 Jobs
In his latest negative television ad, Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign attacks Trek Bicycles - an international company, headquartered in Wisconsin and employing 1,000 state residents. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, this is just the latest example of the Governor putting his political self-interest before progress on Wisconsin jobs.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty is not simply a conservative, public interest law firm. It is a virtual extension of the political apparatus surrounding Gov. Scott Walker, engaging in ‘issue litigation’ to advance and protect his interests.
Walker Television Attack Ignores Corruption, Cronyism, Incompetence of His Privatized Commerce Department
Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign today announced a new negative television blitz against former Wisconsin Commerce Secretary and business leader Mary Burke. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross ripped career politician Scott Walker for attempting to “swift boat” his opponent while refusing to answer questions raised by a One Wisconsin Now report showing not only is his privatized Commerce Department (WEDC) failing to deliver promised jobs, but that 60 percent of taxpayer-financed aid – a staggering $570 million – went to donors to Walker’s campaign.
Contained in hundreds of pages of recently unsealed John Doe investigation court documents is information about the participation of the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), in a scheme termed “criminal” by prosecutors orchestrated by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign. Since the release of the documents, Walker has refused to say if he’s still doing it in the lead up to his November election. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross today called on WMC to come clean about its involvement in the scheme.
While Gov. Walker refuses to answer if he continues to direct a scheme to avoid Wisconsin campaign laws described as “criminal” by a Republican prosecutor, perhaps others know the answer. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested Walker’s campaign co-chair, the right-wing mega-funder Bradley Foundation’s chief Michael Grebe, might have the answer.
Seceding from the Union or Providing Relief from Student Loan Debt Crisis: Which is Better for the Wisconsin Economy?
At their state party convention this year, Wisconsin Republicans engaged in a well-publicized debate over a party platform resolution authorizing the state to secede from the union. Democrats meanwhile are set to take on serious economic issues, like what to do about the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis that ensnares 40 million Americans, including an estimated nearly 1 million Wisconsinites, at their party convention this weekend.
A report released today by One Wisconsin Now analyzing state funds distributed by the quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), created by Gov. Scott Walker, raises serious questions about who is really benefitting. The report found that owners or employees of 30 percent of businesses receiving WEDC assistance contributed to Gov. Walker's campaign or the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Meanwhile these same businesses received almost 60 percent of WEDC economic development funds - $570 million in total.
With a statewide public opinion poll released last week showing Gov. Walker tied with his Democratic opponent in the lead up to the November elections, Walker’s right-wing allies are again taking to the airwaves to boost his sagging electoral fortunes. Media reports quote a spokesperson for the notorious right-wing Koch brothers subsidized Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF), a tax deductible non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, saying the group will spend at least $866,000 on media, including television and radio ads in the coming weeks.
Gov. Scott Walker has, according to his state ethics filing, received more than $1,000 in compensation for “writing” a book. But how much more? According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker’s refusal to fully disclose the details of his book deal prevents the state ethics officials and the public from determining if Gov. Walker is complying with the state law that prohibits officials from unfairly using their public office for private gain.
One Wisconsin Now Calls for Feds to Deploy Election Observers in Wisconsin for November 2014 Election
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, One Wisconsin Now is requesting the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) send observers to Wisconsin for the November 2014 General Election. Federal DOJ election observers were previously in the state in 2012, and One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross cited recent law changes and the state GOP's record of animus towards select groups of voters in requesting their presence again.
Governor Scott Walker continues engaging in a pattern of secrecy with the public he was elected to serve. His administration recently refused to fulfill a simple request for email communications between the Governor and his chief of staff. In Milwaukee County, Scott Walker's administration went to great lengths to limit public scrutiny of its conduct of government business. It went so far as to try to evade the state open records law with a secret computer network for communications between Walker and his top staff.
“This report shows Gov. Walker continues to keep secret from the people of Wisconsin both the details of how much he personally enriched himself for his lucrative pre-presidential campaign book deal, as well as who financed his criminal defense fund,” said Scot Ross, director of the liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. “Given the corruption, cronyism and incompetence surrounding his administration, the people deserve much more information than what Gov. Walker has shielded from public scrutiny.”
According to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a media firm that has already purchased $2 million in television airtime this year on behalf of the Republican Governors Association (RGA) has reserved another nearly $2 million worth of time in the final weeks before the November election. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the latest influx of out-of-state campaign cash looks like part of an increasingly desperate attempt to prop up Gov. Scott Walker by the special interest funded RGA.
Legal Filings Show Walker Ousted GAB Chair After Board’s Unanimous Vote to Proceed with John Doe Investigation
Just released filings related to the ongoing John Doe investigation into allegations of illegal coordination between Gov. Scott Walker's campaign and a host of conservative organizations show Gov. Walker withdrew his own 2011 appointment of then-Government Accountability Board Chair David Deininger following a unanimous vote by the board to proceed with an investigation of the allegations.
With Gov. Scott Walker using “Tax Day” to announce his re-election campaign, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross railed against Walker for “his stunning lack of leadership” related to the stalled Higher Ed, Lower Debt student loan relief bill, which provides more than $80 million in annual tax relief for the state's student loan borrowers, according to the non-partisan Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
Eight Million Reasons Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices Should Recuse on Walker Request to Hear Corruption Investigation
One Wisconsin Now has filed a formal letter with the seven justices of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, urging four of the court's justices to recuse themselves from a legal request by the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker related to the ongoing John Doe investigation surrounding allegations of illegal coordination between Republican-aligned groups during the recall of Walker.
Walker signs early-voting bill; partial veto slightly extended voting hours from legislative version
Acting out of the public eye on controversial measures, Gov. Scott Walker signed asbestos liability legislation Thursday opposed by a number of veterans groups and used a partial veto to loosen new restrictions on early voting opposed by Democrats. Wielding his pen privately on a stack of 31 bills, Walker approved a number of elections bills Thursday, including the absentee voting measure and another one to give lobbyists more time to give campaign donations to state officials. In the early-voting measure, Walker used his partial veto powers — the most powerful in the nation — to nix language restricting early voting hours in Milwaukee and other cities to 45 hours a week while leaving in place a provision to prohibit early voting on weekends. Democrats and Milwaukee officials have decried those voting limits as the latest effort by the GOP to make it harder for minorities, veterans, the elderly and students to vote, saying it amounted to "fixing elections" rather than problems.
Emails show Walker campaign manager successfully delayed Milwaukee County settlement with parents of woman who starved to death at Walker overseen County mental health complex
Instructions from Scott Walker's campaign manager were explicit: Delay settlement of a long-standing legal case over the starvation-relateddeath of Cindy Anczak at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex. "Could care less what it is on," Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes wrote in an Oct. 22, 2010, email exchange with a Walker aide at the county, referring to the claim's legal basis. "Keep it buried until Nov. 2nd and then hopefully they'll settle." Walker went on to win his term as governor that Nov. 2. Anczak's parents, Jean and Myron Anczak of Greendale, would wait another full year before the county approved a $125,000 settlement. The emails were part of thousands released last week in an appeal by Kelly Rindfleisch of her 2012 felony conviction for misconduct in office. Rindfleisch was Walker's deputy chief of staff during his last year as county executive.
Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin, said Republicans donors have “pressed the panic button” on Walker's campaign. ”(Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce's) million dollar buy didn’t move the needle,” Ross said, referring to another recent ad supporting Walker. “And so now RGA is doing the dirty work and spending in Wisconsin before they've dumped money practically anywhere else in the country.”
Even while arguing for racial outreach from his party, Gov. Scott Walker has had to deal with recent disclosures of racially charged statements from aides, with the latest two examples coming Wednesday in a massive dump of unsealed court documents….Unlike past cases, the newest examples coming to light Wednesday in the unsealed documents involved Walker staff members who served as his No. 1 and No. 2 aides while he served as Milwaukee County executive. In April 2010, Walker's former deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch received an emailed joke from a friend about someone whose dogs supposedly qualified for welfare because they are "mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can't speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddys are." Rindfleisch wrote back: "That is hilarious. And so true!"...In another email, sent in July 2010, Thomas Nardelli, Walker's chief of staff for Walker at Milwaukee County, forwarded Rindfleisch and others a joke about someone who has what he calls a "nightmare" about turning into a black, Jewish, disabled gay man who is unemployed.
Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said United Sportsmen's sole source of funding appeared to be a conservative political group and that its main spending went to a GOP campaign consultant. “It is clear, based on their track record, that had United Sportsmen gotten state funding as envisioned by Governor Walker and Republican legislative leaders, this would have been a publicly funded campaign organ of the GOP,” Ross said.
Media reports from Omaha, Nebraska say Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be traveling there on January 27th to campaign on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts. Ricketts is a multi-millionaire with a reported distaste for paying his fair share of taxes. He ran a largely self-funded and unsuccessful, campaign for U.S. Senate in 2006 and, along with other members of his family, donated $420,000 to help defeat the 2012 recall of Gov. Walker.
One Wisconsin Now Calls For Investigation of Rep. Kleefisch’s Attempt to Slash Child Support Payments For Major Campaign Contributor
The whole affair of Rep. Joel Kleefisch drafting a bill at the direction of a major campaign contributor to slash his child support payments with a change in state law reeks of impropriety. One Wisconsin Now today requested Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel open an investigation to determine if Kleefisch broke any laws with his actions.
Legislation approved by Walker and GOP lawmakers requires some 77,000 adults in BadgerCare with incomes above the poverty line — $23,550 for a family of four — to be dropped from that state Medicaid coverage....Democrats note that some GOP governors have extended Medicaid coverage more broadly in their states by taking extra federal money available for that health program under the law. Expanding coverage in that way would save the state up to $119 million through June 2015, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.Elizabeth Schinderle, a spokeswoman for CMS in Chicago, made the same point Thursday. "This policy is unfortunately not the long-term solution we would like to see. As a result of the governor's decision to not expand Medicaid coverage, many people in Wisconsin will not have access to affordable coverage because of state-imposed limits on enrollment. We urge Wisconsin to fix this avoidable gap in coverage by expanding Medicaid and taking advantage of generous federal funding," she said in an email.
“Public Input” Walker Style: Administration Shutting Out Media and Public From Invite Only Meetings With Big Business to Talk Tax Policy
While claiming they will seek public input for an unspecified new scheme on state taxes, the administration of Gov. Walker is barring the media and general public from invite only, closed door meetings between top state officials and big business representatives.
Gov. Walker is publicizing multiple “forums” across the state where, at his direction, top administration officials talk tax policy changes with big business representatives. At the first stop in Beloit that featured Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, the Secretary of the Department of Revenue and business representatives, Kleefisch order the meeting closed to the public and media. Kleefisch has also refused to release a recording of the proceedings made by a taxpayer funded member of her staff.
In the wake of Gov. Walker's recent, controversial campaign e-mail encouraging contributions to him instead of buying holiday presents for children, One Wisconsin Now is offering a special deal for tickets to its progressive holiday party and 8th anniversary celebration in Madison, December 16. Attendees who bring a new, unopened toy to donate will receive $10 off the regular $25 admission ticket to the event, which will feature special guest, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan.
For the second time in less than four months, Gov. Scott Walker has fired an aide for making demeaning comments about Hispanics on social media. Walker — who has been calling on fellow Republicans to do more to reach out to minority voters — ousted Taylor Palmisano as his campaign’s deputy finance director on Tuesday. The first-term governor made the move after No Quarter contacted his campaign regarding the inflammatory tweets. In one, Palmisano, 23, complained about an individual who was doing custodial work in a library in which she was working. "I will choke that illegal mex cleaning in the library. Stop banging (expletive) chairs around and turn off your Walkman," she posted on March 9, 2011. Two months earlier, she went to Twitter to write about her bus trip from Pasadena, Calif., to Las Vegas after watching the Wisconsin Badgersplay in the Rose Bowl: "This bus is my worst (expletive) nightmare Nobody speaks English & these ppl dont know how 2 control their kids #only3morehours #illegalaliens.”
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding the public release of Gov. Scott Walker's book today:
Wisconsin Ensnared in $83 Million National Propaganda and Privatization Web Spun by Radical Right-Wing Funders
“S is For Shill,” a new report from One Wisconsin Now, in association with the ProgressNow network and the Center for Media and Democracy, exposes a web of right-wing funders advancing a radical privatization agenda through the use of Wisconsin-based front groups. In addition to support from the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, innocuously named groups like the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) and the MacIver Institute are part of the larger State Policy Network (SPN), a right-wing, dark money funded pro-privatization propaganda effort.
The latest attempt by legislative Republicans to resuscitate a voter ID law that would potentially disenfranchise an estimated 300,000 legal Wisconsin voters was considered by the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections today. The previous voter ID law enacted by Gov. Walker and the GOP is currently enjoined from enforcement by a state court and is the subject of ongoing federal and state litigation.
The state Department of Public Instruction today released official enrollment counts for students in the expanded private school voucher program. Nearly 80% of students participating in the program this year did not attend a Wisconsin public school last year, and over 73% of students now having their tuition and expenses paid by a taxpayer funded voucher were already attending a private school last year. The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross regarding the data:
Gov. Walker is in Wisconsin for the day and was scheduled to address a meeting of the state big business lobby, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), amid reports they are extending their pro-Walker television ad buy into mid-October. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered whether Gov. Walker would thank the special interests for their latest spending spree to boost his sagging political fortunes.
The author of a sweetheart deal worth potentially millions of dollars for a politically-connected organization was offered a free, two-day Lake Michigan fishing excursion by the lobbyist and Executive Director for the group, according to a story in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. One Wisconsin Now has filed a formal complaint with the state Government Accountability Board asking for an investigation of possible violations of state ethics laws based on the report, according Executive Director Scot Ross.
The big business special interest lobby at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has now bought over $800,000 in deceptive television advertisements to boost the sagging poll numbers of Gov. Scott Walker. After dropping $380,000 two weeks ago, WMC has upped its spending another $440,000 as part of a statewide television campaign for the next two weeks, according to figures obtained by One Wisconsin Now.
As part of his 2013-15 state budget Gov. Scott Walker signed into law a provision directing a $500,000 taxpayer funded grant to United Sportsmen of Wisconsin, a group that endorsed him in his 2012 recall election.
One Wisconsin Now will join public education supporters from across the state at Saturday's 'Public Education Is a Civil Right' march and rally beginning at Milwaukee High School at 10:30 a.m. One Wisconsin Now research has shown that the systematic assault on our public schools owes much of its support to tens of millions of dollars given to pro-privatization propaganda by Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe.
Almost daily new revelations have raised serious questions about the propriety and legality of Gov. Walker and Republican legislators inclusion of a sweetheart deal in the state budget that would have given $500,000 of taxpayer money to a group that endorsed Walker in his recall election. In the face of mounting questions and rising public outrage, Gov. Walker stopped payment on the first installment of the grant to United Sportsmen, after he signed it into law and it was approved by his administration.
New Developments In United Sportsmen Scandal Greet Gov. Walker Upon Return to Wisconsin From Latest Political Junket
According to a campaign spokesperson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker will be arriving back in the state today from a trip to the key GOP 2016 presidential primary state of South Carolina. While in the state for a short week before he jets off to Michigan for the weekend for another political appearance, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on Walker to answer questions about the sweetheart deal to send state tax dollars to a partisan political front group that endorsed him in his recall election.
Gov. Walker has ditched the brown bag and four-door Saturn featured in his 2010 campaign ads for state taxpayer funded airplane travel, according to a report this week in the Shepherd Express. The paper's review of Gov. Walker's travel records found that between January and July 2013 Walker used state planes to fly between his hometown of Wauwatosa and neighboring Milwaukee to Madison 44 times.
The scandal surrounding Gov. Walker's attempt to reward an organization that endorsed him in his 2012 recall election with $500,000 in state tax dollars in the 2013-15 budget continues to grow. Breaking news reports today reveal that the group in question may in fact be a for-profit corporation that received at least $235,000 in income in 2011, courtesy of the right-wing Citizens for a Strong America. Yet according to information from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, there is no record of the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin filing a tax return or paying any income taxes for 2011 or 2012.
Gov. Walker on Line One: Wisconsin Gov. Phones Home From Political Junket in Washington State to Cancel Sleazy Deal
A $500,000 taxpayer funded state grant to United Sportsmen of Wisconsin has generated increasing controversy over the last several weeks as serious questions were raised about how the grant process was rigged to make sure it went to a politically connected GOP front group and the trustworthiness of the organization.
Gov. Walker Jets to Seattle, Washington For Speech… Meanwhile in Wisconsin Over 6,100 Citizens Demand He Follow Campaign Fundraising Disclosure Rules
According to reports, Gov. Walker has reversed course and will allow media to attend a speech he's delivering to a right-wing think tank in Seattle, Washington today. While he's not hiding from the press on the West Coast, back home in Wisconsin, over 6,100 citizens have signed a petition to the Government Accountability Board calling on them to sanction Gov. Walker for failing to disclose, as required by law, information about his campaign donors.
Could a state grant slipped into the budget by the former Assembly Majority Leader, signed into law by Gov. Walker and rushed through the approval process by the Walker administration be used to help support partisan political activity? A loophole inserted into the budget provision authorizing the grant and the track record of the group in line to reap $500,000 in taxpayer dollars over the next two years certainly raises the possibility, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.
Questions for Gov. Walker and Assembly Majority Leader Mount as Committee Approves Grant for Politically Connected Special Interest Group
Despite mounting questions and growing evidence that top Republican leaders went to great lengths to ensure a taxpayer funded grant went to a politically connected special interest group, the grant was approved on Thursday. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross lambasted the approval of the grant in light of the burgeoning scandal surrounding the provision creating the program in the 2013 state budget.
In announcing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker would travel to Alabama as he continues his “stealth campaign” for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 2016, that state's Republican party touted his “Alabama values.” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if Walker will also share tips from Wisconsin on his efforts to manipulate the rules on voting to benefit himself politically.
Private School Voucher Scam: 75% of Applicants for Statewide Expansion of Taxpayer Funded Private School Vouchers Not Currently Attending Public Schools
The state Department of Public Instruction today released information on the number of new schools and students applying for the statewide expansion of the private school voucher program enacted by Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans in the 2013-15 state budget. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said the statistics about where the students applying for the program previously attended school expose the voucher program as a scam on state taxpayers, orchestrated by well-funded education privatization forces.
Liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now is hoping its latest complaint against Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign gets more traction than the last one.
In a stunning online rant, a top Gov. Scott Walker official likened illegal immigrants to Satan during a Facebook debate over a bumper sticker declaring open season on foreigners living in the United States without documentation. "You may see Jesus when you look at them," Steven Krieser, assistant deputy secretary at the state Department of Transportation, wrote Tuesday regarding illegal immigrants. "I see Satan." Krieser wrote that a "stream of wretched criminals" is crossing the border without obstruction. These individuals, he said, "completely ruined" entire states and industries, breeding "the animus that many American citizens feel toward them." Walker's response was swift and dramatic. Less than two hours after his office was informed of the rant, Walker fired Krieser. He had been paid $96,628 a year as the No. 3 official at DOT.
One Wisconsin Now Files Complaint as Gov. Walker Fails to Disclose Legally Required Information for 240 Donations on Latest Campaign Finance Report
Gov. Scott Walker's latest campaign finance filing fails to disclose employment information, as required by state law, for 240 large contributions, according to an analysis by One Wisconsin Now. Going back to 2009, when Walker began his run for Governor in earnest, his reports have failed to disclose legally required employer information for 7,512 big money donors giving over $100 totaling $2,330,197.98 in contributions.
In one exchange, Walker's top Milwaukee County fiscal aide, Cindy Archer, emailed Walker and Walker campaign aides on July 8 that "we may be responding too quickly" to requests for O'Donnell-related records made by his Republican primary rival, Mark Neumann, and by the state Democratic Party. Archer said she heard from Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager, that Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett was taking three months just to acknowledge receipt of public records requests. "My sense from Keith is that we should be operating one step above ignoring them," Archer says in an email to county staffer Kelly Rindfleisch.
Walker sought to justify involvement of campaign aides in county response to O’Donnell Park incident by blaming political opponents
Gov. Scott Walker said Tuesday that his top campaign staffers began advising and directing his Milwaukee County aides on their response to the 2010 O'Donnell Park tragedy because Walker's political foes were trying to hijack the issue. "Literally, within moments — I think even that day in your paper's story — there were comments from people involved in other campaigns," Walker said during a Tuesday press briefing. "So it involved the campaign not by virtue of us but by others who brought it up. Some of his aides' emails suggest Walker's team was doing more than responding to other candidates. Instead, they were focused primarily on fending off any negative publicity during the 2010 governor's race. For instance, Keith Gilkes — Walker's campaign manager — told a Walker county staffer in a June 24, 2010, email "to make sure there is not a paper anywhere that details a problem at all." [...] In the hours immediately after the accident, one concern was Walker's whereabouts and how that would be perceived. "Scott cannot be at a fundraiser or something like that," warned Timothy Russell, Walker's former deputy chief of staff, who was then his housing director. "He'll be eaten alive." Walker's cellphone battery had died; within an hour, Gilkes assured Russell and others that Walker had arrived at the accident scene. "He needs to lead and be on top of the entire situation," Gilkes reported. "ALL of us need to back him up and ensure he is on top of the entire situation — Scott needs to be front and center for the media." As more media outlets reported questions raised about county maintenance of the O'Donnell facility, more advice flowed between the campaign and county staff. Nardelli advised Walker's campaign aides not to reply to criticism that came from county Supervisor John Weishan Jr., a frequent Walker critic. In fact, Weishan and Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic are dismissed as "dolts" by Nardelli, in reaction to a news release the two issued saying Walker's administration hadn't kept county supervisors apprised of the O'Donnell probe.
Walker personally oversaw response to O’Donnell Park tragedy, he and his team put political concerns first
Gov. Scott Walker worked simultaneously with his campaign staff and county aides in coordinating responses to media inquiries, open records requests and news stories about the 2010 O'Donnell Park tragedy, according to newly released emails. The records show that Walker was integrally involved in the efforts to challenge any negative publicity after a concrete panel fell from the Milwaukee County-owned O'Donnell parking structure, killing a 15-year-old boy on June 24, 2010, on his way to Summerfest. The incident occurred in the middle of the 2010 gubernatorial campaign. ”It is disgusting that anyone would use a tragedy for such blatant political purposes," Walker wrote in a draft statement that he sent on July 20, 2010, to a small circle of campaign and county staff, including campaign manager Keith Gilkes, campaign adviser R.J. Johnson and Chief of Staff Tom Nardelli.The individuals in this small circle regularly emailed each other about the Walker administration's response to the incident. "Scott is down at the scene receiving briefing and should be attached at the hip with Sheriff (David) Clarke," Gilkes wrote to Walker's top county staffers. Gilkes continued: "We also need to know every detail on this structure and every piece of paper associated with this structure since it was built — information is the key to Scott dealing with this issue. His response will be the focal point of everything." [...] Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Christopher Foley released the emails as part of a lawsuit by the boy's family. Retired Appeals Judge Neal Nettesheim, who oversaw the John Doe investigation of Walker's staff, had earlier authorized prosecutors to cull records compiled for the secret probe that had some links to the O'Donnell accident.
In a recent story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gov. Walker weighed in on the Ryan Braun scandal, ripping him for failing to “fess up”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on Walker to heed his own advice by revealing the donors to his criminal legal defense fund and making public the documents he provided prosecutors in connection with the John Doe criminal investigation of his administration.
In a statement on Gov. Walker's recent campaign finance filing, his campaign manager touted his “grassroots” support. Would you be surprised if there's more to the story?
According to documents reviewed by One Wisconsin Now, staples of the state right wing noise machine, and some new entrants, were once again beneficiaries of the largesse of Wisconsin's Money Badger, Michael Grebe, in 2012. Besides controlling the $620 million plus in reported assets of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, Grebe serves as co-chair of Gov. Walker's campaign.
A review of campaign finance records by One Wisconsin Now has found that Gov. Walker's campaign and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) have raked in over $614,000 in donations from individuals associated with businesses receiving tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Walker serves as chair of the board entrusted with overseeing the operations of the quasi-private WEDC.
“Signers of the pledge, now numbering 411, promise to "oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue” — in other words, no legislation on climate change without an equivalent amount of tax cuts. They include one U.S. senator from Wisconsin, three House members, four members of the state Senate, and four members of the Assembly — as well as Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
Walker claimed his “boldest” reform of 2013 budget was forcing food stamp recipients to attend work training
Walker went on to say, however, that the “biggest, boldest reform” in the budget was new work requirements for people on food stamps. Able-bodied adults must spend at least 20 hours a week working or getting trained for a job, or they will be limited to three months of benefits over three years. Walker described this as a kindness. “We say it’s time to get the training, and the access to training so that when a job becomes available, you are ready to get in the game,” he said.
Gov. Scott Walker will have new power to sell state heating plants, highways and other properties, but privatization deals in other states have ranged widely in popularity and success.Revenue from the sales must be put toward relieving the $8 billion state debt, according to the budget Walker planned to sign Sunday...Critics of privatization argue that selling state assets while helpful to fill short-term budget gaps often costs taxpayers more in the long term. The deals have immediate benefits for in-office politicians but rarely are good for the future, critics say.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Today we examine the close aides and associates, with whom Gov. Walker has surrounded himself, failures to follow the law.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. The failures of today are, sadly, not new. In Walker's time as Milwaukee County Executive, local economic development efforts were bungled and services for the most vulnerable were mismanaged and neglected.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. The title “Governor of the State of Wisconsin” suggests that the holder of the office would consider the diversity of the entire state's population. As judged by his actions in office, Scott Walker has clearly failed in this regard.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. On the final day of scheduled debate on the 2013 budget, we look at the intersection of the certainty of taxes and Gov. Walker's failure.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Under Gov. Walker no area has more directly felt the impact of his formula for failure than public education, and the 2013 budget, set to be debated by the Senate and Assembly this week, continues the trend.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. As the legislature prepares to begin debate on Gov. Walker's 2013-15 biennial budget, a review of some of the promises made by candidate Walker, and broken by Gov. Walker, is timely.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. In today's installment, as the Republican controlled legislature is poised to adopt even more radical, right-wing legislation attacking women's health care, the lowlights of Gov. Walker's abysmal record on the issue are up.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. On tap for today, in a rare candid moment, Gov. Walker is caught on video revealing his strategy of “divide and conquer” to billionaire Wisconsin widow and $510,000 contributor Diane Hendricks.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Today, we look at the right-wing machine behind the man, the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Walker's campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. Scott Walker has collected a handsome sum in taxpayer-funded salary over his twenty years of failure, and now, as Governor he gets to live in a mansion. Upon moving in, he decided to remodel, with taxpayers and the special interests footing the bill.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. In today's installment, Gov. Walker's anti-voter record is “highlighted”.
Beginning June 10, One Wisconsin Now will commemorate over 20 days, the failings, scandals and imbroglios of Gov. Scott Walker's 20-years in elected office. Gov. Walker, who was first elected to the State Assembly on June 29, 1993, has spent virtually no time in the private sector and has enjoyed nearly half his life on the taxpayers' dime, including receiving well over $1 million in salary alone, as well as health care benefits for he and his family.
Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, criticized Walker for being more focused on a 2016 presidential bid than on being Wisconsin’s governor.
It was also on the minds of his critics, some who went to Iowa from Wisconsin to blast Walker at a news conference prior to the governor’s speech. “We all know what Scott Walker thinks about rights. The rights of 175,000 workers taken away,” said Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now
Is Wisconsin ‘Money Badger’ Michael Grebe Paying Fox News Head Big Bucks for Fawning Media Coverage of His Favorite Wisconsin Politicians?
Roger Ailes, Fox News Chair and CEO, is in line for a big payday courtesy of Wisconsin's “Money Badger” Michael Grebe, head of the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation and co-chair of Gov. Scott Walker's campaign. According to news reports, Ailes will receive a $250,000 no strings attached “Bradley Award” in a ceremony next month.
The just-filed lawsuit by the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) over a contract signed by the Milwaukee Area Technical College comes thanks to Gov. Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, the CEO of the Bradley Foundation, which has contributed $500,000 to WILL. The lawsuit seeks to undo a contract that will save taxpayers $14 million in its first year and nearly $150 million in the future.
Gov. Scott Walker Maintains Veil of Secrecy for Those Who Foot the Bill for His Criminal Defense Lawyers
In his recently filed Statement of Economic Interests, Gov. Scott Walker reports that he still owes his Chicago criminal defense lawyers in excess of $50,000 and that he got a pair of cufflinks from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Left undisclosed are the identities of the contributors to Walker's criminal legal defense fund that raised over $447,000.
“Taxpayers can personally thank Gov. Walker’s campaign co-chair for this lawsuit, that if successful, will cost them $150 million,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now’s executive director, referring to the cost savings MATC said it achieved through bargaining with the union.
New research from One Wisconsin Now reveals a web of right-wing groups are part of a $31 million plus propaganda campaign pushing a massive privatization of public education in Wisconsin. Underwriting the effort is the Milwaukee based Bradley Foundation, headed by Gov. Scott Walker's campaign co-chair, Michael Grebe.
An analysis of Gov. Walker's 2013-15 budget plan reveals a massive increase in the percentage of state taxpayer dollars going to the unaccountable private school voucher program. Meanwhile, state support for K-12 public schools is essentially held flat, even after record budget cuts in the last budget.
Gov. Scott Walker leaves snowy Wisconsin behind this week as he jets off to sunny Florida for “lifestyles of the rich and famous” campaign fundraiser at the exclusive Naples Yacht Club. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross wondered if Chris Cline, whose open pit mining bill is one of Walker’s top legislative priorities, will cruise by in his 164-foot luxury yacht ”Mine Games’ to drop off a contribution.
The Billion Dollar Question: How Big is Budget Windfall for Gov. Walker’s Biggest Campaign Contributor?
An initial analysis of Gov. Walker’s proposed income tax break in his 2013-15 budget shows, to no surprise, that the majority of the breaks go to the state’s wealthiest taxpayers. But, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Scot Ross, the billion-dollar question is: what’s the windfall for Gov. Scott Walker’s largest campaign contributor, and richest woman in Wisconsin, Beloit billionaire Diane Hendricks, who paid no state income taxes in 2010.
If the federal government keeps its current commitments, Gov. Scott Walker's plan for avoiding a full expansion of the BadgerCare program under the federal health care law would cost Wisconsin taxpayers roughly $250 million more through 2020, under preliminary estimates by the Legislature's nonpartisan budget office. In addition to lower state costs, the full expansion of the Medicaid health program would also cover tens of thousands more people than the Republican governor's proposal.
Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Blames Gov. Walker’s Epic Jobs Failure on Wisconsin Citizens’ Age and Demeanor
The latest report from conservative front group the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is more of an apology for Gov. Walker’s epic failure to spur new job creation in Wisconsin than an analysis of the reasons behind Wisconsin’s current rank as 42nd in the nation for job growth, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. The report alleges that it is the fault of Wisconsin’s population for being too old and lacking an entrepreneurial demeanor.
Wisconsin Citizens Shut Out While Out-Of-State Mining Company Helps Draft Bill to Develop Massive Open Pit Mine
Legislation being fast-tracked by Gov. Walker and the Republican controlled state legislature to roll back environmental standards for a massive open pit mine in Northern Wisconsin was, according to drafting records obtained by One Wisconsin Now, extensively modified at the behest of the out-of-state company seeking to open the mine.
Another statement came from the activist group One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross, who said after two years of partisan political strife and stagnant economy, Walker’s pledge this week didn’t mean much. “Two years ago we got the same song and dance from Gov. Walker and the Republican legislative majorities, but they put raw politics and power grabs before all else at very step of the way,” Ross said. “Their actions offer precious little reason to believe them this time.”
Walker, GOP Legislature’s Latest Promises of Moderation at Odds With Record of Extreme Partisanship, Failure on Jobs Promise
After two years of unprecedented partisan political strife under their governance, a stagnant economy and record cuts to public education, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans enter the new legislative session claiming in media reports that they will pursue a moderate political agenda.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on the two-year anniversary of Scott Walker as Governor:
Walker Signed a Bill Allowing Partisan Election Observers Closer to Voters, Jeopardizing Their Private information and making polling places more contentious
Signed a bill that allows election observers to be as close as three feet to voters and poll workers when they are registering to vote or giving their name and address when checking in at the polling place. The bill passed both houses and was approved by the Governor on April 2, 2014.
Signed a bill which reduced the number of locations to which clerks are required to send special voting deputies to allow individuals to cast absentee ballots. The bill was passed by both houses and approved by the Governor on March 27, 2014.
Signed a bill that requires that whenever two or more poll workers are required to perform a function at polling place and both parties have submitted nominees, then the chief inspector must assign an equal number of poll workers from the nominees of each party. Prior law did not require that political party be considered when assigning poll workers.
Walker Signed Bill Restricting Early Voting Hours and Limiting Local Clerks’ Control of Early Voting Hours
Signed bill that limited clerk’s office hours and days available for early voting, eliminating weekend voting and severely restricting voting hours available outside the normal work day. The Assembly version of the bill (2013 AB 54) failed to pass, but a substantially similar bill (SB 324) was adopted. The Governor exercised a partial veto, striking language limiting voting hours to 45 hours per week but leaving intact restrictions on hours of day (8 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and elimination of weekend hours.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on state and federal authorities to immediately open an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Capital Midwest being granted management of $1 million of taxpayer funds through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA). Capital Midwest is run by Stephen Einhorn who, along with his wife Nancy, donated $25,000 to Gov. Walker's campaign a mere month before being awarded management rights over the public funds by the WHEDA board, a majority of whose members are appointed by Walker.
Wisconsin's 'Money Badger', Michael Grebe, appears to have his paws in the attack on worker rights in Michigan according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Grebe, who runs the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation, has doled out nearly $2 million to three organizations taking leading roles in promoting the attack on worker rights launched by Michigan Republicans in a lame duck session of their state legislature.
Recent media reports on prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidates' money chase included Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on a list of suitors seeking an audience with GOP mega-donor and Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker may already have found his Super-PAC sugar daddy, the Wisconsin 'Money Badger', Michael Grebe of the Bradley Foundation.
Walker Aide Pleads Guilty Today. Set Up Secret County E-Mail System Used by Previously Sentenced Brett Davis Campaign Fundraiser.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross renewed a call made earlier this week for Gov. Walker to demand the resignation of top administration aide Brett Davis for his participation in a scheme to benefit his failed Lieutenant Governor campaign, at taxpayer expense, that has resulted in jail time for one former Walker aide and was featured among the criminal complaint brought against a second aide who pled guilty to an embezzlement charge today.
On the heels of Kelly Rindfleisch’s guilty plea to a felony misconduct in office charge, and a jail sentence for campaign fundraising work she did while a top aide to Scott Walker as Milwaukee County Executive to benefit the 2010 Lieutenant Governor campaign of then Rep. Brett Davis, Gov. Walker must ask for Davis’ resignation from his $108,000 per year state job as State Medicaid Director, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director, Scot Ross.
A report that Gov. Walker’s gubernatorial campaign manager directed his Milwaukee County staff to “drag out” fulfilling requests under the state open records law for information related to a tragic incident involving the death of a young boy outside a county owned facility may not be an isolated incident, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Numerous open record requests made by One Wisconsin Now experienced the same fate, with delays of up to six months and the charging exorbitant fees for simple information.
The day after statewide success for progressives in Wisconsin, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director noted the untold story is the failure of Wisconsin's 'Money Badger,' Bradley Foundation CEO Michael Grebe, and his proteges Governor Scott Walker, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and U.S. Representative and failed Vice-Presidential candidate Paul Ryan to deliver the state for Republicans.
The Romney for President campaign has touted the endorsement of Michael Grebe, saying in a press release that the head of the Milwaukee based Bradley Foundation, recently revealed as a funder of voter suppression billboards, is a “great supporter of conservative causes”.
The liberal organization One Wisconsin Now was the first to disclose the role the Einhorn foundation had in footing the bill for the billboards. Scot Ross, head of the Madison-based group, called it “reprehensible” that private foundation money was spent on billboards that Ross said were intended to suppress the vote during the 2010 election in which Scott Walker was elected governor. Grebe is the campaign chairman of Walker’s campaign. “It raises serious questions about how the Bradley Foundation spends its money,” Ross said.
Billboards warning communities of color in Ohio and Wisconsin that voter fraud can lead to jail time were put up by a group led by a Milwaukee-based venture capitalist and donor to Mitt Romney and the Tea Party movement, an investigation by NBC’s theGrio has found. The billboards—which carried the unnecessary (and some might say, intimidating) warning that “VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY!”—have been removed by the company that erected them in the first place, Clear Channel...the company gave the client a choice: either reveal yourself, or the ads need to come down. The client chose to have the ads come down, and to remain anonymous. But that anonymity lasted about a week. A joint investigation by our colleagues at theGrio and the issue-advocacy group One Wisconsin Now pulled back the curtain a bit: One Wisconsin Now and theGrio discovered that a little-known non-profit, the Einhorn Family Foundation, based in Milwaukee, was behind the 2010 and 2012 Milwaukee area billboard campaigns. The Einhorn Foundation, led by the family patriarch, Steven Einhorn, is just one of a constellation of conservative organizations that go beyond Charles and David Koch, the billionaire brothers behind much of the tea party funding, who have become familiar to those watching the rise of “dark money” in American elections since the Citizens United decision in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Einhorns Confirm One Wisconsin Now/theGrio Investigation: Admit Purchase of Voter Suppression Billboards
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding news late Monday that the Einhorn Family Foundation confirmed the results of a joint investigation by theGrio news service and One Wisconsin Now and admitted it was the previously-anonymous funder of voter suppression billboards purchased in 2010 and 2012 targeting communities of color.
Stephen Einhorn - a Wisconsin venture capital fund manager and major GOP donor - acknowledged Monday that he and his wife Nancy paid for dozens of anonymous billboards in and around Milwaukee and two Ohio cities warning residents of the penalties for committing voter fraud. Democrats and civil rights groups complained that the signs - which were taken down last week - were concentrated in minority neighborhoods and intended to suppress the election turnout, though some were posted as far out as Waukesha and Washington counties...The Einhorns have made campaign donations to many Republican politicians, including Gov. Scott Walker, to whom they have given $49,750 since 2005, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.
Revealed: Joint Investigation by One Wisconsin Now & theGrio Uncovers Anonymous Funder of Voter Suppression Billboards
A joint investigation by theGrio news service and One Wisconsin Now has uncovered that Milwaukee's Einhorn Family Foundation is the “private family foundation” that anonymously funded voter suppression billboards in Wisconsin in September 2010 and again this year. A review of IRS documents also showed Milwaukee's Bradley Foundation, headed by Scott Walker's campaign co-chair Michael Grebe, and one of the largest sources for right wing funding in America, gave the Einhorn Family Foundation a $10,000 grant, at the time the 2010 suppression billboards appeared, “to support a public education project.”
Right wing celebrity Gov. Scott Walker’s star power appears to be on the wane in recent weeks, as evidenced by his warm-up act role on Governors’ night at the Republican National Convention.
A comprehensive report from One Wisconsin Now and United Wisconsin shows how Gov. Scott Walker raised over $7 million by exploiting the unlimited campaign finance recall loophole and provides a detailed perspective on the out-of-state and in-state donors who bankrolled Walker’s win in June.
An analysis of campaign finance reports by One Wisconsin Now found Gov. Walker’s record spending in the June 5th recall election was overwhelmingly fueled by large contributions from the wealthy and out-of-state donors.
Walker’s unlimited donations were supposed to be used for the defense of the recall, and could only be collected until the GAB certified the recall election. But, again, Walker was able to exploit loopholes in the law. According to One Wisconsin Now, he collected the “unlimited” sums even after the GAB called the election because he allegedly incurred so many expenses related to the recall.
Citing the age-old adage that actions speak louder than words, One Wisconsin Now is calling on Gov. Scott Walker to take concrete actions to heal the rift in Wisconsin brought on by his “divide and conquer” agenda.
“Walker will be the keynote speaker at a benefit dinner for the Illinois-based Heartland Institute, a group that has recently come under fire for a billboard campaign linking those concerned about global warming to "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski, serial killer Charles Manson, and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. …Heartland proudly displayed the campaign on the front page of its website and issued a lengthy press release explaining: "The people who still believe in man-made global warming are mostly on the radical fringe of society. This is why the most prominent advocates of global warming aren't scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen."
An analysis of Gov. Walker’s campaign finances by One Wisconsin Now has revealed he raised $7.3 million from wealthy, mega-donors exceeding the normal $10,000 aggregate contribution limit. The amount raked in by Gov. Walker from just 167 wealthy individuals, is nearly twice as much as the total of all contributions to his recall election opponent.
Gov. Scott Walker’s billionaire backers, along with outside spending from corporate-funded special interest groups such as Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Republican Governors Association and Shadowy groups such as the “Coalition for American Values” outspent Democratic challenger Tom Barrett and groups supporting him 8-to-1, according to Mother Jones.
Gov. Walker’s political appointee in charge of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) appears to be stonewalling the release of public records related to claims he made about the release of unverified state job numbers.
Governor Scott Walker is not trying to win the Wisconsin recall election that will be held June 5. He is trying to buy it. As One Wisconsin Now’s Mike Browne says: “Given Wisconsin’s worst in the nation record on jobs and the cuts to schools and health care to pay for corporate tax breaks under Gov. Walker, it’s really no surprise his ‘divide and conquer’ politics and trickle-down economics are more popular with people who don’t have to live with the results.
Exploiting a loophole in Wisconsin election law — which removes contribution limits for officials seeking to prevent a recall election — the governor has raised unlimited amounts of cash from wealthy donors. Even after the recall election was scheduled, 23 wealthy donors gave the governor an addition $1.7 million to offset expenses run up before the recall was scheduled and contribution limits went back into effect.
Memo to Reporters: “Bombshell” Email Exchange With Top Adviser John Hiller Suggests Scott Walker is at the Heart of Criminal Corruption Probe
Progressive advocacy group One Wisconsin Now continued to analyze Walker’s campaign finance records throughout the 2010 campaign for governor. They found that his campaign improperly reported well over $500,000 in contributions from inside and outside Wisconsin. The organization also filed a formal complaint with the Government Accountability Board regarding Walker’s serial breaking of campaign finance laws in the area of proper disclosure. (One Wisconsin Now, “Walker Goes Over $500,000 in Improperly-Reported Contributions”, 10/25/10; OWN Complaint to GAB, filed 9/7/10)
Eighty-two days and $160,000 later, Gov. Walker and his campaign are continuing to refuse to name the donors to the legal defense fund he is using to pay for defense lawyers in a “John Doe” criminal investigation of corruption and illegal campaigning.
A One Wisconsin Now analysis of Gov. Walker’s most recent campaign finance report reveals he is continuing to rake in high dollar contributions and raise the majority of his funds from out-of-state. Gov. Walker also continues to exploit a loophole allowing him to raise unlimited dollar amount contributions for expenses incurred before the recall election was called on March 30th.
Questions continue to mount about Gov. Walker’s candor on serious issues, including his involvement in the secret John Doe investigation of corruption and illegal campaigning by close aides and associates and video showing him telling campaign contributors a very different story than the public. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne called on Gov. Walker to address the questions about the integrity of his administration in tonight’s debate.
It has been reported that Gov. Scott Walker has spent much of the last year on a cross- country cash grab - filling his campaign coffers with millions from right-wing ideologues like “Swift Boat” Bob Perry, Newt Gingrich “Sugar Daddy” Sheldon Adelson, Women's health “expert” Foster Friess, and, of course, Wisconsin's own “Divide and Conquer” billionaire, Diane Hendricks.
Nine members of the exclusive Forbes U.S. Billionaires List gave nearly $1.4 million to Gov. Walker over the last four months, according to One Wisconsin Now’s analysis of his most recent campaign finance filing.
The liberal group One Wisconsin Now said its initial analysis of Walker’s most recent campaign finance report reveals that $8.37 million, or roughly 66 percent, of the $12.74 million reported raised Walker came from out of state and that 75 percent of individual contributors were from out of state.
Under Gov. Walker, Wisconsin’s economy has tanked, ranking dead last in the nation for job creation and suffering the ignominy of being the only state in the nation with statistically significant job losses over the last year. Meanwhile, Gov. Walker’s cross country cash grab has been a stunning success, netting two-thirds of the $13 million raised from out-of-state contributors, according to One Wisconsin Now’s analysis of his latest campaign finance report filed today.
Late last week, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) announced via press release that they were returning to Wisconsin with a TV ad criticizing possible recall election opponents of Gov. Walker. According to a One Wisconsin Now analysis of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) records, the special interests and corporations that have donated millions to the RGA are also the potential beneficiaries of numerous initiatives proposed or enacted under Gov. Walker.
Big Spending, Corporate Funded Republican Governors Association Returns to Try to Bail Out Gov. Walker
The Virginia based, corporate-funded Republican Governors Association (RGA) announced in a press release today that it has returned to Wisconsin with negative television commercials attacking possible opponents of Gov. Walker in a recall election.
In an interview with Fox News legal eagle Greta Van Susteren, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says his upcoming recall election will be a “Waterloo” moment for national unions that will “invest everything possible to try and take me out to send a message.” … A recent open records request by the activist group One Wisconsin Now shows that from August 2011 to January 2012, Walker’s schedule reflects just over 44 hours of meetings with legislators and policy staff, while 614-plus hours were blocked off as “personal” time, better known as “fundraising.”
A One Wisconsin Now analysis of Gov. Walker’s schedules from August 2011 through January 2012 reveals that little time was scheduled by the state’s chief executive for communicating with legislators or working on a legislative agenda but that huge amounts of time were blocked off as “personal”.
Gov. Walker claims that he has hired new criminal defense lawyers for the purpose of cooperating with the Milwaukee County District Attorney. However, for a year, the campaign itself was paying an attorney to ‘cooperate’ with the DA by providing needed emails, etc.
A One Wisconsin Now analysis of Gov. Walker’s schedules from August 2011 through January 2012 reveals that little time was scheduled by the state’s chief executive for communicating with legislators or working on a legislative agenda but that huge amounts of time were blocked off as “personal”.
37 Days Since Gov. Walker Announced He “Lawyered-Up” in Criminal Investigation of Administration, Still No Word On Who Is Paying His Legal Defense Bills
In early February, Gov. Scott Walker announced he had “lawyered-up” in the ongoing criminal investigation of his administration, retaining two high profile criminal defense attorneys. His continuing refusal to disclose how he is paying for his lawyers, whose billing rates could approach $1,000 per-hour, raises troubling ethical concerns, according to One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne.
Gov. Scott Walker said Friday he has set up a legal defense fund to pay for two attorneys representing him in a Milwaukee County investigation, under a state law that allows such a move for officeholders if they’re charged or under investigation for election or campaign violations.
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne made the following statement regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s latest special interest funded campaign ad:
While Gov. Walker and Republicans continue to seek delays in setting a recall election date - and keep raising unlimited campaign donations from wealthy mega-donors - One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne today urged the Government Accountability Board (GAB) to listen to the thousands of Wisconsin citizens who’ve signed an online petition asking them to “count it and call it”.
Gov. Walker Wants Outside Groups With History of Voter Suppression to Challenge Recall Petition Signatures
Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign raised over $8 million from a cross-country cash grab, over 60% of it from out-of-state donors and much of it from mega-contributors giving up to $250,000 at a time. But his campaign is asking that, instead of offering their own challenges, allegations of improper signatures on recall petitions from an alliance of Texas and Wisconsin fringe political groups accused of voter suppression activities be considered by the Government Accountability Board (GAB).
GOP Stalls Voucher Loophole Fix, Proposed Accountability Standards as Their Campaign Coffers Fill With Cash
Campaign finance records show private school voucher advocates have showered Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP with over $507,000 in campaign contributions in 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile proposed accountability standards that would include voucher schools are on hold and a bill to close a loophole that could allow statewide expansion of the private voucher program is stalled in the GOP controlled Assembly.
The Walker campaign finished the quarter with a combined total of more than $2.6 million cash on hand in the recall and general campaign funds. The campaign has raised more than $12 million since Jan. 1, 2011. According to the campaign, 16,406 of those contributions were $50 or less, representing 76.5 percent of the overall number of contributions. A quick review of the Walker donations reported to the Government Accountability Board shows strong support from prominent Wisconsin business executives.
One Wisconsin Now statement regarding burgeoning Scott Walker political corruption scandal and the reluctance of the Governor to answer questions about “what he knew and when he knew it”:
The unprecedented out-of-state cash grab by Gov. Scott Walker continued at an alarming rate with Walker’s latest reports showing he has amassed 61 percent of the $4.1 million in individual contributions raised since December 11 from outside of Wisconsin. Walker’s four top donors, each giving $250,000, were also from out of state, including another $250,000 from Texas tycoon and “Swift Boat” sleazy ad financier Bob Perry.
Gov. Scott Walker's administration has touted for months its efforts to balance the state budget, but now it also has acknowledged a significant way in which the budget isn't balanced. To keep the possibility alive of making further cuts to state health programs, the Walker administration quietly certified to the federal government on Dec. 29 that the state had a deficit. Federal law allows the state to drop tens of thousands of adults to save money on health care costs if the state can show it has a deficit. Walker has said he wants to cut health care spending in other ways, but hasn't ruled out dropping those 53,000 adults if the other methods aren't approved by the federal government. To keep that option alive, state Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote in a December letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that the state would have an undisclosed deficit from Jan. 1 of this year through June 30, 2013. "It's nothing more than what we've been saying all along," Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said.
A third veteran has resigned from a state board in response to Gov. Scott Walker's moves to gain greater control of the Department of Veterans Affairs, including his decision to appoint John Scocos as agency secretary...In his letter to the first-term Republican governor, Freedman criticized legislation that stripped the board of its ability to appoint the veterans affairs secretary, giving that responsibility to the governor. Walker has defended the changes, saying they will bring more accountability to the department and board. The board has been the subject of much controversy in recent years.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements about the unprecedented grassroots uprising against the failed policies of Gov. Scott Walker.
DHS Secretary hires Heritage Foundation fellow with no background or degree in public health to run Division of Public Health
But insiders point out that McKeown, who as the state's health officer is the administrator of the Division of Public Health, appears to have no background or degrees in public health, a specialty within the vast arena of health care... Wisconsin's health officer is charged with everything from making sure the state has an emergency plan for threats like H1N1 to managing environmental hazards like lead paint to coordinating immunization campaigns. Previous occupants of McKeown's job have boasted a lengthy list of experiences and advanced degrees in the specialty. Dr. Seth Foldy, former Gov. Jim Doyle's last appointment to the post, was a pediatrician and the former Milwaukee health commissioner. He also held a master's degree in public health from the Wisconsin Medical College, according to the department's press release about his appointment in 2010. What McKeown does have in addition to her nursing background is something she shares with her new boss, Secretary Smith -- experience as a fellow with the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.
One Wisconsin Now has been following his campaign finance reports for years and recently reported that he has violated campaign finance laws more than 1100 times which, if enforced, could tally up to more than $500,000 in fines for his campaign.
Gov. Scott Walker's spokesman, Cullen Werwie, has begun to refuse interviews with media outlets that discuss the fact that Werwie has been granted immunity in a Joe Doe inquiry into wrongdoing by the governor's associates. This is the problem with keeping Werwie in his position now that he has been granted immunity in a probe that has been expanding, from initial questions about campaign finance and pay-to-play politics to a range of wrongdoing that now includes child enticement and the theft of money from charities set up to aid the families of soldiers.
Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to require taxpayers to finance the recall signature review campaign process should be disallowed, given Walker has been crisscrossing the country raising unlimited and unprecedented amounts of campaign cash, according to One Wisconsin Now.
Walker also defended raising out-of-state cash to bolster his campaign for the recall. Last month, Walker’s campaign reported raising $5.1 million since July. The liberal advocacy group, One Wisconsin Now, said nearly half the money was raised from out of state.
In a scathing ruling, a three-judge panel decided for the third time Tuesday that a Democratic group has a right to an array of information on how Republican lawmakers drew new legislative districts. Saying that GOP lawmakers and their attorneys have filed "frivolous" motions trying to keep their information private, the panel also required the attorneys for the Republican defendants to pay the attorneys' fees for the plaintiffs for the motion.
The latest ad in Gov. Scott Walker’s multi-million dollar campaign continues to distort Walker’s record of failure on job creation and deficit reduction, including the false claim that Walker did not raise taxes.
Walker attempt to privatize food stamps and take over Medical Assistance from counties blocked; counties form consortiums to meet demand while dealing with 16.8% budget cut
Here's the challenge: The state cut funding to operate economic support services by 16.8 percent, while at the same time requiring counties to contribute the same amount to services that they did in 2009. In his budget repair bill, Gov. Scott Walker proposed taking all of those duties away from counties. Medical Assistance, the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program -- formerly referred to as food stamps -- BadgerCare and subsidized childcare, consolidating them at the state level, and providing service through a call-center model. A private company, not state workers, would oversee programs. Gov. Scott Walker's administration estimated the proposal would save $48 million each year and eliminate 270 state positions. Previous efforts to run programs such as BadgerCare out of centralized offices didn't work. The Legislative Audit Bureau gave the state performance in operating BadgerCare a dismal review. So counties offered the state an alternative: Counties would continue to provide the services but they would form income maintenance consortiums. The lead county in each consortium would work with the state, and each county within the consortium would continue to provide face-to-face services for their residents. In addition, each county would provide a call center to answer questions and process change orders for all of the consortium's clients.
An aide to a top lawmaker gave sworn testimony last week that new legislative maps approved this year were not meant to increase the Republican majority in the Legislature but were nonetheless provided to the Republican National Committee in advance. The seemingly inconsistent testimony came in a deposition from Adam Foltz, an aide to Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon) charged with drawing the new maps for lawmakers. A copy of the deposition was filed with a federal three-judge panel late Tuesday.
A One Wisconsin Now analysis reveals that ten percent of Walker’s money came from Texas—including a $250,000 check from the Bob Perry, the Lone Star conservative who warped American politics by attacking Vietnam veteran John Kerry with “Swift Boat” lies.
“In all our years of analysis, we have never seen a politician try to win a Wisconsin race with so much non-Wisconsin money,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now executive director
The just-released campaign finance report for Gov. Scott Walker is not only awash in millions of dollars of out-of-state money, but also 187 new violations of campaign finance disclosure rules for failing to include employer information for more than $41,000 in contributions.
“In all our years of analysis, we have never seen a politician try to win a Wisconsin race with so much non-Wisconsin money,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now executive director.
Gov. Scott Walker grabbed half of the $5 million he raised in unlimited funds from outside of Wisconsin, including $250,000 from Texan Bob Perry, the architect of the infamous “Swift Boat” smear ads.
In the past few weeks; Walker has rolled out a series of TV commercials touting his accomplishments. According to One Wisconsin Now, a liberal watchdog group, the governor has spent about $2.2 million on advertising time.
One Wisconsin Now, a left-leaning nonprofit, created a $10,000 reward fund for any information leading to the arrest of people who deface or destroy petitions.
The “business owner” featured in the latest Scott Walker television ad saw his business grow 1,300 percent during the administration of Gov. Jim Doyle, according to a self-professed claim in the Business Times from 2008. The business owner is actually a vice chair at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which donated $400,000 in 2010 to the Republican Governors Association to elect Walker.
The Monona Grove school district cited in Gov. Scott Walker’s latest deceptive television ad as being a success story, has lost teachers, seen higher class sizes rise throughout the curriculum as result of Walker’s historic $1.6 billion gutting of public education.
Recall Walker supporters are taking steps to ensure that only valid signatures are submitted for counting. Conservative tea party activists, who say they are nonpartisan, and Republican Party opponents want to make sure that any questionable signatures are challenged. When asked to cite some of these incidents, Ross Brown, founder of We the People of the Republic, points first to a posting on the liberal group One Wisconsin Now’s website that said it was legal to sign a recall petition more than once. Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, has said his group publicized that in response to concerns that opponents were circulating and throwing away recall petitions. Signing twice is legal under Wisconsin law.
Walker, Texas Raider: Gov. Traveling to Lone Star State Corporate Event; More Unlimited Campaign Cash
The awful news this week about nearly 10,000 jobs being lost in Wisconsin has not stopped Gov. Scott Walker from his efforts to crisscross the country and raise unlimited campaign contributions the latest being an announcement he will keynote an event in Texas, hosted by that state's leading corporate-funded public policy outfit.
But Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, noted Walker did not talk about cutting collective bargaining during the campaign and said Walker was precisely the one who caused the recall effort. “Gov. Walker is responsible for tearing Wisconsin apart and the division which has led to this unprecedented recall effort against him,” Ross said. “He alone is responsible. “If Gov. Walker had been honest with the people of Wisconsin about what his intentions were, the recall would not be happening. But then again, Gov. Walker would not have been elected.”
With Gov. Scott Walker in the midst of an extended period of fundraising unlimited amounts of campaign cash, One Wisconsin Now is reminded of this video produced by Walker’s 2010 campaign about recalls. A Walker donor filed papers on November 4 for a fake recall of Walker, allowing the governor 11 additional days to raise unlimited campaign cash, using a loophole in the state’s campaign finance laws.
Stephan Thompson, executive director of the state Republican Party, put out a statement touting the 30-second ad. The head of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, though, chided Walker’s team for using a political newcomer to praise Walker’s proposals. “It’s no surprise that someone from the most Republican part of Wisconsin, who is specifically opposed to rights for workers and has only a few months of school board experience, would say what Walker is doing is working,” said Scot Ross, executive director of the Madison-based group. [
Walker signed into a law a bill that allows any municipal employer to enter into a memorandum of understanding to reduce the cost of compensation or fringe benefits, without modifying an existing collective bargaining agreement for purposes of 2011 WI Act 10. The memorandum has to be entered into within 90 days after the effective date of this bill. (2011 AB 319, introduced 10/12/2011; Assembly Roll Call)
Gov. Scott Walker voiced support for legislation that would end a long-standing practice that allows public workers to simultaneously collect their pension and a state paycheck. The statement concludes by adding Gov. Walker "supports applying the same policy for administration appointees."
In the past five and a half years, at least 6,829 state and local government employees covered by the Wisconsin Retirement System left then returned to work, simultaneously earning a pension and a salary. Those include two of Gov. Scott Walker's cabinet secretaries: Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin and Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson, both earning six-figure salaries along with their public pensions. Stephen Fitzgerald, superintendent of the Wisconsin State Patrol, whose sons, Scott and Jeff, run the Senate and Assembly, respectively, also is back on the payroll while continuing to collect a state pension. On Friday, Walker said he supports a bill that would end double dipping. But the Republican governor has no plans to ask his appointees to stop taking their pensions, spokesman Cullen Werwie said.
Opponents of a pair of Republican-backed litigation reform bills argued before a state Assembly committee Friday that the proposals will gut consumer protection laws and effectively stop the filing of lawsuits against companies that break the law. One measure would limit the amount plaintiff's attorneys can charge in some cases to three times the amount of any monetary award. Another would lower the amount of interest that people who successfully sue for injuries can collect on their judgments, while the higher interest rate would remain for judgments awarded to banks and credit card companies that take their customers to court….Another lawsuit reform bill not heard on Friday but backed by Walker and Republicans would give drug-makers and medical device manufacturers immunity from lawsuits if their products had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The immunity would not be granted if they committed fraud. Walker's spokesman Cullen Werwie has defended the bills, saying they deal with the type of claims that affect job creators for the long term and the changes proposed will "help create certainty and confidence in the state's legal climate."
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who forced public workers to pay more for their pensions as part of a push to curb union rights, broke his campaign promise to pay the full cost of his state pension immediately after taking office in January. “It is indefensible Scott Walker promised to live by these rules and then broke his word to Wisconsin,” said Scot Ross, head of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now. “Scott Walker tore Wisconsin in two to pass these unnecessary changes and then tells us ‘Do as I say, not as I didn’t.’”
One Wisconsin Now Supporters to ‘Take to the Air’ with Message to Gov. Walker at Badgers’ Football Game
Fans on hand to cheer the University of Wisconsin Badgers’ football game Saturday will see a message about Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on higher education courtesy of One Wisconsin Now’s supporters from across the state. For the second home game in a row, One Wisconsin Now will fly a plane in the hours prior to the game — this game’s message: “Enjoy Higher Tuition <3 Scott Walker.”
Scot Ross, the director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, couldn’t pass up a comment on the irony. He sent me Courtney’s letter, which is attached to this post, with the following comment: “With Scott Walker and the Republicans, you always follow the money. In May, they used the threat of guns in the Capitol to raise money. And in October they want to allow guns in the Capitol to raise money from the NRA.”
The bill, announced Monday, would put the Legislature back in charge of deciding costs and eligibility associated with Medicaid and Badgercare, essentially taking the state back to a time before Gov. Scott Walker took office. The proposal comes in response to potential cuts announced last week by Department of Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith, which outlined changes in care for more than 200,000 people and the possibility of cutting another 53,000 off the rolls entirely…Smith announced a series of cost-cutting measures last week, most of them aimed at addressing the $554 million needed to balance the state's medical assistance programs. Under his plan, some 215,000 children and adults would be shifted to lower-cost state plans. If the state fails to receive a federal waiver allowing it to change eligibility requirements, some 53,000 adults could be dropped from coverage altogether.
Keith Gilkes, the third top Walker aide to announce their resignation in recent months, said he'll leave the $112,000-per-year chief of staff job Oct. 8. As Gilkes, 34, discussed the announcement's timing, he noted promised efforts to recall the Republican governor over his push to strip away almost all public employee collective bargain rights. "As we see activity on the Democrats' part, on the public-sector employees' part, talking about running campaigns against the governor, we want to ensure our message is being heard," Gilkes told The Associated Press. "We want to make sure we're prepared for anything they may attempt against the governor whether now, a year from now or three years from now...Walker made no mention of a recall or future elections in a statement he issued praising Gilkes' service, but a few hours after the announcement, the governor posted on Twitter: "Keith Gilkes is coming aboard as the chief advisor to r campaign. We r gearing up 2 get out message that It is Working in WI."
In first year as governor, Walker admin proposed sharply raising premiums for state health programs & force others to lower cost or private plans
To fill a half-billion dollar budget hole in state health programs, Gov. Scott Walker's administration wants to raise premiums sharply for some families and shift hundreds of thousands of residents to lower-cost state plans or private plans. Officials said they do not intend to leave participants without any path to coverage. State officials said there is now a $554 million estimated deficit - $110 million more than previously projected - through June 2013 in state Medicaid health programs, which provide everything from doctor's visits for poor families to nursing home care for the elderly. To close that gap and control fast-growing costs, state Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said that the state would avoid dropping state residents with no other options for health insurance. Instead, officials will look at shifting more than 200,000 state Medicaid recipients into a lower-cost plan with fewer benefits.
Republican Attorney General JB Van Hollen, according to a news report today, refused to help the investigation into fellow Republican Scott Walker’s office in the scandal being called “Cronygate.” The refusal and silence of the state’s “top cop” to investigate his fellow Republican raises serious questions about Van Hollen’s conduct and warrants an investigation, according to One Wisconsin Now.
Gov. Scott Walker, facing a steadily-increasing state unemployment rate despite passing $2.3 billion in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, has announced his latest scheme: charge the public $50 to attend a state-sponsored “jobs summit.” Walker’s fee will likely restrict public access, particularly the unemployed and those in need of jobs.
On Sept. 22, the governor and first lady will hold a private reception and croquet tournament at the governor’s mansion from 5 to 7 p.m. to raise money to help rehab the Maple Bluff facility. Attendees can donate anywhere from $50 to $1,000 to the mansion’s nonprofit foundation. Those who drop a grand get a “private reception, private tour, recognition on the invitation, signage and acknowledgment at the event, and admission and (croquet) tournament entry for two.” “It sounds like a two-part construction project,” said Scot Ross, head of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, a frequent Walker critic. “The special interests pay to remodel Gov. Walker’s mansion, and he builds them a private entrance to his office.”
Legal fees soar for Wisconsin taxpayers over bargaining, redistricting | GOP skips bids, pays up to $395 per hour
The Capitol battles over union bargaining and political redistricting proposals have paid off for one group: politically connected GOP lawyers. So far this year, two firms with strong Republican connections have racked up more than $700,000 in invoices and payments authorized by Gov. Scott Walker and GOP lawmakers to help represent the state in cases such as legal challenges over Walker's legislation ending most collective bargaining for public employees. More payments on the ongoing cases and another likely case are still to come, as Walker considers a request by the Department of Justice to appoint one of the firms to represent the state in a federal lawsuit over redistricting legislation.
On Wednesday, Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, called for the recall of Walker next year.”The damage Gov. Walker has inflicted on Wisconsin from a public policy standpoint is only surpassed by the painful division he has created in cities, towns, villages and families across Wisconsin. It is clear he is the problem and he must be recalled in 2012 so that Wisconsin can heal and we can begin to undo the destruction he has caused,” Ross said.
To trigger a recall election of Walker, Democrats would need to gather 540,208 signatures, or one-quarter of the nearly 2.2 million votes cast in the 2010 gubernatorial election. Recall petitions cannot be circulated until early November and cannot be offered for filing with state elections officials until Jan. 3 of next year, according to the state Government Accountability Board. Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said he believed “a recall of Scott Walker is still very real.”
Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said he believed there was still an appetite among Democrats to take on Walker in a recall election. “Gov. Walker has divided the state of Wisconsin like no other state official has and I think a recall of Scott Walker is still very real,” said Ross, whose group weighed in repeatedly on the Senate recall elections.
As elections took place Tuesday in six state Senate districts, Gov. Scott Walker privately signed legislation to redraw their boundaries along with the remaining legislative districts. Walker waited until nearly the last possible moment to announce he had signed the legislation, which will give Republicans an advantage in the upcoming 2012 elections for both the Legislature and Congress. "The maps passed by the Legislature meet the objective criteria laid out by the courts, including communities of interest, fair minority representation and compact, contiguous districts," Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said in a brief statement announcing the bill signings.
Introduced in January by the Joint Committee on Organization and approved by the Legislature in May, the act gives the governor new power over administrative rules and requires an economic analysis of all proposed regulations ... Cullen Werwie, spokesman for Gov. Scott Walker, acknowledged Act 21 will lengthen the rule-making process. But he said the administration supported the legislation because it makes the governor accountable for any rules promulgated.
Here’s something interesting from liberal blogger Greg Sargent at The Washington Post.
Walker signed into law a bill that politicizes the Department of Veterans Affairs by giving the governor authority to appoint the Secretary, rather than being selected by the Board of Veterans Affairs, as under prior law. Walker then appointed political crony, John Scocos, who had previously served as Secretary for six years, and was fired by the Veterans Board over financial and communications problems at the department. (2011 AB 96, introduced 4/51/2011; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)
Walker broke campaign pledge and raised state fees to fill budget hole, including $107 million in tuition hikes on UW students
- Eliminate registration exemption for certain investment advisors
- Certification fee for persons making title loans
- Nonprofit organization criminal history record check fee
- Beer wholesaler’s permit fee
- Vehicle title fee
- Class D skills test fee
- Electronic business transactions
- Firefighter and emergency medical technician license plates
- Tuition increase (University of Wisconsin System)
- Student technology fee revenues (Wisconsin Technical College System)
Walker signed a bill that stripped all public workers, except police and firefighters, of their collective bargaining rights. The bill no longer allows teachers, nurses, snow plow drivers and other public employees to bargain on their work place conditions, benefits or for pay raises above the cost of inflation. In addition, unions have lost the right to file workplace grievances and most no longer have protections from being fired without just cause. Critics of the bill believe that for all practical purposes, it is a union-busting bill, because it prevents collection of union dues, forces unions to hold annual certification elections to enable the unions to continue year-to-year, and many other measures aimed at hobbling the union. Special Session Assembly Bill 11 passed the Senate on March 9, 2011 by a 18-1 margin with all of the Republicans except Sen. Dale Schultz voting for the bill. The Democrats were out of the state to prevent the bill's passage based on lacking the quorum necessary of 20 members. The Republicans, however, claim that they took out all non-fiscal elements of bill and that they did not require a quorum of 20 for passage. (2011 January Special Session AB 11, introduced 2/15/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)
GOP bill takes away local control over landlords; allows landlords to discriminate against poor people
Madison city officials and housing advocates are reeling from a punch delivered by new GOP legislation that threatens to erase several decades worth of renter protections enacted here. Senate Bill 107, introduced on May 26 with the backing of landlords and property owners, realty agents and the construction industry, is on a fast track and is expected to reach the Senate floor as early as this week after being approved last week by the Housing and Insurance Committee.* The bill would prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances that limit a residential landlord's ability to obtain and use personal information from tenants and prospective tenants, including income and source of income, occupation, court records, rental history, and credit information, according to an analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau...Supporters don't deny charges that the bill takes special aim at Madison. It was meant to. (*Note: this bill was passed and signed into law by Walker.)
A proposed change in rule-making power criticized as an attack on consumer protection has been abandoned by the governor's office. Defended by Gov. Scott Walker's office because "it makes more sense" and would help create jobs, the change was dropped from the proposed budget in late March with the explanation it was included "inadvertently."...[Consumer protection experts were puzzled to discover a switch in authority over who makes the rules in key consumer protection areas - when tenants can sue landlords, for example. Those long have been shepherded by the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection...However, in a March 31 memo to the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee outlining "modifications" and "conceptual changes" to the original proposal, the governor invoked a do-over on the proposal, writing "these programs were inadvertently included in the budget and should be removed from the bill and retained by DATCP."]
Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to break off the Madison campus from the rest of the University of Wisconsin System is dead. UW-Madison lobbyist Don Nelson said Friday talks continue with state lawmakers over what new flexibilities the Madison campus can be given to control its budget and make other decisions. But he said Walker’s proposal that the campus endorsed to create a separate public authority is no longer an option.
The other bill he signed gives the governor veto powers over rules written by state agencies and other elected state officials. Democrats opposing it called it nothing but a power grab…Walker defended the change, which he proposed, saying it will make the rule-making process more accountable to the public. The move also won praise from the state's largest business lobbying group, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, which has long criticized state agency rules it believes are overreaching and hurt the state's business climate.
On May 11, 2011, Walker signed into law reckless health care cutbacks that would allow the state to cut up to 70,000 from Wisconsin health care programs, and could result in deep reductions in benefits for children and seniors. (January 2011 Special Session Assembly Bill 11; Assembly Roll Call; Senate Roll Call)
Walker signed into law a bill that prevented local government's from passing paid sick leave or family medical leave laws that are more inclusive and powerful than the statewide law. The governor signed the bill into law on May 5, 2011. (2011 SB 23, introduced 2/23/11; Senate Roll Call; Assembly Roll Call)
Walker appointed politically connected campaign volunteer with no relevant experience to county post
Walker has taken heat for nominating Republican campaign worker Renee Miller to the Marinette County register of deeds position, despite Miller's conspicuous lack of experience with either land or vital records. Miller has done campaign work for Marinette County Republican Rep. John Nygren and is married to Nygren's campaign treasurer, Paul Miller. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nygren wrote to Walker aide Cindy Polzin last December noting that another candidate for the job, deputy register of deeds Becky Chasensky, "has some personal issues, and she has never been involved in the party." Upset by the appointment, the paper reported, one register of deeds employee has sought a transfer, and another may resign to protest, potentially depriving Miller of an experienced staff.
Politically connected college drop-out with drunk driving convictions gets $81k political appointment
McCabe points to Walker's appointment of Brian Deschane to the state Department of Commerce as "an episode that opened some eyes." Deschane, 27-year-old son of influential Republican lobbyist Jerry Deschane, was tapped to fill an $81,500-a-year position despite two drunk-driving convictions, little relevant experience and a lack of a college degree. A hubbub ensued, and Deschane was demoted from the Commerce position and subsequently resigned.
The Department of Commerce recently hired Deschane, 27, as its new administrator of environmental and regulatory services - an $81,500-a-year job that supervises 76 employees and oversees storage tank regulations and environmental cleanups. Deschane never graduated from college and, according to his resume, has no discernible experience in the field. Yet according to documents provided Tuesday to the State Journal, he was chosen over a former DRL secretary to replace a 25-year state employee with a degree in chemical engineering and a resume that included extensive management and regulatory experience. The disparity led critics to conclude that Deschane's hiring was political payback.
Politically connected college drop-out with drunk driving convictions gets $81k political appointment
At the recommendation of Walker chief of staff Keith Gilkes, DRL Secretary David Ross appointed Deschane in January as bureau director of board services. A month later, Commerce Secretary Paul Jadin hired him at the recommendation of DRL Deputy Secretary John Scocos.
Gov. Scott Walker has announced a $75,000 taxpayer-financed grant to a company, who along with its Chief Executive Officer, donated nearly $50,000 in 2010 to the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Walker governor, according to a figures obtained from the Internal Revenue Service by One Wisconsin Now. Walker announced the taxpayer-financed grant to the company, Jack Links, Tuesday in a press release.
But Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, said in a statement that “once again, Wisconsin taxpayers are footing Gov. Walker’s handouts to special interest campaign contributors.”
Farmland in western Wisconsin would be hit particularly hard by changes to a new farmland preservation program in Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget, the leader of a state agriculture organization said...The farmland provision in the 2011-13 state budget would eliminate the Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement, or PACE, program, which permanently leases development rights for farmland under pressure from development. The budget provision would wipe out $12 million, matched by funding from local governments or nonprofit land conservancies, that would be available for agricultural leases. The measure also would eliminate a conversion fee that penalizes landowners who rezone agricultural land and allow it to be developed. Eliminating the conversion fee would make it easier for developers to buy agricultural land and continue farming, while paying low taxes, until they are ready to rezone and develop that property, Schultz said.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the state’s domestic partnership registry Thursday, ensuring same-sex couples will retain certain rights no matter how a federal court rules on the state’s constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. In a unanimous decision written by Justice N. Patrick Crooks, the court emphasized that proponents of the amendment, including Wisconsin Family Action executive director Julaine Appling, the lead plaintiff in the case, and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, made public statements in 2006 that the marriage amendment wouldn’t prevent the Legislature from granting certain rights to same-sex couples.
After his 2010 election Walker fired Pines, leaving defense of the law up to gay rights advocate Fair Wisconsin and other interested parties that had intervened in the case. Pines said Thursday the state paid his firm $75,000 between Oct. 29, 2009, and June 28, 2011, for work on the case.
Gov. Scott Walker has fired the lawyers defending the state in a challenge to Wisconsin's domestic partnership law. But the governor's spokesman said his office "is still working to appoint a new counsel to the case." Madison attorney Lester Pines informed Dane County Circuit Judge Daniel Moeser in a March 22 letter that his firm, Cullen Weston Pines & Bach, had been "terminated" by Walker as counsel for the state in the lawsuit filed in 2009 by Julaine Appling, president of Wisconsin Family Action, a conservative advocacy group.
An analysis by One Wisconsin Now shows that companies which currently administer Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in Wisconsin have donated in last several years $1.3 million to the campaigns of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Walker in 2010. Actions by Gov. Walker which threaten SeniorCare could hand $100 million to companies administering the more costly federal Medicare Part D program in Wisconsin.
Gov. Scott Walker will be able to name political appointees to fill three dozen civil-service jobs that handle open records requests from the public under the budget-repair law he signed last week. Walker's separate 2011-'13 budget proposal would also make a political appointment out of another key civil service job - the top lawyer spot at the agency overseeing state labor law. The law would make existing civil-service positions into 37 new political appointments, including 14 general counsels, 14 communications positions in state agencies and other positions, including legislative liaisons doing lobbying for agencies. That would allow Walker and agency secretaries to hire and fire employees in those positions at will. Under the law, the civil service jobs would be classed as division administrator jobs, a kind of political appointment, and would increase that class of political appointments in the affected agencies by about 50%, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce’s “Buy Wisconsin” campaign, designed to try and drown out the statewide outrage over businesses that have supported Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to put corporations in charge of Wisconsin’s government and take as much money from education, health care and public infrastructure to give to corporate special interests and the wealthiest.
But the principal hasn’t been paid back yet. Unions and liberal groups like One Wisconsin Now are also upset that M & I executives gave more money to Scott Walker during last year’s governor’s race, than the officials did to Democrat Tom Barrett.
Over two weeks after One Wisconsin Now filed an open records request for all email and written communications between Koch Industries’ lead Wisconsin lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker and the Department of Administration, the Walker administration has yet to fulfill the request. One Wisconsin Now said it is considering legal action and notes the unusual speed at which Gov. Walker’s office released staff email communications this week it claimed were proof of the administration’s willingness to negotiate with Senate Democrats in the budget repair bill dispute.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross issued the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to close the State Capitol off to the people of Wisconsin and the continued mobilization against his efforts to use the government to take away the rights of working men and women and dismantle the quality of Wisconsin’s way of life.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the failure of Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to close the State Capitol to hundreds of protesters who had intended to sleep in the Capitol for a 13th night in solidarity against the governor’s disastrous budget repair plan.
As Governor, his signature achievement – ending collective bargaining for public employees – was a result of a bill passed in the middle of the night
It took a sneak attack in the early morning hours on Friday for Republicans in the Wisconsin Assembly to pass Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget bill, the one that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for most public-sector unions. Assembly Democrats savaged their counterparts for ramming the bill through at just past 1 a.m., screaming "shame!" and branding them "cowards." But if anyone asks Walker about the GOP's late-night tactic, he'll find himself in a tough spot: he's blatantly flip-flopped on the issue throughout his career. On the campaign trail in 2010, Walker, then a gubernatorial candidate, disavowed late-night votes by Wisconsin lawmakers. At the time, the Assembly was pulling all-nighters in order to finish its two-year legislative session, a common occurrence that's angered government watchdogs who don't approve of state business conducted when most people are asleep. In April 2010, Walker pledged to outlaw any votes in the legislature after 10 p.m. and before 9 a.m. "I have two teenagers and I tell them that nothing good happens after midnight. That’s even more true in politics," he said in a statement. "The people of Wisconsin deserve to know what their elected leaders are voting on."
Walker proposed taking away most legislative oversight of BadgerCare; turning decision-making over to DHS Secretary
One Wisconsin Now, a liberal activist group, today filed an open records request for all written communications and records of scheduled meetings between Koch Industries’ top in-state lobbyist and Walker’s office, his former transition office and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.
One Wisconsin Now filed an open records request today for all written communications and records of scheduled meetings between Koch Industries’ top in-state lobbyist and the office of Gov. Scott Walker, his former transition office and the Wisconsin Department of Administration.
Republican Gov. Scott Walker would appoint a majority of a board that would run the University of Wisconsin-Madison independently of UW System governance under a plan spelled out in a document released Wednesday by UW-Madison officials. Because Walker would make those appointments, splitting UW-Madison from the UW System would give the new governor influence over the state's flagship campus more quickly than would happen if UW-Madison remained a part of the state's 26-campus system. Walker's Democratic predecessor, Gov. Jim Doyle, made all but one of the appointments to the 18-member UW System Board of Regents during his eight years in office.
Walker proposed no-bid sales of state-owned power plants; removed provision from final bill after public backlash; Koch denies they would gain from power plant sale
A lesser-known provision of Wisconsin's budget-repair bill would allow the state to sell off publicly owned power plants in no-bid deals - prompting a flurry of speculation by liberal bloggers who allege that Gov. Scott Walker is attempting a giveaway to energy conglomerate Koch Industries...Koch insists it doesn't stand to gain from the legislation, and is furiously denouncing the rumors as they have spread to media outlets including MSNBC, Forbes and Bloomberg… Koch Industries, led by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch, has emerged as a major benefactor of conservative Republican candidates, and the Koch-backed group Americans for Prosperity has helped organize tea party rallies in Wisconsin supporting Walker's proposed budget fix.
Legislation which gives the governor sweeping oversight of the state’s rule making authority has passed the state Senate, meaning another Special Session bill will soon be ready for Governor Scott Walker’s signature. The state Senate passed the bill Thursday. It’s a ‘power grab’ that cuts the legislature out of the process according to Madison Democrat Fred Risser. “All we do is maybe spin our wheels a little bit, but we don’t have any input,” said Risser. “It’s really a dictatorial takeover of the rule making process by our governor.”
Walker Concocts ‘Scoop and Toss’ Borrowing Scheme to Pay for $140 Million in Special Interest Spending
Madison— Republican Gov. Scott Walker plans to pay for $140 million in new special interest spending signed into law in January by extending the state’s long term debt in a “scoop and toss” refinancing scheme that will cost untold tens of millions of dollars in additional debt for Wisconsin.
In trying to tie the lawsuit reforms to job creation, Walker asserted the issue is "one of the most important factors" when businesses are deciding to expand or invest in Wisconsin. That’s a major overreach. He cited a series of national surveys, which show it’s a concern but lack Wisconsin data and don’t weigh how the concern stacks up against other issues. In the surveys of state businesses we found, lawsuit reform is on the radar screen -- but a blip behind taxes, regulation and other issues. We rate Walker's claim False.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) signed into law today Special Session Senate Bill 1, legislation aimed at reforming the state's civil justice system. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) commended newly-elected Gov. Walker and the new Wisconsin legislature for their leadership in responding quickly to their mandate to restore business confidence and for making tort reform one of their top priorities to achieve this goal. "Wisconsin's legislature and Gov. Walker should be lauded for their immediate attention to reforming the state's legal system. They are the first of many states expected to consider such tort reforms as part of job creation packages in 2011," said Amy Kjose, ALEC's Civil Justice Task Force Director. "Reforming state legal systems is often a budget-neutral way, or sometimes even a budget-positive way, to restore confidence for businesses as the economy struggles to recover." The bill comes at a critical time, when Gov. Walker called the legislature into special session for the express purpose of decreasing burdens on business and reigniting the state's sluggish economy. This bill is a strong piece of reform legislation that will have a significant impact on Wisconsin's legal climate and economic viability.
Today is the day the chief executive officers of Wisconsin’s publicly-traded companies have on average earned as much as the median household will earn in Wisconsin this year. One Wisconsin Now is wondering how Gov. Scott Walker will highlight the day as part of his effort to hand over the state’s regulatory and treasury to the power of big business.
One Wisconsin Now’s progressive rally “Rock the Pantry” will result in nearly $4,000 being donated to the Wisconsin efforts of Feeding America. Progressives held the rally in response to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s big-money campaign and political party fundraising inaugural, as well as to send an unmistakable message that progressives will fight conservative public policy efforts to hurt Wisconsin’s working families and those in need.
One Wisconsin Now’s “Rock the Pantry” progressive rally to help feed Wisconsin is set for the evening of Monday, January 3 at the same time Gov.-elect Scott Walker will be hosting a big money partisan political inauguration fundraiser to benefit his campaign and the Republican Party of Wisconsin. All proceeds from tickets to One Wisconsin Now’s “Rock the Pantry,” to be held at Madison’s historic Majestic Theatre, will go directly to charities assisting people hit hardest by the economic collapse.
One Wisconsin Now released the following statements regarding Gov.-elect Scott Walker’s plan to put corporate special interests in charge of he taxpayer-financed Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements about Gov.-elect Scott Walker’s regulatory reform plan to reward corporate campaign donors by allowing them to rewrite state regulations.
GOPromiseBreakers: Will Walker, Kleefisch, RoJo, Duffy, Ribble Take Government-Subsidized Health Care?
Wisconsin’s leading anti-healthcare reform advocates, including Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch and Ron Johnson all have the opportunity to refuse government-subsidized health care, and One Wisconsin Now is calling for them to publicly announce whether or not they will be taking advantage of government-subsidized health care in their newly-elected positions.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has violated the state of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws 1,115 times since 2009 by failing to disclose information about contributors who donated more than $100. Walker’s serial offenses include 456 contributions filed in the last 72 hours totaling nearly $284,000.
Will Walker Finally Say How He Will Pay for $3 Billion in Tax Cuts, Loopholes, Shift for Rich, Big Business?
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker remains unwilling to identify the cuts to education, health care, police and fire protection he would make to pay for nearly $3 billion in tax cuts, loopholes and shifts he has proposed, which overwhelmingly benefit the rich and big business. The $3 billion tab is in addition to the $2.7 billion projected state budget deficit.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has violated the state of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws more than 650 times since 2009 by failing to disclose information about contributors who donated more than $100, according to a formal complaint filed Tuesday with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
Democrats are accusing Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker of racism after a campaign aide tweeted a link to a video that some found offensive.Walker spokeswoman Jill Bader quickly took down the offending Twitter post and apologized Monday, but Democrats continued their assault Tuesday, demanding that Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, personally address the issue. MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann seized on the controversy, naming Bader his "worst person in the world" on Monday night's "Countdown." The flap started when Bader retweeted a post from Michael Brickman, another Walker press aide, that in turn relayed someone else's comment that President Barack Obama's response to Walker's stand against high-speed rail was contained in a video. The video was a clip of African-American dancers singing, "C'mon, Get on the Train," from the old "Soul Train" television series.
Once Again, Walker Violating Campaign Finance Laws; This Time Over $120,000 in Improperly Reported Contributions
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign failed to report the required employer information of donors giving him over $120,000 - the second time in a year he has filed a report with this level of inaccuracy. Under chapter 11.60(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, each violation can result in a $500 civil forfeiture, which could top well over $165,000 in Walker's case.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker still refuses to say how he will finance a budget-busting $3-billion tax cut and shift scheme that would slash funds from education, health care, and police and fire protection “¢ even after the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau says the state deficit is an even-larger $2.5 billion for the next biennium.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s self-appointed tax and spend team in the state legislature, Republicans Robin Vos and Alberta Darling, both called for more General Purpose Revenue funding than requested by Gov. Jim Doyle in state budgets in the past several years.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to detail how he will pay for his nearly $2 billion in tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the rich and big business. But he said late last week that wage and benefit cuts for state workers are one way to close the state’s $2 billion-plus projected state deficit. In order to finance both the tax cuts and close the deficit, Walker would need to cut state worker pay and benefits by 42 percent, or slash 29,000 state jobs.
“Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker voted to allow late-night lawmaking when he was a member of the Assembly even though he rails against the practice now. Walker joined with the Republican majority in January 1997 to eliminate a rule that required lawmakers to finish their floor sessions at 8 p.m., voting records show. Republican lawmakers had voted to put the rule in place after taking control of the chamber in 1995. ...The sessions are often denounced by lawmakers themselves and government watchdogs for allowing lawmakers to take major action in the middle of the night when few are paying attention except lobbyists. Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, took up the issue this week as the Assembly pulled two all-nighters while lawmakers rushed to wrap up their two-year legislative session. He promised to sign legislation if elected governor that prohibits the Legislature from voting after 10 p.m. or before 9 a.m. ‘I have two teenagers and I tell them that nothing good happens after midnight. That's even more true in politics,’ he said in a statement. ‘The people of Wisconsin deserve to know what their elected leaders are voting on.’...Walker voted to do away with the 8 p.m. cutoff as part of a larger resolution setting the Assembly rules for the 1997 session. He also voted against a Democratic amendment that would have restored the 8 p.m. cutoff time.”
Last week, when the Assembly pulled two all-nighters, lawmakers became an easy target of critics who said that late-night lawmaking is not the way to do the state's business. One of those who criticized the practice was Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker, who said he would sign legislation as governor that would forbid the Legislature from voting after 10 p.m. and before 9 a.m. But as a member of the Assembly in 1997, Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, voted for a change in Assembly rules ending the requirement that lawmakers adjourn by 8 p.m. Two years earlier, when Republicans took control of the Assembly, they voted to put the time limit in place. The 1997 change allowed the Assembly to have all-night meetings
“One recent dust-up involves Walker's talk of his help in landing GE Healthcare's $85 million headquarters in the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa in 2004. But the former mayor of Wauwatosa said Walker's part in the project is overblown. ‘That's a good piece of revisionist history,’ said Theresa M. Estness, who was mayor of Wauwatosa from 2000 to 2008. The pitch to GE included more than $30 million in public funds, with nearly $28 million coming from Wauwatosa in the form of a grant and a low-interest loan to the developer to help woo GE and its 2,000 employees. ‘The county executive was never at the table negotiating this,’ she said, adding ‘there was never anyone from the county involved when we were negotiating with GE.’”
“Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker accused Democratic leaders of stifling the Milwaukee job market by buying trains from a Spanish company rather than from a local train maker run by one of his big-dollar donors. Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, said Super Steel Products Corp. could have built the high-speed trains in Milwaukee. ...Walker's allegations have prompted counterclaims that his outrage is actually a ruse to defend Super Steel Chairman Fred Luber, who was listed in 2005 as the co-chair of Walker's campaign finance committee. Luber and his wife have given more than $150,000 to Republican campaigns in the last 20 years, including more than $13,000 to Walker, according to the left-leaning advocacy group One Wisconsin Now.”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s criticism related to the Talgo company comes just two weeks after the company owned by a top Walker campaign donor and finance co-chair of his failed 2006 gubernatorial campaign did not receive a contract from the Spanish train maker.
“Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker has signed a pledge to veto any tax increase. Walker, the Milwaukee County executive, signed the pledge by Americans for Tax Reform to ‘oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.’ That pledge created headaches in 2007 for Republicans when they controlled the state Assembly and ultimately agreed to a budget that raised cigarette taxes.”
Despite touting a campaign website, BrownBagMovement.com to tout his frugality, “Walker's campaign has spent thousands of dollars on food and beverages, including at high-end restaurants, even as it launches a public relations blitz to promote his claim that he's so frugal he packs his lunch every day, an Associated Press review found. The campaign's bills for Walker's meals, campaign meetings that included meals for Walker, his staff and others, and food and drinks for fundraising events amount to at least $24,500 since mid-2008.”
“Republican candidate for governor, Scott Walker is getting some help from a well-connected former governor. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, brother of former president George W. Bush and son of former president George Bush, was in Milwaukee Monday campaigning for Walker. Walker says he is glad to have Jeb Bush campaigning for him because in Florida, Bush brought greater accountability to public schools and lowered taxes. ‘The states that have cut taxes are the states where jobs have increased,’ Walker said. ‘The states that have raised taxes are the state that have seen job loss.’ Walker and Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett are each leading their parties in the polls for Wisconsin governor.”
County Board Supervisors Accused Walker of Overstepping His Authority in Laying Off 76 Workers, Privatizing Their Jobs
“Irate supervisors said Wednesday that Walker overstepped his authority by laying off 76 workers, including the security personnel, and some vowed to try to stop him from privatizing courthouse security. Walker's unilateral actions created an emergency that didn't exist, said Supervisor Michael Mayo Sr. He said the legal argument justifying Walker's actions under emergency statutory authority was ‘poppycock.’ Walker has said he relied on legal advice from the county corporation counsel as well as an outside law firm before issuing layoff notices. Acting County Corporation Counsel Timothy Schoewe said Walker was justified in hiring a security firm on an emergency basis. Schoewe also said Walker was on solid legal ground with the layoffs to help fill a budget shortfall. Dimitrijevic said she planned to introduce legislation aimed at undoing Walker's plan to award a $1.1 million annual contract to Wackenhut to take over the security checkpoints. The County Board in November rejected Walker's plan to privatize security as part of the 2010 budget and that policy should prevail, Dimitrijevic said. Last Friday, Walker fired all 27 security guards and also issued layoff notices to 49 other county workers.”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has strongly opposed measures to provide more Wisconsin children, pregnant mothers and uninsured adults have affordable health care, at the same time taking more than $120,000 in campaign contributions from the health care industry in just the last six months alone.
“The Walker campaign claimed the county executive's report was so hefty it had ‘crashed’ the state's campaign finance computer. However, Government Accountability Board spokesman Reid Magney said the system had not crashed. ‘Everything’s fine,’ Magney said. ‘The system was not brought to a grinding halt.’”
County Supervisors Said Walker Failed to Market Financing Aid Available to Boost Economic Development
“Milwaukee County supervisors faulted County Executive Scott Walker on Monday, saying he hadn't developed a plan or designated staff to promote financing aid that could boost local economic development. Two major federal lending programs could be tapped by the county to assist private developers by lowering borrowing costs, but the county has been slow to market the aid, supervisors said. ‘That's the problem -- we don't have the staff and we really don't have a plan,’ despite a push by Walker to raise the profile of county economic development efforts, Supervisor Theo Lipscomb said….Supervisor Lynne De Bruin said it was disconcerting that Walker had not acted more aggressively in marketing the programs.”
If Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is interested in providing an honest assessment in his 2010 “state of the county” address, it will be a long apology to the people of Milwaukee County for his failed leadership, skewed priorities and playing politics with county operations.
“County Executive Scott Walker is pleased to announce that the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division-Wraparound Milwaukee program, in partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services, was notified that it is one of only seven communities in the U.S. to be a recipient of a $2.4 million, 5-year Healthy Transitions grant -$480,000 per year- from the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. ‘Earlier, we announced $3.85 million in grants for three other programs,’ said Walker. ‘This is additional good news and congratulations to the staff for the work done at BHD-Wraparound to get this grant.’”
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker did not provide the required names of employers for more than 260 donors in his most recent filing in his campaign for governor. Walker’s campaign said it has taken all necessary steps to get the information from those who gave more than $100, as required by law. One Wisconsin Now -- a group with ties to Democrats that often criticizes Walker and other Republicans -- said Tuesday that Walker’s July campaign finance report did not include employer information for 267 donors who collectively gave more than $172,000. The group charged that Walker had violated campaign finance laws. Two of the donors -- Ronald H. Johnson of Oshkosh and Jonathan Kuester of Milwaukee -- gave $10,000, the maximum allowed. Candidates must make good-faith efforts to get employer information from donors who give more than $100, according to the state Government Accountability Board....”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign failed to report the required employer information of top donors who gave him over $172,000 - a violation affecting one of every six dollars he took in his first finance period. Under chapter 11.60(1) of the Wisconsin Statutes, each violation can result in a $500 civil forfeiture, which could top well over $150,000 in Walker’s case.
“Walker, the county executive who is running for governor, renewed his call Monday to parcel out county functions to the state, municipalities and to governmental districts yet to be created. Walker has proposed having the state take over administration of public assistance programs, social services for seniors and people with disabilities, and the courts. Cities and villages could take over maintenance of county roads. He also advocated for new, specialized districts to run transit, the parks, and the zoo and local cultural institutions...”
Arbitrator Ruled Walker Exceeded Authority In Cutting Employee Hours and Failed to Show County Was in Fiscal Crisis
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker exceeded his authority in attempting to unilaterally cut union employees' hours as a budget-cutting move, according to an arbitrator's ruling issued Wednesday.”
Walker Intended to Use Wage Freezes & Shortened Work Weeks to Address County’s Shortfall of $15 Million in 2009 and $90 Million in 2010
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker on Friday added an employee wage freeze to his growing arsenal of tools aimed at avoiding large budget shortfalls. But as with other ideas he's broached -- most notably a 35-hour work week and accompanying pay cuts -- the county executive ran into immediate resistance and accusations he's playing politics with people's lives. Walker said he's not bluffing about the need for the cutbacks or the likely alternative -- layoffs. All county department heads have been asked to draft layoff plans in case the freeze and his other efforts are rebuffed, Walker said...The county is projected to face shortfalls of nearly $15 million this year and $90 million next year. Walker had no estimate of savings linked to a wage freeze.”
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker on Thursday ordered five-hour weekly unpaid furloughs for most county employees through the rest of 2009 as a way of offsetting a projected $15 million deficit this year…Walker's shorter workweek order affects at least half the county workforce, including managers. The cut also could be extended to 60% or more of the nearly 5,000 county employees. …For affected county workers, losing five hours of reduced pay a week would amount to about a 12.5% cut.”
“This year's Harley ride for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will be different. Sure, he's motoring to the far corners of Wisconsin and dipping briefly into Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. And he's also extolling the virtues of tourism in Milwaukee at about three dozen stops, just as he has for the previous five iterations of the road trip. ...What's also new is that by the time the Walker Harley caravan takes off June 20, he'll likely be an announced candidate for governor. ...County Supervisor Christopher Larson said the timing of the trip raises questions about Walker's motives. ‘At the same time he's highlighting Milwaukee, he's also highlighting himself’ to voters around the state, Larson said. He also wondered how Walker justified the trip while county employees are under a Walker-imposed freeze on unnecessary travel. State Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke said that once Walker announces for governor, his round-the-state tour could run afoul of state election law. ...‘If he is running for governor, he shouldn't be using the hard-pressed taxpayers' money’ for such a trip.’”
“Walker stitched together random letters and even spaces from paragraphs of 2009 budget text, as amended by the County Board, to create new meaning ...‘Vanna White’ vetoes -grabbing letters like the game show hostess from a piece of text to form new words- are still fair game for Walker. He limited his creative veto impulses in the 2009 budget to the Vanna veto, which he views as the more legitimate… For example, his veto restoring privatization of 30 skilled worker jobs pruned two full pages of text to extract letters and spaces that created this phrase: ‘restore contract funds.’”
“The referendum also faced organized opposition from a local conservative political action group, Wisconsin Club for Growth, which ran radio ads critical of the sales tax increase over the past week. Walker recorded the ads for the group. In them, he raised the still-potent specter of the controversial 2001 county pension deal by saying, ‘The same County Board that voted to increase their own pensions now want your permission to raise taxes by $130 million.’ That line drew protests from supervisors, who said only seven of the 19 current board members were on the board in 2001 and only five voted for the pension deal.”
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker came under fire Tuesday for delays in hiring the county’s first engineer to oversee the county’s ‘green’ building projects. Although the position was created in July 2007 and money was set aside for it in this year's budget, the job remains vacant.”
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker said Wednesday that he would drop his request for a 26% pay increase for his chief of staff, Tom Nardelli, at least until after work on the 2009 county budget is finished. Walker said he didn't want the unilateral authority to raise Nardelli’s pay by $20,000 a year to $95,000, something a County Board committee recommended Wednesday. At County Board Chairman Lee Holloway's request, the board's finance committee voted 7-0 to give Walker sole authority for the Nardelli raise. ...Walker decided to drop the matter because of public concern it was ill-timed, given the bad economy.”
“In recent budgets, Walker has been playing a political shell game. He makes taxpayers think the county can get by with what it spent the previous year when it can't. To prevent more cuts in needed services, supervisors then are forced to raise the levy, last year by 3.6%. So Walker takes bows as a budget hawk and supervisors take unfair grief for raising taxes, much of the flak coming from Walker's cheerleading section in talk radio.”
“Supervisors point out that it now appears their 2007 budget, which Walker vetoed -- claiming it was not balanced - will result in a $7 million surplus.”
“In racking up his huge financial advantage in the Milwaukee County executive race, incumbent Scott Walker drew his three largest donations from members of the founding family of Wal-Mart Corp. The $7,500 in total from Jim, Christy and Lynne Walton were in recognition of his support for school choice, one issue that doesn't fall under the official duties of county government, Walker acknowledged. He'll make it a campaign theme, however, hoping he can use the bully pulpit of county executive to support the city's program of state vouchers that allow students to attend private schools. The choice-linked money is just one example of outside support Walker has drawn.”
County Pension Boss Fired After Harassment Inquiry; He Says He Was Ousted for Opposing Walker, Alleging Improprieties
“The Milwaukee County retirement manager challenging County Executive Scott Walker for re-election has been fired as a result of a harassment investigation, officials said Wednesday. Jack Hohrein, who led the county's pension program since 2005, was notified late Monday, said county Corporation Counsel William Domina. ...Hohrein said the timing of his termination -- within hours of a Journal Sentinel online report of his bid for county executive -- shows the real reason was his challenge to Walker and his public accusations of improprieties in the county pension operation.”
“Also getting refunds would be Stuart Levine and P. Nicholas Hurtgen, indicted in Illinois on charges related to a scheme to deny hospitals permits to expand unless they hired a favored construction firm, and Ernest J. Streu and Michael J. Maples, who pleaded guilty in 2004 to rigging Wisconsin road building contracts. The refunds total $8,800. Walker's campaign also said Wednesday it was giving back $4,000 it got from Levine and reviewing its donor list for other possible refunds…. Walker said he would prohibit appointed state employees from contributing to a governor's campaign, ban campaign contributions to candidates for governor while the state's budget is under consideration and urge the Legislature to adopt similar restraints on legislative races.”
“...Milwaukee officials are considering suing the actuaries behind the pension scandal, which has seen more than $100 million paid out to retiring county officials and employees. But the actuaries weren't the county's only advisers. The county also paid lawyers with the firm of Reinhart, Boerner, Van Dueren for advice and counsel. Yet, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, the lawyers who handled the county's pension work -- and who many observers say could be as guilty as the actuaries of wrongdoing -- ‘will likely escape blame.’ ...In Milwaukee, the speculation is that Reinhart, Boerner, Van Dueren will get a break because the firm is very well connected to Walker...Reinhart's chief executive is Richard Graber. Yes, that Richard Graber, the chairman of the state Republican Party and a key supporter of Walker’s 2002 campaign for Milwaukee County executive.”
“In a related development, a lawyer with the state Elections Board advised the Walker campaign to make a case to county election officials justifying its planned use of campaign funds for lobbying on the issue. The Walker campaign has sought donations from the public to fund a massive phone-call operation aimed at getting residents to lobby their supervisors to sustain Walker’s expected veto. Expenses to influence legislation are not a permissible use of campaign funds, according to state statutes.”
Some Recall Efforts Are Good, Like the One That Put Walker on Path to Election as Milwaukee County Executive
We are obviously very pleased, not only because of the victory but because this is really a reaction to the public starting this whole movement. In many ways I feel the people of Milwaukee County had a victory tonight.
“Bipartisan” and “Walker” Not Words Often Used Together, Even As State Legislator, According to Democrats
At age 7, Scott Walker formed a ‘Jesus USA’ club in tiny Plainfield, Iowa, a farming community a half hour north of Waterloo where his father was the local Baptist pastor … The young Walker mounted a successful door-to-door fund drive for a state flag for the village hall, recalls Walker's father, the Rev. Llewelyn Walker.
The IBM job led to a better job at the Red Cross in marketing and fundraising. One thing led to another: Marriage, to his wife, Tonette, and eventually two children, Matt, now 7, and Alex, 6.
With a part-time job at IBM selling warranties on mainframe computers as well as the Assembly race competing for his attention, Walker left Marquette in the final semester of his senior year in 1990. He got the "essence of a Marquette education" in his 3 1/2 years there, Walker says.
Last year Walker aspired to be named lieutenant governor by Gov. Scott McCallum but was passed over in favor of Margaret Farrow, a former state senator.
Walker's election to the Assembly in 1993 followed two campaign defeats. As a student at Marquette University, he ran for student president and lost to a write-in candidate, a tough but valuable lesson, he says.
In 1993, he got another chance at politics when an Assembly seat opened in predominantly Republican Wauwatosa. Walker moved to Tosa and this time he won, beating Chris Ament, son of the former county executive.
When friends suggested he challenge then-County Executive F. Thomas Ament in 2000, Walker says, he immediately rejected the notion, fearing that Ament was unbeatable. That was before the pension scandal forced Ament from office and changed the county political landscape.
Walker says he won't stay as county executive beyond 2008, when he'd be 42, and may one day pursue a business career. ‘I imagine I'd have a pretty good pitch to any business out there; having resurrected a billion dollar government, think of what I could do for their business?’
Walker Willing to Do or Say Anything to Win, Tried to Dodge Speeding Ticket By Donning Jacket With Charity Logo
“Younger brother David recalls a tale that only slightly tarnishes Scott Walker's halo. When a 17-year-old Scott got a speeding ticket, he wore David's jacket -- with the logo for a charitable event, "Jump Rope for Heart," -- to his court appearance, hoping for leniency, says David. But the court commissioner was blind, David says. Scott got off with a warning.”
But politics continued to call. In 1990, Walker ran for the state Assembly as a Republican against the Democratic incumbent, Gwen Moore, in a heavily Democratic district on Milwaukee's north side. He lost with less than a third of the vote.
Walker said his campaign gave the people the specific reform proposals they demanded. “There is a pretty high meter out there for cynicism. Everybody is talking about reform, but what do they mean. We wanted to say specifically what I will do.”
Questions About Walker’s Use of State Funded Mailing From Assembly Office During County Executive Race
The recent constituent letter sent by state Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa) cost slightly more than a similar 2000 mailing - and wound up in more mailboxes...Walker said he checked with the state Elections Board and state Ethics Board before sending the newsletter, which includes a back-patting list of accomplishments from the just concluded legislative session. He has noted other lawmakers send three or four newsletters each two-year cycle. The 2002 newsletter is considerably more plain than the 2000 one. But rather than praise any frugality, aides to some of Walker’s opponents have privately grumbled it must have been a rush job to boost his candidacy.
In County Exec Campaign, Walker Invited Public to Hold Him Accountable for Keeping Campaign Promises
It’s not about political calculation. It can ultimately be boiled down to one word – duty.”
Questions Raised by Walker County Exec Fundraising Pitches to Lobbyists That Noted He Remained a State Legislator
When later questioned about his approach, Walker said that he did not mean to come across as heavy-handed. “I should be more clear about my pitch about county government.”
The Milwaukee County Labor Council voted Wednesday night to endorse Milwaukee Ald. Thomas Nardelli in the Milwaukee County executive's race. The council, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, includes about 150 unions with about 60,000 members living in Milwaukee County. The union met with a series of candidates last week but put off an endorsement until Wednesday, after it met with Nardelli. The Milwaukee County Labor Council, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers both endorsed Walker’s opponent, Alderman Thomas Nardelli for Milwaukee County Executive. The Council had about 150 unions with about 60,000 members in Milwaukee County.
Two Republican lawmakers have sent a blanket request to local prosecutors for information that could provide them with political ammunition against state Attorney General Jim Doyle, considered the leading Democratic candidate for governor in next year's election. State Reps. Mark Gundrum, of New Berlin, and Scott Walker, of Wauwatosa, have sent an e-mail to district attorneys and their deputies and assistants asking for information on any late filings of any sort by the attorney general's office in the past 10 years.Doyle has been under fire because his office missed a filing deadline in the appeal of a Waukesha County sexual assault case. As a result of the missed deadline, the conviction was overturned and the case will likely be retried.Now the two lawmakers are asking if any local prosecutors know of any other such case in the past decade. "This is almost by definition a fishing expedition," Doyle said Friday. "It shouldn't be any surprise that this type of political stuff is going on." "I think they will be surprised by what they hear from the district attorneys," Doyle said, adding that his office is in constant communication with prosecutors around the state. "I am very confident about what the DAs have to say about the appeals unit" within his office, he said. The memo from Gundrum, chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, and Walker, chairman of the Assembly Corrections and Courts Committee, says prosecutors can respond by e-mail or "to remain anonymous," can call Gundrum's home telephone number.
Walker Used His Assembly Committee to Attack Attorney General and ‘02 Gubernatorial Candidate Jim Doyle
A state Assembly committee chairman Monday called on Attorney General James Doyle to appear before his panel next week to explain how his office missed a critical appeal deadline in a rape case. “We can’t overlook incompetence,” said Rep. Scott Walker (R-Wauwatosa). But a spokesman for Doyle said the attorney general planned to release a detailed report this week that should negate a need to appear before Walker’s committee.
Walker and RPW Lobbied Milwaukee County DA for Charges Against Democratic Volunteer in 2000 Election
State GOP leaders are urging Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann to charge a Democratic Party volunteer with election bribery for allegedly giving cigarettes to homeless people in exchange for their votes before the November presidential election...In a letter to McCann Wednesday, party Chairman Richard Graber and state Rep. Scott Walker (R- Wauwatosa) said they were ‘concerned that charges have not been brought’ in light of information purportedly supporting them. ‘While we recognize that your office is seeking evidence on many of the other individuals who were involved with the crime, it seems that there should be more than enough evidence to charge Connie Milstein,’ Graber and Walker say in their letter.
“My joke was, after I talked to a couple of folks, it could be a ‘Great Scott’ ticket. Either way, I can’t lose.”
The bill would have granted, “firearm importers, manufacturers, dealers and trade associations immunity from civil liability in any action brought by an individual or group for an injury or death caused by a firearm or by firearm ammunition.” (Assembly Journal)
He also noted that he did not consider Thompson a “viable candidate on a national basis.”
Walker Received Campaign Contribution From Private Prison Industry Executive Whose Company Did Business With State … Expresses Surprise It Took So Long
“Quite frankly, I was surprised that if he was going to give, he hadn’t given earlier. I’ve been a private-prison advocate for some time.”
Walker Authored Bill to Allow Private Prison Construction in Wisconsin and House Prisoners From Other States
The bill, “establishes the conditions under which a private person may construct and operate a prison in this state for the confinement of inmates from other states.”
Walker Sponsored Bill to Require Union Members to Annually Authorize in Writing Use of Dues to Fund Political Committees
The bill prohibited “any employer or other person who is responsible for the disbursement of moneys in payment of wages or salaries from withholding any portion of an employe's wages or salary for the purpose of making a contribution or for use as a contribution to a political committee, except upon written request of the employe whose payment is withheld.”
In a press release, Walker said the calls were an illegal and “inexcusable” tactic employed in an attempt to regain a Democratic majority in the Assembly. “The Democrats have been caught lying in an attempt to confuse and anger voters. These calls are in clear violation of our election laws and show how low the Democrats will stoop in their desperate attempt to regain the majority in the Assembly. This is illegal, irresponsible and inexcusable.” One month earlier, the state Republican Party had admitted funding push-polls and voter suppression calls attacking Democratic candidates.
A partisan swindle intended to solidify Republican control of the Legislature while fooling all of the people all of the time. The bill, crafted by Republican campaign strategist Scott Walker without meaningful input from Democrats, is designed to weaken the influence of labor unions and other mass organizations that generally support Democrats, while strengthening the hand of millionaire influence peddlers and corporate groupings that tend to support the GOP.
Walker’s bill increased “the general obligation bonding authority for the prison expansion project by $50,000,000, from $25,000,000 to $75,000,000.