MADISON, Wis. — 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.”
Walker’s comments came after a week in which new revelations surfaced about the John Doe investigation involving his campaign and right wing allies, as well as reports of a $6 million sweetheart deal his privatized commerce department approved behind closed doors for a company whose owners and spouses gave Walker’s campaign $20,000 two weeks later, and culminating with the latest Marquette University poll numbers showing Walker trailing his Democratic opponent Mary Burke among likely November voters, 49-47 percent.
“Gov. Walker’s whining about the state and national media is a sign of a desperate, flailing governor who refuses to take responsibility for the corruption, cronyism and incompetence Wisconsin has endured under his ‘leadership,’” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “It seems career politician Gov. Walker thinks ethics and competence have a liberal bias.”
Walker’s broadside against the media came Thursday on Hewitt’s program and was first reported Friday evening by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Among Walker’s more outrageous quotes included:
For a lot of the so-called mainstream media, particularly the newspapers, they are so afraid that they are dying, that they jump to put things up on the internet before they’ve confirmed things or have a good analysis of them, and that’s exactly what happened.
Well, sometimes, 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.
And you know, where do you go back to get your reputation back after someone’s put up a big time error and waited a week to correct it?
According to the Journal Sentinel article, Walker continued his attacks on the media at a campaign event in Madison. Walker’s vitriol comes after a week of bad news for the first-term governor, including the latest Marquette University Law Poll numbers showing him trailing Democrat Burke despite millions of dollars spent in the last year by Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce, Americans for Prosperity and the Republican Governors Association.
In just the past week, it was revealed by documents related to the John Doe criminal investigation of collusion between Walker’s campaign and right wing advocacy groups, such as Wisconsin Club for Growth, the Republican Governors Association and Wisconsin Manufactures and Commerce, that Walker was personally soliciting funds for Club for Growth in an effort to ensure all the right wing messaging for the 2011-12 Senate and Walker recalls was consistent.
In addition, a $700,000 contribution from Gogebic Taconite to Club for Growth was made public. After the recalls, Walker dubbed passage of the Gogebic Taconite mining bill his top legislative priority and appeared to change his mining position, having voted for the 1998 mining moratorium, authored by environmental champion former Rep. Spencer Black (D-Madison) and signed into law by then-GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson.
Walker’s privatized Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was also under fire after the Wisconsin State Journal reported a secret $6 million tax break was approved in late January for Ashley Furniture, which included a provision that would allow Ashley to cut up to 1,900 jobs. One Wisconsin Now revealed Ashley’s two top executives and their spouses donated $20,000 to Walker’s campaign two weeks after the deal was approved behind closed doors.
Finally, despite Walker’s television ads claiming he had solved the state’s budget problems, new numbers show that Walker’s failure on job creation and reckless tax cuts for the rich and corporations will leave the state with a shortfall in the next budget that could top well over $1 billion dollars.
“Gov. Walker can run crying to right wing media he’s the victim,” said Ross. “But he can’t run from his record of cronyism, corruption and incompetence.”