MADISON, Wis. — As one of the most seasoned politicians on the stage of the Republican Presidential Primary debate tonight, expect to see a disciplined performance in which Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker sticks to his poll tested talking points and tells a story about shopping at Kohl’s Department Store. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, what Walker does not say may be even more important than what he does.
“With this guy you always have to look beyond his well rehearsed talking points to get the true story,” commented Ross. “Scott Walker is politics incarnate and will say anything to try to win an election. To get the full story, you also have to pay attention to what he doesn’t say.”
Here are five things Scott Walker won’t want to talk about at the debate tonight, but that you should know:
- Scott Walker was, despite his repeated denials, a target in a criminal investigation and suspected of misconduct in public office as Milwaukee County Executive by prosecutors. As part of the investigation a top aide he appointed to oversee a fund to benefit the widows and children of armed service members killed in the line of duty was convicted and sent to prison for embezzling from the fund, another top aide was convicted of illegal campaigning and a contributor pled guilty to laundering campaign contributions;
- Scott Walker has failed to support common sense reform to allow student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage. In fact Walker has signed into law double digit tuition hikes at the University of Wisconsin System, underfunded financial aid leaving tens of thousands of eligible students without any help and cut higher education funding by nearly $700 million.
- Scott Walker’s signature privatized Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has been repeatedly criticized in multiple nonpartisan audits for mismanagement and has doled out a vastly disproportionate share of funds to campaign contributors. The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau has repeatedly criticized WEDC, whose board was chaired by Walker, for failing to observe basic accounting practices, losing track of millions of dollars in state funds and spending tax money on itunes gift cards, liquor and tickets for sporting events. New research showed $700 million of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s $1.14 billion in taxpayer-funded grants went to Scott Walker campaign donors.
- Wisconsin has the fastest shrinking middle class in the nation during Scott Walker’s term as Governor. Scott Walker was elected in 2010 promising to create 250,000 jobs in his first term. He was an abysmal failure, barely reaching half his goal. In addition to ranking dead last in the Midwest on jobs and lagging most of the nation, a recent study reported that that middle class is shrinking faster in Wisconsin than anywhere else in the nation.
- Scott Walker’s campaign chair is the head of the massive, right-wing Bradley Foundation. While touting himself as purveyor of big, bold ideas for the public good in reality Walker has instead advanced his own political career by pledging allegiance on pet issues for major right-wing funder the Bradley Foundation, headed by his campaign chair. For example, Walker signed into law the largest cuts to public education in state history while aggressively expanding the taxpayer funded private school voucher program. Research by One Wisconsin Now revealed a web of right-wing groups underwritten by the Bradley Foundation were part of a $38 million-plus propaganda campaign pushing this massive privatization of public education in Wisconsin.
For more on the five issues Scott Walker won’t want to talk about and the lowdown on the cronyism, corruption and incompetence that has marked Walker’s nearly 8,100 days in public office, check out One Wisconsin Now’s The Scott Walker Files website at OneWisconsinNow.org/ScottWalker/.