MADISON, Wis. — 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.
“Scott Walker is politics incarnate having spent almost his entire adult life in elective office,” said One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne. “Take it from us here in Wisconsin, he’ll do or say anything to get himself elected. And once he does, he’ll think nothing of turning around and doing the opposite.”
Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress, a Progress Now network partner with One Wisconsin Now, said, “New Hampshire voters are accustomed to vetting Presidential candidates, and we won’t stand for politicians pandering just to get elected. While he is here, Walker will be pressed to state his position on major issues of the day and he will be held accountable for his recent actions catering to the delusional fringe of the Republican Party.”
One Wisconsin Now notes that Gov. Walker has aggressively dispensed with issue positions he previously held as recently as January of 2015, including worker rights and abortion rights. Walker just signed into law a right to work measure that will lower average family incomes by over $5,000; he had previously said he would fight to keep the bill from reaching his desk. During his 2014 election campaign Gov. Walker ran a television ad telling people he trusted women to make their own health care decisions; but now he’s called for a new abortion ban intruding on the complicated decisions a woman might have to make in difficult medical situations, the very day after a national right-wing power broker demanded he do so.
In addition to Walker’s habit of putting political expediency before principle, his tenure as Governor has been marred by economic failure, mismanaged budgets and corruption. The latest employment statistics for Wisconsin are grim, unemployment is up in every county and every major municipality in Wisconsin. Under Walker’s fiscal mismanagement the state budget faces a deficit in excess of $2 billion, which Walker proposes balancing with massive cuts to the University of Wisconsin System and K-12 public schools, scoop and toss borrowing schemes, and even hiking the costs of senior’s prescription drugs. Meanwhile Walker himself has been dogged by criminal investigations of corruption and illegal campaigning resulting in criminal convictions of close aides and associates. He has spent nearly $500,000 on criminal defense lawyers through a legal defense fund that has kept the identities of donors secret from the public.
In his eagerness to serve special interests and the far right during his tenure Walker was famously prank-called by a blogger purporting to be the right wing billionaire David Koch, and more recently compared hardworking American union members to terrorists.
“Walker’s made it clear that he sides with big dollar special interests over Wisconsin and New Hampshire working families,” said Rice Hawkins. “Our country doesn’t need a Presidential candidate who disparages the voices of tens of thousands of every day citizens but gladly takes phone calls from the billionaire Koch brothers.”
Browne concluded by noting that Scott Walker’s act is wearing thin back home with plummeting approval ratings in a recent poll. “As Wisconsin sees through Gov. Walker’s deceit and suffers the consequences of his mismanagement, his approval ratings are taking a nosedive. Now New Hampshire has the opportunity to decide if Scott Walker deserves to be rewarded for his deceit, cronyism, corruption and incompetence.”