MADISON, Wis. — At a press conference yesterday to ostensibly discuss public safety, Gov. Scott Walker declared there was “no value” in him, as chief executive of the state, visiting a correctional institution. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said it’s clear from Walker’s statements and desperate ploy to scare the public that the only thing 25 year career politician Scott Walker cares about keeping safe is his own job.
“The only thing 25-year politician Scott Walker cares about keeping safe is his his own job,” said Ross. “Unlike governors past of both parties, Scott Walker refuses to personally visit any of the prisons he’s spending $2.5 billion of our money to operate. Scott Walker’s desperate, negative campaign is stoking racial division and fear because his poll numbers are in the tank.”
Walker, who has never visited a correctional facility in his eight years as Governor, declared there was “no value” in his visiting any of the correctional facilities he is ultimately in charge of as governor. Furthermore, Walker declared that, if elected in November, he will continue his policy as chief executive of not stepping foot in a facility run by a department that is slated to receive nearly $2.5 billion in state tax dollars in the current two year budget cycle.
Walker’s refusal to see for himself what is going on in the state correctional system and hear directly from front-line employees comes as scrutiny of his responsibility for the current corrections crisis includes:
- Did nothing as juveniles were abused, assaulted and tortured at Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake;
- As chair of the Corrections Committee, presided over policies that emphasized locking people up instead of helping them get an education, overseeing a Corrections Department budget that for the first time ever topped $1 billion;
- Supporting draconian ‘truth in sentencing’ legislation that is not only racially biased, but also structurally unsound;
- Taking political contributions from the private prison industry;
- Attacking the ability of corrections officers to negotiate for workplace safety;
- Refuses to issue a single pardon because he is afraid it could hurt him politically;
- Supporting draconian sentences for low-level drug offenders for almost his entire career that unfairly targeted African Americans until the white people began having issues with opioids;
- Refused to condemn, or even comment on, Donald Trump’s “baby jails.”
Walker personally turning to negative campaigning with yesterday’s desperate ploy to stoke racial fears and division comes after recent public opinion polls have found his electoral prospects grim, despite $3 million in television advertising spent on his behalf since May.
Ross concluded noting the irony about Walker’s record on crime is that he is the only governor in Wisconsin history to have a criminal defense fund and Walker has refused to reveal the political donor who gave him $447,602 for the fund.
“Unless he’s hosting a seminar on how to set up an anonymous half a million dollar criminal defense fund, no one should listen to anything Scott Walker has to say about crime,” he said.
A full accounting of Walker’s 25-year record on Corrections is available at One Wisconsin Now’s warehouse of research: The Scott Walker Failure Files.