Scott Walker took off two months to campaign — and Wisconsin taxpayers paid for it.
Gov. Scott Walker did almost no official work in the days leading up to the Nov. 6 election, according to new information released to Wisconsin Reporter — meaning the governor essentially has taken off at least two months this year, not including weekends.
On Nov. 30, a Wisconsin Reporter analysis indicated Walker had taken 54 personal days through the end of October, with “personal day” defined as any day in which the governor spent fewer than 90 minutes on official business.
The governor’s early-November calendar, released since that report, indicates the governor also took off Nov. 1-6, with the exception of three conference calls — two with his staff and one with State Superintendent Tony Evers.
Walker responded to the report last week, saying the time off didn’t affect his job as governor, according to Madison’s WKOW-TV station.
Frankly, I’d be happier if he never showed up for work, because his record has been unrelentingly bad. Better no governor than this governor.
But this seems to be a habit for Walker and it’s one that may yet cost him dearly. The ongoing John Doe investigation into his time as Milwaukee County Executive is focused mainly on illegal campaigning using the county’s resources, rather than his campaign’s. Now it turns out that Walker’s blown two months of his gubernatorial term on near-nonstop campaigning, while drawing a state paycheck. While the latter’s not illegal, the similarities are too obvious not to notice.
Wisconsin GOP appears to have no stomach for further fights with labor.
Wisconsin Republicans claim they have no interest in following Michigan’s lead by pursuing passage of union-busting “right-to-work” legislation: it appears they have decided table their own version of the same bill. Though famously anti-union Governor Scott Walker (R) won’t say whether or not he’d support a Michigan style bill, incoming State Assembly speaker Robin Vos has said no such legislation will be brought up for consideration in the forthcoming term:
However, a spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker-elect Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Assembly Republicans don’t have plans to restrict private-sector unions in Wisconsin when the Legislature reconvenes Jan. 7.
“Right-to-work legislation is not something that is being pursued this session in the Assembly,” Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer said. “That folder has been put away.”
It’s important not to give Walker and co. too much credit: Walker’s refusal to comment on right-to-work is a step backwards from his previous pledge to “do everything in my power to make sure [right to work] isn’t there.” Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) similarly opposed right-to-work before ramrodding it through the current lame duck session.
I’m thinking this is probably the real deal. Republicans can probably stand one battle royale per session and a boneheaded move to eliminate same day voter registration will probably be that.
Still, I could be wrong. Wouldn’t be the first time.
Thanks to Republican lawmakers, predatory payday lenders are back in business in Wisconsin, and worse than before:
Many of the lenders have shifted from payday loans that were good for as little as two weeks to what they call installment loans - high-interest loans that don’t fall under payday lending regulations. Installment loans can have annual interest rates of 500% or more.
Judge to WI Gov. Walker: you’re not off the hook yet.
The judge overseeing the investigation into people who worked for Gov. Scott Walker when he was the Milwaukee County executive said Wednesday that the probe is not complete and remains open.
Walker said Tuesday that he hoped the so-called “John Doe” investigation would end as early as this week. He made the comments in response to a question at a meeting of the Dairy Business Association and said afterward that he was basing his hope on media accounts and a general feeling that the investigation was winding down.
But retired Waukesha County Judge Neal Nettesheim told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his home Wednesday that anyone guessing that the probe was coming to an end was engaging in “pure conjecture.”
“The John Doe is not completed,” Nettesheim said. “It is still open.”
That “general feeling that the investigation was winding down” is better known as “wishful thinking.”
Mitt’s final gaffe is causing trouble for Republicans.
Republican governors Bobby Jindal (LA) and Scott Walker (WI) spoke out against Mitt Romney’s claim that Obama won because he gave minorities and young people “big gifts” in the form of Obamacare, his DREAM directive, and partial college loan forgiveness. At the Republican Governors Association meeting in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jindal called the statement “absolutely wrong,” saying, “I absolutely reject that notion.” Walker, who was on a panel with Jindal when he denounced Romney, agreed that the GOP isn’t “just for people who are currently not dependent on the government. It’s for all Americans.”
Both governors, who were Romney surrogates, stayed quiet during Romney’s earlier iteration of this idea, when he told donors that 47 percent of Americans “believe they are victims” and will never “take personal responsibility.” Walker ducked the controversy at the time, saying “That’s a statement he has to take on, not myself.” Jindal also deferred judgment, refusing to “be one of these political pundits.”
But after a definitive loss down the ticket on Election Night, Republicans are doing some “brutally honest” soul-searching about the future of their party. Jindal was especially outspoken, imploring the GOP to “stop being the stupid party.” He was blunt in his newfound criticism for Romney in an interview with Politico…
The problem with Mitt’s gaffe is that the base is finding it way too easy to believe it. And if the base likes it, the conservative media will like it — and then things start to get out of hand. There’s a reason why Jindal teamed up with Walker to smack down Romney — Walker’s still a big hero on the right. If it comes down to who’s more influential, Walker or Romney, they’re hoping the base will choose Walker.
And in any logical setting they would. Walker’s a success story and Romney’s a failure. But Republicans and conservative media have foolishly trained Republican voters to believe whatever’s most comforting, logic and facts be damned. They may not be able to stem this self-destructive talking point, in the end. It may go viral, like the rape-theorizing after Todd Akin’s idiocy. In that case, it was defense of a position that outraged liberals that moved other rape commenters forward. The same may happen here.