Sunday, August 25, 2013

Walker Endorsements Ring Hollow - - Updated

[Sunday, Aug. 25 update, first posted Sunday, August, 18: ] Add to this blog posting's brief for withdrawing Walker-For-Governor newspaper endorsements the news of a sweetheart, $500,000 contract goosed through the Legislature for a new pro-GOP sportsman's group - -  as well as news that Walker is giving a sweetheart big government job to a legislative ally who is also one of the grant''s small-government GOP legislative sponsors.

Wisconsin newspaper editorial boards have all the evidence they need to withdraw or, at a minimum, openly rethink their editorial support for Gov. Scott Walker:

* [Monday, August 19 update]: PolitiFact said Scott Walker spoke falsely - - again - - about job creation data in the state.

*  Scandals at the semi-privatized, rule-free WEDC jobs' agency he created and chairs, formerly known as the Department of Commerce;

*  Lax enforcement of environmental protections directly resulting from a deregulation philosophy he installed at another intentionally-politicized agency - - the Department of Natural Resources.posting's 

* Aggressive action by Walker campaign staff, with the boss in the loop, to direct Milwaukee County messaging keyed to Walker's image in 2010 after concrete fell at a Milwaukee County parking ramp and killed a teenage boy.

*  The costly turn-down by Walker of available federal funding for state health-care recipients, and the loss development opportunities and thousands of jobs during construction of the Milwaukee-Madison Amtrak extension.

*  His recreation of dozens of civil service posts into plum political appointments;

*  Walker's awarding of big-salaried state jobs - - the pattern began in the early hours of his administration when a 27-year-old lobbyist's son got an $81,000 job - -  - - to good soldiers like Cindy Archer, or disgraced WisDOT manager Steven Krieser, and, through civil service manipulations, State Capitol police chief David Erwin and his deputy;

Sunday, 8/25 update - - fresh news of a sweetheart, $500,000 contract goosed through the Legislature for a new pro-GOP sportsman's group - -  as well as news that Walker is giving a sweetheart big government job to State Senate leader Scott Suder, a legislative ally who is also one of the grant''s small-government GOP legislative sponsors. 

So will the state's largest newspaper, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, at least take back this plaudit it presented Walker in the first of its two gubernatorial election endorsements:

Walker's trademarks are austerity and out-of-the-box thinking...
Yes, that's just ten words in a long editorial, but facts now show Walker's austerity is certainly situational, and his thinking when it comes to staffing is more old-timey than reformist.

As to the lede on that editorial - -
Scott Walker has said repeatedly during his campaign for governor that he will develop strategies to create 250,000 new jobs during his first term.

It's a big promise - one that has been derided by his critics. But for the sake of Wisconsin, Walker had better be right.
What is responsible for derision about Walker's job-creating promise is the revolving door at the flop known as the WEDC and by employment facts tracked by the newspaper's PolitiFact team:

*  On July 5th - - "At the halfway mark of his term, that meant Walker was only about one fourth of the way -- or 187,918 jobs -- from his goal."

* On July 21st, the most recent update - -  "The monthly reports for 2013 show that the state has added 18,800 jobs in the first six months of this year. Added to the previous two years, and the count is 80,882, meaning the governor has 169,118 jobs remaining to meet his goal."

Also undermined by facts, and in need of a do-over: the employment-based editorial case made for Walker by the Wisconsin State Journal, the state's second-largest paper:
Our endorsement: Scott Walker best for jobs in race for governor
Finally, there is this cringe-worthy endorsement by The Lakeland Times, a smaller paper up North which should feel completely snookered by revelations of a secret Internet communications system set up and used to evade the Open Records law by Walker operatives in the offices of then-Milwaukee County Executive/gubernatorial candidate.

Was the paper moved to rethink its endorsement by the subsequent criminal convictions of several close Walker aides and other staffers for various misconduct in Walker's county administration where opacity and secrecy were substituted as a matter of policy and practice for openness and transparency.

Did the paper digest the more recent release of records showing Walker in the loop as his campaign staffers directed Milwaukee County employees to focus on Walker's image after a boy died from falling concrete in a County-owned garage?

Can the paper still stand by what it wrote when it endorsed Walker in 2010?
...we commend Mr. Walker for his transparent leadership of Milwaukee County, for the principled way he has stood up to the special interests there, and for the innovative, change-based ideas of his campaign.
Wisconsin newspapers often endorsed Walker for Governor believing he was something of a principled reformer and that his Milwaukee County Executive performance justified that belief and their editorial support.

Which among them would make that same argument now? 


Paddy Moran said...

Smashing ! Bravo!

James Rowen said...

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

They might pen retractions. If they weren't marionettes being directed by right wing extremists. Excellent take down BTW. :)

Anonymous said...

Who would be the candidate to run against Scott Walker? It can't be a left wing inexperienced wannabe. And the best the hopes the left had to beat Scott Walker - twice - failed.
If you think a candidate is beatable you need to do more than disagree with their job performance. You need to make the case why anyone should vote for the candidate you feel would do a superior job and make your case as to why. Part B is missing here.

Tess said...

The Lakeland Times has NEVER printed anything remotely negative about Scott Walker and in fact has ignored all of his scandals. The most hypocritical however is they're always harping on transparency and open records violations. They were constantly on Senator Jim Holperin for a few emails that he supposedly didn't turn over to them...they called it disappearing down the Holperin Hole. For the past few months they've skewered the Lakeland High School up north for not turning over records even though a judge ruled for the school.
Since they also make up and cherry pick anything and everything they can to show Walker in a positive light, I would guarantee they will again endorse him wholeheartedly next year. And since they've also used their rag to tear down teachers, public workers, unions and spread the Walker hate, they deserve each other. They have lost much of their readership or at least the half they criminalized for protesting against their God.

Anonymous said...

Purple this !