Saturday, February 24, 2018

Walker's baggage is both local and national

Walker's election year baggage ranges from potholes to President Trump to the NRA.

His local burdens include that still failed job-creating pledge, and the state's crumbling roads and the billions in corporate welfare, taxpayer dollars, tax breaks and highway spending being poured into the Southeastern corner of Wisconsin for Foxconn - - the full story, here - - rather than being distributed across the state. 

And while the axiom is that all politics is local, Walker also could find himself on the wrong side of two national narratives which repulse many voters.

The first is Donald Trump. He's a woman-grabbing, race-baiting, Russia-loving loose cannon - - whom Scott Walker, when dropping out of the presidential campaign in September, 2015 urged Republicans to reject
Scott Walker Drops Out of 2016 Republican Presidential Race, Slamming Trump
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, suit
Voters may not recall exactly how Walker ended his brief run for President, or has since done a 180-degree turn and become a strong Trump backer, so let's understand that that as well as remembering that Walker had earlier courted Trump, having presented Trump in New York City with a plaque - - I wonder what's inscribed on it - - and also scored from him a $15,000 in re-election boosting donation.

A favor from Trump perhaps reimbursed in full when Walker went to the Republican Party's 2016 nominating campaign, stood on the podium, disregarded his 2015 anti-Trump call to arms and endorsed Trump's "American Deserves Better" candidacy.

When plenty of other GOP figures wanted no part of Trump's coronation because they already knew enough about Trump to indeed understand that America needed better..

This was a convention organized by Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, but before Manafort was indicted for multiple dirty money crimes and Gates's pleaded on Friday to some related felonies.

Still - - Walker's got a fraught relationship with Trump and he'll be ducking from owning it during the campaign.

Second, speaking of fraught Walker relationships, there's his long and profitable connection with the National Rifle Association - - an organization now facing fury and boycotts after the Florida high school massacre, and other blowback with consequences already dogging and confounding Walker:

...Walker did address the question of arming teachers - - by coming down squarely on both sides of the issue with his familiar dodge-and-stumble rhetoric:
Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday said arguments on both sides need to be looked at closely."It doesn't mean we couldn't do it.  I just think we want to make sure that it's not just a spur of the moment, but that we really look at the details and measure the pluses and minuses," Walker said.
As Walker also did on Feb. 16th, but hasn't used more than week to say something on the subject that's "not just a spur of the moment."
 TMJ4 reports these words:
Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker is reacting to the school shooting and what needs to be done in Wisconsin to prevent school shootings like the one in Parkland. 
“Part of this is reexamining and making sure no matter what the issue is that we’re making sure, whether it’s what we saw the other day or it’s explosive, we want everyone to feel safe, but particularly our schools,” he said. 
Walker has been far less reticent when it comes to accepting NRA money and testimonials:

* In 2011, NRA front man Wayne LaPierre traveled to Wisconsin for Walker's ceremonial signing of legislation legalizing concealed weapons' carrying.

Walker signed the bill Friday afternoon in Rothschild, just outside Wausau. National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre joined Walker for the bill signing. 
Passing a concealed carry law has been a priority for the NRA in Wisconsin over the past few years.The governor called it long overdue, saying he co-sponsored a similar measure when he was in the State Assembly. He proclaimed himself a proud member of the NRA. 
* The NRA provided Walker with more than $815,000 in support during his 2012 recall campaign, according to the Journal Sentinel, and in 2013, Walker gave the group's annual convention in Houston a shoutout via live video for the money:
 “Most of all I want to say ‘Thank you’ to oh, so many people who helped us out in our recall election last June,” he told members at the organization’s annual gathering...
“I’m sorry I’m not able to join you Houston, but last year I had a great time in St. Louis,” he said. “And I thank you for the tremendous recognition you gave us for the good work we’ve done on concealed carry and castle doctrine right here in the state of Wisconsin.”At last year's gathering in St. Louis, Walker famously sought help in his recall election by telling members "I have become a target." 
* In 2015, Walker lauded his record of support for NRA's priorities at that year's annual convention. 
Since taking office four years ago, Walker has signed legislation allowing the concealed carry of firearms and other weapons by permit holders and establishing the so-called "castle doctrine" in which homeowners are presumed to have acted correctly if they shoot an intruder on their property. 
The Republican governor has also committed to sign legislation eliminating the state's 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases.
*  Shortly thereafter, the NRA praised Walker for signing legislation that ended that 48-hour handgun purchase waiting period: 
Your NRA-ILA would like to thank all legislators who voted in support of this legislation, especially SB 35 authors Senator Van Wanggaard (R-21) and Representative Romaine Quinn (R-75). NRA also thanks members who contacted their legislators on behalf of this bill, as passage would not have been possible without your active support.   
Please take the time to contact Governor Walker and thank him for signing SB 35 into law.  
*  By 2016, Walker's direct and indirect NRA funding had topped $3.5 million, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Also in 2016, Walker addressed a conference hosted by the NRA and a Wisconsin sister organization in Weston, WI  Wisconsin-based convention where, having exhausted winning approvals for gun law priorities, he gave the attendees a bill signing that boosting another NRA priority - -  ending restrictions on switchblade knives, according to Walker's office
While at the annual conference, Governor Walker also signed Assembly Bill 142 into law.  
Assembly Bill 142 – as amended, repeals the prohibition on manufacturing, selling, transporting, purchasing or possessing a switchblade knife. Additionally, the bill would prohibit political subdivisions from enacting ordinances or adopting resolutions that regulate knives more stringently than state law.
Walker has got Trump and NRA problems this year, because Wisconsin deserves better.

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