Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dirtier Than Nixon
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is running for President of the United States of America. Sure, he’s being coy about it, but everyone knows that’s his plan.
With Walker as President, you’ll get plenty of promises, but few good results. Although he doesn’t really care what the average person thinks about him, as long as they vote for him. His real concern is carrying water for those he needs to advance his career.
Walker was never about public service. Can anyone point to a solid reason he was elected as Milwaukee County Executive? Other than this, I mean. What has he ever accomplished that moved society forward?
For Scott Walker it has always been about him. His career. His aspirations.
Yet, he brings nothing to the table.
Walker had an excellent opportunity to demonstrate to the people of Milwaukee County just how good he is at managing large, complex enterprises. The results?
The State was forced to take over Milwaukee County’s public assistance programs, due to Walker's ineptness. It’s almost as if Milwaukee County had picked their ill-prepared, unskilled, and unqualified cousin for the position.
“The State's unprecedented move Tuesday to strip Milwaukee County of its role in administering food aid, child care and medical assistance programs was prompted by years of county mismanagement, state Health Services Secretary Karen Timberlake said.”

“The state "has in fact expended millions of additional dollars and thousands of hours of staff resources to assist your county over a period of years," Timberlake wrote. "Despite these efforts, Milwaukee County's performance fails national and state standards and is failing the people of the county."

"Milwaukee County has demonstrated a sustained inability to successfully provide services to its (poor) customers," Timberlake said in a letter to Walker. She disputed Walker's assertion that the problem has been the state underfunding the operation, or due to the souring economy[1].
A ‘sustained inability’. For those who strive towards process excellence, those are damning words. But ‘process excellence’ was the last thing on Walker’s mind. What Timberlake is saying, essentially, is ‘we gave you more help than your predecessors and you still couldn’t do the job’. Walker wanted failure, because from his Randian perspective, those receiving the help weren’t the ‘creative minds’, the ‘makers’ that added value to society, they were ‘takers’, nothing more than grist for the mill and entirely expendable.
Got it. Refuse to administer help (that’s already available) to those most in need, then when they remain needy, seek excuses, not solutions. Thus, the self-fulfilling prophesy becomes the proof.
While on the campaign trail, expect to hear many things from Walker. Programmed talking points produced by his Koch-sponsored handlers designed to mask the real agenda: continue to push for policies that reward the wealthy for being wealthy while destroying America’s middle-class and keep those already struggling from improving their condition.

But what he won’t talk about are any of the scandals and near-scandals that follow him.

Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Mayor and Democrat Gubernatorial opponent in both the 2010 and the recall elections, had this to say about Walker and his tight-lipped defense strategy:
“There are just so many questions that Gov. Walker refuses to answer. He refuses to answer questions about who’s paying his legal defense fees for his criminal defense lawyers. He refuses to answer questions on where he goes on fundraising trips when he should’ve been in Madison working on legislation. He refuses to answer questions such as, ‘Did he sign recall petitions against Sen. [Russ] Feingold and Sen. [Herb] Kohl?’ The more questions he refuses to answer, the more people are asking themselves, why is he asking us to trust him[2]?”
Regarding whether or not Walker signed recall petitions against Senators Feingold and Kohl, walker says:
“I don’t remember what may or may not have been put in front of me. I just don’t remember. Do you remember everything you signed 15 years ago?” he said in the interview. “The mayor’s just desperate.”
Which makes you wonder: Does Walker read what he signs? Signing a recall petition is not like, say, taking a survey or some routine paperwork. Surely one would remember a petition. Do we want a president that is either unfocused or is a liar?

Another scandal surrounding Walker is the John Doe 1 & 2 investigations. John Doe 1 involved Walker’s Milwaukee County staff working on his bid for governor while on county time. Walker has repeatedly stated he knew nothing of what the staffers were up to.

The notion that Walker puts forward as to his lack of knowledge whether or not his staff was breaking election laws, is incongruent with being a manager that is focused on the work to be done, and therefore laughable. If he didn’t know what was going on in his own office, what does that say about his skill at administration? Yet, he his damned by his own words. Writing about the indictments brought forth on Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker says:
"We cannot afford another story like this one…No one can give them any reason to do another story. That means no laptops, no websites, no time away during the workday, etc[3]”
So, he knew.

Walker habitually surrounds himself with corrupt people. One of his biggest contributors paid a fine of $166,900 for illegally funneling money to Walker’s campaign. And let’s not forget the convictions of former Walker staffers in the John Doe I probe.

But it’s not just crooks that Walker keeps company with, it’s stupid people with disgusting values. Walker’s former deputy chief of staff, Tim Russell, and his partner, Brian Pierck, chose the brilliant user name of “Walker04” when visiting child pornography sites[4].

Imagine the selection process that was used to locate such great talent. Now, imagine that same expertise applied to potential cabinet secretaries and even Supreme Court nominees.

All this might matter to a person if they were intent on serving the public, not so with Walker – like the Honey Badger – he just doesn’t care. Walker is only concerned with advancing his own career. Make no mistake: Walker uses the Koch brothers (and others) as much as they use him.

Let’s also not forget Walker’s demonstrated fealty to the Koch brothers, and particularly the infamous phone call. Last time I checked, neither Koch brother was a citizen of Wisconsin. To further cement the relationship between the Koch brothers and the Right in general, reflect for a moment of the efforts of ALEC – funded by Koch.
To be fair, not all the blame for ALEC’s influence can be placed at Walker’s feet – too many Wisconsin Republicans holding office offer sacrifice at this altar. Let’s just not forget that we are the sacrifice they are offering.
Walker has made the largest cuts to public education in the state – ever. The result of Walker’s ‘administration’? Wisconsin ranks poorly compared to any other state in terms of economic health and job creation, the keystone of his campaign promises. Transfer that thinking to the national level.
This all goes beyond money. It speaks to the question of what kind of society we wish to have. Do we want to live in a country where the number of dollars you have is the only metric worth considering? What about the overall quality of life attainable to the average citizen, even if they aren’t filthy rich? Is it only the moneyed-class that has a right to pursue happiness?
If you aren’t convinced that the only reason Walker is Governor of Wisconsin is the Tea Party frenzy of 2010 – manufactured by Koch – and that the Tea Party is an entirely astroturf effort, consider the following:
“Many of the ideas propounded in the 1980 campaign presaged the Tea Party movement. Ed Clark told The Nation that libertarians were getting ready to stage ‘a very big tea party’, because people were ‘sick to death’ of taxes.[5]”
They’ve been at this for a while.

Most frightening of all are the ties that the Koch’s have to the John Birch Society, possibly the most extreme right-wing group ever, with the possible exception of the Ayn Rand Society, though are nearly one and the same.
Even William F. Buckley, Jr., whom no one could mistake for a left-leaning socialist-sympathisizing flower-child condemned the John Birch Society, and Barry Goldwater felt the need to distance himself from the group.[6]
And the Koch’s are fulfilling the JBS agenda, if not in name, then certainly in deed. Helped by Grover Norquist (no friend of middle America and another Randian robot), who wants to return the country back to the good old days of the 1880’s where there corporations ruled people’s lives in nearly every way and made countless miserable.
In this worldview, regular people are of no use – they are not the ‘creative minds’ Rand writes of but the ‘reactive minds’ that L. Ron Hubbard pities[7]. Nevermind that the ‘creative minds’ (read ‘job creators) that Rand talks about could never realize success if not for the ‘takers’ she despises.
This is why Wisconsin voters carry a burden unlike those of other states. Wisconsin has the opportunity, nay duty, to turn him out of office – any office. People of Wisconsin need to reclaim their place as innovators of public service and policy.

They’ve done it before, and come November, they will realize another first: the first state to rebuke the big-money Koch-Machine fueled era of Randian/Birch government.
As William Finnegan, writing in the New Yorker[8], put it:
“Wisconsinites aren't used to such hard-nosed politics. Bipartisan consensus is a cherished local value; laws mandating official transparency are proudly upheld. The good-government tradition is strong, and many Wisconsinites like to suggest, politely, that the state has been indispensable to social progress in America. It was here that the first progressive state income-tax and workers'-compensation laws were passed, in 1911; the first unemployment insurance established, in 1932; the first collective bargaining agreement for public employees signed, in 1959. The country's first kindergarten was opened in Wisconsin. The historic bastion of Wisconsin progressivism was the Republican Party. As William Cronon, a University of Wisconsin historian, writes, "The Democratic Party was so ineffective that Wisconsin politics were largely conducted as debates between the progressive and conservative wings of the Republican Party." At times, the Socialists (Milwaukee had three Socialist mayors, the most recent serving until 1960) and Robert M. La Follette's Progressives also played vital roles”.
Scott Walker has brought nothing to positive to Wisconsin, he'll bring nothing positive the the country. He's already dirtier than Nixon was when he was forced out of the Oval Office in disgrace. His friends are linked to the most paranoid and extremist organizations ever to crawl the Earth.

Walker has mis-managed Wisconsin's affairs in a spectacular show of incompetence. Likewise as Milwaukee County Executive. And, he the same thi...wait. What did he do as a member of the state assembly?

Now, he wants to be President. He has the Koch brother's money backing him. He's able to lie with a straight face. He might make it, after all. That's why Wisconsin simply must stop him, here.

Wisconsin is ready to rise to the challenge and lead the country away from the perverse distortion of of our Founding Father's vision. Our motto is "Out of Many, One" not "For a Few, All".

Come November, it’s on the people of Wisconsin, more than anyone else, to set the ship of state aright once again and put the country back on a genuine path to prosperity for all. And this time, a democrat will lead them.

[1] The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel February 3, 2009.
[2] “Scott Walker Keeps Low Profile Before Wisconsin Recall Vote. David Catanese,
[3] “Sending Scott Walker Packing” Ruth Conniff, Progressive magazine March 2012, Vol. 76, Issue 3
[7] For a discussion of the similarities of Rand’s philosophy and Hubbard’s, see “The Ayn Rand Cult”, by Jeff Waler. Open Court Publishing, Peru, Illinois 1999.
[8] “The Storm”, William Finnegan, New Yorker 3/5/2012 Vol.88, Issue 3.

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