Judging by Twitter, many CPAC attendees felt that of all the speakers there, Scott Walker gave the most substantive speech. Walker was relaxed and articulate, and laid out the case for his reforms in Wisconsin, from the rationale to the effects. They are working.
He did a wonderful job of contrasting the economic situation in Wisconsin with that in Illinois, where Governor Quinn and the legislature greatly ratcheted up personal and business taxes, but cannot stem the bleeding.
I’ve tried to keep up with the machinations of the Governmental Accountability Board, who ruled that the Wisconsin TEA Parties lacked any kind of standing to review the signatures on recall petitions, after having decided that it would make only facial rulings on signatures therein contained, not only for Walker, but for other subjects of recall efforts. They also decided that it was no business of theirs to make a database available in order to cross-check information and remove duplicates. The latest is that the petition information that they posted online is only partial, because some of the documents are too corrupt to open.
But the corruption of the documents is nothing compared to the corruption of the Board itself, which was stacked with partisan Democrats and union creatures by the man Walker replaced, the ethically challenged Governor Doyle. During the Fleebagger incident, the Board went so far as to decide that there was no reason the runaways couldn’t use campaign funds to sustain themselves abroad while they refused to perform their duties.
The Milwaukee County DA has been performing an aggressive investigation of former Walker campaign workers, looking for evidence that former campaign staffers used county equipment on county time to help Walker. That was the focus of an Open Government request targeting a Madison professor that was resolved by an internal investigation by the University of Wisconsin that determined that the prof in question was wrong to have used his University account for political posting during office hours, but that such sallies were a legitimate part of academic discourse. The issue according to DA Chisholm is that government employees should not be paid out of the public kitty to engage in partisan activities, and I quite agree, but the “Badger Doctors” who provided false sick notes at the Occupy events at the Capitol were abetting fraud on the part of illegally striking teachers who wished to be paid for the time that they spent demonstrating, and who often brought along students. As I’m sure you’re aware, as well, the Badger Doctors drew wrist slaps.
During the debacle, a State Supreme Court Justice tried to trump up charges that another one had physically assaulted her, when in fact she charged him with raised fist and his hands came in contact with her neck when he tried to stop her. She claimed, much against the testimony of others who were there, that he had tried to choke her. Now, another Dane County (Madison and environs) pol has tried to drum up support in the legislature to impeach another Justice on trumped up charges of corruption, though with not very much success. The plot revealed against the Secretary of State of Iowa by a former Obama political agent demonstrates that there is simply nothing that they won’t try to regain or to keep power.
As William Jacobson writes, Walker’s characterization of his situation in Wisconsin as ground zero isn’t hyperbole. If Walker can hold on and if his reforms continue to have salubrious effects on Wisconsin’s economic climate, then the example will be devastating for unions in other states, particularly because it will demonstrate the limits of their thuggy power to intimidate people into—if not supporting them, at least staying out of their way.
Walker anticipates that $70 million might be spent in Wisconsin, obviously most of that coming from out of state, and the lion’s share undoubtedly coming from Big Union. And all of the unions’ behavior in the wake of the passage of Walker’s budget reforms demonstrates that he’s absolutely right when he says that the essential “right” that the unions wished to protect was the right to deduct dues directly from all public employees’ paychecks in Wisconsin.
So, as Professor Jacobson suggests, please support Scott Walker, because his importance extends far beyond Wisconsin.
Keep in mind that Walker must be an idiot, because he never even graduated college, unlike that Universal Genius in the White House.