Yesterday, Scott Walker kicked off his re-election campaign for Governor of Wisconsin in typical Scott Walker style: at a campaign donor’s private-sector business, with a hand-picked audience of his supporters, and with only those who write favorably about him in the mainstream media given access to report about his campaign launch.
Four years after being elected governor in 2010, Scott Walker is still wrong for Wisconsin.
One only needs to look at jobs numbers to see how much of a negative impact Walker’s agenda of stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees, repealing equal pay laws, cutting public employee pay, and handing out tax cuts and credits to wealthy people and businesses has had on Wisconsin’s economy: Walker isn’t even going to come close to reaching his “250,000 Wisconsin Jobs by January 2015″ promise, additionally, from April 2012 to April 2013, Wisconsin suffered the largest job loss (by raw number of jobs) of any state, with only two other states (Wyoming, which had the largest loss of jobs by percentage, and Maine) suffering a net loss of jobs.
I’ll ask the same question to the people of the State of Wisconsin that Scott Walker’s political idol Ronald Reagan asked the American people in 1980: Are you better off than you were four years ago? For most Wisconsinites, especially women, the poor, the working class, the middle class, and minorities, the answer to that question is…HELL NO!!!
Why I’m pulling my endorsement of Mary Jo Walters and endorsing John Lehman for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin
After multiple individuals pointed out to me that Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin Mary Jo Walters is, in their view, unfit for public office, I have decided to pull my endorsement of Walters’s campaign.
This is a decision that I do not take lightly. Remember that, in 2010, Democrats here in Illinois nominated Scott Lee Cohen to be Governor Pat Quinn’s running mate for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, however, not long after the primary, Cohen was pressured out of the race after it was revealed that, among other things, he used anabolic steroids and had been arrested for domestic abuse in 2005, which was quickly picked up by the local media here in Illinois. In Wisconsin, political parties cannot replace candidates on the ballot after the primary, so, if someone like Walters were to win the primary, that would easily become a fiasco in which Wisconsin Democrats would have no recourse whatsoever.
As a result of this, I am endorsing John Lehman for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin. While Lehman is one of the most boring people to hold public office in this country, Lehman has a progressive track record as a state legislator in Wisconsin. More importantly, Lehman is certainly capable of carrying out what few duties the office of lieutenant governor has in Wisconsin.
Republican candidate for Attorney General of Wisconsin Brad Schimel has a “Mary Burke” problem.
No, it’s not about Schimel giving off any sort of Mitt Romney vibe like Burke, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate in Wisconsin, does. It’s about how Schimel is despised by the Republican base, much in the same way that Burke is despised by by the Democratic base.
Conservative blogger James “Wiggy” Wigderson complained about, among other things, Schimel not enforcing Wisconsin’s open records laws as Waukesha County District Attorney:
Perhaps it’s an enforcement issue. However, expecting Waukesha District Attorney Brad Schimel to prosecute adultery cases is probably a little much. We can’t even get him to enforce open records laws or prosecute vote fraud.
Regarding Wisconsin’s statute criminalizing adultery, I support repealing that statute altogether because I think it’s absurd for someone to be criminally prosecuted for cheating on his or her spouse. However, Schimel not enforcing open records laws is a much more serious issue. Republicans in the Wisconsin State Legislature (most notably Scott Fitzgerald and Leah Vukmir) have, time and time again, blatantly refused to follow Wisconsin’s open meetings and records laws, and Wisconsin needs an Attorney General who will be a champion of government transparency. You’re not going to find that kind of Attorney General candidate on the Republican side of the ledger, and even Brad Schimel’s own base knows that.
Then there’s Schimel’s claim that he would have led the “John Doe II” probe into allegations of illegal coordination between official Republican campaign committees and Republican/conservative outside groups if he was currently Attorney General of Wisconsin.
Obviously, Democrats and progressives aren’t going to trust Brad Schimel to lead a criminal prosecution against any Republican, in fact, I don’t trust Schimel to aggressively prosecute that pervert Bill Kramer (although Schimel’s office has filed charges against Kramer, which certainly was the right thing to do). Let’s not forget that Schimel was the one who allowed Former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, one of three Republicans implicated in the caucus scandal a decade ago, to get away with blatant political corruption, including using taxpayer resources for campaign purposes.
Another point worth noting is that conservatives, who falsely believe that Scott Walker is the target of a political witchhunt by Democratic prosecutors (the lead prosecutor in the John Doe II probe, Francis Schmitz, is a Republican, and the case was referred to Schmitz by the Wisconsin GAB, which is officially non-partisan and responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws in Wisconsin, so the John Doe II probe is not a political witchhunt at all), are not going to like the fact that Schimel stated that he would have prosecuted Walker and his allies if he were in the Attorney General’s office right now. This strikes me as Schimel’s “Dukakis in the tank” moment because Schimel’s claim that he would have led the John Doe II probe struck me as useless pandering to people who are not even going to consider voting for Schimel, much like how Dukakis’s “tank ad” was useless pandering to Republicans and war hawks who weren’t open to the idea of voting for Dukakis.
I strongly believe that the Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Wisconsin (Jon Richards appears to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination at this point, although there’s still a few months before the August primaries) is going to, by Wisconsin standards, drastically outperform Mary Burke come November 4 for two reasons: All three Democratic candidates for Attorney General, especially Jon Richards, are better candidates than Burke is, and Brad Schimel is despised by the Republican base, much in the same way that Burke is despised by the Democratic base.