From Brown Bag to Dirtbag, Karma’s a bitch!

30 Mar

Do You Recall…?

It’s worth recollecting that Scott Walker became the County Executive of Milwaukee County eight years ago thanks to a recall election after then incumbent, Tom Ament, retired after a scandal over county pension funds.  Before that, Walker was still in the State Assembly.  Interestingly (re: incestuously), he won that seat after yet another “special election” — in this case to none other than the son of Tom Lament.  Walker deliberately moved to Wauwatosa to establish residence after an Assembly seat opened up there in 1993.  At the time, Scott was only 25 years old, selling warranties for IBM.  (He’d already dropped out of Marquette University).  He would go on to pitch his hat in the gubernatorial ring in 2006, but decided to back down (lack of cash; he was not then bankrolled by the Koch brothers) and deferred to Mark Green who then ran as the Republican candidate (unsuccessfully).  That was only four years after becoming county exec. of Milwaukee.  Now he’s governor, and he obviously has his eyes cast on national prizes.  (Remember the prank call wherein he happily confides his belief in this being his Reagan moment?  See excerpt below.)  The point I’m trying to establish is that not unlike being a true Teabagger who ran as a brown bagger Republican, Walker is a career politician blatantly masquerading as an average citizen who just happened to heed the call of duty.

Scott Walker to who he believed to be David Koch, major campaign donor, who was actually being impersonated by Ian Murphy, a gonzo journalist with The Buffalo Beast:

[Th]at Monday night I had all my cabinet over to the residence for dinner, talked about what we were going
to do, how we were going to do it, we’d already kind of built plans up but it was kind of the last hurrah before
we dropped the bomb. And I stood up and I pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan, and I said, you know,
this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago Ronald Reagan, whose 100th birthday we just
celebrated the day before, had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his
presidency, when he fired the air traffic controllers. And I said, to me that moment was more important than
just for labor relations or even the federal budget. That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall in the fall of
Communism because from that point forward the Soviets and the Communists knew that Ronald Reagan
wasn’t a pushover. And I said, this may not have as broad of world applications, but in Wisconsin’s history
— little did I know how big it would be nationally — Wisconsin’s history, I said, this is our moment. This is
our time to change the course of history, and this is why it’s so important that they were all there. I had a
cabinet meeting this morning, I reminded them of that. I said, for those who thought I was being
melodramatic, you now know it was purely putting it in the right context.”

(Am I the only one who just fell off the turnip truck and learned that Walker in not a native Sconnie?  He was born in Colorado Springs (home of Focus on the Family) and moved to WI when he was 10.)

Anyway it’s quite relevant to consider this: in the 2010 election, exactly half of all eligible voters in WI showed up to do so.  (According to the Government Accountability Board, of the 4.37 million eligible voters, 2,160,832 actually did.  But they still think America is the greatest country in the world, even if they don’t bother to do what made this country different in the first place.)  Of those 2 million+ votes cast last November, Walker won 52 percent of them.  I’m no better with math than Scott himself, but half of half is a quarter, which is who voted for him.  So when so-called conservatives and Republicans carp and quibble that this is what the people wanted last election, the answer is No, only 1 in 4 Wisconsinites did.

During the campaign last year Walker ran a series of “brown bag” commercials illustrating his folksy frugality.  Someone (bless whoever it was) took the audio from one such commercial and superimposed onto video footage of the Capitol protests here in Madison.  It’s quite a feel-good hoot.  Here it is:

And while we’re on the subject of recall…

And because everything looks more dramatic in slow motion, with snow, and strings in the background…

Hopper cries & Hypocrisies

Randy Hopper in 2009: “Budgets should not be used to conceal controversial policy that has little chance of passing as separate legislation.  None of the non-fiscal policy will help solve our budget deficit and much of it will harm working families all over Wisconsin.”  As in repealing sixty years of collective bargaining rights in the state where it all started?  That one’s as good as this photo op with him decked out in AFSCME green!

As extreme and reprehensible as Walker’s proposed budget is, guess what it doesn’t do?  Save money.  No, seriously. And is it because we’re gutting schools and BadgerCare, while demanding that public employees pay more, that the state no longer has to care about trying to save money?  Possibly.

Together with that, it’s too bad we don’t have any real train service throughout the state; otherwise, perhaps Walker could have saved $42,000 after logging 5300 miles using the state plane in the less than three months time he’s been in office traveling around the state he’s tearing in half.  True, that ratio of mileage/expense is comparable to both Doyle and Thompson before him, but they didn’t go around posture-pandering as brown baggers. But don’t worry: after rejecting several hundred million dollars from the feds for light speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison, Walker’s now asking for federal money for trains!

It’s neither paranoia nor cynicism to assert through common sense deduction that one of the reasons Walker balked at the nearly billion dollars from Obama for light rail is this: road construction givebacks.  And how much money are we spending on road construction projects?  The same amount being taken away from the UW-Madison and the other UW campuses combined.

Road scholar indeed!


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