The Big, Bold Scott Walker
The Wisconsin governor informally launches presidential bid.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker spoke at Saturday’s Iowa Freedom Summit, where he repeated the need for “common sense conservative reform” and the need to “go big and go bold” if Republicans are to win in American politics today. His bold speech met an equally bold reception, and make no mistake: He’s launching his presidential bid.
The Hill headlined the event as “Scott Walker Takes Iowa by Storm,” and Rush Limbaugh complimented Walker’s “pedal-to-the-metal, wall-to-wall conservatism with charisma and bold ideas and solutions based on his own policies.” Walker’s message was music to the conservative crowd’s ears. He preached conservative principles, and his audience loved it.
Walker spoke about his experience with education in the Badger State, saying that now schools can hire the best teachers, and the teachers can be paid commensurate with their performance. He discussed the burden of excessive government and reducing red tape and enforcing common sense regulations. He also spoke about the need for tort reform, concealed carry and the castle doctrine.
Walker is known for his success as a conservative governor in a blue state. He turned the $2 billion budget deficit he inherited into a $1 billion surplus. And he did it the old fashioned way – by cutting taxes and cutting spending. Walker’s policies helped reduce unemployment from nearly 8% to 5.5%, created 100,000 jobs and raised per capita income by 9%. Furthermore, he achieved what most Republicans believed to be impossible: ending teacher tenure and collective bargaining for government employees.
And while he’s been governing his state, he’s also experienced the hellish heat of the Left’s most vicious attacks. Despised by the Leftmedia, he’s been a target any time he’s offended their sensibilities. His ending collective bargaining for public sector workers earned virulent hatred and even death threats against his family.
This may, however, work to Walker’s advantage. Few of his GOP primary opponents will have the experience standing up to a fierce Democrat assault to destroy his governorship and even to jail him.
In 2012, Democrat district attorneys launched a secret investigation of Walker. Their goal was to prove that “John Doe,” the code name they used for the governor, had received illegal campaign contributions. Walker and dozens of his friends and associates were smothered with subpoenas.
The investigation was nothing more than a witch hunt led primarily by Milwaukee DA John Chisholm. The pitch-fork-wielding mob took two shots in court, and two judges threw out charges citing a lack of evidence and misuse of prosecutorial powers.
Striking back, the Wisconsin Club for Growth filed a federal civil rights suit, alleging the DAs’ secret investigation and tactics are an unconstitutional abuse of Walker’s civil rights. But the DAs claim they’re immune from being sued. Meanwhile, the Leftmedia continue running misleading headlines about the “scandal” surrounding Walker.
More well known than the attempt to paint Walker as corrupt was the recall leftists mounted against Walker in 2012. With the media against him and out-of-state interests pouring money in to defeat him, it’s astounding that Walker defeated Tom Barrett by an even wider margin than his original election. In 2014, Walker was again victorious, this time over dishonest challenger Mary Burke.
He beat them in the polls, he beat them in the legislature and he beat them in the courts. Still, they aren’t finished. Walker’s desperate opponents are asking the Seventh Circuit Court to let them reopen the campaign investigation.
While Walker has yet to officially join the 2016 Republican field, we expect him to put up a good fight. He doesn’t have the support of the GOP establishment, which should encourage conservatives. Unfortunately, the lawsuit cost him and the conservative groups that support him a great deal of the money needed to fund his campaign. Walker will definitely appeal to conservative voters, especially over other candidates who are conservatives in name only. But money greases the way to power, and Walker’s lack of it makes his success questionable.