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News Tuesday, May 12 2015

Walker Hides from Wisconsin's Budget Problems in Israel

May 12, 2015

Molotov!” Scott Walker must be exhausted. He’s running for president, sprinting from the press, and hiding from serious problems back home.

Walker is currently doing the rounds in Israel, but you may not have noticed since he’s barred any media from covering his trip. Even worse, while the presumptive GOP candidate is overseas, his home state is facing severe budget cuts to education, health care, and emergency services. Luckily folks aren’t letting him off that easy. Check out the TV clips and background below:​​


Walker’s trip To Israel Limited Press Access

Walker Kept Details About His Israel Trip Secret. According to the New York Times, “Gov. Scott Walker, Republican of Wisconsin, has been reserved about commenting on his coming trip to Israel. He has called it a ‘listening tour,’ saying, ‘we wanted to make it an educational focus, not just a media trip.’ Because of that, and perhaps also because of a few stumbles during a trip to London in February, Mr. Walker’s team has kept quiet about most of the details of the Israel visit.” [New York Times, 5/9/15]

Walker’s Israel  Trip: “No Reporters, No Video Cameras, No Photographers, Nada. Just Mr. Walker, His Team And Members Of The Republican Jewish Coalition.”  According to the New York Times, ‘Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin was adamant that his trip to Israel this week be a ‘listening tour’ that focused exclusively on Israel, not about his presidential-campaign-in-waiting. ‘We wanted to make it an educational focus, not just a media trip,’ he told reporters before he left. That meant no reporters, no video cameras, no photographers, nada. Just Mr. Walker, his team and members of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a pro-Israeli group heavily financed by the casino billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson.” [New York Times, 5/11/15]

Walker’s Lack Of Press Was Continuation Of Recent Strategy Of Avoiding Questions

Walker Avoided Questions On Auto Bailout From Michigan Reporters.  According to Bloomberg, “Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker on Monday joined the list of politicians who’ve deflected this question from Michigan reporters: Would you have supported the U.S. loans to General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC to get through their 2009 bankruptcies? ‘That’s a hypothetical question in the past. We’re going to talk about the future,’ Walker said after speaking to 120 Lansing Republicans in an Oldsmobile car museum where he touted less government, less taxation, and more U.S. aggression toward Islamists in the Middle East.” [Bloomberg, 5/4/15]

Walker Refused Comment on His Stance on TARP.  According to the Huffington Post, “The bailing out of U.S. banks in the fall of 2008 represents one of the most controversial government interventions in modern history. Multiple books have been written about those harrowing days. Debates — still without end — were sparked over the structuring of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program. An entire political movement found its roots in that moment. [….]The one comment The Huffington Post was able to locate from Walker came during a Fox News interview on January 19, 2011, and it doesn’t exactly address the TARP itself. Walker was asked if he believed the federal government should bail out states — one of those hypothetical questions asked during the dog days of the recovery — and he replied: ‘absolutely not.’ Only after that did he suggest the bank bailout was a mistake. ‘I think we ran into troubles when the federal government tried to come in and bail out companies that were supposedly too big to fail,’ Walker said. ‘If you bail people out, we see that even with some of the larger companies, they fail to make the long-term decisions that will correct these legacy costs.’ Repeated attempts to get a fuller answer from Walker’s political action committee went unreturned. His office was the only one who refused to provide assistance or comment.” [Huffington Post, 5/4/15]

Leaving State While Budget In Crisis

Daily Beast Headline: “Walker’s High Spendin’, Debt Raisin’ Budget.”  Headline. [Daily Beast, 5/7/15]

Daily Beast: Walker’s Budget  Has “Drawn Rancor From Conservative Lawmakers In Madison.”  According to the Daily Beast, “His luck with the budget is almost an inversion of his national political trajectory – in the same way that he’s drawn adulation from conservative crowds in New Hampshire and Iowa, he’s drawn rancor from conservative lawmakers in Madison.” [Daily Beast, 5/7/15]

Legislative Fiscal Bureau Said That It Did Not Expect Any Additional Revenue Over Next Year To Add To Wisconsin’s Budget. According to the Associated Press, “The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau said in a memo sent Wednesday and obtained by The Associated Press that it is not expecting any additional tax revenue over the next two years. That means lawmakers will not have any additional money to spend as they work on revisions to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget. Republican leaders said as recently as Tuesday that they were hoping for more money to plug a $127 million cut to public schools and reduce a $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin.” [Associated Press,5/6/15]

Wisconsin Legislature Struggled Without Walker’s Leadership.  According to Bloomberg, “With Walker gone so much, even a state legislature controlled by his own party is struggling for direction, said state Senator Jon Erpenbach, a Democratic member of Wisconsin’s joint budget committee. ‘The Senate has one idea, the Assembly has another—and the governor is in a plane somewhere.’” [Bloomberg, 5/4/15]

Washington Post: “The Promised Revenues From Walker’s Previous Budget Moves Have Not Fully Materialized.”  According to the Washington Post, “The promised revenues from Walker’s previous budget moves have not fully materialized, leading Walker and GOP lawmakers to propose another round of reductions — including cuts in funding for public schools, the university system, health-care programs and a slew of other programs. The Republican-controlled legislature says it won’t be raising taxes no matter what, though it might increase fees for registering a car or visiting a state park.” [Washington Post, 5/12/15]

Republican Senate President Mary Lazich: “We’re All Are Going To Have To Scratch And Claw And Figure Out How To Get Through This Budget.”  According to the Washington Post, “‘We’re all are going to have to scratch and claw and figure out how to get through this budget,’ said Wisconsin Senate President Mary Lazich, a Republican from the Milwaukee suburbs who once car-pooled with Walker. ‘When I listen to my constituency that elects me and puts me here, they see government as having plenty of money.’” [Washington Post, 5/12/15]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Had Criticized Earlier Trips

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial: “Get Elected Governor And See The World. No, That Was Not One Of Gov. Scott Walker’s Campaign Themes Last Year, But It Appears To Be A Priority Now That He Is Running For President.”  According to an editorial In The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Get elected governor and see the world. No, that was not one of Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign themes last year, but it appears to be a priority now that he is running for president. The governor and his entourage spent $138,200 of taxpayer money on his February trade mission to England, where he met with British Prime Minister David Cameron and John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons. Walker also appeared at Chatham House, the highest profile think tank in the country. Walker met recently with the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and will visit Israel in May. Walker is out of the country again this week, too, visiting Germany, Spain and France over the next six days. “ [Editorial – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/16/15]

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Editorial: “Walker Is Close To Obscuring The Line Between His Day Job And His Dream Job.”  According to an editorial In The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “But Walker is close to obscuring the line between his day job and his dream job. Where is that line? Walker hasn’t spent much time trying to answer that question in the past and shows few signs of trying to answer it now.” [Editorial – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 4/16/15]

Published: May 12, 2015

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