Later, Walker's campaign manager, Keith Gilkes, stated that the two Republican gubernatorial candidates have made a number of "appearances" together already, but declined on having the debates.
Anyone that is not a Walkerophile would be able to recognize the fact that there is a huge difference between doing a joint appearance and actually having a true debate.
So what is Walker afraid of?
It can't be actually debating. When Walker was running for re-election for County Executive in 2008 (even though he promised he wouldn't), he had well over 20 debates with Lena Taylor in just a few months leading up to the election. Well, at least they were supposed since Walker skipped a number of them.
Walker even said that he wanted to have lots of debates:
Walker said last week he wanted to debate Taylor as frequently as possible. Several additional appearances are also being planned, said Tim Russell, Walker's campaign chairman.*So why is he afraid?
The most recent edition of Milwaukee Magazine (not online yet, go buy yourself a copy) might give us a hint. In an article by Marc Eisen, which discusses the chances of Neumann beating Walker in the primary, Eisen writes:
Can he beat Walker? Neumann's face lit up in an interview as he revealed his ace in the hole: the statewide disgust with Milwaukee's economic, social and educational woes. That could doom Walker or any Milwaukee candidate.All one has to do is look at Walker's track record. In the state legislature, his own claim to fame was the Truth in Sentencing, while taking massive donations from private prison profiteers. And he mucked that up, raising our taxes astronomically.
"I don't believe they can survive the election without the people looking at them and saying: 'Wait a minute, you guys have been in charge of Milwaukee. Look what's happened there!'"
And that would open the door wide, Neumann believes, for the election of the most socially conservative, yet fervently green governor this state has ever seen.
And as County Executive, Walker has been an abysmal failure, from amassing hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance and repairs to our very infrastructure to privatizing whatever the County Board will let him get away with, usually costing more than if it was left in the private sector, to not even being able to manage his own departments and having the State come in to fix his gross inadequacies as a leader.
*Yes, that's the same Tim Russell who was Walker's Director of Economic Development until he bungled that job up so badly. Now he is still on the county payroll as Assistant Executhug.