Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Scott Walker's Mind-Boggling Hypocrisy

I've been writing about Scott Walker for years, pointing out his lies, his corruption and just how bad he was for Milwaukee County and for the State of Wisconsin.  I've written about both Walkergate and the Son of Doe.  I've written about how he wanted people to send him money instead of buying toys for their children on Christmas.

After all these years, although I have feelings of continuous revulsion at what he has done and is doing, there is not much that surprises me about him.

One exception to that might be just how big of a hypocrite he is.  Just when I thought he couldn't top his last example of hypocrisy, he goes and makes it look like nothing.

And he's done it once again.

Bill Lueders, of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, wrote a column which was cross posted at Urban Milwaukee, in which he writes about an interview he did with Walker regarding campaign contributions and corruption.  Even the title of it is mind-boggling:
Walker Says Campaign Cash Corrupts
Yes, it does kind of make your head feel like it's about to pop, doesn't it?

Ah, but as the gentle reader could guess, there's more.  There's always more.

Lueders has this in his article:
“Whether it’s a Democrat or Republican, in so many of these cases, folks have a freedom to associate, they have a freedom to choose,” Walker told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism in a recent interview. “What I fought about with public employee unions is they didn’t have that freedom.”

Before the changes he pushed through, state and local public workers had no choice but to contribute to their unions. “You have money that was forcibly taken from people without them having any say about that,” Walker said. “That’s where I thought the corruption was.”

The book, “Unintimated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge,” is fervent in its denunciation of money as the unions’ master.

Union leaders, charged Walker, “would rather have seen us take the money from the poor, lay off middle class workers, undermine education, and decimate government services — just so long as we did not close the automatic spigot of cash that was filling their union coffers.”

Yikes.

Yet on the cusp of what may be a hugely expensive 2014 governor’s race, Walker sidestepped the question of whether politicians who need to raise large sums might also be led astray.
Despite Walker's accusations and attempts at diversion, it was Walker himself who raised taxes on the poorest of the poor by cutting the homestead and earned income tax credits. It was Walker, through Act 10, that led to the layoffs of tens of thousands of workers in both the public and private sector. It was Walker that cut nearly a billion dollars from education with the predictable cuts in the quality of education the schools could provide due to staff shortages and bigger classes.  And it was Walker who cut such vital services such as Badger Care and unemployment compensation.

Why doesn't his head explode from all that hypocrisy?

Lueders goes on to say that Walker wasn't willing to talk about all the money he got from the Kochs or from the Widow Hendricks.  Lueders also reported on how Walker was caught in lies in his book which have not yet been corrected even though it's going in for its third printing.

But if Lueders thinks he has had a gotcha moment on Walker, he really dropped the ball on two major points.

One is that while he is discussing the influence of money on elections and it's corrupting effect on elections and politics, he made no mention whatsoever about the ongoing John Doe investigations into the dark money of the Kochs, the Bradley Foundation and their various front groups.  How one could not even bring this up in such a discussion is beyond me.

The other issue, which really rankles me, is that he allows Walker to get away with another bold-faced lie.  In the above cited passage, Walker and Lueders falsely claims that "workers had no choice but to contribute to their unions."

That is utter rubbish.

There are federal laws that prohibit closed shops and give workers the ability to opt out of being a member, even in a union shop.

By perpetuating this lie, Lueders is feeding into Walker's false representations and supports the lies he used to attack workers rights.  It had nothing to do with workers rights.  State Senator Scott Fitzgerald went on TV and admitted that the whole thing was to undercut the Democrats, especially President Obama's bid for reelection.

It's bad enough that we have to try to overcome the gerrymandering, the voter suppression and the worker suppression in order to take our state back, but when we have to also take on the supposed watchdogs in the media who aren't doing their jobs, well, it's frustrating.  It's like trying to play a sporting event and the refs are in cahoots with the other team.

15 comments:

  1. I worked in the Department of Transportation and at the time I was there something like 20% of employees belonged to the union and paid dues. The rest were free-riders whom the union was required to represent in grievance procedures and disciplinary matters. Lueders may simply not have been aware of this fact. Most people aren't.

    In regards to Walker's incessant lying, part of it is just the enunciation of standard GOP propaganda and the rest is an attempt to inoculate himself against claims of deceit. He wants to develop a reputation as being loose with the truth so as to Reaganize himself , to the point where the media accepts his pathological lying as part of a roguish persona, in the way the Gipper would get reporters rolling with laughter as he told one whopper after another during press conferences. If you lie enough, many journalists end up admiring your hutzpah, as in: "So what, he lies all the time, everyone knows that. It's not really news."

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  2. Gareth, are you saying that those 80% had some method of opting-out, or that there was no mechanism to force them to pay union dues?

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    1. There is a "fair Share" clause that allows workers to opt out. They pay what it cost to maintain the contract. It applies to ALL union shops. It's cumbersome for the union treasurer, but it is a option.

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  3. I bet Lueders was given a lengthy list of topics he couldn't bring up (Cough-John Doe Deux- Cough), and that's why the article has holes in it. He even seems disappointed in Walker's answers and can see the hypocrisy, but can't bring it up.

    It's our duty in 2014 to watch the watchers, and take down the media courtesans who are allowing these bad things to continue to happen to our state.

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  4. I heard through the grapevine that there are one or more Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel executives -- staunch Catholics -- who are *influencing* coverage of Scott Walker. Their intent appears to be to (1) attack public schools in order to support shifting of money to Catholic schools at taxpayer expense, (2) to refer to pedophiles from private/parochial schools without referring to the fact they are private/parochial school pedophiles (making it appear the pedophiles are public school teachers, when they are decidedly not), and, (3) to protect Scott Walker at all costs because Walker would sign legislation making abortion and birth control pills in Wisconsin illegal.
    What I would like to know is this: WHO are these executives who are complicit with Wisconsin's Catholic and Evangelical legislators???

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  5. John- Belonging to the union and paying dues was entirely optional. I believe the reason is because Federal labor laws don't apply to state or municipal employees.

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  6. You people are funny, you act as though any politician is different, which makes you either stupid or hypocrites yourself... the fact is the budget gap is fixed, and the rest of just pure politics, or as an intelligent person refers to it... "lies and sheeple scams"... to say a Republican is worse than a Democrat is just plain ignorance

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    1. What a pathetic copout. Your boy Scotty has taken corruption to levels not seen in this state for at least a century, and the obvious hypocrisy is something you should be embarrassed by.

      But you wouldn't be a Walker supporter if you had shame, now would you? As Gareth points out, "But, but the other guys..." stops working as an excuse around 3rd grade, and shows you can't defend the record

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    2. Then you shall now refer to him as "Diamond Scott" then eh, other Anon?

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    3. Anon labels anyone who thinks differently as "You people". Furthermore, those opposing views makes you, meaning "You people" funny, stupid and hypocrites. Which of course justifies gerrymandering and suppressing "You people" out of existence. "You people" should know that common sense dictates this county needs more guns, less gayness, and more godliness. And finally, "You people" should go back to where you came from and let the true Americans run this country.

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  7. Walker borrowed $2 billion dollars to "'fix" the budget gap. The Republican talking point that "all politicians are corrupt" therefore 'don't look at Walker', is starting to wear out. Just try winning his re-election with that one, go ahead.

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  8. Scott Walker remembers creating jobs as assemblyman in Wisconsin . It was easy with ALEC. 32000 UNION public sector jobs. It is not as easy this time with out using your tax dollars. Scott Walker has created ALL Wisconsin`s budget problems working for ALEC. In 1997 Walker and Prosser as state assemblymen championed for ALEC with truth in sentencing telling the legislatures it would not cost a dime it was to give judges not parole boards the control over sentencing. Then Walker filibustered to stop sentencing changes after the fact misleading ALL the legislatures. With out the sentencing changes Wisconsin`s prisons quadrupled over night. Most people sentenced to 2 years now had to serve as much as 6o years. It shows Wisconsin has wasted 100 billion if you add the numbers to the state budget since 1997. Not including the building new or remodeling of 71 courthouses & 71 county jails & 441 police stations and dozens of prisons 28 billion plus interest. The total is over 28 BILLION plus the 60 Billion spent by social services to support prisoners families because the bread winner was a political prisoner as US Att gen Eric Holder explained. Then farming out prisoners in several states until the courts realized it was not allowed in the Wisconsin constitution. Wisconsin then hired 32000 union public sector workers to fill the jobs housing the prisoners from deputies , judges, district attorneys all owe Walker for creating there jobs. 32000 UNION PUBLIC SECTOR JOBS. This cost taxpayers over 3.8 billion or a half million per day to house these EXTRA prisoners per day in Milwaukee county alone. Wisconsin claims it has 24,000 prisoners compared to Minnesota`s 5500. Wisconsin`s corrections population is 104,000 with many in half way house and county jails and county prisons that are not counted.

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  9. True in a fair share of maintenance of membership agreement people can get some (not all) of their dues money back. However the process is cumbersome (for the treasurer AND the worker) and it has to be done every year. And at least in our union the money still came out of the paycheck and then a portion was mailed quarterly to the worker. We had about 30% that were non-dues payers (bottom feeders as we termed them).
    All that aside to equate any corruption in a union, especially at the local level, with the corruption of the professional political class is beyond ridiculous. Corruption is a way of life for people like Walker. Maybe that's why he doesn't recognize it when he's living it.

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