Dana Milbank - Why Scott Walker is so dangerous

— “First off,” Scott Walker proclaimed, “we took on the unions, and we won. We won!”

Taking on the unions is usually first off for Walker, the Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential candidate. It is the very rationale for his candidacy. And on Thursday, he took a detour from the campaign trail to appear here before the annual meeting of the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council, a group of state legislators dedicated in large part to defeating unions.

The Race to the Bottom Accelerates!

Race to the Bottom

Boom in Academic Poaching Is Fueled by Visions of Economic Development - Chronicle of Higher Education, July 23, 2015

 This is the headline in the current issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education.  It describes the current activities around the country to enhance economic development by investing in research and higher education.

The lead story in the Chronicle of Higher Education today describes how other states are using investment in research universities as an integral part of their economic development strategies. The leading sentence tells it all,

Art Mirrors our Environment

Kathleen Vinehout
Art Mirrors our Environment
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“If you came to Stockholm today, you came up or over a river,” musician Julie Patchouli told the folks gathered at the 42nd Annual Art Fair. The musical group, known by Julie’s last name, began a rousing river song as part of the celebration of art in the village of Stockholm, Wisconsin.
 
Stockholm is a picturesque Mississippi River town of 66 individuals (not counting the dogs and cats) that swells by many hundreds on art fair day. Most of the art fair is in the scenic village park on the riverbank of Lake Pepin – the widest spot in the Mississippi.

Latest "Leading Index" for Midwest: One of These Kids is Doing His Own Thing

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's latest "Leading Index" forecasts that in the next six months, Wisconsin will have the worst economic growth in the Midwest and the eighth worst overall-- actually predicting that Wisconsin with have negative growth in the near future. 

The Inside Story of the Crony Court that Deep-Sixed the Scott Walker Probe

The Disappearance of John Doe

Shadowy FigureFrom our friends at Center for Media and Democracy ---

By Mary Bottari and Brendan Fischer

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has been under investigation since his first day in office. But before a national audience even becomes aware of the fact, it will all be over. This week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court is likely to quash an investigation--run by a veteran Republican prosecutor--into allegations that Walker's team broke campaign finance laws during the 2012 recall elections by working in concert with dark money groups.

The prosecutor has asked two justices with ties to these same groups to recuse themselves from the case, but they have refused. And the court will rule behind closed doors, having eschewed oral arguments or even a full accounting of the case.

Press release: Walker Campaign Finance Report Riddled with Errors

From the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign today -- Scott Walker's' "amended' finance report is as inaccurate as the original - but different

July 14, 2015

Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign filed a campaign finance report last month riddled with erroneous information about hundreds of contributions he received in the homestretch of his 2014 reelection contest, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign review found. (Click here to download a copy of the report as a zip file.)

The Democracy Campaign filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board (GAB) that cited erroneous employer and occupational information involving contributions by a sampling of 25 contributors listed in Walker’s newly amended 2014 preelection report, which covers fundraising and spending by the governor’s campaign between July 29, 2014, and Oct. 20, 2014. 

Employer and occupational information is a critical element of campaign finance disclosure because it allows citizens to see the special interests behind the contributions seeking to influence their elected officials. State campaign finance laws require a candidate to identify the occupation and employer’s name for contributors who give a candidate more than $100 in a calendar year.

Governor Walker’s Vetoes Remove Legislative Oversight

Kathleen Vinehout
Governor Walker’s Vetoes Remove Legislative Oversight
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“I object to the infringement on gubernatorial power and duties,” wrote Governor Walker in his veto message. By his budget vetoes he made it clear he did not want legislative oversight.
 
The governor removed at least 15 portions of state law passed by the legislature that provided legislative authority or provided oversight of the executive branch.
 
Remember your 4th grade civics class lessons about the delicate balance of powers between the three branches of government – the governor (and executive agencies,), the legislature, and the judiciary. The power of the people lies in the power of their elected officials. The peoples’ representatives are their most direct line of power. When legislative power is undermined, so is the power of the people.
 
The governor began the budget process by taking away powers given to the people and the legislature. For example, the citizen board members of the Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture lost all their policy-making powers in the governor’s budget. The legislature lost its oversight of state building projects in the governor’s changes to the Building Commission. The people lost budget restrictions in the governor’s gutting of the cost-benefit analysis requirements. These powers were all restored in action by the legislature.
 
However, through his vetoes, the governor again limited the power of the people through their legislature. For example, the legislature held onto funds the governor put in the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) budget. The very troubled jobs agency was to submit policy changes to the legislature. Presumably, those funds could be released funds if the budget writing committee members were satisfied progress was made. The governor took the funds set aside by the budget committee through his veto pen.
 
The budget writing committee made changes in the requirements for agencies writing budgets – requiring more information be sent to the legislature on budget options. Lawmakers also set executive restrictions on short-term debt. The use of this type of debt (known as ‘commercial paper’) has long been unrestricted by lawmakers and invisible to the public.
 
The governor vetoed both of these common sense budget oversight provisions.

Announcement by twitter?????

Scott Walker is in Twitter

So -- it's not at all clear how this happened, but Scott Walker apparently accidentally announced his candidacy a few days early on Twitter.  According to Politico his team ain't answering questions about it. Just so you know, I'm not voting for him or joining his team.  Maybe they just cannot break the habit of announcing everything late on Friday so's you won't notice.

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