Posts Tagged ‘Scott Walker’

Gov. Scott Walker takes radically different positions when it comes to interpreting Ronald Reagan and the U.S. Constitution

September 5, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken
Sept. 5, 2015

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker had a fascinating interview with CNBC reporter John Harwood this week. I was struck by many of the things the Midwestern Republican and aspiring presidential nominee said, but perhaps the most interesting comments revolved around deciphering the meaning of texts.

Take this exchange:

HARWOOD: Ronald Reagan, as you know, strongly opposed the passage of Medicare, said it was an infringement of liberty, socialized medicine. Was he right about that?

WALKER: Well, we’re not going to take Medicare away. He gave that speech, as I remember, three years before I was born. So I can’t judge what he meant at the time. I’m just going to tell you, for people at or near retirement, we’re not touching Social Security. We’re going make sure that they have an intact Medicare system. For my generation and younger, yeah — needs to be some sort of reforms. We live in a 401(k) society.

The meat of Walker’s answer — near-term retirees needn’t worry, but wholesale changes must be made so the program remains viable for younger workers — consists of wholly generic Republican talk about popular social welfare programs. But the most intriguing part of the governor’s reply involves his preamble.

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On Wisconsin: Newly revealed e-mails, and reminders of old missteps, cast Gov. Scott Walker in an unflattering light

March 6, 2014

By Matthew E. Milliken
March 6, 2014

When thousands of e-mails sent by Scott Walker’s staff were released last month, I doubted that they’d have much of an impact on the Wisconsin governor who has aspirations of being elected president on the Republican ticket.

The messages had previously been secret because aides to Walker, who was then the elected leader of Milwaukee County, had set up a private network in the county executive’s office. This arrangement, which made it easier for staffers to communicate about the gubernatorial campaign, was part of an unsuccessful attempt to evade laws barring employees from electioneering when they’re supposed to be working on behalf of the public.

Six Walker associates have been found guilty of wrongdoing, three of them top Walker aides. But a lengthy investigation, now closed, hasn’t resulted in any charges against Walker. Employing staff members, even highly placed ones, who engage in politics on the taxpayer’s dime just doesn’t seem likely to tarnish Walker for a substantial number of voters.

Still, there has been a stream of unflattering revelations since the e-mails were released. And while these revelations have been more about Walker’s employees than the politician himself, they’re certainly not helping the official’s image.

So over time, I’ve changed my mind; I now think that Salon’s Joan Walsh is probably right when she argues that Walker may now be too tarnished to run for president successfully. Ironically, it was a recent Walsh piece that was only tangentially related to the formerly secret e-mails that made me think that Walker’s presidential aspirations are toast.

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