Walker’s complete failure to create jobs paints him as one of the most ineffectual leaders in Wisconsin’s History – and the 2014 election is right around the corner. Like George W., who would never admit to his mistake of selling a war based on false intelligence reports, Scott Walker takes no ownership of the dismal job numbers in Wisconsin which put his performance at the bottom of the list compiled by Business Journal of all other governors in the country. Walker ranks 44th on the list. Instead, he points his finger of blame on a “list of weapons of job destruction” that are as mythical and out of reach as all those centrifuges for enriched uranium of George W..
Centrifuge and subterfuge indeed
The governor inadvertently opened up the jobs can of worms all by himself. It wasn’t the big union bosses from out-of-state, or protestors in the rotunda, or even some legislator from the opposing party. It was Scott Walker. He did it all by himself when he went off script in Merrill, Wisconsin last Monday and was recorded by WTMJ TV on video saying, “It’s not about jobs.” and was seen as backing away from his big campaign promise of bringing 250,000 jobs to Wisconsin by the end of his term.
Wisconsin elected a “reformer”. A man who looks to the far future rather then just the next election. Some states elect leaders with college educations and a varied resume of experience across a spectrum of disciplines. Not Wisconsin. They elected a governor with no college diploma, and whose experience was limited to political maneuvering. It was to be a “learn on the job” administration, because people liked the way he sounded and believed in what he said. Walker was a “reformer” and Wisconsin became his “reform school”. His statement regarding his misstatement on WTMJ, rambles through words to form a sentence in the fitful pattern that leaves quotation marks struggling to contain the non-thought:
What we’re trying to stay focused on is not hitting a magic number as much as making sure everything we did — that our overwhelming focus of this administration — is how do we help the people of the state get more jobs? Walker said.
Business Journal Updated: Aug 30, 2013, 5:02am CDT
And the blame goes to…
The fickle finger of Walker is ever searching for the weapons of job destruction in Wisconsin when it might serve him well to replace his frantic fickle finger with a mirror.
His latest list of culprits:
1) Employer concerns caused by protests in Madison,
2) The recall elections
3) The Affordable Care Act.
The most recent estimates are that the state has added less than 85,000 jobs since Walker was sworn in as governor in January 2011.
Walker reiterated earlier statements that Wisconsin had lost about 131,000 jobs in the years before he took office, a figure he blamed partly on the state’s policies and direction under his predecessor Democrat Jim Doyle. Of course, the Great Recession caused extensive job losses before 2011 in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.
Business Journal story by Rich Kirchen Senior Reporter linked above.
If politics is going to play a higher priority than getting people back to work, it’s a sad day,” Walker said.
In fact, Doyle left the door for new jobs in Wisconsin wide open with the contract with Talgo the Spanish train company. Mirror, mirror on the wall, who played politics worst of all?
It was Scott Walker who had a King of job creators kneeling at his feet. Talgo, the Spanish train-maker had already opened a plant in Milwaukee and was working on two trainsets for the Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawatha service. Wisconsin was awarded eight hundred and ten million dollars to create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin. Walker said “No”. The reason he gave was one of the first in the long litany of lies he would unleash on the people of Wisconsin over the following year.
Why did Walker reject high speed rail?
If not Doyle, it must be the protests and recalls
What has hurt his efforts to create more jobs has been the one-two-three punch of Capitol protests, the recall elections he and state senators faced in 2012 and now employer concerns about the Affordable Care Act, Walker said.
Protesters swamped the area in and around the state Capitol for weeks in opposition to plans by Walker and Republican legislators to reduce the power of public-sector labor unions and require most public employees in Wisconsin to contribute to their pensions and health care benefits.Business Journal story by Rich Kirchen Senior Reporter linked above.
Protestors or his stubborn inability to compromise?
Before the protests began in February of 2012. Long before the Senate and Gubernatorial recall elections that followed, Scott Walker was presented with a compromise from the unions.
Good Morning America Gov. Walker Rejects Compromise as Wisconsin Union Protests Continue
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC Anchor: Governor, they already said they were willing to give up on the pensions and on the health care. They already said that. They have already made those concessions.
GOV. SCOTT WALKER (R-Wis.): But that’s a red herring.
PBS ANALYSIS AIR DATE: Feb. 21, 2011 with video
Whatever effect protests and recall elections may have had on Scott Walker’s ability to create jobs, is trumped by his own inflexibility; to hold onto his disingenuous strategy to “divide and conquer”. Just one word of compromise to unions back in February of 2012 would have ended the protests, and the recall elections. Who is really at fault?
The Affordable Care Act is the Cuprit
“Many small and midsize employers say it’s the uncertainty,” Walker said. “They haven’t figured (the ACA) out and they don’t know the impact and until they do, that’s the part that concerns them the most.”
Business Journal story by Rich Kirchen Senior Reporter linked above.
Businesses in every state have been dealing with the Affordable Care Act at the same time as Wisconsin – even states that have also been subjected to protests and recall elections like Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. Yet, Wisconsin remains at the bottom of the job creation numbers. So what is the common denominator? What is it that Wisconsin has in place that no other state has – Governor Scott Walker.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is not on the list?
The the entire Department of Commerce, that functioned without major problems for 35 years, was dismantled, “reformed”, and restructured by Gov. Scott Walker in February 2011. Commerce was replaced with the new and streamlined Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), and branded as a public-private agency, to boost job growth. This was the flag ship of “Walker Reform” boasting an $83 million budget. The regulatory, big government, impediments of the Commerce Department would be striped to make room for the Neoconservative efficiency of WEDC – the flagship of the new Walker reform to allow for the lofty goal of creating jobs, jobs, jobs.
A few headlines reveal the story of administrative failure of the WEDC
The initial Promise? “WEDC will create 50,000 jobs by June 2012″
The Old Commerce Department was abolished in favor of WEDC with a single purpose – (Please mark this well) Walker’s spokesman Cullen Werwie told how the Governor was working closely with the WEDC and was getting regular updates from chief executive officer, Paul Jadin, and it would retain or create 50,000 jobs by June 2012.
The July 18 2012 Shake up – WEDC Bidding suspended!
Before a year had passed, Gov. Scott Walker was shaking up the leadership of the state’s flagship jobs agency. You see, there was a problem. The bidding process was mishandled. Skyward, an information technology company of Stevens Point, was offered a sweetened deal.
July 2012 – the WEDC is summarized: Ryan Murray makes things “clear”
At this time, under the most reliable measure, Wisconsin’s WEDC created 19,551 jobs overall in 2011, lagging behind the nation and the 33,660 jobs that were created in 2010.
Murray made clear that the Walker administration would not be repeating the maneuver because it had the appearance of violating the competitive bid.
September 26, 2012- WEDC Oversteps Authority
The old Commerce Department, with all of its regulations, secured loans agreements from the Federal Government for 35 years. Walker simply transferred them to the “streamlined” WEDC even though the oversight of the the disbursal of loans was so lax that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) threatened to cancel them.
October 19, 2012 – Lost 9 Million Dollars?
Just three months after the communication and oversight problems had been fixed by his trustworthy appointee Ryan Murray, Gov. Scott Walker called for “dramatic moves”. In the wake of revelations that his flagship jobs agency had lost track of $9 million in past due loans with due dates going back more than a year, the reformer did another shift and shuffle of staff.
It is always someone else to blame
It is always everyone else who is wrong, including the people whose names appear on the communications recently made public like:
Tim Russell – a former deputy chief of staff to Walker, pleaded guilty Nov. 29.
Kevin Kavanaugh – convicted of stealing more than $50,000 from Operation Freedom and other veterans funds and sentenced in December to two years in prison.
Kelly Rindfleisch – who worked for Walker in the county executive’s office in 2010, was sentenced Nov. 19 to six months in jail for campaign fundraising at the courthouse using a secret email system installed there.
Darlene Wink – Walker’s constituent services coordinator at the county, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors for doing campaign work while on the county clock.
Daily news stories flash through the media, blogs, face book, and twitter. The progression of problems with WEDC encompass the time line of Walker’s first day in office through yesterday. The attempt is to show some patterns over a longer period than a day, week, or month. What is most striking to me, are all those who have hit the water in the wake of Walker’s passage – all of those who were once trusted associates and are now convicted as felons or tossed overboard because of this action or that. Through all this only one person, one common denominator stands in an obvious and prime position.
Are we to believe the fault remains with those cast aside? Experience and history tell us this cannot be true, and it is time to follow the three fingers pointed back at the one who points.