Picture of the Day for June 4, 2015: On the Subject of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the Koch Brothers…and ALEC

Posted by Elaine Magliaro

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FYI: Brendan Fischer and Mary Bottari posted an article titled Scott Walker: The First ALEC President? over at the Center for Media and Democracy’s PRWatch yesterday. I have an excerpt from the article below the fold.

As County Executive, Privatization Reflected ALEC Priorities

As Milwaukee County Executive, Walker continued to promote the policies promoted by ALEC, particularly privatization and anti-union measures.

In 2009, for example, Walker declared an economic emergency in Milwaukee County and used his special authority to lay off the union security workers at the county courthouse. He then replaced them with Wackenhut officers at a time when the firm was already under heavy criticism for failing to protect the public while patrolling the Milwaukee transit system.

In 2011, an arbitrator reversed Walker’s outsourcing of courthouse security and the county ended up having to cover back pay for the wrongfully laid off union workers, costing taxpayers an extra $430,000.

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As Governor, Walker Pushed ALEC Agenda “Straight Out of the Gates”

After Walker entered the governor’s office in 2011, he quickly pushed many ALEC priority measures “by request of the Governor.” In his first year, Walker signed 19 ALEC bills into law, which went after unions, preempted paid sick days bills, enacted voter ID restrictions, and made it harder to hold corporations accountable in the courts.

The first bill Walker called for upon taking office was Senate Bill 1 (which became Act 2), an “omnibus” bill that, as the Center for Media and Democracy first reported, drew on numerous ALEC model bills to change liability rules and make it harder for Wisconsin families to hold corporations accountable when their products or activities cause injury or death.

When asked by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel if Governor Walker relied upon ALEC legislation when putting together this “tort reform” bill, Walker’s press secretary Cullen Werwie replied “absolutely not.”

Yet the bill clearly reflected several pieces of ALEC model legislation, and while it was pending in the legislature, ALEC sent an email to Wisconsin members stating that ALEC “supports this legislation which includes numerous provisions that reflect ALEC’s civil justice reform policy and model legislation.” The bill’s lead sponsor was ALEC Civil Justice Task Force member Sen. Rich Zipperer, who would leave the legislature the following year to become Walker’s Deputy Chief of Staff and senior legal counsel.

After Act 2 became law, ALEC issued a press release commending Walker and the legislature “for their immediate attention to reforming the state’s legal system.” A few months later, the ALEC Civil Justice Task Force held a presentation on the measures titled “Wisconsin: Straight Out of the Gates,” to laud Walker and the legislature’s new Republican majority for quickly implementing the ALEC agenda.

Walker also pushed $800 million in tax cuts that have primarily benefitted the wealthy and corporations, leading to big budget shortfalls and massive cuts to the university system. Those cuts were celebrated by ALEC, which ranked the state number one in tax cuts for 2014.

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Click here to read the full text of Scott Walker: The First ALEC President? at PRWatch.

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13 Responses to Picture of the Day for June 4, 2015: On the Subject of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the Koch Brothers…and ALEC

  1. bron98 says:

    The left doesn’t have an equivalent organization or wealthy benefactors supporting various socialist politicians and causes?

    What is wrong with opposing a government which becomes oppressive? It is our natural right to do so, it is in the DOI.

    Endless war, secret warrants, oppressive taxes, over regulation, the list is numerous.

  2. Bob Kauten says:

    I always suspected, from the clueless look of surprise on his face, that Walker had someone’s hand up his butt. The cartoon confirms it.

  3. bigfatmike says:

    ‘We won’t let government control us’ … except for ultrasound. But that is OK because everybody loves baby pictures. Besides, it helps mommies bond with their babies, which is an essential government function.

  4. Elaine M. says:

    bron,

    Can you name an equivalent “left” organization that functions the same as ALEC?

  5. bigfatmike says:

    ‘We won’t let government control us’ … except for drug testing recipients of Medicaid, unemployment and food stamps – everybody knows needing assistance is suspicious.

  6. rafflaw says:

    Bron,
    ALEC actually writes the legislation that is being introduced and passed on the state level. If it was legislation that actually helped the majority of workers and citizens that would be great. However, the Koch Bros and ALEC are not working for the middle class. They are owned by the 1% and corporations.

  7. I. Annie says:

    Not only the forced ultrasound, now a 20 week limit on abortion regardless of rape or incest, or health of the mother, or even the infant. When I hear conservative idiots denying there is a war on women from their party, I can’t help but think they are completely blind to the reality of what is going on in Wisconsin. We were/are the canary in the coal mine. Wisconsin is Alec’s test animal in the lab of some new form of governance. Some corporations seem to be rejecting this theocratic direction, yet we still have those like the Kochs, Adelson, etc. I really doubt that the Alec members really care about abortion. I think they are still pandering to the religious right. Hopefully more will realize this is a losing tactic. Maybe if Republicans lose in a HUGE way they will get the message that America is rejecting their agenda. Hopefully.

  8. pete says:

    From what I’ve read Scott Walker has issues with factual statements.

    http://www.politifact.com/personalities/scott-walker/

  9. bigfatmike says:

    ‘We won’t let government control us’ … except when it comes to using tax dollars to pay for half of a $500 million stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks – everybody knows it is important for government to support big business.

    http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2015/06/04/us/ap-bkn-bucks-new-arena.html?ref=news

  10. I. Annie says:

    BFM, Walker is losing popularity with his own base over this new Bucks arena deal. Local conservative radio talk shows bares that out. I heard about 3/4 of conservative callers voicing options against this expenditure.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Bucks to pay any cost overruns under arena financing deal
    http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/walker-arena-announcement-could-come-today-or-tomorrow-b99513331z1-306115811.html

    Excerpt:
    Madison —The Milwaukee Bucks would be on the hook for any cost overruns on their proposed $500 million downtown arena, with the public’s share of the expense for the facility capped at $250 million, under a financing deal unveiled Thursday by Gov. Scott Walker, lawmakers and local leaders.

    Flanked by top legislators, Milwaukee County executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett — Walker’s two-time former opponent — the governor sought to persuade wary lawmakers and the public to commit to a deal by emphasizing how dire it would be if the team leaves the state

  12. pete says:

    Is it just me or does Scotty Walker look like he’s been doing long term phase 1 trials for medical marijuana?

  13. bigfatmike says:

    ‘We won’t let government control us’ … except when it comes to running the universities.

    Everybody knows college professors never make good decisions on who to hire, fire or tenure. That why we need politicians to guide them and make good decisions for them.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/05/us/politics/unions-subdued-scott-walker-turns-to-tenure-at-wisconsin-colleges.html?_r=0

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