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A Total, Utter Failure »


As Scott Walker prepares to kick off his reelection bid, on pace to get just halfway towards meeting his central campaign promise to create 250,000 new jobs, a Wisconsin economist is skewering Walker’s record on jobs as a “total, utter failure.”

In a blistering editorial in the Oshkosh Northwestern, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh economics professor Kevin McGee explains the genesis of Walker’s central 250,000 jobs promise and the justification for judging Walker on his record on job growth, despite Walker’s excuses that everything from Obamacare to the weather kept him from getting anywhere close to success.

The 250,000 jobs promise came from a combination of normal economic growth, about 119,000 jobs over four years, and recovering the 137,000 jobs lost in the Great Recession; hardly anything “spectacular,” McGee notes, just let the economy get back on track, and “take the credit for it.”

Unfortunately, despite Walker’s rhetoric that his “reforms” are working, “there’s no clear evidence that any “growth policies” that state governments adopt have any real effect,” McGee writes. “But the rhetoric is exactly the point. Almost everything Walker has done as governor - the union busting, the tax breaks for the well connected - have been justified because “it will create jobs.” So yes, since that’s the standard Walker has consistently raised, how well he’s created jobs is a standard he should be held to.”

But putting aside judging Walker on the 250,000 jobs Wisconsin would have gained with a normal economic recovery, we should hold Walker to the standard of doing at least as well on job growth as other states in the Midwest, according to McGee, who notes that, “by that standard, Walker has been a complete, utter failure. Because over the last 2 and three quarter years, Wisconsin has created roughly 45,000 fewer jobs than if it had kept up with our neighbor states. That is, Wisconsin has a 45,000 job gap (for the details online, google “wis job gap”).”

McGee concludes:

“And no, Gov. Walker, you can’t blame that on Jim Doyle. In Doyle’s last two years as governor, the job gap went from roughly zero in December 2008 to about 30,000 jobs a year later. But then the outlook improved, with the job gap shrinking to about 10,000 jobs by the time he left office. By the end of Doyle’s term, we’d recovered almost 20 percent of the jobs we’d lost, better than all of our neighboring states.

“But then Walker took over, busted the unions, and the gap has steadily grown, to 20,000 jobs in December 2011, then 30,000 jobs by December 2012, and then 45,000 jobs last September. Since Walker took over, we’ve recovered only an additional 42 percent of our lost jobs, nearly last among our neighbors.

“So should Walker be judged on his job creation record? Yes he should - as a total, utter failure.”

Read the editorial in its entirety here.

ICYMI: Wisconsin’s Two Largest Papers Call for Scott Walker to “Come Clean” Regarding His Role in Criminal Investigation »

Following the release of more than 27,000 pages of emails related to the first criminal investigation into Scott Walker’s campaigns and administrations, Wisconsin’s two largest newspapers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Wisconsin State Journal, joined a growing chorus calling for Scott Walker to come clean about his role in the criminal investigation and answer questions about the way he has violated the public trust.

Both papers endorsed Walker for governor in the 2010 campaign and the Journal Sentinel endorsed Walker again in the recall elections in 2012.

Noting that the emails, “tie Walker closer to the secret email system than ever before,” and show how Walker’s campaign and official staffers coordinated routinely on optimizing political response to things like the tragedy at O’Donnell Park that resulted in the death of a 15 year old boy and serious problems at the County’s Mental Health Complex, the Journal Sentinel editorialized that, “Gov. Scott Walker needs to talk. He should hold a news conference to explain how much he knew about a secret email system as Milwaukee County executive. And he needs to let reporters ask as many questions as they want.”

The Wisconsin State Journal pulled no punches either in asking the questions, “Did you know, Governor Walker, that your staff was breaking the law? How will your public and private staffs interact in the future? How will taxpayers know that their public employees won’t be misused as private campaign soldiers this fall?”

The State Journal also noted that Walker’s county staff, “exchanged thousands of emails during normal business hours with his top campaign people. And they did so over and over again using private — rather than county — email accounts. They even installed a secret Internet router and hid private laptops. So they knew what they were doing was wrong.”

Read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial here

Read the Wisconsin State Journal editorial here.


Book Release and a Billboard »

Sharing a message from DPW chairman, Mike Tate:

Scott Walker kicked off his book tour this weekend with a trip to Washington, D.C., where he refused to commit to serve out a second term if re-elected and pretty much anointed himself as the front-runner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

Here’s just a little bit of what he didn’t mention and didn’t make the book:

  • Kicking 90,000 Wisconsinites off BadgerCare while sending our tax dollars to other states
  • Slashing $1.6 billion from public education while giving $2.3 billion in tax breaks to the wealthy and out-of-state corporations
  • Failing at job creation and dropping Wisconsin to 45th in the nation in job growth prospects while campaigning for president out-of-state

We want to make sure Wisconsinites know the real story about Scott Walker. So we’re going to put up a billboard to help folks get the truth. Can you help us get it up and running by chipping in $10 or whatever you can today?

Scott Walker: Intimidated by the Truth

The list above just scratched the surface of what’s missing from “Unintimidated.”

Scott Walker is clearly intimidated by the truth. Also absent from the book is any mention of the criminal corruption probe that sent three top Scott Walker aides to jail or the new investigation into illegal coordination and shady money from Koch Brothers-funded groups during the Wisconsin recalls.

And of course Walker leaves out his history of authoring anti-women legislation that would have criminalized abortion in all cases and banned commons forms of birth control and fertility treatments.

So help us make sure people can get the real story on Scott Walker. Chip in $10 or whatever you can to help run our billboard:



Martha Laning Declares Candidacy for State Senate »

Wisconsin native and Sheboygan area community advocate, Martha Laning announced her candidacy for the 9th State Senate District. Encompassing her home County of Sheboygan, along with portions of Manitowoc, Calumet Counties, Martha is running to represent the best interests of all of the 9th Senate District.

The people of the 9th State Senate District know, as I do, “that there is no challenge too great for people to overcome when we all work together. I believe our community deserves a Senator who wakes up every day willing to bring everyone to the table to solve any problems for the betterment of our community. From our business owners to our farmers and teachers to our first responders, I promise to stand up for the people who make our community a great place to live and raise a family. No matter how complicated or controversial, I promise to keep a mind clear of partisanship, only considering how our communities would be best served.”

Martha Laning is a Wisconsin-born problem solver. Knowing there is no challenge too great for people to overcome when they work together, she has helped to create school breakfast programs for hungry children and the intergenerational center in Plymouth to help kids and seniors in her community. She has a business background and plans to use those skills to help Wisconsin get back on track. Martha knows that good ideas come from people of all backgrounds and political parties and she pledges to work with anyone who is willing to move Wisconsin forward - just like she’s always done.