Thursday, September 17, 2009

Don’t Blink! Walker’s Talking Points Changing Again

We already know about Scott Walker's distain for the federal stimulus (Recovery and Reinvestment Act).

  • Originally he said "no thanks" to the millions of federal dollars that was set to flow into the county that he is supposed to be leading.
  • Early on he wrote an opinion piece in the conservative Wall Street Journal about why he wasn't getting in line for federal funds (the same paper that recently reported that the stimulus was helping to lift the economy).
  • In fundraising letters he bragged about abdicating his responsibilities and not submitting a list of programs and projects that could be funded under the Recovery Act.
  • His obstruction was so bad on the issue that the County Board had to take action on their own to ensure that Milwaukee County taxpayers were going to get a healthy return on their federal tax investment.
  • More recently Walker even commented on his Twitter account that the federal stimulus was not helping "real people".

His history on the stimulus and federal funding made three statements that he made this week all the more interesting.

On Monday he spoke at the Wisconsin Counties Association and suggested that the state was not sending enough funds to local governments. In that context he also complained that the state was using federal stimulus funds to fill state budget gaps. He conveniently didn't mention that the specific portion of stimulus money that was used for the state budget was precisely meant for that purpose. There are many millions of dollars that have flowed (and will continue to flow) to local governments from the state, courtesy of the Recovery Act that he has so strongly opposed. Actually that is what made his comment so strange. After all of his hating on the stimulus, was he really complaining that the state wasn't sending enough stimulus money to counties and municipalities?

Then on Wednesday Scott Walker put out a press release saying that he was "pleased to announce" that Milwaukee County was getting $3.85 million in grant money from the federal government for substance abuse and mental health programs. Heartland Hollar has already asked the obvious questions here:

"So why does Walker support accepting $3.85 million from the feds while at the same time opposing $2.3 billion in tax cuts over the next two years and 'a total $5.2 billion in tax savings for Wisconsin families and businesses
over the next three years included in the federal recovery plan.' Why does Walker accept $3.85 million when he opposes $3.7 billion in federal stimulus funds?"

Today is a new day and it also brings another new report of Walker's ever changing positions on the stimulus-style federal funding. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports today that Walker plans to use $36.6 million in federal funds for new buses for a "rapid transit" route. It also said that he planned on using an additional $29.7 in federal money to buy 125 new buses to help upgrade Milwaukee's aging bus fleet. I know that the $36.6 million comes from old federal transportation funds that have been stagnant for so long but exactly where is this new federal aid of $29.7 million coming from? Is this aid at all related to that dreaded stimulus package that Walker has never failed to attack? Even if this new federal money is not part of the actual stimulus, what exactly is the argument that makes this federal money good but the other federal money bad?

It should be no surprise that Walker is all over the map on federal funding and the stimulus. After the various announcements this week, I'm actually thinking that his press releases should come with the warning; "Don't blink, My Talking Points Change Quickly!"

UPDATE: Another day brings another way for Scott Walker to use the federal stimulus that he still loves to hate. In fact it appears that his entire plan, reported in the paper today, is based on the assistance that he would get under the federal stimulus.


Aaron Rodriguez said...

When will you stop asking the same tired and recycled questions when the answers have been provided over and over again? This whole thing about Walker changing his positions has been debunked several times. The fact that you ignore these corrections demonstrates that you, and other bloggers like you, are playing partisan games hoping that people don't call you to the carpet for blatant misrepresentations.

Anonymous said...

Your post doesn't make sense. I've been following Walker's positions and it seems to me he may be the most consistent politician of all time.

Cory Liebmann said...

yeah, yeah, yeah...just because you have settled in on a walker talking point that you like, doesn't mean that he hasn't been on all sides of this issue. and the fact that you can't accept it doesn't mean that anything has been "debunked".

the first thing that he said about the stimulus was that the county is "better off without it". does he still believe that or doesn't he? and if he does then why is he cashing federal checks right now?

at first he wouldn't even submit a list of projects to be funded but later he allowed his staff to do just that for road and bridge what changed?

he vetoed the county board because they wanted to go after the federal money and one of the top things on their list was funding for new buses...yeah, much like the ones that he is talking about buying now. So what changed besides him getting a big dose of reality on his transit disaster?

he was also quoted early as saying that he is not "asking for any new project or anything to be done here." Does he still believe that or doesn't he? If he does then why is he seeking federal funds for his NEW rapid transit bus idea?

he bragged about not getting in line to "feed at the federal trough" for federal money. does he still believe that or doesn't he? if he does still hold to that, does that mean that he is now "feeding from the trough" himself?

I could go on all day with these examples.

and Anon that is your problem, you've ONLY been following walker's "positions" (i noticed that you correctly made it plural).

Aaron Rodriguez said...


The problem is that they don't read all of the stuff. They pick and choose what news bits they want to read, thus creating their own history of events.

I've read EVERY bit of news, including Walker's actual statements concerning the events before I wrote articles about what happened. The real issue isn't flip flopping, but the fact they don't want Walker anywhere near the governor's mansion.

Cory Liebmann said...

wow...might want to see the doctor for that severe case of pot/kettle syndrome

Aaron Rodriguez said...


You and I both know you cannot argue the case you have just presented in your post. I've already laid out a coherent argument here

and here

that shows how liberals have intentionally distorted Walker's position on stimulus. Do me a favor and actually read what I wrote. Maybe it will clear up some of those cob webs