Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scott Walker's "Good Government" Challenge

Scott Walker has become famous for trying to be on all sides of nearly every issue. Sometimes it happens very quickly, as it did with his ever evolving position on taking federal stimulus funds among other issues. Other times he flip-flops over a longer period of time, multiple times, on a broad range of issues. I'm convinced that the only real predictor for Walker's waffling is if it personally benefits him politically in the short term.

On October 8, 1996 then-Representative Scott Walker announced his "Good Government Package" of legislative proposals. I'm sure that he thought that this was a winning issue for him at that time. The true sign of this is that he all but announced the package from the rooftops. Here are the items that Representative Walker was promoting at that time:
  1. Allow individual candidates and political parties to offset up to the amount of independent expenditures spent in any given campaign.
  2. Require full and accurate disclosure of every phone call to a voter and require a copy of the script for each phone call be filed with the Elections Board within 24 hours of the first call to voters.
  3. Prohibit "mega-PACs" by limiting transfers between political action committees to no more than $5,000.
  4. Require that a minimum of 50% of all money spent in a campaign be raised from individuals living within the district.
  5. Allow the Elections Board to develop a system for electronic filing of campaign finance reports.
  6. Ban legislators from working as lobbyists for at least one year after leaving office.
  7. Require legislators to follow the same laws the public does by removing the legislative immunity provision in the constitution.
  8. Ban fundraising by candidates, campaigns, and legislative campaign committees until the enactment of the budget.

Since Walker was sworn in as governor we have witnessed him amassing unprecedented power. Whether it is the legislature so willingly giving him their rule making powers or his wiping out scores of civil service positions to make them politically appointed. Walker's actions as governor show that he must fancy himself as some sort of emperor of Wisconsin. His faithful and unquestioning Republican rubber stamps in the legislature have done everything possible to accommodate him in that self-delusion.

So while Scott Walker is busy ramming special interest legislation through, it would be interesting to see him take one brief moment to ram through the remaining elements of then-Representative Walker's "Good Government Package". He certainly could accomplish it, if he really ever wanted to get those things done in the first place. It would also be a great test for Walker to prove that he actually cares about something more than his own political fortunes.

Reaffirming Representative Walker's "Good Government Package" would be one way to prove this because many of these provisions would run contrary to his actions as a recall candidate. For example, while Walker has been busy raising unlimited cash from special interests, over 60 percent of it has come from out-of-state contributors. Sorry, but that flies directly in the face of Representative Walker's 50% rule.

So I would like to challenge Governor Walker to actually live up to the "Good Government" guidelines as expressed by Representative Walker in 1996. Obviously there is zero chance of that happening, which again proves the original point made here. Scott Walker's number one value is advancing his own lifelong political career and nearly everything else is relative and/or secondary to that self-serving priority.

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