PEOPLE-Local 645

  • Quality of Life Alliance

The Weasel That Squeaked

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on April 21, 2009

They say that, in comedy, timing is everything. The same could be said for politics. Time something poorly, and you come off looking like a fool or worse.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve pointed out some of the several examples of lying, hypocrisy and ineptitude Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has shown. Everything from lying to his own hometown constituents to losing control of the Income Maintenance program due to his inability and/or incapability to do his job to flip flopping so much that even he doesn’t know where he stands regarding stimulus funding, to name but a few.

Today, James Klauser, one of Wisconsin’s most prominent and influential conservative power brokers and strategists, came out with an open letter endorsing Mark Neumann for governor:

Mark Neumann, a former Congressman who nearly defeated Russ Feingold, is a potential candidate. Mark is a successful business man from Waukesha County (a growing county). He and his family are involved in choice and charter school reforms. He is involved in his community and church. While a Congressman, Mark worked with Speaker Newt Gingrich to develop a no tax increase alternative to Bill Clinton’s spend, spend, and spend.

Mark understands Wisconsin’s future is in growing jobs (in the private sector); encouraging business and investment. He understands we need the educational and transportation infrastructure to make that happen. He is sensitive to the environmental issues that concern us. He knows that high oppressive taxes can stifle initiative and growth.

I have been heavily involved in four successful Republican gubernatorial campaigns. Based on that experience I have concluded that of the prospective candidates, Mark Neumann is best able to win and govern well. I encourage you to consider Mark Neumann for Governor.

I would say that it would be safe to consider this to be an unofficial announcement of an official announcement of making the formal announcement that Neumann is going to run. And given the people I’ve heard of getting ready to back Neumann, it will be a who’s who of the WISGOP.

Realizing that he was again being outmaneuvered, and not wanting to be left further behind, even though he has been campaigning for six years, Walker announced today that he will have a “special announcement” next Tuesday. Given that he has yet to do the responsible thing, and the fact that he will be jetting around the state to make this “special announcement,” I doubt that it is he finally will admit he is incapable of being a good leader and will be immediately resigning.

More likely, the announcement will be what we already know. He wants to be governor in the worst way (and if he would be governor, it would be in the worst way), and is willing to lie, cheat or steal his way into the governor’s election.

As one would expect, his announcement of an announcement was met with something quite a bit less than enthusiasm from the left. A little more surprising is the fact that there are some on the right that are in the “anyone but Walker” camp.

In fact, almost the only people that seem to be excited about this non-announcement is Journal Communications and Kevin Fischer, and Fischer isn’t the dream endorsement that Walker would wish for.

I really can’t wait to see what Walker will run on. So far, he appears to be rather limited in his vision and has only a one trick pony in his campaign circus, that of being anti-tax (even though he isn’t really – he just tries to get others to do his dirty work). Odds are that even his one-trick pony will come up lame after he has to come up with his 2010 budget.

He can’t run on his management skills, seeing how he has driven almost every aspect of Milwaukee County into the ground. He doesn’t have much in the way of name recognition outside of southeast Wisconsin, and even where he does, it’s usually not positive. On top of that, he will have the albatross of being from Milwaukee around his neck, which is never a boost to a state wide race. He is a college drop out, and he does not have great interpersonal skills, or so I am told.

Not only that, but Walker has a very small war chest when compared to those of Governor Jim Doyle or Mark Neumann. To make things worse for Walker, Neumann does have the state wide recognition and popularity that Walker was unable to garner, even after six years of campaigning. And Neumann doesn’t have all the Milwaukee County related, self-induced problems that Walker has.

Some people feel that Walker will bow out of the primary early, like he did against Green in 2006. I am not so sure about that. This is his only real chance to move ahead, and if he quits this race like he did in 2006, it could spell the end of his political career. Then again, if he stays in it, and blows his campaign war chest on a failed run, that could very well end his political career.

Either way, I think I’d better pop some popcorn. This could be fun to watch.

ADDENDUM: While I do find a fair amount of cynical humor in watching Walker setting himself up to fail again, there is one thing that really does tick me off. Walker, who has a long history of being against the working men and women of Milwaukee County, has the audacity and the gall to be making his official campaign kickoff on Workers Memorial Day, which commemorates the thousands of workers who are killed and the many, many more that are injured or otherwise hurt by their jobs. That would be like David Duke announcing on Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday.

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