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What Really Is In That Brown Bag?

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on August 13, 2010

OK, so we have all now been overexposed to Scott Walker’s brown bag spiel. So much so that no one is really buying it anymore, but he is still going with it. He probably can’t give it up, seeing how much money he blew on the rehashed campaign gimmick.

Of course, the lefties, myself included, had all sorts of fun with it, including the to-be-expected scatological references. One Wisconsin Now even based a short video on it.

However, over the last few days and weeks, I’ve been thinking about how Walker has been running his campaign, and I’ve picked up on four basic things that he has been using along with his brown bag gimmick. Those four things is smear, hypocrisy, intellectual dishonesty and talk radio.


Since day one, Walker has been running a negative campaign. First, he was smearing Governor Jim Doyle, even before he officially announced this leg of his perpetual campaign. When Doyle decided not to run again, he took it out on the unions. When Mark Neumann announced his candidacy, Walker turned the smear machine on him. Now he is going after Tom Barrett with whatever he can fling, even if it is no where near accurate.

It has gotten so bad that his cohorts at CRG tried, and of course failed, to put the hit on me personally.

The reason Walker is running such a fierce smear campaign is simple. There is no way he could run on his track record as county executive. Not with the problems at the mental health complex, buildings falling down hurting and even killing people, and hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and debt.


One of Walker’s most famous, or infamous, trademarks is his hypocrisy. A fine example would be when he claimed that he would save so much money as governor just by eliminating vacant positions. What he failed to mention, as did the media, is that Walker is currently using that very budgeting trick of leaving funded spots vacant to balance his budget.

Another example would be his promise to cut waste and fraud, citing specifically the child care system, even though he was the one in charge of the system with the highest amount of fraud occurring in the entire state.

It simply baffles the mind on how his most rabid supporters can blindly overlook such flagrant hypocrisy and even defend it.

Intellectual Dishonesty

This is something else that Walker is fairly prolific in. It can range from making bogus claims of creating jobs without a plan to saying privatization is saving money when in truth it is actually costing tax payers more. Probably the most glaring example is when Walker tells straight up lies about his track record, such as keeping down taxes (he didn’t) or keeping down spending (he didn’t do that either).

Talk Radio

When the above three things fail, Walker will roll them up into a ball and fire them off through the mouths of talk radio show hosts. This way, he can have the likes of Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling, or Vicki Mckenna. Now, the vast majority of Wisconsinites don’t waste their time listening to the blather coming out of these squawkers. The relative few that do, a high percentage of them are people that are listening to the squawk shows don’t adhere to it, but listen to either catch them up in their lies or just for the entertainment value (I don’t know how people find them entertaining, but some obviously do), and aren’t buying into their daily spewage.

But where Walker gets the real value out of talk radio is all the free air time. Because of the machinations of the GOP, they have been able to manage to gain an amazingly high level of influence with most of the talk shows, both nationally and then locally. Thus, people like Charlie Sykes will be more than glad to give Walker all the free air time that they can, as well as lots of exposure on their sites, which are sponsored and owned by their employers. If Walker actually had to pay for that kind of air time and free publicity, his campaign would be broke in less than a week.

In summary, Walker has been running a most negative and dishonest campaign. All of this is to cover up the fact that he has been an overall failure as county executive. He was originally elected to clean up the pension scandal. Not only did Walker fail to do this, he actually made things worse for the citizens and tax payers of Milwaukee County.

But there is one thing Walker does do well. He sure can put a lot of S.H.I.T. in that little brown paper bag of his.


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