5 public Scott Walker statements worse than anything you’ll find in those private emails

As softball pitches go, this one was a Wiffle ball tossed underhanded into a nor’easter by a baked tree sloth.

As every man, woman, child, and above-average house cat in Wisconsin knows by now, thousands of emails and other documents relating to a John Doe investigation into Scott Walker’s former county executive office were released last week by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

It’s a treasure trove of embarrassments, but the fact that the investigation itself failed to nail Walker to the wall should tamp down the enthusiasm of my fellow travelers on the leftmost side of the aisle.

Now, it’s no secret that I’m no fan of Scott Walker. In my head I keep a list of folks I’d rather have as Wisconsin governor. On it are thousands of people, living and dead. They include Charo, the kid who played Larry Mondello in Leave It to Beaver, the “time to make the doughnuts” guy from that old Dunkin’ Donuts commercial, Mary Burke, the Olsen Twins, Sleestak #4 from Episode 36 of Land of the Lost, and Macho Man Randy Savage, to name just a few. To his credit, Walker does beat out Zombie Strom Thurmond, but just barely.

Still, I have to admit that the emails are unlikely to reveal anything that will sink the governor permanently, given that they’ve already been combed over with a thorough fine-toothiness.

That said, they are revealing. One of the more disturbing passages is this “joke” former Walker Deputy Chief of Staff Kelly Rindfleisch received from a woman at a Madison law firm (h/t Blogging Blue):

This morning I went to sign my Dogs up for welfare. At first the lady said, “Dogs are not eligible to draw welfare”.
So I explained to her that my Dogs are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who the r Daddys are. They expect me to feed them, provide them with housing and medical care, and feel guilty because they are dogs.
So she looked in her policy book to see what it takes to qualify.
My Dogs get their first checks Friday.

So, yeah, that’s kinda distasteful.

Rindfleisch’s response? “That is hilarious. And so true.”

Nice hire there, Scott.

Of course, the revelation that Walker can be tied to a secret email system that was set up in his county office (a system that, according to former Wisconsin attorney general Peg Lautenschlager, was likely illegal) will probably have more staying power. But didn’t we already know pretty much everything we needed to know about Walker — and what he stands for — prior to this? I should say we did.

I would argue there was already enough information on record to discredit the guy. We just have to have a longer memory. At the very least, Mary Burke and her supporters need to resurrect some of his least statesmanlike moments.

To wit:

1. Scott Walker supported, and eventually signed, a bill requiring women to receive unnecessary ultrasounds — in some cases invasive transvaginal ultrasounds — before they could receive abortions.

“I don’t have any problem with ultrasound,” said Walker, as if he were referring to the procedure in general. “I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine.”

Yes, most people do. Unless they’re asked to turn their heads and cough first.

If Burke and her confederates aren’t planning to bring this up over and over again during the campaign, they’re just not serious about winning.

2. In an embarrassing exchange with then-Congressman Dennis Kucinich during the debate over Walker’s budget repair bill, the governor was forced to admit that his collective bargaining reforms were more about busting unions than repairing the budget.

The Cap Times’ John Nichols had the play-by-play:

Walker tried his best to peddle the fantasy that his general attack on state, county and municipal employees and teachers, and his specific attempt to silence them in the workplace by stripping them of most collective bargaining rights, was needed to balance the state budget.

But then Congressman Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, asked the million-dollar question, or, to be more precise, the $137 million budget repair bill question.

“Your proposal would require unions to hold annual votes to continue representing their own members. Can you please explain to me and members of this committee how much money this provision saves for your state budget?” asked Kucinich.

Walker tried to avoid the question.

Kucinich pressed him. “Did you answer the questions?” the congressman asked. “How much money does it save, Governor?”

A reluctant Walker finally responded: “It doesn’t save any.”

3. Walker is on record as saying that no woman should ever have an abortion, even if she’s the victim of rape and/or incest.

Says PolitiFact:

For his part, Walker has said repeatedly he opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. He declares himself “100 percent pro-life.” And to Pro-Life Wisconsin, an organization that opposes abortion without exception, Walker pledged to seek a complete abortion ban.

Think about that. If Walker had his druthers, a 14-year-old girl who was raped by her uncle and was unlucky enough to become pregnant as a result would be SOL. That’s chilling, and it speaks volumes about the man’s judgment. It also all but disqualifies him as a viable presidential candidate, and should be one of the sharpest arrows in Burke’s quiver.



4. Despite treating public workers like punching bags for most of his term, Walker has been oh-so-coy in his public statements about Wisconsin’s teachers, et al. We always suspected that this was the phoniest of façades. Well, Scott’s no-really-I’m-not-running-for-president book Unintimidated proved how much contempt he really has for public employees.

The book included a limp stab at humor titled “Top 10 Ways You Can Tell You’re Part of a Public Sector Union.” In the book, he noted that he had read the list to his staff, and they all enjoyed a hearty laugh.

Among the more scintillating bons mots:

  • You take a week off to protest in Wisconsin and your office runs better.
  • On a snow day when they say “non-essential” people should stay home you know who they mean.
  • You get paid twice as much as a private sector person doing the same job but make up the difference by doing half as much work.
  • It takes longer to fire you than the average killer spends on death row.
  • The worse you do your job, the more your boss avoids you.
  • You think the French are working themselves to death.

A Walker apologist once wrote me asking me to show him a single instance where Walker and the Republicans demonized teachers. There’s your answer.

5. After Walker was famously punked by that guy pretending to be David Koch, the governor said this: “The bottom line is, the things I said [in the call] are the things I’ve said publicly all along.”

Really, Scott?

During the call, you told Pseudo-Koch that you had “thought about” planting troublemakers at pro-union rallies but ultimately decided against it because it might end up causing “a ruckus … that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has to settle to avoid all these problems.”

So if not for the potential political fallout, the governor would have presumably doused Rebecca Kleefisch with patchouli, dressed her up like Janice from the Muppets, and sent her out onto the Capitol Square with a sackful of deadly footbags and a garrote fashioned out of hash pipes and mandolin strings.

That, folks, is the real Scott Walker. As this story develops, we’ll likely find out more. But that doesn’t mean we should forget — or ignore — his greatest hits.

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