Thursday, June 11, 2015

Welcome To A Walker Wonderland

    I hope the many South Dakota Republicans who serve in the state legislature aren't among
Walker's Supporters
So Hypnotized That They Can't Spell "Progressive"
(photo from
those infatuated with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his bid (an announcement is expected later this month, per MSNBC) for the GOP presidential nomination. 
Considering that Walker is the heartthrob of the Koch Brothers and their uber-conservative followers, and further considering that so many SD reps make it a point to attend (on our dime, by the way)  Koch-supported American Legislative Exchange Council confabs around the country, a mutual-admiration society consisting of the Walker campaign and leading South Dakota Republicans is probably a natural confluence of political and ideological affinities.  

     No particularly noticeable endorsements or other indications of local support for any of the GOP contenders have surfaced, but those SD Pubs who are considering a public commitment to the Walker campaign should consider his track record as governor of Wisconsin before sealing the deal.  Walker, who shows up among the top 3 or 4 aspirants for the GOP nod in recent polls, presents himself as the "Reagan redux" candidate, and his union-busting "template" in Wisconsin has been cheered enthusiastically in conservative circles around the country.  Getting "Right To Work" legislation passed in Wisconsin is an astounding political and historical achievement, so Walker has earned all the conservative plaudits that are being heaped on him these days.
     That's okay to a partisan point, but busting unions aside, Walker's overall performance in Wisconsin is weak and worth examining before anybody here jumps on his bandwagon or coattails as the the '16 elections come into focus. For all that high-profile style of his, Walker hasn't  done much for his home state, other than drive it downward in terms of economic performance.  What caught my eye a day or so ago was Wisconsin's dead-last ranking among states in entrepeneurial activity by the widely-followed (it works with the U.S. Census Bureau and other statistical-gathering services) Kaufmann Index Of Entrepreneurial Activity, falling from 45th place last year.  More saliently, the state compares so
WI State Tax Revenues Under Walker
Why Do The Koch Bros. Like This Guy?
(graphic from
unfavorably in so many key economic indicators that the La Crosse (WI) Tribune a few months ago toted up an item-by-item contrast with its much more liberally run next door neighbor Minnesota.  Among other notable contrasts is that the cost of doing business in MN is 0.2% below the national average, while in WI it's 1.7% above. As to unemployment, MN's rate is 3.7%, WI's is 5.2%.  Meantime, Walker's reduction of tax rates has been followed by a state deficit of $2 billion, while Minnesota, which increased tax rates, has a surplus of $1.2 billion  These are particularly conspicuous contrasts, considering that WI and MN are probably as geographically and economically interchangeable as two states can be.

     Why the Koch brothers are plunking their money down on a glaringly noticeable loser like Scott Walker is for them and their followers to explain. We South Dakota Republicans can only hope that our prominent party leaders don't get mesmerized by the Walker mystique and help propel him to the GOP candidacy in '16.  I couldn't imagine successfully selling the Wisconsin model to the country as a whole.  


  1. I know it's early, but at this point, who do you feel would be better candidates than Walker.

    1. Based on his track record in Ohio I like Kasich, based on political reality I'll take Bush or Rubio. Ideologues like Walker and Cruz will capture the extremes, but we Pubs need someone who can run to the middle to win the general.

  2. How's those spineless "run to the middle" half-assed "Republicans" been for USA so far? You know, the "Republicans" who mouth Republican ideas but vote like Democrats? That $19 Trillion debt the USA has? The out of control bloated federal government? That's the handy work of your run to the middle "Republicans" who voted with the Democrats.

    Walker appears to be exactly what you claim you are looking for, a "Republican" who will twist on a pin trying to chase the nomination by recreating himself to every voter faction.

    How about nominating an actual conservative Republican instead of Democrat lights like Bush, Romney, McCain, etc..