A Conservative Case For Voting Against Scott Walker

Dear Friends And Family Who Lean Politically To The Right,

From time to time, I get impassioned and write you one of these open letters. At the moment, I’m not impassioned. I’m exhausted.

There’s a statewide election coming up on June 5, however.

If I wait until I’m impassioned to say what’s on my mind, the moment may have passed.

If you’re not from Wisconsin, you may skip to the bit at the end that says “Love, Doug”.

If you are from Wisconsin, please read this letter with an open mind. We’re all tired from the last 18 months of political strife, so I will keep it brief and free from name-calling.

I don’t like name-calling. I’m tired of the bickering and the divisiveness. Neighbors don’t speak to neighbors. Family reunions get tense. I’ve damaged some long-term friendships with people who don’t even live in this state.  Those of you who live with me in Wisconsin know how ugly it’s gotten at times.

I’m sick at heart about this. There is a whole class of pundits who get paid handsomely to go on the air and lob hysterical accusations at the other side. Day after day,  no matter what’s in the news. Accusation after accusation. For them, it sells ad time.

For we the people, it’s been a disaster. That style of “discussion” has bled into our elected officials. In turn, it’s bled into our personal conversations with the people in our lives. We can’t discuss the news of the day without turning into screaming, finger-pointing monsters.

You’re a better person than that. (I say that with confidence, even though this is an open letter.) We can have this discussion.  We’re friends. We’re family. We’re neighbors. We’re co-workers.

Sorry, I promised to keep it brief. I’ll come to the point.

You, as a conservative, should not give your vote to Scott Walker.

I’ll keep it to three reasons.

Reason One: Scott Walker has been irresponsible with your tax dollars.

Scott Walker’s first act, even before his inauguration, was to kill the high-speed rail project that would have connected Madison and Milwaukee to Minneapolis and Chicago. He returned an $810 million grant to the federal government.

There’s an existing Amtrak line between Milwaukee and Chicago. It’s heavily used, financially viable, and badly in need of repair.

It turns out that this line needs $150 million in repairs and upgrades. That work would have been covered in the original federal grant. If Walker had taken the time to study the issue, he’d have known that.

Not only did we turn down the money to pay for needed repairs, we’re now financially on the hook for it.

In the name of saving $7 million per year in maintenance costs, Scott Walker cost us $150 million dollars.

That may not be a lot of money in big states like New York and California. It goes a long way out here. Earlier this year, Walker’s budget had a $143 million dollar hole in it. He had to raid a federal grant designed to help homeowners in mortgage trouble stay in their houses.

This isn’t the only time his ideological zeal has cost the state a large sum of money. That $150 million mistake could have balanced the budget.

Scott Walker claims to be a fiscal conservative. He isn’t.

Reason Two: Scott Walker’s office is at the center of a criminal investigation.

Public resources cannot be used for political campaigns. Period.

It’s a felony.

We’re serious about this in Wisconsin, and it doesn’t matter which party does it. Chuck Chvala, Democrat, used to be the State Senate majority leader. Now he’s a sad little felon without a law license. Why? Running a campaign operation from a state office.

Scott Walker was the Executive for Milwaukee County for eight years. Six of his closest associates have been charged with a total of fifteen felonies and three misdemeanors. These were not accidental violations of the law. The FBI is currently investigating a secret e-mail network that was set up specifically to subvert the laws against campaigning on the public’s time.

The closet where the router was hidden was only a few feet from Scott Walker’s office.

The more the John Doe probe widens, the more sickening twists it uncovers.

Tim Russell, Walker’s deputy chief of staff, has been indicted for theft of $11,000 from an event at the Milwaukee County Zoo to benefit military families. Walker himself didn’t steal the money, but he’s the one who transferred control of the funds away from an American Legion post to a longtime crony.

Scott Walker is the first Governor in Wisconsin’s history to set up a legal defense fund while in office. According to Wisconsin law, he can only do this if he (or agents acting at his direction) have violated Wisconsin election law.

Walker has consistently refused to reveal who’s funding his legal defense.  He has refused to reveal which violations he’s being investigated for. He claims that he set up the fund to pay the costs of cooperating with the investigation. There’s no provision in the law for a “cooperation fund”.

As Walker’s fellow conservative, your natural first instinct is to want to believe in his innocence. I get that. I believed that President Clinton “did not have sex with that woman” long after my common sense should have told me otherwise.

Scott Walker has not been formally charged with any crime yet. However, it strains the imagination to think that he was in the middle of all this criminal activity, which was conducted on behalf of his campaign, and that he was an Eagle Scout the whole time.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Right now, there’s enough smoke to make me drop to the floor and look for a window exit.

Reason Three: Scott Walker is not a friend to Wisconsin’s outdoor sportsmen.

I’ll confess that I’m not much of an outdoorsman. I’d rather sip a latte and watch a movie with subtitles. (Some of your stereotypes about liberals are true.)

Scott Walker appointed a “deer czar” to manage Wisconsin’s deer herd. Rather than choose a naturalist from Wisconsin, Walker appointed (for $125,000 per year) an ideologue from Texas who believes that herd management is best left in the hands of private landowners.

Dr. Kroll has called public land management “the last bastion of communism”. I suspect Teddy Roosevelt would have a big-stick response to that statement.

There are things that the private sector can do more efficiently than the public sector.  Managing public resources isn’t one of them. Google “Chicago parking meters” or “Wackenhut prisons” if you want to see what happens when a for-profit entity takes over a for-public service. Under Kroll’s model, the landowners set the prices for hunting with an eye toward generating maximum profit.

Currently, a buck on a private game farm can cost you up to $1000. It is difficult to imagine that the state-issued $24 deer tag would survive in such an economic climate.

There’s also the issue of what the proposed Gogebic Taconite mine would do to the Bad River watershed, but I’ve gone on quite long with this letter already.

Thank you for sticking through it. Thank you for considering my arguments. I have tried to keep everything factual. If you find an error, let me know, and I’ll correct it.

I’m asking you to do something difficult. It’s hard to vote against your party. I know. I’ve done it on a couple of occasions.  If it’s any consolation, the state Assembly will be Republican for the foreseeable future. You would not be handing the keys over to the opposition.

Finally, Tom Barrett is a good man.  When he was leaving the State Fair in 2009, he intervened in a domestic dispute to defend a grandmother from a pipe-wielding thug. The Mayor got put in the hospital for his efforts. I wish he’d use that story more in his ads, but he doesn’t. I can’t even find it on his campaign website.

I think that speaks volumes about his character. He did the right thing in the moment, because it was the right thing. Now, he doesn’t blow his own horn about it.

That is a man who I’d be proud to call my Governor, regardless of party.

I hope the conservative argument can sway some of you into withholding your vote for Scott Walker. I have a thousand liberal reasons to vote against the man. I will explain them to you for the cost of a beer anytime between now and June 5.

After June 5, I hope we can go back to being neighbors. I hope we can go back to being friends and fellow citizens. I hope we can go back to being Packer fans and proud citizens of my adopted home state.  Any leader who tears that fabric and causes us to demonize each other is not worthy of the office.

Love,

Doug

80 thoughts on “A Conservative Case For Voting Against Scott Walker

    • $310 MILLION REQUEST TO UPDATE THE AMTRAK RUN MKE-CHI
      THE people in charge and the politicians along the way were unaware of the existing depot at mitchell field

  1. I’m glad you’re talking about Walker’s fiscal irresponsibility. His record as Milwaukee County Executive was to say he was saving money while nearly pushing the county into bankruptcy. Check it out. The train idea was the result of our own home-grown transportation planning process, started more than 20 years ago under Thompson and continued through numerous administrations, Republican and Democrat. Voices of citizens, businesses, environmentalists, etc. were all included and due diligence was done to predict ridership and costs. It got funded by the Obama administration because it was so complete and specific; the only state plan to be fully funded. Other states have asked Wisconsin to share its transportation planning expertise. Walker made this a political football just to suit his ambitions. Actually, it’s not controversial at all. State DOT projections still show that we need passenger rail in our future. But now, we don’t have funding for it.

  2. Beautifully done, thank you. Walker is the great divider. Barrett is a uniter who will consider all sides of the issues before making decisions. He is not good at blowing his own horn, as you mentioned, but self-confident people shouldn’t have to be good at that, it’s evident in their behavior.

  3. On the plus side though is he signed both Acts 10 and 35 which I’m pretty happy about. I’m not sure how a 24.00 deer license will be affected by private game farms. I know several hunters from TX and they are not having any problem bagging deer in their state. Finally since as yet he hasn’t been charged with any crime I’m probably going to give him the same benefit of the doubt that I gave Clinton. If he gets charged between now and the 5th I might change my mind. I won’t vote for Barrett though as he is not 2nd amendment friendly in any way shape or form and if a politician can’t get past that filter he/she doesn’t get my vote.
    a few seconds ago ·

    • Scott,

      As for the Second Amendment issue, the pro-gun lobby has already won their major victory in allowing concealed carry. As I pointed out, the Assembly will be Republican for a long time. Even if gun control was at the top of Tom Barrett’s agenda (which it isn’t), I don’t think that genie is ever going back in the bottle. There’s not much a new Governor can do to reverse the gains the NRA made this session.

      The issue with the game farms is if the public land is put into private hands, then the landowners can charge whatever they like. There’s a lot more money to be made catering to a wealthy clientele than there is to catering to the average hunter.

      All of the economic pressures in the game industry will drive the price upwards. The state may still issue a $24 tag, but there will be nowhere for the non-landowning hunter to use it.

      As for Act 10, we will have to disagree on that. I’ve worked for the state government, and I have a lot of friends who are still there. Their household incomes have been decimated. Those workers work just as hard as the ones in the private sector I currently work with. They deserve respect and to have their contracts honored. What Walker did, he did to cripple the Democratic party’s funding. Friends of mine have suffered under his “divide and conquer” strategy and I find it morally reprehensible that he would make financial war on his own citizens as part of a power grab.

      I am not saying the unions are perfect. I’m saying that the way Scott Walker went about dismantling them was reckless and unnecessarily . I have seen the fallout.

      Thank you for your comment. I mean that. I appreciate a civil discussion. I have a lot of conservative friends who are dear to me. And I’d always much rather talk to an engaged conservative than an apathetic lump.

      Doug

      • I have an 19 yr old friend that is currently doing some work with a company at UWGB. He just started last year after graduation. No experience or schooling for this job. While working at UWGB or any other “Union” job he gets paid $18 an hour while his normal pay is $13 hr. Can you explain how this is fair especially since education took such a hit?

    • Scott, I’m with ya on the filter thing… I’m sure you already know who James Kroll is (state deer czar, hired by the governor). I just found out his plans to do away with public land for hunting, though.

      Hope you own enough good land for hunting (or have friends who do – like me). I want James Kroll out – now! Only way that’s going to happen is by getting rid of the guy who hired him.

      Check this out:
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/05/20/1093293/-Want-to-win-the-WI-Recall-Make-sure-this-story-goes-as-wide-as-humanly-possible

    • Which of your guns did the NRA tell you Barrett was taking away? Since you appear to be spouting their rhetoric, let me say in my opinion the NRA has become not a gun-lobby group but a conservative brain-washing machine. Our family is part-owner of 360 acres of hunting/recreation land in northern WI. My husband, 3 sons and grandson have guns and hunt. We would not give the NRA 1 penny to spread their lies and venom about decent leaders and truly feel sorry for all the sportsmen they continue to bamboozle!

      • Just a P.S. to my post above – if people want to bash unions for their power to influence the political process, take a real close look at the NRA!!

  4. Great article and very well put. It is reall y sad that you bring up the points against Walker, and thepeople that support him are oblivious to the truth.

  5. Pingback: A Conservative Case For Voting Against Scott Walker | Baron von Reed | PennAvePost

  6. Sharing on FB. This is wonderful.

    Nothing gets my blood going faster than someone essentially saying ‘they’re all crooks so I absolve myself of any involvement’. Single best way for the crooks to steal even more.

    If you feel none of your representatives are serving you, vote someone in based on substance, not surface. I get so fed up with people who basically decide to abstain from participating in government, and then gripe and moan about how bad everything is…..

  7. Your piece is so biggeted and false it physically made me ill. I grow tired of people who think they can flat ass lie to your face and distort facts. False pieces like thos one only further the divide in our country..

      • Your falsehoods begin with the article title buddy. This isn’t a conservative case. You aren’t a conservative, so you don’t have the ability to make a conservative’s case for voting against Scott Walker. You numbers are off too. And misleading. I’ll get to that.

        3 years ago there were two people talking about trains. One promised a train, and one promised to kill it. We voted. That’s the conservative case for an 810 million dollar train that spans MKE to MSN. To clear that up, if you want to talk about fiscal responsibility, keep the word train out of it. Because no matter anything else you can say about the man, he saw the folly of the train, which 3 years later, and you still can’t.

        The highspeed rail was stimulus money, which was a ridiculous fast patch scheme that did not improve the economy in this country. It is right to reject all stimulus funds. Killing the train was something he promised, it was a reason he was elected. The majority of our state does not want to start paying 7.5 million (7.5 mil a year on the budget; would literally require at least $750,000 in new tax revenue to operate) a year to maintain a railroad from Madison to Milwaukee, a 50 minute drive. People in Milwaukee do not commute to Madison for work. This would benefit no one. If Obama wants a nationwide highspeed rail, he can pay for it, build it, and maintain it.

        Scott Walker solved a 3.6 Billion budget deficit in Wisconsin. We can talk about highspeed rails in a few years. It’s time to get on track and stay on track, not take risks that might not pay off.

        The numbers the guy uses in 1 are all off as well. Scott walker didn’t have a 143 Million dollar hole in his budget, though bring a budget from a 3.6 billion dollar deficit to a 143 million dollar deficit is impressive all on it’s own.

        He completely balanced it, revised projections months after it was balanced projected a 25 million dollar shortfall… still a hell of an improvement from 3.6 billion dollars in the hole. Wisconsin was awarded 140 million for the mortgages. Walker did not “raid” the funds from homeowners. Wisconsin itself recieved 36.1 million dollars to give the state relief from the effect the mortgage collapse had on the state. he used 25 of it to plug the anticipated shortfall, but that was based on a projection and we don’t even know if it will come to pass. the rest of the 11 million the state was awarded to aid in recovery he is giving to communities and individuals affected by the mortgage crisis, in addition to the 104 million awarded directly to citizens for aid as part of the 29 state, 26 billion dollar federal mortgage bailout.

        My response to number 1: The train is even more stupid now than it was 3 years ago. And 3 years ago we had two candidates, one who promised us a train, and one who promised they wouldn’t stand for that sort of bullshit. The state already decided once based on a train, and now that it is too fucking late for a train, I hardly think that’s a reason to vote against him. You wanted a train you needed to vote for Barrett the first time. Too late for train now.

        Conservative response to 2: Innocent until proven guilty. Won’t be swaying one vote with your speculative fearmongering. See you might value your lattes and your movie’s we enjoy our country and the constitution. He’s innocent until he’s not.

        Conservative response to 3: Cattle herding expert managing deer herds. Not going to sway one vote away from our beloved train killing saviour. Also, I don’t give a shit if he got punched in the face to interrupt some sort of domestic dispute. So have I, and despite being a great person, I probably would be a pretty shitty governor.

      • Arlyn,

        I never claimed to be a conservative.

        That doesn’t mean I can’t make a conservative case. I can make a libertarian case, a liberal case, a socialist case… there are so many cases I could make against the Walker administration.

        I chose to try and state a conservative case, because that’s the case that most needs making.

        First off, the rail was not simply Madison to Milwaukee. It was part of a network. It would have connected us economically to Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis, and the wider midwest. It’s a long overdue infrastructure upgrade that they’ve long-since made in the other developed economies in the world.

        I’m getting off the track. My argument wasn’t in favor of the train. (Although I am in favor of the train, and could write volumes about why. Another post, another time.) My argument was that in killing it in the bluntest and most ideological way possible, Walker cost us more money than we could recoup in 20 years of maintenance savings.

        As to your next point, Scott Walker balanced the budget.

        Jim Doyle balanced the budget. All Wisconsin Governors balance the budget. They have to. It’s in the State Constitution.

        Doyle’s last budget had a $5.4 billion dollar shortfall. Doyle balanced the budget. (I worked for the state for awhile under the Doyle administration. It was no picnic. I was not getting fat on the taxpayer’s dime, and I’m not a fan of the man. In another year, I might have written “A Liberal Case Against Jim Doyle”. )

        My point is that Scott Walker did what all WI Governors do. He campaigned against the accounting trickery of his predecessor, and then came in and used the exact same duct tape, chicken wire, smoke, and mirrors to balance the budget. It’s not the heroic, historic feat you make it out to be.

        Can you cite a source for the 36.1 million dollar number you used for the homeowner’s fund? I’m not saying it’s inaccurate. I’m saying I can’t find it. If the original post is wrong on a point of fact, I want to go in and correct it.

        As to Walker’s guilt, “innocent until proven guilty” is a legal term. It applies to juries. My appeal to you is as a voter. There is a stench of corruption around Scott Walker’s administration. You can’t convict him of a crime because of a stench. But you can withhold your vote. I’d like to think the standard for our chief executive is higher than our standard for skating past a conviction.

        You accuse me of not valuing the Constitution.

        I want you to know that I take the Constitution very seriously. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be spending my free time doing this. What I presented here was not my “best” case for recalling Scott Walker. This was the case that I thought would best appeal to a voting Republican.

        My best case is that the man has shown a willingness to suppress the votes of those who disagree with him. In an era where big money is required to compete in any election, he’s financially crippled the only counterweight to corporate donors. In short, he has not just made bad policy decisions. He’s making war on the foundations of Democracy itself.

        That, above all else, is why I’ve thrown myself into the fight to oppose Scott Walker. Walker’s dream of a one-party state, entirely supported by pay-to-play corporate donors, is the exact opposite of what our Founders envisioned when they wrote the Constitution. It’s the exact opposite of what Lincoln envisioned when he spoke of a “new birth of freedom” coming out of the carnage at Gettysburg.

        I take my Constitution very seriously, indeed. You do, too. I appreciate that.

        Arlyn, thank you for taking the time to respond, and I hope you will consider withholding your vote from Scott Walker on Tuesday.

        Doug

      • Arlyn, THANK YOU for bringing the voice of truth and reason to this ridiculousness. Very well said on all points!

      • Arlyn, by not wanting to pay the $7.5 mil/year operating costs, Walker wound up costing the state $150 mil in repair costs, because the federal grant money would have covered that. That was not what was best for Wisconsin — plain & simple. He campaigned on no train, and that hurt Wisconsin, because we’re now financially on the hook for it as Doug said. How is that good?

        You said that people don’t go from Milwaukee to Madison to work, but people do go from Madison to Milwaukee to work. Maybe more people would go both ways to work more often if there was a high-speed rail line, or between Madison & Chicago for that matter. The rail line also would have created jobs, saved people money on gas, and lowered pollution. Are these bad things considering the point made earlier?

        You and Walker act like there’s some sort of honor in rejecting stimulus money that comes from the Obama administration, and it sounds more like stubborn pride to me. In Walker’s case, he lied and said the stimulus money would be better spent on roads and bridges, so that the voters wouldn’t think that Wisconsin was turning down a $810 mil gift. That wasn’t an option, and he knew it. The money just went somewhere else and benefited other states.

        Walker campaigned on stopping the train, and despite all the money and time that had already been invested into it, he came through on his promise. Following through on a promise, even when you realize that it will be a mistake, does not make one honorable. People with integrity can admit when they’ve made a mistake, but Walker just doesn’t value mass transit. He didn’t as Milwaukee county executive, and he doesn’t as governor. Ultra rich people don’t use mass transit. Plus, mass transit sounds too much like working together (i.e., Communism) and he likes the individualism of personal vehicles, not to mention that he had a lot of road contractors as campaign donors for the 2010 election.

    • Indeed sir, please point out the *bigoted parts and the lies and distortions… or did you not point them out because there aren’t any? Just because you don’t like the truth, doesn’t make it false, nor will calling the truth false make it so.

    • Shane, if you can back up your opinion, then please do. Your response is a show of pure ignorance (literally speaking), and typical of the staunch Walker supporter. The information provided by Doug is factual and can be very easily fact checked, but I’ll bet you won’t even make that little bit of effort. It’s been my experience that those who are pro-Walker, more often than not, refuse to even entertain the idea that they, themselves, may be wrong, and so they won’t take that risk. Sadly, a common trait among Conservatives and Republicans.

    • Lets start with the trains, if they were left up to the private sector then the ones online would not be in disrepair, why should some one in the North be responsible for something they would never use? Walker did the right thing for returning confiscated fiat currency back to the Federal Overlords that have stolen it from other States. Time to get back to the Gold Standard and the Constitution. I know there would be some troubles also in the private sector, but that can be remedied through the people.
      As for his committee personel using public time to campaign, they are going to prison and if Walker is found to be guilty then I am sure he will get sent their also, so lets wait and see.
      The deer czar, well i am not too fond of him either, but WE THE PEOPLE can call our Mayors and have them forward our information and try to resolve this issue.
      This recall has cost Wisconsinites enough money to pay quit a few bills, like putting that money in to Education.
      If any of you listened to the debates between Walker and Barret, then you will know that Barrett has NO plans to fis anything. He just talks in circles and that gave me a headache.
      So with that said, I am going to hopefully let Walker finish his term and see if he can fix what he has messed up. Why continue down the same old path that the last administration left us???

      • Donald,

        The Gold Standard? Really?

        We’re already in a state of economic feudalism, where the wealthy have nearly everything, and we’re fighting for the crumbs.

        The one tool we 99%ers have is innovation. I believe in well-regulated capitalism. If I come up with a lucrative idea, I can get the funds to build it and I can go into business for myself. I go to the bank. I get a loan in the form of imaginary paper which is tied to a reserve of other imaginary paper. Out of that, I can create wealth. I can hire people. I can provide a valuable good or service.

        What happens when all the wealth is in the form of an extracted metal?

        I want to start a business. I go to the bank. I ask for a loan. I can’t get one, because the gold is finite, and the Kardashians have it.

        As for the train, Wisconsinites get back 86 cents worth of services for every dollar we spend in federal taxes. We’re subsidizing the red states. As a taxpayer, I’d like to see my dollar invested in infrastructure projects that create jobs, wealth, and opportunity here in Wisconsin.

    • That’s hilarious, I thought you were talking about our current governor, not the author of this piece, particularly your second sentence. You are right though…those lies do divide the state.

  8. I was just about to write how nice it was to read something written without any kind of attacks against anyone and that the replies thus far were civil as well. I guess that there is always going to be one in the crowd. Anyway, I will share this and see how far it goes. I don’t expect any civil replies. We have been pitted against each other and I don’t think we can ever go back. And as hard as this has been on us monetarily, the anger, threats and hatred have been worse. That is what is sad.

  9. Dear sir I’m afraid the state of politics that distresses you so will not be ending anytime soon. The most likely political scenario is that Walker will retain the governorship with the Democrats taking control of the Senate, and regardless of the outcome a bitter political divide will continue to exist.

    With people I respect or whose association I truly value I debate in a calm reasoned manner or not at all.

    Unfortunately under no circumstances can I or will I ever accept certain actions taken by the Republicans over the course of the last year. Democracy works on only one sacred principle: that the people are free to express their beliefs and vote. Any action taken restricting people’s right to vote, especially when lacking credible evidence of significant vote fraud, is unacceptable in a constitutional republic. The pay to protest legislation is likewise as egregious and disgusting.

    Nor will I accept the vilification of my neighbors. The state workers I personally know are teachers and nurses. Decent people living a middle class lifestyle that is slipping out of the hands of most Americans. I do not appreciate how they have been made a political target, and the lies spread by the Republican party insult my intelligence. Unions have their flaws, but they are not the all powerful stock malignant nemesis the Republicans use them as. They simply don’t have the monetary power to compete for political influence with corporate donors. Just contrast the money raise by Walker and Barret, you will see there is no comparison. (Not to mention the fact that the belief that shrinking the middle class in a consumer oriented free market economy is a fundamentally flawed idea. If people do not have the money to purchase goods and services, there will be less demand and therefore less need to employ people.) My neighbors live marginally better than I do and I do not envy them for it. The suffering of others does not make me greater as an individual.

    While I have no fondness for the Democrats, given the nature of certain anti-civil liberties legislation recently passed at the Federal level, I feel nothing but contempt for the Republican party.

    Republican attempts to deny people the right to vote, suppress dissenting voices and vilification of the largely powerless people around me who are just trying to making a living have infused me with a bitter zeal. These things are never acceptable. All I have is my voice and my thoughts. I may not be able to change the world around me but I will never yield to it.

  10. By the way I strongly despise Emanuel in Chicago. Wherever these types of people rear their heads they are to be viewed with nothing but contempt regardless of affiliation.

  11. Thank you for this well-written blog; I’ve shared it on FB.

    Now, as for the conservatives who badly need to read your blog? I don’t know how to make them come here and read. I do know that at least some of them can be reached; there are conservatives out there who cannot stand Scott Walker or Rebecca Kleefisch or any of the R legislators excepting Dale Schultz and the 4 Assembly members who voted “no” on Act 10. You’d never know it to hear Scott Walker and his big money allies, but there really are Republicans who cannot stand Scott Walker and want him out every bit as much as I do (an Independent, now allied with the Wisconsin Ds) and you do.

    This whole issue of the “Deer Czar,” though, is a new low even for Scott Walker, and underscores just how little Scott Walker cares about anyone excepting himself and the out-of-state billionaires he represents.

  12. Why would taxpayers be on the hook for repairing a private business’ lines? Conservatives want no part of corporate welfare.

    The John Doe innuendo is getting beyond absurd. First of all, this investigation has been going on for over two years. If Scott Walker were a crook, you’d think that the DA would have been able to find something to prove that he was a crook sometime in the TWO FREAKING YEARS he’s had to investigate this. And why wasn’t it an issue in the 2010 election? Second, Tom Barrett’s wife did the exact same thing that Walker staffers did! If you have a problem with Walker because of this, you damn well better have a problem with Barrett too.

    And let’s not lose sight of what actually happened. We’re talking about a few people sending emails and posting blog comments. Yes, I’m serious…that’s all it is. What’s next, are we going to throw people out of office for retweeting on state time? Where are the John Doe investigations of all of the Democrat legislators who have anti-Walker signs hanging in their office windows at the Capitol? How about all of the teachers who sent out recall-related emails from work computers over the past year? Or the Kenosha County Democratic Party chair who organized recall events from her county office? Was Barrett on state time during the police memorial ceremony that he blew off for a campaign event? You can cling to your lone counterexample all you want, but there’s clearly a double-standard here – just another addition to the growing list of “it’s only ok when Democrats to it”.

    This issue has been blown so unbelievably far out of proportion, and only because Tom Barrett doesn’t have anything else to talk about. Walker could put an end to this rather easily by pointing out Barrett’s blatant hypocrisy, but he’s too nice of a guy to bring his opponent’s family into this, and Barrett knows it. Instead, Barrett is going to continue beating around the bush, but not make any actual accusations because he knows they would be defamatory.

    Oh yeah, Walker requested the investigation of Tim Russell. Don’t even go there.

    As far as Barrett being a good guy – I used to feel that way too, but not anymore. The campaign he’s running feels like Mark Neumann all over again. He’s lying about the jobs numbers. He’s attempting to portray Walker as a criminal when there’s no evidence of that at all. He’s running in a recall election triggered by legislation that he had used and benefit from. It’s dishonest, hypocritical, and opportunistic.

    And you know what? Even if I hated Walker, I still don’t think I could vote for Barrett, for one reason – he has no platform. Seriously, go to his website and find one spot where he lays out what he’s going to do as governor. His “Issues” pages are full of vague anecdotes and Walker bashing, nowhere does he ever tell us where he stands on anything. Tom Barrett hasn’t presented one single proposal for Wisconsin. What’s his vision for the state? How is he going to balance the budget? What is his tax plan? What is he going to do about promoting job growth? He has no plan! I can’t even comprehend why anybody would even take someone like that seriously as a candidate, let alone vote for him. These are real, serious issues, and they’re a hell of a lot more important than whether some office worker posted comments on a blog years ago.

    • One question Colin. And I am genuinely asking this, not trying to be a snot.

      If Walker is so innocent in this whole John Doe investigation, why was the server used (and yes, there was so much of this emailing and coordination they had a dedicated server just for it)–why was this server deliberately hidden in a supply closet? As someone who knows computers, I can tell you a server requires more ventilation than a supply closet receives. They would have needed a ventilation unit in there with it.

      If this was so innocent, why did they not have the server for running his campaign in the same location as the rest of the servers for his office?

      One server could more than handle basic office use by 10 – 15 people. Even intensive office use. We’re not talking about complicated mathematical engineering software here. Word, Excel, Database, Powerpoint, maybe some phone software a select few supervisors could access, etc. So why did they need a second hidden server to accomplish all of this, if they were convinced nothing was wrong with it?

      And please don’t use the line that because Walker (supposedly) did not know, he is not responsible. In public or private office, if you are the elected official or CEO, you are responsible for what your people do, and the policies and procedures you put in place to monitor what they do. If he truly did not know what they were doing, it suggests IMHO that he is incompetent.

      As far as I can figure, he is either complicit in these felonies, or felonies were being conducted right under his nose. Neither recommends him IMHO.

  13. Colin,
    I DO hate Walker as a Governor, but what you say in your last paragraph is how I (a liberal) feel as well. I am so upset that even in the debate Barrett never answered one question with any plans of his own – just Walker bashing. Frankly, I think Walker has done so much damage and has such terrible plans, that I will be voting for Barrett, but I sure don’t want him – he’s just the lesser of the evils. Democrats had an opportunity to choose someone with a plan, a good plan, but they went for the big name instead. I am almost as sickened by Barrett’s campaign as by Walker, but at least it’s just mudslinging at one person, not destroying multiple lives and freedoms of many people like Walker is doing with the public sector union busting, deer czar, cancelling railway, not supporting good public/community programs with the tax base, etc.

  14. Colin, your view on these issues is more accurate, intelligent, and honest than any of the others. My hat is off to you. Hopefully reason will trump emotion and Walker will remain in office.
    Peter S. from Kenosha.

  15. Funny the people of wisconsin voted Walker in for saying things he was going to do. IT DID THEM and then you guys don’t like it. so sad so bad.
    I hear the former governor took pension money from retired wis workers and WALKER GAVE IT BACK. BUT THAT STILL DIDN’T MAKE YOU GUYS HAPPY. I hear both sides of this issue because like you said familys are both side of this issue of Walker being governor.
    I didn’t realize how radical the state of Wisconsin was. How shameful to let people into the state house and do so much damage.
    I was raised in Il and we had our own greed. I always think of Wisconsin as a peaceful place where the farmers are, but not anymore. I see the damage the radicals have done to the state.
    I like people who say one thing and then do it.

    • First off, Walker never campaigned on taking away the unions’ collective bargaining rights. Never. Never said a word about it.

      It’s hard to claim that he campaigned on this issue, when he himself referred to Act 10 in secret as “dropping the bomb”.

      Secondly, nothing makes me angrier than when people repeat the lie that the protesters trashed the Capitol building. I was there. I was there for days on end. I slept on the marble floor.

      I can’t tell you how much emphasis was put on treating the building with care, and the cleaning crew with respect. All of us knew that trashing the building would do nothing but hurt our cause. We kept it clean. We went ahead of the cleaning crews and had everyone pick up their bedrolls so the crew would have an easier time of it.

      One of my favorite memories of the protests is clearing the ground floor rotunda so one of the custodians could ride around on the floor waxing machine. We all stood on the 2nd floor, watching her go around in circles and cheered her on. That’s what the 2011 protests were about. Respect, and treating everyone’s labor with dignity.

      Anyone who tells you that the protesters trashed the Capitol is a liar.

      http://blog.preservationnation.org/2011/03/02/demonstrators-treating-historic-wisconsin-state-capitol-with-care-and-respect/

      • Actually, if you look at what Walker has said and done in his past, whether during a campaign or not, you very clearly see that he DID have a plan to “have it out for” unions. I am a teacher and moderate-conservative who does not want Walker out of office because I knew what he wanted and why he wanted it. It was not a surprise to me (nor did I let my emotions decide how I felt about his decisions, but instead, logic) and if people had really listened they would have heard it, too. We have gotten so good at only listening to the mud-slinging that politicians do instead of challenging them to answer the real questions. Just because some people disagree that this was the right move does NOT make him a monster or a deceiver; generally, we were just not paying attention. Having the right (and responsibility) to vote in this country means WORK; answers and truth are not just handed out, unfortunately.

        If you would like me to “substantiate my claims,” feel free to go look through what you can find of his past speeches, policies, etc. I love when people say “PROVE IT!” but won’t do the work themselves to disprove it. I know what I know from my research and my word isn’t going to change your mind. If you’d like to see whether I’m right or wrong, then go see for yourself.

      • Dear Exhausted,
        When people are asking you to substantiate your claims, it means they are asking you to give them a counter example. It does not mean that they haven’t done any research themselves. In fact, they have probably done loads thinking and inquiry and have come up with the opposite point of view. It’s a nice way of saying: “Please, prove me wrong because I want the truth, regardless of proving my own side of the argument.” They are asking you to provide evidence. Asking the person your debating to do the “work” would be similar to a defense lawyer saying “I dunno, you tell me why we shouldn’t lock this guy up.” to the prosecution. Please show us your information that you are basing your beliefs on.
        Thanks,
        -Seeker of Truth and Justice

  16. I wouldtkt spend money tram either…..what a waste of money. If you sir believe that is good spending for the state taxpayers, you sir are part of the problem. I am actually thinkming we can take some of the money we will save from the state unions screwing the taxpayers for so many years and maybe put that towards a train. Do you really think it is ok for the state unions to charge the taxpayers twice the money for a policy for state workers than what private sectors charge for the same policy? Do you really believe we should hand out and not hand up? If so you should continue to sip your latte and watch subtitled movies….maybe you can find a way to collect some state or federal money to do that.

    If Governer Walker is guilty of any crimes it will come forth. He will be charged and you can all say I told you so…until then, don’t we live in America?? A land where you are innocent until PROVEN guilty. I believe we do and it should be left to that.

    Last but not least you openly admit you are not an outdoorsman…well let me speak on behalf of all those in Wisconsin who cherish this long standing past time. The DNR are idiots….they are appointed fools who have no interest in doing what is right by the taxpayers and the public. Adoctor James Kroll was brought in because we hunters were tired of shouting our opinions only to purposely not be heard. The DNR has not and will not do what the taxpaying outdoorsman/women of Wisconsin want because they figure we know nothing when the truth is we spend more time afield than all DNR employees combined. We know what the herds are like…we know where the heards are suffering. I mean really, look how long it took to get the culling law changed in Wisconsin….all because the DNR did not want the big bass tournament trails here. Bass were not a priority to them….well imagine this, culling law got changed and now BASS is not only coming to LaCrosse to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the community and those that suround it, but also Green Bay. They too will see the economic benefits these professional tournaments bring to the towns they tour. I am thankfull that someone was intellegent enough to put the hands back into the power of the people by bringing in a world renowned deer biologists to make our problems known.

    • My apoligies on the several typos….my thumbs are a little large for the keyboard on this phone. But you get the point….Barrett is Bad….Walker is the man. Scott Walker for President!!! 🙂

    • “Do you really think it is ok for the state unions to charge the taxpayers twice the money for a policy for state workers than what private sectors charge for the same policy?”

      What ‘policy’ are we talking about? And how exactly are unions ‘charging’ taxpayers (union members are taxpayers as well, by the way) *twice*? Do you get some kind of line item on your tax bill that says ‘union benefits’?

      Fairness and our personal perceptions of what one considers *fair* is where I struggle with much of our current state of affairs. A story has been told suggesting that unions get an unfair share. Another being told is that the rich and corporations are getting more than what they need. In a financial time when neighbors should be helping hold each other up, we’re instead spending time pointing fingers at each other screaming, “You have something that I don’t have!”

      Personally I think the governor had a huge opportunity to work with all sides to come together on a solution to state budget problems. Winning by 2-3% points in the general election was hardly a state mandate that he could do whatever he wanted. As with any election cycle, the losing side expects there’ll be issues they won’t agree with, but I think we all accept too that its part of the democratic process. The governor had a huge chance to be a genuine leader, but instead bowed to special interests all across the board, demonstrating why we *cannot* have such an unbalanced power shift. That alone is why Walker will not get my vote.

      Lastly, I don’t hunt and I suck as a fisherman, but we camp — a lot. I’ve criss-crossed over a fair portion of the eastern United States and I every time I marvel at how awesome the WI state parks are by comparison. Managing our state resources goes far beyond what you can nab out of nature to mount on a board that your grandkids will have to sort out what to do with after you’re gone. If the changes implemented in the culling law is based on valid data with minimal impact to our state’s natural resources and has some genuine benefit, then I agree, the DNR should implement. I had to lookup a little info to learn more, http://www.bassmaster.com/news/new-law-allows-culling-wisconsin

      …but just because a myriad of other states have allowed it isn’t reason enough from my perspective to allow it. Wisconsin is great because we DO hold our natural resources in extremely high regard. That’s why, in the article, people know “… how great your fishing is”. Every time we make allowances because the impact is viewed as minimal…it eats away at the whole. And then gradually, people start going elsewhere because what we have to offer is less and less.

    • First off, thanks for your reply. I worked for the state of Wisconsin from 2000 – 2007. Thompson – Doyle. I got two raises in all that time. The benefits were great, but I couldn’t eat them and had to leave. If you’ll look around, I think you’ll see that the teachers and state employees are not living high on the hog.

      Even if you’re not in a union, you benefit from what unions do in keeping wages and benefits high. If your neighbor’s company/agency pays a higher wage than yours, then you have a credible threat to take your labor elsewhere. It creates economic pressure for everyone to make better wages. According to Moody’s, corporate America is sitting on 1.24 Trillion in cash, most of it overseas. Think that could put a dent in the recession if it were paid out in the form of wages?

      Notice I didn’t say “hand out”. I said “wages”.

      As to Walker’s guilt, “innocent until proven guilty” is a legal term. It applies to juries. My appeal to you is as a voter. There is a stench of corruption around Scott Walker’s administration. You can’t convict him of a crime because of a stench. But you can withhold your vote. I’d like to think the standard for our chief executive is higher than our standard for skating past a conviction.

      As for the culling law, I’ll admit I don’t know what that is. Can you point me to some good reading material? I’ll gladly read anything you’ve got about the DNR. Preferably something fact-based, rather than editorials. (Although I’ll read those, too.)

      As for Dr. Kroll, my point was that he may be a biologist, but he’s also a zealot for privatization of public lands.

      Thanks again for your comment.

  17. Not really a conservative case against Scott Walker. There shouldn’t be a recall for disagreeing with public policy. If he is found to have violated the law he should face the punishment and a new vote for Governor should take place. However, it didn’t happen when he was Governor so I don’t know how that would legally play itself out. But, the whole process we are in stems from disagreements over public policy. Wait until the normal election cycle to vote against him if that is what you want. Finally, I find it almost idiotic for someone to say we should vote for Barrett because he is a good man for helping someone out and putting himself in danger. What does that have to do with public policy at all. Now, I say almost idiotic because some people would see that kind of add use it as their basis to vote for Barrett without understanding anything about the real issues.

    • What about voting Scott Walker out in order to retain checks and balances in our government? If one party controls an entire state – a state so evenly (statistically) divided on politics – I believe bad things start to happen. Our government was designed to think things through slowly, deliberate, compromise, and then pass a law. It was not designed to be a single party system. Isn’t it dangerous when half a population has no voice in either executive, legislative, judicial branches of government? It’s a lot harder to bribe two parties than just one.

      Also, I worry about the executive power grabs Walker has made to consolidate power in to the executive branch as well as the extensive abuses the GOP have made against open government law. (Do you really think it’s a good idea to allow loaded guns into the legislature but not video cameras?) Walker represents Big Government at it’s worse. Democrats would probably do similar things if they had complete control of the state, but we should do what we can to restore some balance and slow down the process of our law.

      • NO mode of transportation – and that includes highways – is profitable. Transportation is heavily subsidized (as it should be, since it’s essential to the economy). Perhaps you haven’t noticed…gas prices are high and getting higher, and we’re nearly out of oil, and the oil that remains becomes increasingly expensive to extract (and by “expensive” I also mean: using more oil-based resources, including fuel, *to* extract).

        Walker was foolish here – and Doyle was more foolish, to give in to Walker before Walker even took office.

      • The only good thing about either party controlling the whole thing is that something will be tried out. Of it is always split, you are almost always at an impasse on anything important and you end up with nothing getting accomplished.

      • Jeff -> ???
        Shawn -> The whole idea with Democracy was that only the ideas that everyone agreed on should be tried, otherwise nothing should happen – yes, nothing. Wisconsin wasn’t in a desperate situation financially to begin with, the deficit was comparatively well off when compared other states in the Union. If anyone claims to be conservative in the fiscal sense, it makes more sense for a government to do less than do more, i.e. not have one party control an entire state. That’s when waste and corruption breed in either party.

  18. Good letter, but you left out what I think is the most compelling argument for ALL Americans, left or right: the Walker Republicans are fully on board with the corporatization of government. Walker could have saved the money he needed by hard negotiations with the unions, which he did not even try although everyone knew the unions were ready to cave on health insurance and pension contributions to save jobs. The Walker Republicans destroyed the unions because they were the ONLY organized entities that can raise large amounts of campaign funds to balance the tsunami of corporate funds following the Citizens United decision. Whether you favor the owners or the workers, it is not good for American democracy to have only the owners–unopposed–funding politics.

    But the Walker Republicans have gone beyond merely de-funding the opponents of corporatist politics. They have attacked the voting rights of elders, minoritiies, students, and the poor (those groups do not support corporate-controlled government), closed legislative deliberations to all citizens, both left and right (while allowing corporate lobbyists in); amended campaign finance laws so that voters–all voters, both right and left–will not know which corporations are sponsoring their legislators; redistricted the state in a secret process in a way that disenfranchised areas likely to oppose corporatist politicians…and more. Privatizing the deer herd so that it is controlled by wealthy Texas campaign donors instead of the People of Wisconsin is just a taste of what we let the Walker Republicans complete their corporatist revolution. We’ll have school choice, sure: choose the school run by the California-based corporation or one run by the Nevada-based corporation. Good luck reaching any member of THAT school board. You’ll have your choice of health insurance, sure, but don’t go crying to any regulatory agency when they refuse to pay your claim because you did not submit the correct change-of-address form. If you want your medical bills paid, go fight the global insurance company in court. Want to start a company, you little entrepreneur? Don’t make me laugh. Regulatory agencies won’t be shut down; they’ll be run by global corporations for the purpose of squelching competition. (Bad news, folks: they already are.)

    It’s healthy that Americans are suspicious of a government when we can participate in elections and the law-making process. How will we feel about government when we cannot, when our politicians are controlled not by us but by the owners of out-of-state corporations?

    That’s the case I’d like to make, calmly and clearly, to every naive Walker voter in this state. It’s only a matter of time before they realize who the Walker Republicans are truly working for, and I don’t want to see what happens if they come to that realization only AFTER their options for peaceful change through the electoral process have been taken away.

    • Well said, Karen!

      I didn’t make that case in this post because I didn’t think I could get it over to a Republican voter. Maybe I chickened out.

      You’re right. Walker’s attacks have been at the foundations of Democracy. That should unite us all, left and right. Your comment, and another one elsewhere make me think that I should write up another one of these and make the case that there’s much more at stake here than a partisan victory or defeat.

      Thank you.

  19. Correction: The rail money was returned to Washington by Gov. Doyle based on the belief that Gov-elect Walker would refuse. Walker had expressed an interest in using the money to have high speed rail between Milwaukee and Chicago rather than between Madison and Milwaukee. There were other issues about Spanish trains and replacing more frequent, cheaper, buses with more stops with trains requiring subsidies. The trains would only have saved about 20 minutes per ride between downtowns and taken more time for anyone on the east side of Madison or the west side of Milwaukee.

  20. I cannot talk about the deer hunters issues or the political uses going on in the gov. But I can talk about the high speed train. Walker was right to shut down that mess. When the dems, make a point that he turned down a gift from the Feds, you make it sound like it was a gift. Well, in case you people haven’t noticed, the federal government is broke! They don’t have any money, and for sure, building another money losing train would not help the situation. The only benefit would be to the unions and manufacturers of the trains. I call that a short term benefit.
    Trains simply don’t have enough ridership to be profitable, fast or slow ones. Look at the history of them. Americans are too spread out, and we travel with too much stuff!!! If you did ride a train, when you arrive, you need to be picked up, and taken a usually long way to your destination.
    I lived in Japan, and have traveled on high speed and slow speed trains. Imagine as many people as we have in America, in the state of California or Florida. Now, there is enough density to make a train a good venture. But here, it just becomes a money drain. We’d need to build too many side lines, and stop points which would be like the bridge to nowhere, meaning what’s the use number? We are already supporting many airports with the same outcome, no customers to support it.
    There are closed train depots all over the country, If people were going to use a h.s. train, we would already be using the slow speed trains to maximum effort.

    • “If people were going to use a h.s. train, we would already be using the slow speed trains to maximum effort.”

      Actually, Amtrak is practically at capacity now, and ridership continues to grow. I’ve traveled 3 times this year on the ultimate “slow train,” the Cardinal, twice during during off-peak winter months, and it is full every time on the segment I ride. The Chicago-Milwaukee Hiawathas are packed during the morning and evening commuting rush. The argument that “nobody rides the train” holds water only in the sense that there are (practically) no trains to ride.

      The midwest’s population density is nowhere near Japan’s, but it is roughly comparable to France, which has a robust network of commuter, ordinary inter-city and high-speed services.

      As has already been stated elsewhere, no mode of transportation runs without subsidy. And I share your concern about the money spent supporting small-market airports.

      Walker’s cancellation of the rail project has been shown to be nothing more than a poll-driven campaign gimmick which has cost Wisconsin more than it would have saved.

  21. The recall provision is part of Wisconsin law, and it does not require any particular malfeasance: it requires only that enough voters are pissed off to make it happen.

    It’s called democracy: you don’t like it?

  22. Doug, like everyone else against Scott Walker, you give your reasons to vote against him. My problem is that the only good thing you have to state about Barrett, is that he came to the aid of a little old lady in 2009. That is all the Barrett campaign is about. When he finally spoke about what he planned to do, he simply said……reinstate the union bargaining rights and he will then look into the jobs situation. I ask you……what kind of plan is this. He thinks the unions will get him elected, but he will be wrong. What would he do as governor? Look at Milwaukee and tell me what will happen if the rest of the state falls under the same leadership.

      • He had a chance during the debate to get his message out. There is a big difference between posting words on a website, for your people to come and praise you and speaking your mind in front of people you are trying to sway to your side. I find it comical that any issue that has to do with a job in WI, he thinks can be solved by restoring union rights. Nothing on his website about how much taxes have been raised in the last 8 years.

    • Lets not forget too that Walker was the Milwaukee County Executive for several years before becoming governor. I realize that Milwaukee (the city) is different, but while I’ll admit I don’t know all the details while he served in that role, for Walker to point the finger at Barrett about the city of Milwaukee’s problems…on the surface its like the pot calling the kettle black.

  23. Calling all Greececonsinites. When you continue to spend more than you take in, you go bankrupt. By the way, high speed trains are historically bankrupt endeavors. Now that Walker has given taxpayers a place at the table of labor bargaining, then maybe politicians will stop making promises to entities that can, in turn, hand over power. Welcome, Greececonsinites, to a new world of fiscal responsibility. Oh, and the “conservative” smokescreen is easy to see through.

    • Mr. T. (J.), I need help understanding how ‘taxpayers’ weren’t a the ‘table of labor bargaining’ to begin with? Negotiating parties sit down, they argue, and come out with an agreement. To make it sound like it happens all the time from only one side of the table is to discount the other side’s role in the process.

      Also, I’m not sure you can make the leap that because unions have been dealt a blow to their bargaining power that this somehow equates to stopping politicians from ‘making promises to entities that can…hand over power’. The majority of campaign donations over recent years are coming more so from a smaller and smaller minority that’s not me, its not ‘unions’, (and I feel safe in guessing not you either).

      http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/12/13/the-political-one-percent-of-the-one-percent/

  24. I’m not completely sure my point truly applies across all boundaries, but anyone else notice how easy it is for some to vilify an abstract group of people, like say ‘unions’, or people that we only know through their public face (‘Obama’ or ‘Walker’).

    Given the vitriol at times–regardless of the outcome of the recall election–unless we can see past the hate speech for what it is, ‘hate’, and turn our attention to solving problems …. we’ve all already lost.

    Earlier this morning I had a conversation with my wife about how its next to impossible to be informed of all things so that you can argue a point from all sides. The only way that we’re ever really going to find solutions is to rely on each other for those opposing perspectives and for each other to bring those ideas to the table.

    No one has all the answers and there are no perfect solutions. For that, thanks Baron for putting this out there.

    • Many people grow up in a culture where it’s accepted practice to ‘vilify an abstract group of people.’ You’re either Saved, or not Saved. Chosen, or not Chosen. Godly, or Heathen. The creeping influence of religious fundamentalism into society is disturbing to me (I am a member of a liberal, welcoming congregation). Fundamentalists see themselves as above the law and not bound to respect anything that conflicts with their belief systems (such as government or science).

  25. Doug or anyone else, please help me understand. Did Walker turn down the $810 mil in fed stimulus money simply because the ongoing maintenance costs of the new rail line would have cost the state $7 mil per year? I’m just trying to understand if this was the only financial impact of accepting that stimulus money. Thanks…

  26. Doug, the criminal complaint against Tim Russell, which can be found by googling it, states the total amount stolen from Operation Freedom by Tim Russell is $21,699.85. You listed it as $11,000, and it’s quite a bit more.

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