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As Scott Walker Appears to be Testing Waters, ‘Truth Squad’ Debunks ‘Pants on Fire’ Claims

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker could appeal to both social and fiscal conservatives, making him a candidate to "fear" in the Iowa Caucuses, progressives warn.

West Des Moines, Iowa — Amid growing speculation that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is testing GOP presidential waters in Iowa and elsewhere, progressive activists warned Thursday at a rally here that a Walker presidency would be “terrifying" and disastrous to middle-class families.

Walker hasn’t said he’s a candidate, but his appearance Thursday at a Republican fundraiser in Iowa’s largest county, as well as a handful of appearances in the Northeast and before powerful conservative groups, suggest that he’s at least considering a 2016 run for the Republican presidential nomination.

The “Scott Walker Truth Squad,” as activists from Progress Iowa and One Wisconsin Now call themselves, told reporters at a news conference that Walker has the credentials to win favor among Republican caucus kingmakers, such as The Family Leader, an organization headed by Bob Vander Plaats, and that the political support makes him a candidate to fear.

“I know the dynamics of primary states,” said Wisconsin progressive leader Scot Ross, who said he fears Walker could win “in a Tea Party primary for president.”

Ross was answering a question from David Leonard, a Waukee progressive activist who wondered if Walker, known mostly as the union-busting governor who survived a recall election after 15 months of vitriolic protests, was far enough to the right socially to win Iowa’s caucuses.

Planned Parenthood clinics began closing this year because Walker pushed legislation defunding them and the governor prohibited the state’s attorney general from defending the constitutionality of the domestic partner registry, which gave gay couples hospital visitation rights.

The “terrifying” answer, Progress Iowa leader Matt Sinovic said, is that Walker not only could win the caucuses, as social conservatives Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum did in 2008 and 2012, but he also appeals to fiscal conservatives.

To the union members and other activists for the working class, Walker is something of a political antichrist whose promises for jobs creation never materialized. The state ranks near the bottom of U.S. states in private-sector jobs creation, has the 45th worst wage growth rate and had the 50th worst rate in the nation for short-term jobs growth creation.

That’s an example of Walker’s “pants on fire” claims about helping the middle class, Ross said.

He also criticized Walker for what he called putting his presidential aspirations ahead of his state’s interests.

“Wisconsin is in dire economic straits and we need a governor in our state full-time doing his job instead of traveling the country sucking up to millionaires and billionaires so he can get his next job,” he said.

Walker was “Tea Party Before There Was a Tea Party”

Walker, 45, was ostensibly in Iowa to pay back a political favor to Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who held a fundraiser for Walker during his 2012 recall election. Walker won that race and became the first governor ever to survive a recall race, and by a larger margin in 2010 when he was elected to his first term.

In the national spotlight for 15 months because of the fray, Walker could be a candidate with the legs to run the distance. Cameron Sutton, an organizer of one of the political fundraisers Walker attended Thursday, told the Des Moines Register that if he were a betting man, he would put Walker “on a very short list of people that run.

With his appeal to Tea Party activists, Walker could have an edge in the Iowa Caucuses, where the most conservative factions of Republicans have great sway. Mordecai Lee, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, told the Register that Walker is “a talk-radio Republican,” in that he’s both highly ideological and uninterested in moderation or compromise.

“Walker was Tea Party before there was a Tea Party,” Lee said.

At Thursday’s rally in West Des Moines, One Wisconsin Now’s Ross called Walker “a shining example of the polarization of the current political process.”

Walker also appeals to social conservatives on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, though he’s more likely to focus on getting government out of the way of businesses and making it easier for them to bring jobs to the state.

Walker can even claim to be an Iowan, since he lived in a tiny northeast Iowa town, Plainfield, as a boy. 

Richard Head May 24, 2013 at 12:45 PM
"a Walker presidency would be “terrifying" and disastrous to middle-class families." In this case "middle class families" = government employees who are dependent upon income and property tax receipts for their wages and benefits.
yomammy May 24, 2013 at 01:14 PM
GW Bush 2016......yeaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (waiting for libs to start frothing at mouth...)
Eric May 24, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Who wrote this article the DNC?
Bren May 24, 2013 at 05:12 PM
'“Walker was Tea Party before there was a Tea Party,” Lee said.' This is true. Walker joined ALEC in the early 1990s and submitted their cookie cutter bills as a state Representative. The Tea Party as we now know was launched c. 2009 by the Koch brothers et al using the nether right-wing fringe of the GOP and with a spare-no-expense cross-country PR rollout. John Birch Society on steroids. (Here's a link to an interesting article about the Tea Party personality profile: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2011/08/17/new-data-tea-party-is-authoritarian-not-libertarian/#.UZ-eSLXVDMI) The roots/tentacles of what is packaged today as the "Tea Party" stretches back decades, as far back as the late 1920s and early 1930s with Fred Koch and the Stalinist regime.
Steve ® May 24, 2013 at 07:36 PM
i like turtles
Mr Lundt May 24, 2013 at 09:03 PM
I like Walker. He is not presidential. Every man needs to know his limitations. His limitations are that the leading competition is also from Wisconsin.
GD Freethinker May 24, 2013 at 09:10 PM
President H. Clinton is in your future. Can't wait.
$$andSense May 25, 2013 at 12:23 AM
So what does that make you Head? Some "upper class" snob that lives on an inheritance that has no use for working people? Please share with all of us so we can better understand your profound wisdom! Thank you!
$$andSense May 25, 2013 at 12:35 AM
No Head, let's go one step more. Like every elected official determining your taxed financial future with "property tax receipts for their wages and benefits". Yep, they live on the public dole too. Yes, they get a living wage, beneftis and pension too. You, I and everyone that holds an honest job pays for it. How does that settle with your thought process? Floating a dems vs a pubs livlihood makes a difference to you? Again, please share your wisdom!
$$andSense May 25, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Lundt, you are correct. He is not presidential. He is evangelical. Rent the movie "Elmer Gantry" based on the Sinclair Lewis novel sometime and you will see a lot of parallels. I voted for Walker for the original "legal election" . Never touched the recall garbage.That would have been like eating from the trash can what you threw away the week before.
deer hunter May 25, 2013 at 01:59 AM
can you say Ryan/ Walker ? I know you can...
$$andSense May 25, 2013 at 12:33 PM
Ryan maybe. Walker no. Walksters WI legacy to date now transcends his future political aspirations. What is done is done. Remember the ACT 10 demonstrations were national news. It could have been handled a lot more tactfully rather than just ramming it down a dissenters throat. East and west coast states which carry a lot of voting clout will remember that and he will be viewed as a pariah. That is my prediction.
SAM May 25, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Wisconsin is "For Sale." Balance the books in time to "look good" for Iowa and then get out of town as we all pay many times more to lease our roads, power plants, prisons, university buildings (built by student funds), perhaps even the Capitol building. He'll be long gone when the result of his destruction of our State is in place. We should all be very afraid and hope to be able to adjust by moving to Minnesota!
TOM May 25, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Ya better check it might of been a wet one
$$andSense May 25, 2013 at 05:06 PM
SAM Are the books really balanced? Do any of us know for sure? Accountants can make numbers do dances. My state income tax went up this year though I took a significant cut in pay last year. My wife and I have a very good accountant that prepares our returns and made it very clear that the state budget is not helping us as residents that much. So who is telling the truth here? The politicians and their mouth pieces? The media (no, they just reguritate the politicians word bytes).
SAM May 25, 2013 at 05:30 PM
Here's a link: This includes the new "authority" to sell anything--roads, electrical/heating plants, prisons, dormitories, other school buildings, even the State Capitol! Please tell your friends/family/neighbors. Most people do not know about this craziness that is getting place "under the radar." Even though being born and raised in Wisconsin, we need to look carefully at Minnesota as a hopeful place to escape to. Link: http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/legislators-back-broad-scott-walker-authority-to-sell-state-property-b9915418z1.html Proceeds from sales of any state properties would be used first to pay off any remaining debt on the properties that were sold and costs affiliated with the sales. Any leftover money would be used to chip away at other debt — $8 billion in all.
scot May 25, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Ah, the smell of Greg!
scot May 25, 2013 at 06:10 PM
War Monger
scot May 25, 2013 at 06:11 PM
Can you say a"Dump and a Lump?
scot May 25, 2013 at 06:12 PM
Dick Head!
$$andSense May 25, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Sell it all! Who cares anymore! The state parks would bring a handsome sum from developers! Especially the waterfront property! I say we just do it like some sh--t bum that just won the lottery, drank it away, and move on. Yessir. This is the way to go! Let's raid the pension fund too! He can do that if the legislature would give him the powers to do so. The stewardship fund is swimming in cash. Let's go for that too. I cannot believe the man I voted for is taking the state of WI down faster than the Edmund Fitzgerald. Even Doyle did not attempt that.
David Tatarowicz May 25, 2013 at 08:22 PM
@Bob I agree with your assessment as to Dems getting what they wanted, Hard and Fast, and also despite the bump it gave Walker in the short term, for the long term there is no chance he will get very far on the National Scene. I still believe the Recall was the right thing to do at the time --- it didn't work as many wanted, but that can be argued that the Dems and the Unions both and severally could screw up a one car funeral! It was a legitimate exercising or our rights in the way our democracy is set up in this state --- and as much as it did give a short term bump to Walker, it has not all played out yet, and I think the elections in the next two years will be the long term payoff for those who are against the dramatic changes of Walker and Company.
David Tatarowicz May 25, 2013 at 08:30 PM
@DH I would love to say Ryan/Walker ............... Ryan has shown that the only reason the Reps look to him for any guidance on economics, is that he is one of the few who will give any details about their plans. But willing to put plans out doesn't mean he understands what he is talking about, and he is not taken seriously by real economists --- and after all his 180's running for VP, he is not taken seriously by most anyone. Walker is a non-starter, but in my opinion, Ryan is toxic --- about the only person he could beat in an election would be Sarah Palin.
David Tatarowicz May 25, 2013 at 08:34 PM
@$$ ......... It does make one wonder what a balanced budget really is ? a) Borrowing a Billion Dollars for road construction --- kicking the can down the road ! b) Diverting Foreclosure Money into the General Fund ! And yes -- Doyle did it too --- that tobacco money came in very handy for everything except the reason that it was paid ....... they ALL do it to some extent, and they are ALL wrong when they do.
David Tatarowicz May 25, 2013 at 08:37 PM
@$$ The worst part may be not the selling of Wisconsin --- but his Selling Out of Milwaukee County and City --- as he stands on the north - south line dividing Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, and bows to the west, with a mistletoe on his coattail !!!!
deer hunter May 25, 2013 at 09:06 PM
You mean like B.O. rammed the mostly unwanted and unjustly Health care reform down the nations throat. The true cost only of which will be seen when it's too late.
Bob McBride May 25, 2013 at 09:07 PM
David, If people don't like his policies and the results he's gotten as governor, he won't be reelected That's the way it always works and always has, without the necessity of reaffirming the election with another election halfway through the initial term. The recall was a failure. An expensive failure. There's really no other way to logically look at it. It didn't remove Walker from office, it didn't change the balance of power in Madison. All it did was waste a lot of time and money. And catapult Walker into the national spotlight. The elections in the next two years will play out on their own. The recalls will have had no effect on them, one way or the other. Based on the stated reasons for having a recall provision in this state, they're not supposed to, anyways.
David Tatarowicz May 25, 2013 at 10:29 PM
@DH The Republicans have tried 37 times to repeal Obama Care and it is still with us. I have seen reports that Health Care Costs are "dropping" as a result of some of the provisions in Obamacare --- and even my good Republican and Conservative friends who were all against it at first, are now starting to find that when they take their eyes off the forest and look at the trees, they like the majority of it. I will agree that the jury is still out on how it will all shake out -- but as it is becoming implemented, despite Walker and Company refusing to take control of it in Wisconsin --- it appears to be saving money and gaining more and more support. Almost every doctor and nurse and health care professional I have talked with,like Obamacare and would like (as I do) to see full National Health Care come into being. The Big Corporations would love nothing better --- it would enable them to be more competitive in this Global Economy.
$$andSense May 26, 2013 at 08:57 AM
deer hunter yep, no argument
Bucky May 28, 2013 at 12:54 AM
If Walker even got close to Washington D. C. in 2016, it would be the start of World War lll in the United States.

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