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“It’s Not That Mythical Democrat”: Republicans Finally Have A Poster Boy For Voter Fraud, But Scott Walker Won’t Like It

For years, Wisconsin Republicans have warned that voter fraud is a scourge that threatens the very survival of democracy in their state.

“I’ve always thought in this state, close elections, presidential elections, it means you probably have to win with at least 53 percent of the vote to account for fraud. One or two points, potentially,” Governor Scott Walker has said.

“I’m always concerned about voter fraud, you know, being from Kenosha, and quite frankly having lived through seeing some of it happen,” Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus insisted. “Certainly in Milwaukee we have seen some of it, and I think it’s been documented. Any notion that’s not the case, it certainly is in Wisconsin. I’m always concerned about it, which is why I think we need to do a point or two better than where we think we need to be, to overcome it.”

Voting rights advocates have always responded that there is no actual evidence of widespread voter fraud in the Badger State. In April, a U.S. district judge agreed, ruling that the state’s voter ID law was unconstitutional after “the evidence at trial established that virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin,” and the state “could not point to a single instance of known voter impersonation occurring in Wisconsin at any time in the recent past”.

That all changed on Friday, when Robert Monroe was charged with 13 felonies related to his having voted 12 times in five elections between 2011 and 2012. Monroe, an insurance executive from Shorewood, Wisconsin, allegedly voted repeatedly using his own name, as well as his son’s name, and that of his girlfriend’s son.

WisPolitics.com reports:

“During 2011 and 2012, the defendant, Robert Monroe, became especially focused upon political issues and causes, including especially the recall elections,” the complaint asserts in its introduction.

WisPolitics.com reported the investigation into Monroe’s multiple voting last week after Milwaukee County Judge J.D. Watts ordered the records related to a secret John Doe investigation be made public after the investigation was closed.

According to those records, Monroe was considered by investigators to be the most prolific multiple voter in memory. He was a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker and state Sen. Alberta Darling, both Republicans, and allegedly cast five ballots in the June 2012 election in which Walker survived a recall challenge.

According to the John Doe records, Monroe claimed to have a form of temporary amnesia and did not recall the election day events when confronted by investigators.

That’s right: Wisconsin Republicans like Scott Walker found a perfect poster boy for the in-person voter fraud against which they’ve always warned. But it isn’t the mythical Milwaukee Democrat trading “smokes-for-votes,” to use Priebus’ colorful description. It’s a self-diagnosed amnesiac who broke the law to repeatedly vote for Scott Walker.

And to add insult to injury, the case only went public as a result of Walker’s career-threatening John Doe scandal.

To be clear, Monroe’s apparent fraud is not a valid pretext for enacting the GOP’s nearly nationwide campaign to make it harder to vote. Even taking this one supposed amnesiac’s alleged crimes into account, voter fraud is still practically nonexistent (for example, a typical American is about 34 times more likely to be killed by a lightning strike than to be caught committing in-person voter fraud). But, if Wisconsin Republicans have any shame, it should at least cause them to pipe down about Democrats stealing elections for a little while.

In other words, Reince Priebus is probably coming soon to a cable news show near you.

 

By: Henry Decker, The National Memo, June 24, 2014

June 25, 2014 Posted by | Scott Walker, Voter Fraud, Voter Suppression | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Elderly And The Infirm”: Scott Walker’s Latest Victims Are The Most Vulnerable

When Governor Scott Walker faces Wisconsin voters in 2014, he’ll be running on a record of confronting public worker unions, turning down Medicaid expansion that would have covered 181,000 Wisconsinites and creating far fewer than the 250,000 new jobs he promised.

And if that isn’t enough, he can run on the Wisconsin Omnibus Tort Reform Act of 2011.

One of the first bills Walker signed into law, these reforms were taken almost entirely from the Koch-funded legislative warehouse of the Billionaire Rights Movement, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

The legislation prevents state health investigation records from being admitted as evidence in any civil or criminal cases against long-term care providers, including nursing homes and hospices.

Sarah Karon of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism looked into the impact of the reform and found that the families of patients who often cannot testify on their own behalf are powerless to redress abuse and neglect.

In one case, Joshua Wahl — a paraplegic patient with spina bifida and brain damage — had a bedsore left to fester for months before he was finally hospitalized, according to a state investigator.

“It scares me for those who put their trust in a facility,” said Karen Nichols-Palmerton, Wahl’s mother. “It scares me to think of things that could be brushed aside. I don’t rest so easy anymore.”

Nichols-Palmerton is suing the facility, but the investigator’s report will not be heard in court, thanks to the Wisconsin Omnibus Tort Reform Act of 2011.

Why did Walker and Wisconsin’s Republicans decide records documenting such abuse shouldn’t be admissible in court?

It isn’t good for business.

“Each of these (proposals) is aimed at one thing — jobs,” said Brian Hagedorn, Walker’s chief legal counsel, during a hearing for the bill. “These changes send a symbolic and substantive message that Wisconsin is open for business.”

State investigators’ reports are published online. But a Department of Justice spokeswoman told Karon that the law makes it difficult to prosecute abuse and neglect cases at early stages, when severe injuries or death can be prevented.

Nursing homes that accept Medicaid or Medicare must be investigated every 15 months. Non-federally certified facilities are investigated by the states every two years. Wisconsin has cut its staff of nursing home surveyors by more than 30 percent, even as complaints about such facilities have risen by more than 100 percent since the year 2000.

Walker’s record of opening Wisconsin “for business” and turning away from its grand tradition of progressivism hasn’t had such a great effect on job creation. And the cost, especially for those forced to rely on long-term care, is falling squarely on the most vulnerable.

 

By: Jason Sattler, The National Memo, February 22, 2013

February 25, 2013 Posted by | Scott Walker | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“A Movement Determined To Right A Wrong”: Wisconsin Gives Progressives Something To Build On

On Tuesday, all eyes will be watching to see whether Wisconsin voters will keep labor-bashing right-winger Scott Walker (R) in the governor’s mansion. But win or lose, the real story is the 15 months of people power leading up to this day. The real lesson lies in more than a year of progressive organizing, petitioning, canvassing and campaigning for the cause. The real result is a progressive movement that is deeper and broader than before.

When Walker’s opponents needed 540,208 signatures to trigger the recall election, Wisconsin’s progressives responded by collecting more than a million. They filled 152,000 pages — weighty evidence of the power of a group of people determined to right a wrong.

And the effects have rippled outward. The sight of 70,000 protesters — teachers, firefighters, nurses, students, parents with children – occupying the Wisconsin State Capitol in February 2011 ignited activists around the country. Just as the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt motivated people around the world, including in Wisconsin, the occupation of the Madison statehouse helped inspire the occupation of Wall Street a few months later.

Let me state the obvious: I want the recall to succeed. A victory for Democrat Tom Barrett would not only create an opportunity to roll back Walker’s worst anti-labor, budget-slashing measures, but would also send a clear message to those who are masquerading as deficit hawks around the country: We’ve had it with starve-the-beast politics. We’re done with leaders whose idea of austerity is to cut education, health care and vital public services in order to give more tax breaks to their millionaire friends.

Walker’s GOP legislature, like so many Republican statehouses around the country, has pursued a “divide and conquer” strategy, as Walker himself admitted to a billionaire donor. His legislative efforts, backed up by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, and the extremist, corporate-funded group American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are meant to cripple labor unions and disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

Make no mistake — Walker knows his recall has the potential to be a resounding progressive victory. That’s why he’s raised $31 million to stay in office, compared with $4 million raised by his opponent. Two-thirds of Walker’s money has come from outside Wisconsin, and his donor list reads like a list of Who’s Who of America’s Billionaires. Sheldon Adelson — Gingrich’s Daddy Warbucks — and Amway founder Richard DeVos have each given Walker $250,000. And remember the “Swift boat” ads against Kerry? Houston home builder Bob Perry, who backed that smear campaign, wrote Walker checks totaling $500,000. As the recall fight comes to an end, this record amount of money from ultraconservative outsiders has kept Walker alive.

Money in politics is nothing new. In 1816, Thomas Jefferson lamented that corporations that “challenge our government to a trial of strength” were undermining the will of the people. But the battle lines have radically shifted. Ever since the Citizens United ruling welcomed unrestricted corporate money into our elections, the interests of the 99 percent have been badly outmatched by anonymously sourced dollars.

Indeed, we are witnessing the first major battle between astronomical numbers of people and astronomical amounts of money.

As I write this, Walker leads in the polls, and if progressive turnout is merely ordinary, he will likely win. On the other hand, if we see the same groundswell today as on the days that led to this one, Walker can be defeated. Yet, big as this election is, it is only the first test of the progressive response to an electoral landscape overrun with money from corporations and wealthy individuals.

By attacking labor unions, flooding Wisconsin with outside cash and trying to cleanse the electorate of people who don’t look, earn or think like him, Walker has taken aim at more than a single campaign cycle or a series of policies; his real targets are the pillars of American progressivism itself. With the Romney campaign gearing up, and super PACs taking to the national airwaves, we face an unprecedented, well-funded assault on our basic values.

But progressives aren’t backing down. They’re just getting started.

So when the results come in, reflect on the vast organizing effort that brought Wisconsin to this moment — and imagine where it still has the potential to go. Elections are over in a matter of hours, but movements are made of weeks, months and years. The Declaration of Sentiments was issued at Seneca Falls in 1848, yet women did not gain the right to vote until seven decades later. The Civil War ended with a Union victory in 1865, yet the Voting Rights Act was not passed until a century later. Auto workers held the historic Flint sit-down strike in 1936-37, yet the fight for a fair, unionized workforce persists 75 years later.

And in the last 15 months, Wisconsin’s progressives have shown us that the battle against bankrolled austerity can be bravely waged by an army of dedicated people committed to protecting working families. They’ve reminded us that good organizing is our only chance to withstand the blitzkrieg of corporate funded advertising — and better yet, leave a lasting mark. Their movement, with thousands of new Wisconsin activists mobilized, energized and educated, can be permanent — and it can keep growing.

 

By: Katrina vanden Heuvel, Opinion Writer, The Washington Post, June 4, 2012

 

June 5, 2012 Posted by | Wisconsin | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Competing Traditions And A Series Of Scandals”: Wisconsinites Running The RNC Double Down On Walker Recall Fight

It’s not just because the attempt to recall conservative Gov. Scott Walker is a ground-game test case that foreshadows the super PAC–funded fight between big business and big labor in the fall presidential election.

It’s because the Wisconsin GOP dominates the Republican National Committee right now. This is a time of national influence for Badger State conservatives—and this recall effort is a personal challenge not just to Scott Walker, but to Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus and his team at the top of RNC.

Priebus was the chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party from 2007 through 2010 while also serving as the RNC’s general counsel. Under his leadership, the GOP took control of the Wisconsin statehouse as well as the Governor’s mansion. Walker and Preibus are personally close, talking and texting frequently, with a friendship that goes back more than a decade to when Walker served in the State Assembly and Preibus ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate.

Politics is about personal relationships, and the Wisconsin ties within the RNC run deep right now. For example, RNC Political Director Rick Wiley served as executive director of the state party. RNC counsel Jonathan Waclawski previously was finance director and chief counsel of the state party. Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski worked as communications director of the state party. And National Field Director Juston Johnson was the campaign manager for Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson (no relation) as well as political director of the state party. The august offices of the RNC are now a paradise for Cheeseheads.

None of this is unprecedented or improper. It’s common for executives to bring in trusted team members from their home state. But the disproportionate influence of Wisconsin Republicans reflects how personally invested members of the RNC apparatus in this Tuesday’s recall results. This is personal—an ideological fight playing out on their home turf. And it shows how the national Republican Party has been uniquely well positioned to push back on attempts to undo the 2010 election results, beginning with state Senate special elections in April 2011.

The Republican Party’s history in Wisconsin, is deep and reflects the party’s competing conservative and progressive traditions. The GOP’s birthplace is regarded as Ripon, Wis., where it was formed in a small schoolhouse an antislavery alternative to the Whig Party in 1854. In the early decades of the 20th-century, “Fighting Bob” LaFollette and his sons were nationally known as Republican senators and leaders of the progressive movement. But a different, darker Republican tradition also emerged in Wisconsin by the mid-20th century, characterized by conservative Sen. Joe McCarthy and the establishment of the John Birch Society in Appleton, Wis. Rabidly anticommunist and reactionary in ways that helped give rise to both the book and term “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” their influence on mainstream debates faded after McCarthy’s deserved disgrace. But in the 1990s, the Wisconsin Republican Party came back into national prominence with the pioneering welfare reform initiatives of Gov. Tommy Thompson, who won reelections by nearly 60 percent margins. And even before the elections of 2010, perhaps the brightest rising star and intellectual leader of the Republican Party was Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

But Scott Walker’s election in 2010 signified a decided shift to the right for statewide Republican candidates, and his collective bargaining reforms for public-sector unions—which he didn’t mention on the trail but introduced just after taking office—spurred weeks of protests at the state capital. The petition effort required to get a recall effort on the ballot returned more than a million signatures—twice the number needed. By early April, a stunning 46 percent of state residents strongly disapproved of his performance in office. The latest polls show Walker, despite marinating in sky-high disapproval numbers, with a slight edge over his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett—but it’s all going to come down to the ground game on Election Day.

Buoyed by his national ties, and the national prominence of Tuesday’s recall contest—Walker has raised almost $15 million from out-of-state donors, as well as $10 million from those within Wisconsin. As of May 1, Walker had raised more from donors in Texas, Illinois, Florida, California, Missouri, and New York than Barrett had raised in total. Among the highest profile big-dollar Walker donors are Newt’s onetime super PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson, who cut a $250,000 check, and Rick Santorum’s super PAC benefactor Foster Friess, who kicked in $100,000.

But while national prominence and connections have helped Walker’s bottom line, a series of local scandals threatens to add to the recall momentum. A “John Doe” investigation into improprieties when Walker was county executive is still being conducted, and six onetime Walker aides have been confronted with criminal charges and 13 individuals granted immunity. The public charges range from evidence that a separate wireless email router was installed in the county executive office to allow campaign-related business and fundraising to be conducted on government time to the far more serious and salacious charge that onetime Walker deputy chief of staff and economic development director Tim Russell embezzled more than $60,000 from a veterans charity.

To date, Walker has transferred $100,000 from campaign funds into legal defense funds. The ongoing nature of this investigation could continue to dog Walker and his allies even if he passes the recall text on Tuesday. Wisconsin Republican politics is a small world, and indictments could affect local figures well known to the Badger State crew running the RNC. This is the considerable downside that comes when local politics reaches the national level.

All the more reason to watch the results of Tuesday’s recall in Wisconsin closely.

While Wisconsin is regarded as a swing state that leans Democrat in presidential elections, progressive forces’ focus on pushing back against the Tea Party in this particular state could seem ill-timed and ill-advised in retrospect. The national party’s strong ties to Walker and knowledge of the state’s politics helps account for why Democratic efforts, first to stop Walker’s policies and then to push him from office, have been unsuccessful to date despite the governor’s extraordinarily polarizing presence. This RNC team knows Wisconsin cold and has helped direct national resources to what might have been otherwise a remote local fight in 2015.

The Republican Party’s history in Wisconsin, is deep and reflects the party’s competing conservative and progressive traditions. The GOP’s birthplace is regarded as Ripon, Wis., where it was formed in a small schoolhouse an antislavery alternative to the Whig Party in 1854. In the early decades of the 20th-century, “Fighting Bob” LaFollette and his sons were nationally known as Republican senators and leaders of the progressive movement. But a different, darker Republican tradition also emerged in Wisconsin by the mid-20th century, characterized by conservative Sen. Joe McCarthy and the establishment of the John Birch Society in Appleton, Wis. Rabidly anticommunist and reactionary in ways that helped give rise to both the book and term “The Paranoid Style in American Politics,” their influence on mainstream debates faded after McCarthy’s deserved disgrace. But in the 1990s, the Wisconsin Republican Party came back into national prominence with the pioneering welfare reform initiatives of Gov. Tommy Thompson, who won reelections by nearly 60 percent margins. And even before the elections of 2010, perhaps the brightest rising star and intellectual leader of the Republican Party was Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan.

But Scott Walker’s election in 2010 signified a decided shift to the right for statewide Republican candidates, and his collective bargaining reforms for public-sector unions—which he didn’t mention on the trail but introduced just after taking office—spurred weeks of protests at the state capital. The petition effort required to get a recall effort on the ballot returned more than a million signatures—twice the number needed. By early April, a stunning 46 percent of state residents strongly disapproved of his performance in office. The latest polls show Walker, despite marinating in sky-high disapproval numbers, with a slight edge over his challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett—but it’s all going to come down to the ground game on Election Day.

Buoyed by his national ties, and the national prominence of Tuesday’s recall contest—Walker has raised almost $15 million from out-of-state donors, as well as $10 million from those within Wisconsin. As of May 1, Walker had raised more from donors in Texas, Illinois, Florida, California, Missouri, and New York than Barrett had raised in total. Among the highest profile big-dollar Walker donors are Newt’s onetime super PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson, who cut a $250,000 check, and Rick Santorum’s super PAC benefactor Foster Friess, who kicked in $100,000.

But while national prominence and connections have helped Walker’s bottom line, a series of local scandals threatens to add to the recall momentum. A “John Doe” investigation into improprieties when Walker was county executive is still being conducted, and six onetime Walker aides have been confronted with criminal charges and 13 individuals granted immunity. The public charges range from evidence that a separate wireless email router was installed in the county executive office to allow campaign-related business and fundraising to be conducted on government time to the far more serious and salacious charge that onetime Walker deputy chief of staff and economic development director Tim Russell embezzled more than $60,000 from a veterans charity.

To date, Walker has transferred $100,000 from campaign funds into legal defense funds. The ongoing nature of this investigation could continue to dog Walker and his allies even if he passes the recall text on Tuesday. Wisconsin Republican politics is a small world, and indictments could affect local figures well known to the Badger State crew running the RNC. This is the considerable downside that comes when local politics reaches the national level.

All the more reason to watch the results of Tuesday’s recall in Wisconsin closely.

June 4, 2012 Posted by | Wisconsin | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Challenging The Spot Of The Ball”: Scott Walker Magically Turns Wisconsin Job Numbers Into Pre-Election Miracle

With Wisconsin suffering the worst job loss numbers in the nation for the calendar year 2011, Governor Scott Walker promised yesterday that he will reveal newly revised numbers this week that will, effectively, change water into wine on the Wisconsin job front.

And he’s done it just in time for the June 5th recall election.

So, just how is Walker about to turn Wisconsin’s dismal job numbers from lemons to lemonade?

The Governor has simply decided to ignore the system used by the Department of Labor —and every other state in the nation —to measure job growth (or loss) and elected instead to go with a different set of numbers that makes things in Wisconsin look better.

Who knew it could be so easy to solve a jobs crisis?

With Wisconsin’s lagging job growth now driving voter sentiment as the state heads towards the June 5th election, Walker’s Chief Economist, John Koskinen, offered a presentation last week to Walker staff members and state economic officials wherein he made the case for an alternate system of measuring job creation—one that would be ‘unique’ to the Badger State.

The presentation is available for viewing on YouTube, under the title “Challenging The Spot Of The Ball”. For those of you who are not football fans, ‘challenging the spot of the ball’ refers to a football coach’s complaint to the referee when the coach doesn’t think the referee has been fair about where he places the ball on the field after a play.

Koskinen’s essential pitch is that the Establishment Payroll Survey—the Department of Labor (DOL) survey conducted each month to produce the jobs numbers—is an unfair way to go about counting jobs in Wisconsin. Why? Because the numbers look worse for Wisconsin under this method of counting than they would when the state relies upon on a different survey done each month by the DOL entitled the “Current Population Survey.”

The problem is, whether convenient to Wisconsin or not, the Establishment Payroll Survey is the metric used by the DOL —and the system relied upon by every other state in the nation— to measure job growth.

Here’s the difference between the two approaches-

The Establishment Payroll Survey involves the DOL calling workplaces-both private and government- and asking how many people are employed. The results of this survey, on a national basis, is the jobs number reported every month for non-farm employment.

With Wisconsin suffering the worst job loss numbers in the nation for the calendar year 2011, Governor Scott Walker promised yesterday that he will reveal newly revised numbers this week that will, effectively, change water into wine on the Wisconsin job front.

And he’s done it just in time for the June 5th recall election.

So, just how is Walker about to turn Wisconsin’s dismal job numbers from lemons to lemonade?

The Governor has simply decided to ignore the system used by the Department of Labor —and every other state in the nation —to measure job growth (or loss) and elected instead to go with a different set of numbers that makes things in Wisconsin look better.

Who knew it could be so easy to solve a jobs crisis?

With Wisconsin’s lagging job growth now driving voter sentiment as the state heads towards the June 5th election, Walker’s Chief Economist, John Koskinen, offered a presentation last week to Walker staff members and state economic officials wherein he made the case for an alternate system of measuring job creation—one that would be ‘unique’ to the Badger State.

The presentation is available for viewing on YouTube, under the title “Challenging The Spot Of The Ball”. For those of you who are not football fans, ‘challenging the spot of the ball’ refers to a football coach’s complaint to the referee when the coach doesn’t think the referee has been fair about where he places the ball on the field after a play.

Koskinen’s essential pitch is that the Establishment Payroll Survey—the Department of Labor (DOL) survey conducted each month to produce the jobs numbers—is an unfair way to go about counting jobs in Wisconsin. Why? Because the numbers look worse for Wisconsin under this method of counting than they would when the state relies upon on a different survey done each month by the DOL entitled the “Current Population Survey.”

The problem is, whether convenient to Wisconsin or not, the Establishment Payroll Survey is the metric used by the DOL —and the system relied upon by every other state in the nation— to measure job growth.

Here’s the difference between the two approaches-

The Establishment Payroll Survey involves the DOL calling workplaces-both private and government- and asking how many people are employed. The results of this survey, on a national basis, is the jobs number reported every month for non-farm employment.

The Current Population Survey, favored by Governor Walker, involves calling households to ask people if they are working. This is the survey that gives us our monthly unemployment number—the number that is consistently attacked by Obama foes because it is impacted by factors such as how many people have dropped out of the hunt for a job, expiration of unemployment benefits and other events that skew the numbers. In other words, when people give up looking for work, it actually has a positive impact on the unemployment rate because these people are removed from the counting base, allowing for a better ratio of people who are working to those who are not. This produces a more favorable, but far less accurate, measurement of how many people are unemployed.

The Current Population Survey (household survey) is particularly tricky when applied to determining the job numbers for a state because of the many people who live on the ‘edges’ of a state who are employed across the border in a different state. By way of example, someone living in Racine, Wisconsin may be able to answer in the affirmative when asked if she has a job. However, what is not asked is whether the respondent is employed in Wisconsin or driving across the border into Illinois to go to work. This makes such an individual’s response useful in determining how many people are working on a national basis but perverts the numbers when attempting to determine how many people are actually working in Wisconsin.

For these reasons, the Establishment Survey has long been the primary tool for measuring how many jobs exist in a given state rather than the household survey.

Yet, when Scott Walker delivers his ‘good news’ this week using his version of the ‘real’ numbers of job growth in 2011, he will not be using this traditional standard. And should we insist that the Walker Administration stay within the same metrics everyone else uses so as to get a true measure of where Wisconsin ranks vis-a-vis other states?

No worries —The Governor is ready for that one.

In the presentation noted above, Mr. Koskinen argues that were the DOL to use the old benchmarking readjustment standards (the Labor Department uses up-to-date data each year to go back and make adjustments to earlier estimates), involving making corrections to the 2nd quarter job numbers of the previous year rather than the current standards of readjusting the 3rd quarter of the previous year—it would also look better for Wisconsin. Accordingly, Walker is choosing to use the old standards because…well, I think the reason is sufficiently obvious.

Still, every single other state in the union uses the current standards of readjusting 3rd quarter benchmarks and it is that number which is used to compare relative success or failure among the 50 states.

According to Laura Dresser, a labor economist at The Center On Wisconsin Strategy at The University Of Wisconsin, Walker’s new numbers are little more than an incredibly transparent effort to create a false reality just in time to mislead Wisconsin voters who will cast their ballot in a few short weeks. Pointing out just one of the flaws in the ‘new and improved’ Walker method of measuring job growth, Dresser says, “It seems that they’re attributing employment growth in other states to Wisconsin.”

Dresser further points out that even if we were to go along with Walker’s preferred metrics, despite their being completely out of synch with the remainder of the country, we simply end up “dancing around zero.” While the Establishment Survey puts the numbers of jobs lost slightly below zero, the alternative survey preferred by the Walker people puts them just above zero. At the end of the day, we’re talking about zero job growth—even under Walker’s favored, if completely unorthodox, approach.

The numeric wizardry has not gone unnoticed by Governor Walker’s opponent in the coming election, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett who said,””They brought in a fiction writer. They don’t like their numbers. They’re going to make up their own numbers.”

There is always a way to spin bad news and we can always count on politicians-of all stripes-to do their best in this regard. However, when one considers that Governor Walker, for the first 15 months of his term, was content to utilize the same system of measuring job growth accepted by the remaining 49 states and the federal government, it seems stunningly disingenuous to toss the metric aside now that he faces recall.

The question that remains is whether those who support the Governor, and the few remaining Wisconsinites still on the fence, will be willing to forgive so blatant a diversion or will respond to the Administration’s attempt to insult the voters by ‘changing the spot of the ball.’

Should the voters of Wisconsin throw their own red flag on Walker’s ploy and demand a review of the play, it’s a good bet that the people are not going to like Scott Walker’s call on this one.

 

By: Rick Ungar, Contributing Writer, Forbes, May 15, 2012

May 16, 2012 Posted by | Wisconsin | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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