Friday, February 25, 2011

Scott Walker Fails Ethics

In 2010 Scott Walker took a Harley Davidson bike ride. According to him it was to promote Milwaukee County tourism. It just happened to coincide with his campaign for governor.

State Democrats charged Walker with violating ethical standards, campaigning on Milwaukee County taxpayers’ dollars. Walker maintained that his trip was only for what he said it was -- a statewide ride on a Harley motorcycle that, again, just happened to occur after he announced his run for office.

It wasn’t the only ethical standard broken by Scott Walker during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive. But it does paint a picture of just how Walker works: bending the rules just so in order to make them work for him, justifying his lack of integrity through substandard excuses.

It’s clear that, within this past week alone, Walker’s ethical standards haven’t changed. Within a phone call with a blogger impersonating a billionaire donor, Walker let his true colors fly.

Walker expressed (to who he thought was David Koch) that he had considered placing agitators within the crowds of protesters currently swarming the Capitol building. It was a revelation that had Madison’s Chief of Police, Noble Wray, enraged.

“I find it very unsettling and troubling that anyone would consider creating safety risks for our citizens and law enforcement officers,” Wray said. “Our department works hard dialoging with those who are exercising their First Amendment rights, from both sides of the issue, to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure they can demonstrate safely. I am concerned that anyone would try to undermine these relationships.”

Within the same phone call, Walker again provided an example of his lack in ethical standards. When the prankster posing as the billionaire expressed that he would have to “fly [Walker] out to Cali,” Walker seemed ready and willing to do so. Accepting gifts from political donors and lobbyists is a big no-no for elected officials in our state, a fact Scott Walker knows.

It’s clear that our governor doesn’t just cross the line -- he crosses it repeatedly, with little to no regard for his actions. As a final example, consider his misuse of state troopers to “find” the 14 state senators who left Wisconsin in order to prevent quorum on the bill. It’s no secret that these senators are in Illinois, and haven’t been home in a week. Still, to create a photo opportunity for various conservative outlets (read: FOX News), Walker sent the state troopers to these senators’ homes in an attempt to make them look something like criminals.

The ploy is failing to work, however: more than two-thirds of Wisconsinites support the public service employees who are protesting this disastrous bill. But the use of state troopers for a political purpose -- which, again, Walker is simply after a photo shoot -- is against the law.Walker violates Wisconsin law in order to create a negative image of these senators.

There is no measure too low for our governor to sink to. Scott Walker fails his “ethics exam” for being governor -- barely even two months into his term. This guy needs to shape up or ship out, and it’s pretty clear he has no intention of changing his ways.

Wisconsin deserves better, deserves a more responsible executive. Lena Taylor summed it up best when she spoke to Ed Schultz earlier this week -- where was Walker when his father, a pastor, preached about integrity: in the back pews, or in the basement?

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