Friday, November 30, 2012

Same-day registration, John Doe, create bad week for Walker

Governor twice thrice contradicted

Gov. Scott Walker isn’t having a great week.

For starters, he’s been thoroughly rebuffed on the issue of eliminating same-day voter registration. Citing concerns of poll-worker fatigue, Walker said it was necessary to do-away with the decades-old tradition.

“[I]t would be much better if registration was done in advance of Election Day, easier for our clerks to handle that,” Walker said.

But the clerks took note of Walker’s statement, countering what the governor assumed about their jobs with the reality of the situation: that same-day registration causes no additional headaches for them.
[N]early a dozen poll workers who spoke with The Huffington Post all had the same message: Same-day registration is not a problem, and Walker should not eliminate it.

“This whole idea that this is somehow a burden on poll workers is just not true, and I can guarantee you it’s not the perception of the vast majority of the people who work at the polls,” said Ruth Irvings, 61, who served as a poll worker in Milwaukee this year with her 24-year-old son.


Kevin Rusch, Lanore’s 53-year-old son who has worked at the polls in Wausau for the last year and a half, was more blunt in his assessment of Walker’s claim: “That’s utter bulls---. I don’t know who he’s talking to.”
After disregarding the concerns of poll workers, exaggerating their supposed “burdens,” Walker moved on to the John Doe investigation. After a plea deal was made between a former confidante of Walker’s when he was Milwaukee County Executive, Walker made the casual observation that he hoped the investigation would be done as early as this week.

“It's gone on for two years. Hopefully, after this week, it will be over,” he said.

But once again, Walker was rebuffed, this time by Judge Neal Nettesheim.

“The John Doe is not completed. It is still open,” he said.

Walker’s woes over John Doe don’t end there, however. It was further revealed that the investigation had gone all the way to Rice Lake, Wisconsin, to a Harley Davidson dealership, over very specific transactions that had occurred there in 2010.

Who from Milwaukee County government made a trip up to Rice Lake as part of a tourism/self-promotion tour? None other than then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, along with several members of his office.

To be sure, that bit of commentary is all conjecture on my part. But it surely has to be on the mind of Gov. Walker, on what the John Doe prosecutors are seeking out specifically. The bike trips, consistently derided as being more about Walker than tourism in Milwaukee, could be the very thing that brings Walker down in the investigation.

And just as you thought it couldn't get any worse...Walker failed to bag a deer this season, too, in a year that saw overall numbers go up by nearly eight percent.

Gov. Scott Walker can’t catch a break. This week was a pretty lousy one, indeed, being contradicted not once, not twice, but thrice.

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