Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker wasn’t faring too well on Capitol Hill today. Walker was questioned in a short hearing, first admitting he didn’t campaign on stripping workers of their Collective Bargaining rights, then admitted key elements of his proposal have nothing to do with the budget.
First, Walker admitted that he didn’t campaign on stripping workers of their Collective Bargaining rights — previously he stated otherwise:
Dem Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia sharply questioned Walker on the matter, and finally got him to concede that he didn’t in fact campaign directly on the proposal:
Asked if he had really campaigned on a plan to roll back collective bargaining rights, Walker repeatedly danced around the question, insisting he had campaigned on a “range” of promises to impose fiscal discipline. But Connolly kept pressing the point, and finally asked him point blank: Did you “explicitly” campaign on this proposal?
“No,” Walker conceded. He then went on to repeat his claim that he campaigned on a range of issues, and insisted that Wisconsinites should not have been surprised by his plan because his views on collective bargaining had long been known.
Because his “views on Collective Bargaining had long been known” — well that’s what campaigning is for.
This is a direct contradiction to his prior statements.
Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called both Govs. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Peter Shumlin (D-VT) to testify in a hearing titled “State and Municipal Debt: Tough Choices Ahead.” Much of the hearing was spent probing Wisconsin’s spate of anti-union restrictions it recently passed.
Walker was then forced to admit that key elements of his proposal had nothing to do with the budget:
KUCINICH: Let me ask you about some of the specific provisions in your proposals to strip collective bargaining rights. First, your proposal would require unions to hold annual votes to continue representing their own members. Can you please explain to me and members of this committee how much money this provision saves for your state budget?
WALKER: That and a number of other provisions we put in because if you’re going to ask, if you’re going to put in place a change like that, we wanted to make sure we protected the workers of our state, so they got value out of that. […]
KUCINICH: Would you answer the question? How much money does it save, Governor?
WALKER: It doesn’t save any. […]
KUCINICH: I want to ask about another one of your proposals. Under your plan you would prohibit paying union member dues from their paychecks. How much money would this provision save your state budget?
WALKER: It would save employees a thousand dollars a year they could use to pay for their pensions and health care contributions.
KUCINICH: Governor, it wouldn’t save anything.
Those measures are simply to eradicate union rights and the Democrat voice. Repeatedly, Walker has stated eliminating Collective Bargaining Rights was for the budget — now he states it is not. (But, we knew that already.)
Kucinich tried to submit a letter from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau which concluded that all the anti-union measures were “non-fiscal,” since they were put into a non-fiscal bill, but, Darrell Issa refused to enter this letter into the record.
The beleaguered Walker spent time bashing “out of state money” being used against him, even while embarking on a national fund-raising tour in order to protect the eight Senate Republicans who are facing recall.
Gov. Walker has become taboo in the political world. Even Republicans are distancing themselves from the stubborn Wisonsin Governor. Challengers are entering the race to run against the eight Republicans facing a recall.
WalkerFitzKoch needs more time to practice his