Even Scott Walker’s aides want to make Wisconsin blue again
Walker’s rampant corruption is coming back to haunt him as his former aides campaign for his opponent.
Two former aides to Scott Walker, the current Republican governor of Wisconsin, are telling voters to kick their ex-boss out of office in November and support his Democratic opponent instead.
Wisconsin’s former Financial Institutions Secretary Peter Bildsten is slamming Walker as “just another politician looking out for himself” in a new campaign ad for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tony Evers, who currently serves as the state superintendent of schools.
“It seemed every decision Walker made was about pleasing his donors,” Bildsten says in the digital ad.
Bildsten alleges shocking corruption from his time serving in Walker’s cabinet from 2011 to 2015. He says Walker forced him to meet with special interests and payday lending lobbyists after the governor and his fellow Republicans accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry.
Bildsten is not the only former cabinet-level official telling Wisconsin voters to ditch Scott Walker. Walker’s former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall is also campaigning on behalf of Tony Evers.
“I thought Scott Walker would help me protect kids, but I was wrong,” Wall says in a television ad for Evers.
Wall resigned in 2016 amid a federal investigation into abuse at Wisconsin’s juvenile Lincoln Hills prison. Wall claims Walker ignored multiple proposals to fix the facility, and that all Walker cared about was how the negative press surrounding the prison impacted his ability to fundraise.
Both Bildsten and Wall also claim in their ads that Walker’s administration discouraged them from producing paper trails accessible to the public.
The allegations from Scott Walker’s own cabinet officials might be shocking in another administration — but for Walker they seem almost tame, compared to his failed attempt to block Wisconsin voters from choosing their own state legislators in special elections earlier this year.
However, the new ad from Bildsten still comes at a particularly bad time for Walker.
Wisconsin Democrats are very energized. Participation in last week’s Democratic primary was almost twice what it was in 2014, and over 80,000 more Democrats showed up to the voting booths than Republicans.
Walker has warned Republicans that they are at risk of being swept away in a “blue wave” later this year. In April, he tweeted encouraging the GOP to “counter it with optimism & organization.”
But against his own advice, Walker is already taking his general election campaign in a negative direction.
Walker smeared Evers by falsely suggesting that he protected a teacher who shared pornographic material and made sexual comments about middle school girls.
In reality, Evers simply followed state law — a law that Evers supports changing to better protect students. Current state law requires “endangerment” to students in order for a teacher’s license to be revoked, and a state arbiter working the porn case determined that endangerment.
So far, voters are seeing through Walker’s desperate attempts to slander his opponent. The first poll of Wisconsin’s general election cycle shows him trailing Evers by five points.
But Wisconsin Democrats have reason to remain cautious. Walker has already proven he’s willing to fight dirty and undermine democracy itself in order to keep his allies in power.
There’s no telling what he might attempt if his own job is threatened.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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