Scott Walker (politician)
||The neutrality of this article is disputed. (June 2012)|
|Scott Walker speaking at the 2013 CPAC in Washington D.C. on March 15, 2013.|
|45th Governor of Wisconsin|
January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Jim Doyle|
|Milwaukee County Executive|
April 30, 2002 – December 27, 2010
|Preceded by||Janine Geske|
|Succeeded by||Chris Abele|
|Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 17th district
June 30, 1993 – May 14, 2002
|Preceded by||Peggy Rosenzweig|
|Succeeded by||Leah Vukmir|
|Born||Scott Kevin Walker
November 2, 1967
Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Tonette Marie Walker (née Tarantino; m. 1993)|
|Residence||Governor's Mansion (official)
Wauwatosa, Wisconsin (personal)
|Alma mater||Delavan-Darien High School, 1986
Marquette University (attended, 1986–1990)
|Religion||Non-denominational, evangelical Christianity|
Scott Kevin Walker (born November 2, 1967) is an American politician and a member of the Republican Party who currently serves as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin. Walker took office on January 3, 2011, after defeating Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, obtaining 52% of the vote in the November 2010 general election. Walker had served as a member of the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1993 to 2002 and then became County Executive of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, from 2002 to 2010.
Walker married the former Tonette Marie Tarantino (born 1955) in February 1993; the couple has two sons. The family attends Meadowbrook Church, a nondenominational evangelical church in Wauwatosa. She is a former development director for the American Lung Association. During the summers of 2004 through 2009, as Milwaukee County Executive, Walker led a motorcycle tour called the "Executive's Ride" through Wisconsin and parts of neighboring states. The ride was organized to attract people to Milwaukee County.
Early life, education, and business career
Walker was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, one of two sons of Patricia Ann "Pat" (née Fitch) and Llewellyn Scott "Llew" Walker, a bookkeeper and a Baptist minister, respectively. He has a brother, David. The family moved to Plainfield, Iowa, and when Scott was ten years old, to Delavan, Wisconsin, a city of about 8,000, where his father became a prominent preacher. In high school, he attended two weeks of American Legion-sponsored training in leadership and government at Badger Boys State in Wisconsin, and the selective Boys Nation in Washington, D.C. He has credited the experience with solidifying his interest in public service and giving him the "political bug". While in Washington, he met Ronald Reagan, who became his inspiration and model. He attained the highest rank, Eagle Scout, in the Boy Scouts of America, and graduated from Delavan-Darien High School in 1986.
Walker enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1986. He attended college for four years but never graduated. During college he worked part-time for IBM selling warranties. His IBM job led to a full-time position in marketing and fundraising at the American Red Cross from 1990 to 1994.
Wisconsin State Assembly
Walker made his first try for government office in 1990 at age 22, winning the Republican nomination for Milwaukee's 7th District seat in the Wisconsin State Assembly, but losing in the general election to incumbent Democrat Gwen Moore. This is the only competitive race for public office that Walker has lost to date. He moved to the then-predominantly Republican edge city of Wauwatosa when its Assembly seat opened up in 1993, winning the special election over Democrat Chris Ament, son of then-Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament.
During the campaign, Walker backed welfare reform and opposed the expansion of mass transit. He supported a cap on state spending and said that the law on resolving labor disputes with local government employees needed to be reformed. Walker received the endorsements of Wisconsin Right to Life and The Milwaukee Sentinel, which called him a fiscal conservative and noted his pro-life, tough-on-crime, and pro-welfare reform positions. He was re-elected four times, serving until 2002 when he became a county executive.
While in the State Assembly, Walker took a special interest in criminal justice matters, and chaired the Committees on Correctional Facilities, and Corrections and the Courts. Over the years, he served on a number of other committees, including Health, Census and Redistricting, Financial Institutions, and Housing. In 1999 he took the lead in passing a truth-in-sentencing bill that ended the practice of taking time off prisoners' sentences for good behavior. In 2001, he was the lead sponsor of a bill to prevent pharmacists from being disciplined for refusing to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception. He was a strong supporter of a bill to require voters to show photo ID at the polls.
Milwaukee County executive
Walker became Milwaukee County executive in a special election called in April 2002, after the former county executive, Tom Ament, resigned in the wake of a county pension fund scandal. He was elected to a four-year term in 2004, winning 57% of the vote to defeat former state budget director, David Riemer. He won another four-year term in 2008, defeating State Senator Lena Taylor with 59% of the vote.
Walker won the office on a platform of fiscal conservatism, promising to give back part of his own salary. He criticized other county workers who kept all of their salaries and said that his voluntary give-back gave him moral authority to make cuts in the budget. He returned $60,000 per year (slightly less than half of his salary) for several years, but by 2008, he reduced his give-back to $10,000 per year.
During his eight years in office, there were disputes with the county board "over taxes, privatization of public services, quality of parks and public buildings, and delivery of social services", according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Walker never submitted a budget with a higher property tax levy than the county board had approved over his veto the prior year. He cut the number of county employees by more than 20%, and reduced the county's debt by 10%. The Greater Milwaukee Committee produced a report indicating the county was "in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy", as reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.[dead link]
Walker appointed Kevin Kavanaugh, who was the head of the local chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, to the County Veterans Service Commission.  Each year Walker raised funds for veterans at a benefit for veterans called Operation Freedom. The proceeds were given to the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Kavanaugh and four others were arrested for theft of the benefit's funds. Kavanaugh was convicted and sentenced to 21 months in prison. 
Walker's Deputy Chief of Staff, Kelly Rindfleisch pled guilty to felony misconduct in office for doing campaign work while at her taxpayer-paid county job. Rindfleisch admitted working on government time to help Brett Davis, an unsuccessful GOP candidate for lieutenant governor.
Walker’s Constituent Services Coordinator Darlene Wink when she pled guilty to fundraising for Walker’s gubernatorial campaign while in a County building. 
Campaigns for Governor
During his time as county executive, he entered the 2006 race for Wisconsin governor; becoming a candidate 21 months before the election, but dropping out after 14 months of campaigning, citing fundraising difficulties. He threw his support to fellow Republican Mark Andrew Green, who ultimately lost the election to the incumbent Democrat, Jim Doyle.
Walker became an early favorite for the 2010 Republican Party endorsement for Wisconsin governor, winning straw polls of Wisconsin GOP convention attendees in 2007 and 2008. He announced his candidacy in late April 2009 after several months of previewing his campaign themes of reduced taxes and reduced spending to Republican audiences around the state. He criticized the 2009–11 Wisconsin state budget as too big given the slow economy. He won the Wisconsin GOP convention endorsement on May 22, 2010, receiving 91% of the votes cast by the delegates. Walker won the Republican nomination in the primary election of September 14, 2010, receiving 59% of the popular vote, while former U.S. Representative Mark Neumann garnered 39%.
As part of his campaign platform, Walker said he would create 250,000 jobs in his first term through a program that would include tax cuts for small businesses, capital gains tax cuts, and income tax cuts for the highest-earning Wisconsinites. He proposed cutting state employee wages and benefits to help pay for these tax cuts. Critics argued that his proposals would help only the wealthy and that cutting the salaries of public employees would adversely affect state services, while supporters argued that tax cuts for businesses would reduce the cost of labor, which would ultimately promote consumer demand and more job growth. Walker indicated he would refuse an $810 million award from the federal Department of Transportation to build a high speed railroad line from Madison to Milwaukee, because he believed it would cost the state $7.5 million per year to operate and would not prove profitable. The award was later rescinded and split among other states.
Social issues played a part in the campaign. Walker has stated that he is "100% pro-life" and that he believes life should be protected from conception to natural death. He opposes abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. He supports abstinence-only sex education in the public schools, and opposes state supported clinical services that provide birth control and testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases to teens under the age of 18 without parental consent. He supports the right of pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives on religious or moral grounds. He supports adult stem cell research, but opposes human embryonic stem cell research.
On November 2, 2010, his 43rd birthday, Walker won the general election with 52% of total votes cast, with his closest opponent, Democrat Tom Barrett, garnering 46%.  His running mate, now Lieutenant Governor, was Rebecca Kleefisch, a former Milwaukee television news reporter.
2012 recall election
After the contentious collective bargaining dispute, Walker's disapproval ratings have varied between 50% and 51% while his approval ratings varied between 47% and 49% in 2011. The effort to recall Walker officially began on November 15, 2011.
Walker reportedly raised more than $30 million during the recall effort, with a significant portion from out of state. Commentators claimed the amount of money raised was "illustrating the national significance both political parties saw in the recall fight."
On January 17, 2012, United Wisconsin, the coalition that spearheaded the recall effort along with the Democratic Party, claimed one million signatures were collected, which far exceeded the 540,208 needed, and amounted to 23% of the state's eligible voters, 46% of the total votes cast in the 2010 gubernatorial election, and just shy of the 1.1 million votes that Walker received in 2010. The Wisconsin Government Accountability Board later announced that actually 931,053 had been turned in.
In February 2012, Walker's campaign again requested more time for the petition signatures to be verified, claiming about 20% of the signatures were not valid. Democrats argued that even if 20% of the signatures were not counted they still had 300,000 more than the required number needed to initiate the recall. The Wisconsin Democratic Party Communications Director Graeme Zielinski argued that Walker was "delaying the Inevitable". On February 17, 2012, Dane County judge Richard Niess denied Walker's request for additional time. On March 30, 2012, the Government Accountability Board unanimously ruled in favor of the recall election. The recall election for both Walker and Kleefisch took place on June 5, 2012.
During the Republican primary election for the recall, Walker received 626,538 votes. In the Democratic primary, all of the Democratic candidates combined received 670,288, with the winner, Tom Barrett, getting 390,109. On June 5, 2012, Walker won the recall election against Barrett. This was only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history and the first in which the incumbent won. Walker won the recall by a slightly larger margin (53% to 46%) than the 2010 election (52% to 46%).
Governor of Wisconsin
Walker took the oath of office to become the 45th Governor of Wisconsin on January 3, 2011.  On January 25, 2011, the state legislature passed a series of Walker-backed bills, the largest of which would cut taxes for businesses at "a two-year cost of $67 million", according to the Associated Press.
Walker became a figure of national recognition and controversy because of his proposed "Wisconsin budget repair bill". The bill, which was passed by the Wisconsin Legislature, significantly changed the collective bargaining process for most public employees in Wisconsin. Opponents of Walker's actions launched a push for a recall election, and received enough support to force an election on June 5, 2012, the first time a Governor of Wisconsin had ever faced recall. Walker successfully kept his seat as governor after winning the Wisconsin recall election against opponent Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett. Walker won the recall by a slightly larger margin (53% to 46%) than the 2010 election (52% to 46%), making him the first U.S. governor to have successfully kept the seat as governor in a recall election.
2011 budget repair bill and protests
Walker proposed a budget repair bill on February 11, 2011, that would save the state an estimated $30 million in the current fiscal year, and $300 million over the next two years. The bill would require additional contributions by state and local government workers to their health care plans and pensions, amounting to roughly an 8% decrease in the average government worker's take home pay. The bill also would eliminate, for government workers, most collective bargaining rights except for wages. Public sector employees' unions would be unable to seek pay increases above the rate of inflation, unless approved by a voter referendum. Under the bill, unions would have to win yearly votes to continue representing government workers, and could no longer have dues automatically deducted from government workers' paychecks. Law enforcement personnel and firefighters would be exempt from the bargaining changes.
In announcing the proposed legislation, Walker said the Wisconsin National Guard and other state agencies were prepared to prevent disruptions in state services. He later explained that police and firefighters were excluded from the changes because he would not jeopardize public safety. Walker also said that the bill was necessary to avoid laying off thousands of state employees, and that no one should be surprised by its provisions. Union and Democratic leaders immediately criticized the bill as a power grab, claiming that Walker had never campaigned on doing away with collective bargaining rights. In a media interview a week later, Walker said he was not trying to break the unions, and noted that Wisconsin government employees would retain the protections of civil service laws. He said that asking employees to pay half the national average for health care benefits was a modest request.
Demonstrators began protesting the proposed bill on February 14, 2011. During the sixth day of the protests, leaders of the two largest unions said publicly they were prepared to accept the financial concessions in the bill, but would not agree to the limitations of collective bargaining rights. All 14 of the Democratic state senators departed the state on February 17, preventing the passage of the bill by the (Republican-controlled) legislature in the absence of the quorum necessary for a vote. The missing legislators said they would not return to Madison unless Walker agreed to remove the limitations on collective bargaining from the bill. Walker warned that if the budget repair bill was not passed by March 1, refinancing of a $165 million state debt would fail, and more cuts would be needed to balance the budget.
Appearing on Meet the Press on February 27, Walker said he did not believe the unions were sincere in offering pension and health care concessions because local unions had recently pushed through contracts with school boards and city councils that did not include contributions to the pensions and health care, and that in one case, a contract even included a pay increase. On February 28, the largest public union filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the state labor relations board, claiming that Walker had a duty to negotiate, but had refused.
On March 8, private emails were released dating back to February 28 that showed that Walker had tried to negotiate with the Democratic legislators, even proposing to allow some collective bargaining rights. However, after failing to reach a compromise with Democratic legislators, the Republican Senate legislators removed certain fiscal provisions from the bill, allowing it to be passed by a simple senate majority.
On March 18, Judge Maryann Sumi issued a court order to prohibit publication of the bill by the Secretary of State while legal challenges to it were being considered. On March 26, the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) published the bill. Republicans contended the court order did not mention the LRB, which is (also) responsible for publishing laws, and that the publication made the bill law. Democrats maintained the bill could not become law until the Secretary of State took action and the entire law was published in the state newspaper of record, the Wisconsin State Journal. Judge Sumi subsequently clarified that, pursuant to her order, the bill could not be considered to be published, pending completion of court review.
On May 26, Judge Sumi struck down the budget repair bill, finding that its passage was in violation of state open meetings laws. The Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Sumi's ruling on June 14.
2012–2013 budget proposal
Wisconsin faces an anticipated deficit of approximately $3.6 billion in the 2012–13 budget cycle that must be balanced according to state law. Walker was planning in mid-February 2011 to propose a budget bill but was delayed by the protests and the absence of 14 state senators. He confirmed in advance that he would be asking for a 9% (or $900 million) cut in state aid to education. A revenue limit that would reduce the property tax authority by $500 per pupil would also be proposed. The state school superintendent has objected in advance to the budget, saying, "whole parts of what we value in our schools are gone." The governor released information[when?] regarding the effect his budget proposals will have on each district. In the proposal, the projected savings statewide in fringe benefits comes to about $489 million, which is offset by state aid reductions of about $394 million.
The girlfriend of then State Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) was hired for a short-term position at a salary higher than that of her predecessor. According to state records, she had never formally applied to the position, while other qualified candidates with high-level recommendations were reportedly passed over for the position.
On April 3, 2011, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that David Ross, a Walker cabinet member, named Deschane the bureau director of board services in the Department of Regulation, a job that paid $64,728 a year. Several months later after a cabinet agency merger and reshuffle Paul Jadin, Wisconsin Secretary of Commerce, had appointed Brian Deschane to an $81,500 per year job overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Deschane's father, Jerry Deschane, is executive vice president and a longtime lobbyist for the Wisconsin Builders' Association, which donated $121,652 to Walker and his Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch over the past two years. 
Domestic partner registry defense
On May 13, 2011, the Walker administration petitioned the Dane County Circuit Court for permission to withdraw the state as a defendant from Appling v. Doyle, which is a challenge to the state's domestic partner registry, which enumerates 43 rights for registered same-sex couples. Walker inherited the case from the previous administration. The motion to withdraw was made because Walker believes the registry, which was instituted in 2009, violates the state's 2006 constitutional ban of same-sex marriage and the creation of a "legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals". Walker's predecessor, Doyle, had asked the court to rule that the registry is constitutional. If the court does not allow the state to withdraw, Walker has asked that it allow him to change the state's previous filing and request the court strike the registry as unconstitutional.
Regulatory Reform Bill
On May 23, 2011, Governor Scott Walker signed legislation making important changes to the administrative rulemaking process. This measure, which became 2011 Wisconsin Act 21 (and became effective June 8, 2011), changes State agency authority to promulgate rules, provides for gubernatorial approval of proposed rules, makes revisions to the requirement of an economic impact analysis for proposed rules and changes venue in the process of judicial review of agency rules. 
Voter ID law
On May 25, 2011, Walker signed a Voter ID Law that required voters to show a government-issued ID before casting a ballot. The ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court to invalidate the law on December 13, 2011, claiming the law violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.
Rejection of health care funds
In January 2012, Walker returned a $37.6 million federal grant meant to set up a health exchange in Wisconsin after he received criticism from conservatives for helping to set up the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Walker explained that "Stopping the encroachment of ObamaCare in our state, which has the potential to have a devastating impact on Wisconsin's economy, is a top priority." Walker rejected an $11 million federal grant designed to improve Medicaid enrollment systems for the poor.
|Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election, 2012|
|Wisconsin gubernatorial election, 2010|
|Republican gain from Democratic|
|Wisconsin Gubernatorial Election 2010 – Republican Primary|
|Milwaukee County Executive Election 2008
|Scott Walker (incumbent)||98,039||59%|
|Milwaukee County Executive Election 2004
|Scott Walker (incumbent)||136,203||57%|
|Milwaukee County Executive Special Election 2002
|Wisconsin State Assembly 14th District Election 2000|
|Republican||Scott Walker (incumbent)||20,268||100%|
|Wisconsin State Assembly 14th District Election 1998|
|Republican||Scott Walker (incumbent)||14,110||68%|
|Wisconsin State Assembly 14th District Election 1996|
|Republican||Scott Walker (incumbent)||15,658||62%|
|Wisconsin State Assembly 14th District Election 1994|
|Republican||Scott Walker (incumbent)||15,487||100%|
|Wisconsin State Assembly 14th District Special Election 1993|
|Democratic||Christopher T. Ament||3,663||42%|
|Libertarian||Larry A. Boge||93||1%|
|Wisconsin State Assembly 7th District Election 1990|
|Democratic||Gwen Moore (incumbent)||3,847||69%|
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- Bice, Daniel (March 20, 2011). "Senator's girlfriend gets job". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "No degree, little experience pay off big", Daniel Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 3, 2011
- Wis. Gov. Walker tells judge he wants to stop defending domestic partner registry law in court[dead link]
- Michael Best & Friedrich LLP (July 1, 2011). "Wisconsin Governor Walker Signs Regulatory Reform Bill into Law". The National Law Review. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
- Wing, Nicholas (May 25, 2011). "Wisconsin Voter ID Law Signed By Scott Walker". The Huffington Post. Reuters. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
- "Wisconsin Voter ID Law Unconstitutional, ACLU Says in Suit", BusinessWeek, December 13, 2011. Retrieved December 17, 2011
- Stein, Jason (January 20, 2012). "State to return $11 million federal grant in dispute over health care law". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
- Newman, Alex (January 19, 2012). "Wisconsin’s Gov. Walker Rejects ObamaCare Funds". The New American.[dead link]
- Belkin, Douglas; McCain Nelson, Colleen; Porter, Caroline (June 5, 2012). "Recall Bid Fails in Wisconsin". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 6, 2012.
- "4-30-02 County Executive Special Election". Milwaukee County Election Commission. April 30, 2002. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Barish, Lawrence S.; Meloy, Patricia E., (eds.). "District Vote for Representatives to the Assembly, November 7, 2000". State of Wisconsin 2001–2002 blue book. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 929. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Barish, Lawrence S.; Meloy, Patricia E. (eds.). "District Vote for Representatives to the Assembly, Special and General Elections, 1998". State of Wisconsin 1999–2000 blue book. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 882. Retrieved February 24, 2011.
- Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.). "Vote for Representatives to the Assembly By District". State of Wisconsin 1997–1998 blue book. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 903. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Barish, Lawrence S. (ed.). "Vote for Representatives to the Assembly By District". State of Wisconsin 1995–1996 blue book. Joint Committee on Legislative Organization, Wisconsin Legislature. p. 921. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Barish, Lawrence S.; Theobald, H. Rupert (eds.). "Election Addenda, Vote for Representative to the Assembly By District, June 29, 1993". State of Wisconsin 1993–1994 blue book. Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau. p. 969. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
- Office of the Governor Scott Walker
- Biography at the National Governors Association
- Biography, interest group ratings, public statements, vetoes and campaign finances at Project Vote Smart
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Campaign contributions at FollowTheMoney.org
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Profile at Notable Names Database
- 2011 State Budget Battle, collected coverage at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of the budget repair bill and the 2011–'13 state budget
|Wisconsin State Assembly|
|Member of the Wisconsin State Assembly
from the 14th District
|Milwaukee County Executive
|Governor of Wisconsin
2011 – present
|United States order of precedence|
as Vice President
|Order of Precedence of the United States
Mayor of city
in which event is held
Otherwise John Boehner
as Speaker of the House of Representatives
as Governor of Iowa
|Order of Precedence of the United States
as Governor of California