John W. Eyster: Columnist exposes Walker's about-face on outsourcing
The headline on Daniel Bice's “No Quarter” column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel grabbed my attention. Wisconsin's Governor Walker doing an “about-face”? NO WAY! He is, after all the Eagle Scout Christian Governor of WI!
I make it a point to read Bice's “No Quarter” because of its high level of credibility and incisive investigative journalism. I am very thankful for HIGH QUALITY INVESTIGATIVE like that of Daniel Bice and other Milwaukee Journal Sentinel journalists. I am sure you are aware of the “Watchdog” feature investigations of the paper. If not, I urge you to check out this high quality journalism, “Watchdog Online.”
Daniel Bice's “No Quarter Blog” is one of the components of “Watchdog Online.”
I think it is significant that WE THE PEOPLE of WI be aware of the political gyrations/gymnastics of candidates for elective offices. Teaching Political Science, I KNOW that essentially ALL political candidates spin/parse their words make “ABOUT-FACE” moves.
Bice's blog provides us with a specific example of an about-face by candidate Scott Walker who is running for re-election to continue as Governor. He has chosen to focus on the issue of outsourcing jobs by US employers. He has attacked Mary Burke who is another candidate for WI Governor. This has put outsourcing of jobs in the spotlight. I think it is helpful to us to have the information and perspective that Daniel Bice provides in this blog post. I urge you to read it: “Scott Walker does about-face on outsourcing as campaign issue.”
Bice got my attention with his lead, “It's amazing what two years and a tight election can do to a politician's perspective.”
He quickly focuses on the example he is citing, “In 2012, Gov. Scott Walker was asked on a couple of occasions what he thought of President Barack Obama's attacks on his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, over the issue of outsourcing.”
Bice reports, “Walker's response: 'Obama was trying to distract voters from his lousy job performance.'
"'The president's team desperately does not want to run on his record, so they are desperately trying to have it about anything other than his record,' Walker said to Dan Balz, one of the nation's top political reporters, in July 2012.”
Additional evidence is added, “The first-term Republican governor also held a news conference around the same time with then-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, with the pair deriding Obama for using the issue of outsourcing by Romney's former firm, Bain Capital, to distract from Obama's 'horrible' record.”
The report follows up with the CNN report that WI Governor Walker made a similar argument, accusing Obama of trying to change the subject from his record in office. "When asked if Bain is a fair part of Romney's record to examine, Walker said people should focus on his record as governor of Massachusetts.
“McDonnell, standing off to the side, shook his head and said, "No, no" that Bain and outsourcing should be off limits.”
Bice brings the issue back home citing Bill Blauber and Jason Stein's article, “Scott Walker, Mary Burke clash over Trek Bicycle jobs, taxes” published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday, July 21. You have probably seen the Walker campaign ad attacking Burke.
Bice cites Burke's accusation that Walker is hypocritical on the issue of outsourcing and quotes her, "It seems like he's changing his mind. In 2012, he says that, and now he does an about-face and is attacking me on that."
The claims and counter claims of hypocrisy are cited.
Responding to inquiry about references to statements made by Senator Baldwin and Democrat Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate, Mary Burke replied, "I can't speak for them. But as governor, I'm going to bring my business experience as an executive at Trek Bicycle to make sure I'm supporting Wisconsin companies to do all that they can to being successful in Wisconsin and growing jobs."
Bice brings to our attention Mary Burke's job plan: “In fact, Burke's job plan, 'Invest for Success' includes an entire section on how to recruit and retain manufacturers back from abroad. In the plan, she vows to create something called the Wisconsin Insourcing Initiative, or WIN, to try to encourage firms to end the 'dismal trend' of outsourcing and move manufacturing and supply operations back to the state.”
How can WE THE PEOPLE of WI decipher the continuing political spinning and “about-face” manipulations? What do YOU think? I thank DANIEL BICE for his valuable investigation with resource to help me as a VOTER evaluate the candidates!
John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor of political science at UW-Whitewater and an advocate for Project Citizen, a model curriculum for democracy/civics education in Wisconsin high schools. John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff. His opinion is not necessarily that of the The Gazette staff or management.