Charlie Pierce goes to see Scott Walker in New Hampshire:
I was especially interested in the evening show provided by Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. I had to wait for John Sununu, Sr. to go through an introduction that lasted longer than the Good Friday ritual. (Sununu may still be talking. CSPAN cut away to listen to Walker.) But Walker was worth the wait. We heard about how he’s going to ride his Harley to Bike Week in Laconia this year. We heard the bit about buying the shirt at Kohl’s. We heard “go big and go bold.” We heard about the death threats. And we heard a lot of stunning misdirection about how rosy things are with the Wisconsin economy. (I was especially taken with how he boasted that he had turned his state into a right-to-work paradise, Walker having denied up and down throughout the last campaign that he had any such plans.) And there is no question. Scott Walker is the best Governor of Wisconsin that New Hampshire ever has had.
What we didn’t hear, of course, was that, back in America’s Dairyland, they may never get out of the death spiral into which Walker has shown the actual state he allegedly actually governs. His new budget is so draconian that even some of the Republicans in his pet legislature are starting to get nervous. And the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a newspaper of wild ambivalence regarding Walker and his prospective candidacy, dropped a dungbomb on him that demonstrated that, while Scott Walker may have bought a shirt at Kohl’s, he isn’t qualified to run a cash register there.
Last August, a Wisconsin state agency told two family-planning organizations that they owed a total of $3.5 million because they had overbilled Medicaid programs for prescription drugs and certain services. Last week, the agency — the Office of Inspector General at the Department of Health Services — lowered the amount by more than $3.2 million. The two family-planning organizations — NEWCAP Community Health Services and Family Planning Health Services — were told of the change in letters from Alan White, the inspector general. Yet the letters raise more questions than they answer, not the least being how the state could have been off by 93% — and maybe more, given that at least one of the organizations plans to challenge the remaining claims. The Department of Health Services would not make White or anyone else in the department available for interviews this week, and White did not return phone calls. The department would only answer questions via email.
My suspicions that family-planning clinics were deliberately targeted in order to placate those parts of The Base that Walker needs to appease are completely unfounded, I’m sure. And I am the Tsar of all the Russias.
(He will get around to uttering some barefaced non-facts about this situation sooner or later. He’s had practice at that.)
This coincided with Walker’s Rubio-esque attempt to thread the marriage equality needle; apparently, he won’t go to the clerk’s office, but he’ll go to the reception. (Is he only in it for the open bar and the bratwurst? Stay tuned.) And it also coincided with some new polling numbers from alma mammy that fit Walker for the bell also worn by “Bobby” Jindal and Chris Christie back in their home states. The folks in Wisconsin seem to be tumbling to the fact that their state, in addition to being a lab rat for corporate conservatism, has been rendered quite deliberately little more than a vehicle in which Scott Walker can run for president. Good luck with that.