To my knowledge nobody has recently verified that Governor Scott Walker actually earned an Eagle Scout badge he frequently claims as proof of his personal integrity. (I was a scout, too. I didn’t earn a lot of badges. I just liked camping.) If he actually did attain the rank of Eagle legitimately when he was a young man, Walker’s subsequent actions show that the badge is no guarantee of goodness. Based on the verifiable record of his post-scouting career, I fully expect him to bring a backpack full of dirty tricks to the recall Jamboree set to get underway against him in November. He’s had years of experience cheating, and he’s good at it. Why fix something if it ain’t broken, right?
Walker was found guilty of violating Marquette University’s student government campaign rules shortly before he dropped out of college. (Or was he kicked out? The record is not clear.) Even today, he fudges the truth about his aborted academic career, saying he left early to take a good job (maybe) and often implying that he eventually finished his degree (definitely false.) During last year’s campaign, for example, he said to a reporter from Madison “I was one of the fortunate ones who had a job opportunity going into my senior year, went to work full time for the American Red Cross before I finished off my college degree, and I think my record speaks for itself.”
While he was a member of the Wisconsin Assembly from 1993 to 2002, members of his staff had significant ties to the caucus scandal that rocked the capitol. The scandal resulted in numerous convictions for using public resources to do political campaigning, although Walker was spared. His current legislative director, Cindy Polzin, was granted immunity from prosecution during those scandals.
It doesn’t stop. Many of Scott Walker’s top aides have resigned recently as an investigation into Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign continues to widen. The Milwaukee County District Attorney, who is conducting the on-going John Doe investigation, has already successfully convicted one of Walker’s top campaign contributors for donating thousands of dollars to Walker illegally. Walker’s spokesperson has been granted immunity and FBI agents assisting in the investigation recently seized evidence from the home of another top Walker aide.
Amidst all the criminal and unethical activity swirling around him, though, Walker invokes the image of his alleged Eagle Scout badge as proof that he’s not involved. “Scout’s honor,” he’s essentially saying.
Eddie Haskell, the weaselly, two-faced friend of Wally and Beaver Cleaver, has more credibility than “Scout” Walker.
Walker has also proven he does not have the self-restraint to stop digging when he finds himself in a hole, so expect more cheating from him during the upcoming signature-gathering period and the eventual recall election. Here are a few predictions:
- Expect covert Walker operatives to collect recall signatures with the intention of shredding them. Thousands of people who sign will never have their names turned in to the legitimate recall committee. Similarly, fake petitions will be circulated tricking citizens into believing they have signed a recall petition.
- Expect the filing of at least one police report alleging that criminals are going door to door pretending to be recall volunteers but robbing or injuring people when they open their doors. The “criminals” will never be found, but expect wide-spread media reports to result, which will scare citizens away from signing petitions.
- Expect emails to circulate telling people that Democrats are going to keep track of people who refuse to sign so they can punish them later.
- Expect at least one mysterious fire, electrical surge, or burglary at the offices of organizations coordinating the recall efforts.
- Expect Walker’s allies to accuse recall organizers of cheating when they themselves are caught cheating.
- Expect Walker’s Republican party to force a primary election by running a fake Democrat if the real Democrats have only one candidate.
- Expect draconian and confusing new voting rules that will discourage minorities, college students, senior citizens, and disabled voters from voting in the recall election. Oh, wait, we already have that.
- Expect the Walker campaign, through one of their front groups, to distribute mailings that list the wrong date for the election. Expect those mailings to go to Milwaukee addresses in primarily African-American neighborhoods.
- Expect Kathy Nickolaus to be the last county clerk to report her vote totals.
- Expect the Milwaukee County District Attorney and/or the U.S. Justice Department to indict Walker and/or his top aides soon.
And if anyone has a photo of Scott Walker wearing his Boy Scout uniform, with the Eagle badge, I’d love to see it. He says he earned it, but knowing his habit of stretching the truth, it’s more likely that he punched a Girl Scout and stole her cookie money.