Is Scott Walker Available, or Isn't He?

May 17, 2010

Walker, Campaign Manager Contradict Each Other 

Madison – Yesterday, in response to attacks from Republican primary opponent Mark Neumann that Scott Walker is spending too much time on the campaign trail at the expense of his duties as Milwaukee County Executive, Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes responded defensively and ferociously that his candidate was available via cell phone 24-7 to handle county issues.

·         “It’s just like the governor. He (Scott Walker) is the county executive. In that role as county executive, he is on the job 24 hours a day and is available at any point to address any issues that may be raised,” (Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes, Wispolitics.com, 5/17/10).

·         “He’s (Scott Walker) got a cell phone that he can be reached at any place, any timeAnd he can make a decision at any point that needs to be made.” (Gilkes, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 5/17/10)

Yet just 10 days earlier, in remarks at the Conservation Congress, Scott Walker himself said he is intentionally not available to take phone calls and handle issues at certain times, and that this would continue to be the case if elected governor.

·         “Whether it is Riding a Harley or hunting I don’t answer my phone because that is exactly the reason that I go hunting or riding a Harley…as Governor if you want to find me you’re not going to find me when I am out hunting or fishing or riding a Harley.  Because that’s part of the refuge of getting away.”  (Scott Walker in remarks to the Conservation Congress, 5/7/2010).

Watch the video to see the remarks:  Video: https://www.box.net/shared/static/rrgujab7fv.wmv

“Walker’s statement is fascinating not only because he directly contradicts his campaign manager, but because right now Walker is joyriding around the state on his Harley for a week, campaigning for governor on the taxpayers’ dime,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate.  “Thank goodness there are no crises at the County right now that demand his attention.”

In an editorial today the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel wrote “Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and administrators at the county’s Mental Health Complex need to act now to correct problems there.”  The editorial comes in the wake of reports of multiple sexual assaults of female patients at the facility.  The county’s top mental health administrator – and Walker appointee – John Chianelli has defended a policy that accepts the sexual assaults as a “trade off” for reduced instances of violence among male patients.