July 17, 2015 by Maureen Matusewic
Governor Scott Walker’s controversial quote about the proposal that would allow gay Boy Scout leaders has brought a hailstorm of media attention to the policies of the Boy Scouts. The conservative Independent Journal Review reported on Tuesday that Walker said, “I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values.” (1.)
This recent quote had news outlets running wild with the story as many wondered how a United States governor and republican presidential candidate could not know the difference between pedophiles and gays. LGBT organizations asked Walker for an apology. By Wednesday, Walker was backtracking. Walker tried to explain that he meant that he didn’t feel boys were in physical harm from gays, but rather he felt the ban on gay leaders protected the boys from “… the very thing you’re talking about right now, the political and media discussion about it.”
Since Walker brought this media storm to the Scouts, isn’t Walker saying he is more dangerous to the Boy Scouts than gay and pedophile leaders?
This is the same presidential candidate who repeatedly uses his Eagle Scout status as a qualification for being president. On his official Wisconsin gubernatorial website, Walker mentions the Boy Scouts right after his experience of being a preacher’s son.
Walker did not try to explain what being gay has to do with the “to advance Scout values” part of his quote, but he has repeatedly said that being an Eagle Scout has prepared him to be President of the United States. At a Chamber of Commerce meeting in Phoenix earlier this year, Walker said, “And to me, much like my thought process of being an Eagle Scout is, no, being an exceptional country means we have a higher responsibility … not just to care for ourselves and our own interests, but to lead in the world, to ensure that all freedom-loving people have the capacity, who yearn for that freedom, to have that freedom.” (2.)
Does this mean Walker is for freedom of gays to lead Boy Scouts?
The day after Walker’s comments brought nationwide attention to the Boy Scouts, Walker was asked if he supports or opposes allowing gay Boy Scout leaders. Walker replied: “I’m not running for president of the Boy Scouts.” But he is running for the president of the United States, which makes the question of Walker’s policy toward LGBT citizens even more important. In Wisconsin, he has led the charge for privatization of schools and union busting. Should we be concerned that he would push for more privatization throughout the US and allow more groups and industries to choose to exclude people of their choice?
Walker said that the decision on gay leaders is not up to him, it is up to the Boy Scouts. (3) However, Walker is in charge of making appointments for the State of Wisconsin. If elected president, he will be making appointments for some of the most powerful leaders in the world. So what kind of leaders has Walker appointed? Here is a small sampling of Walker’s most egregious appointments including convicted thieves, pedophiles, and felons:
When he was Milwaukee County Executive, Walker appointees Timothy Russell and Kevin Kavanaugh were charged with multiple felonies as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers. The pair were found guilty of stealing from funds for veterans and their families. (13)
Prosecutors also charged a third man—Brian Pierick, Russell’s domestic partner—with two felonies for child enticement. Records show that both Russell and Kavanaugh were involved with the child. On January 25, 2013, Pierick entered a No Contest pleas to the charge of Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. He was fined $2,148 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. (14) (Note to Governor Walker and those who don’t understand the difference; having a partner of the same sex is OK. That’s called being gay. Having any kind of sex with children is not OK. That’s called being a pedophile.)
On November 29, 2012, Russell entered a pleas of guilty to Theft in a Business Setting, a class G Felony. He was sentenced to two years in prison and five years of extended supervision on January 22, 2013. He was also ordered to pay $26,621.04 in restitution.
Kelly Rindfleisch, Walker’s former deputy chief of staff , was found guilty of felony misconduct charges in the same investigation. She blames democrats for digging in to find out about her crimes. (15)
Cathy Stepp, outspoken critic of the Department of Natural Resources and real estate developer appointed by Walker to head Wisconsin’s DNR. His reasoning? “I wanted someone with a chamber-of-commerce mentality.” (4) Under Stepp’s leadership, Wisconsin has gone from being a state known for its rich environmental history and policies to one that allows lobbyists and mining companies to write their environmental laws. (5)
Walker appointed Michael Grebe, the son of Walker’s former campaign chairman, to the Wisconsin University Board of Regents. Grebe and his father are important players in the right-wing Bradley Foundation that supports Walker.(6) The Bradley Foundation has some of Walker’s biggest donors for members including billionaire Diane Hendricks who was caught on video digging Walker’s “divide and conquer” strategy for tearing Wisconsin residents apart. (7)
For Wisconsin’s Public Service commission, the watchdog of public utilities, Walker appointed Madison Gas & Electric executive Scott Neitzel and Bob Seitz, a utility lobbyist and official of the now defunct Gogebic Taconite mine. (8) Gogebic Taconite gained notoriety for writing mining laws in Wisconsin that eased environmental laws, allowed the filling of wetlands, and took away designation and protections for areas of special natural resources. Open records requests revealed the company donated at least $700,000 to Governor Walker. (9) Walker had wanted to appoint GTac’s Seitz to a head position in the DNR, but was forced to back off because of federal laws on conflict of interest. (10) Seitz is against residential solar energy as can be seen in his letter to the editor where he berates citizens using rooftop solar energy for stealing. (11)
This year, Walker appointed a controversial former prosecutor who happens to be a brother of Walker’s campaign attorney to a judgeship in Outagamie Circuit Court. Vince Biskupic was investigated by the state’s ethics board in 2003 and was accused of misconduct, presenting false information and making a secret deal with an informant in 2005. (12)
How do these examples of appointments and Walker’s actions line up with Walker’s assertion that being an Eagle Scout has prepared him to be a great leader? Here are the obligations of Eagle Scouts from the Eagle Challenge from the Voice of an Eagle. Each is connected to just one example of Walker’s leadership.
1. He knows that “A Scout is Trustworthy.” (Politifacts false statements from Walker.)
2. The second obligation of an Eagle Scout is Loyalty. (Walker flirts as he speaks of dividing and conquering the regular people of Wisconsin to a billionaire widow.) https://www.google.com/#q=scott+walker+divide+and+conquer+video
3. The third obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be COURAGEOUS. (Walker talks about breaking unions, but doesn’t mention how he gives into corporations and big donors.) http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/walker-will-stand-up-to-the-other-guys.-for-our-guys-he-rolls-over./article/2561671
4. The fourth obligation of an Eagle Scout is to be CHEERFUL. (Especially when it comes to women’s bodies.) http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2015/05/scott-walker-mandatory-ultrasounds
5. The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is SERVICE. “The Eagle Scout extends a helping hand to those who still toil up Scouting’s trail, just as others helped him on his climb to the Eagle. The Eagle stands as a protector of the weak and helpless. He aids and comforts the unfortunate and the oppressed. He upholds the rights of others while defending his own. He will always ‘Be Prepared to put forth his best.'” (So many, from not accepting Medicaid, to drug testing for those seeking aid, to getting rid of Planned Parenthoods, to forced ultrasounds on women seeking abortions, to anti-gay comments, to closing state parks and raising rates to giving the rich bigger tax breaks and making it easier for big polluters to pollute waterways of the people. Here’s one that went too far.)
With the presidential election over a year away, we can expect Walker to continue to present himself as a member of groups that please right-wing voters in America. But since most people like the Boy Scouts, here’s a little advice. Governor Walker, do the Boy Scouts a favor and quit trying to represent them as a homophobic organization in which their members grow up and rule in conflict with their Eagle Scout obligations.
From There Ain’t No Bugs on Me
Oh, there ain’t no bugs on me, on me.
There ain’t no bugs on me.
There may be bugs on some of you mugs
But there ain’t no bugs on me.
Oh it ain’t gonna rain no more no more
It ain’t gonna rain no more
How in the heck can I wash my neck
When it ain’t gonna rain no more?
Well little bugs have littler bugs.
Up on their backs to bite’em
And the littler bugs have still littler bugs
And so ad infinitum.
Humpty Dumpty fell right down and landed on his head
So, all the horses and the men had scrambled eggs and bread.