Top Republican Legislator Abandons Walker, Calls Him ‘Whack Job’

Rep. Robin Vos was quoted by Scott Bauer of the AP regarding Scott Walker and the upcoming recall election: “I think they’re going to want to vote for him even knowing this guy’s a whack job.” Photo: Rebecca Kemble

In an article issued by the Associated Press on Monday, Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), Wisconsin State Chairman of ALEC, appears to be abandoning his support of Scott Walker just as the John Doe investigation into crimes committed by staff members during his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive looms ever closer to Walker himself. According to Politiscoop, the investigation has netted a total of 15 felonies among five Walker associates. Tim Russell, Kelly Rindfleisch, Kevin Kavanaugh, Brian Pierick, William Gardner and Darlene Wink face charges ranging from, “campaigning on county time to child pornography.” The article continues, “Gov. Walker has remained consistent in denying any knowledge of wrong doing, while at the same time spending thousands of dollars on high-powered criminal defense attorneys.”

One associate who has yet to be named is Dorothy J. Moore, Walker’s Executive Assistant in Milwaukee County who followed him to the Governor’s office. It was Moore who “quickly transferred” Ian Murphy to Walker’s Chief of Staff Keith Gilkes, allowing Murphy to complete his infamous fake Koch phone call in which Walker happily and unethically accepted Murphy/Koch’s offer to be flown out to “Cali” to celebrate “dropping the bomb,” a.k.a. the Budget Repair Bill. This 144-page ALEC-inspired piece of legislation was introduced on a Thursday with the proclamation by Vos, Co-Chair of the Joint Finance Committee, that it would be passed the following Tuesday. This drew hundreds of thousands of citizens to the capitol in a dramatic display of 1st and 4th amendment rights. In an attempt to filibuster the bill, as well as to resist the tyrannical orders that they and the public would only get one week to review and give input on it, fourteen Senate Democrats left the state.

It’s no wonder state Republicans are turning tail and fleeing the insanity. Early this year, Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) broke with party lock-step to introduce a new mining bill. He also voted against the G-Tac-authored bill that was illegally passed in the Assembly after the public was removed and the doors to the gallery were locked in violation of Article IV, Section 10 of the Wisconsin Constitution that requires the doors of the legislature to remain open. Sen. Pam Galloway (R-Wausau), facing a recall herself, resigned on March 23, the final day of the last legislative session.

Now Republican Assembly leader Robin Vos, dubbed “The Grand Pooh-Bah of ALEC” by Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison), has come out with a statement that could be construed as carefully constructed to distance himself from the possible future felon, Scott Walker.

Arthur Kohl Riggs, the only other Republican candidate running in the primary against Scott Walker, interviewed by Racine Journal Times reporter at a candidate debate in Racine, WI. Photo: Nicole Desautels Schulte

Scott Bauer’s AP piece was picked up by Gannett News and fed to hundreds of news outlets around the country, some with the headline, State Republicans: Votes for fake Democrats help our cause. At first glance, the headline might seem innocent enough as if it were a quote from within the article. However, the lack of quotation marks also makes it appear as if it’s an open message to Republicans around the state to vote for the fake Democrats being run in the primaries by the GOP.

Bauer interviewed Vos, who claimed there is no organized effort to encourage Republicans to vote for fake Democrats. But when asked about Arthur Kohl-Riggs, the young Republican running on a Bob LaFollette Republican platform, Bauer reports that Vos said, “That makes it unlikely there will be widespread crossover voting in that race.” Vos continued, “I still think when people see two names on the ballot, they are so supportive of Gov. Walker almost to the point of being all in. I think they’re going to want to vote for him even knowing this guy’s a whack job.”

Is Vos giving the signal it’s time to give up on Walker?

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18 Comments on “Top Republican Legislator Abandons Walker, Calls Him ‘Whack Job’”

  1. Laura Chern April 25, 2012 at 11:14 am #

    My friend Gerry Manderling shared this on Robin Vos’ FB page. He is asking for an explanation. Do you think he will get one?

  2. Joy April 25, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I’d say that’s a misreading. Based on the context, he’s pretty clearly calling Arthur a whack job, not Walker – i.e., the idea is that they’ll vote for Walker even though they think Art’s candidacy is a joke and he could never win.*

    *Note that this is my interpretation of what Vos is saying, not what I think.

    • Adem April 29, 2012 at 3:43 pm #

      What exactly is the difference between what you think and what your interpretation is? I interpret and think with the same part of my body, using thinking to interpret what things mean. When I read the sentence and give my interpretation/thinking, there is only one proper noun in the statement, Walker. “they’re going to want to vote for ‘him’ even though he’s a whack job.” So if the Republicans are in fact going to vote for Art, then he is the whack job, yes. But if they are going to vote for Walker (since they are all in) then he, in fact, is the whack job.

  3. Laura Chern April 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    But Joy, it’s so much more fun the other way.

  4. K April 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

    I would have to agree that Vos is referring to Art as the whack job. It would be nice the other way.

  5. Worley Dervish April 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    Pronoun trouble–just who is “this guy”? Grammatically, “this guy” could easily be referring to Walker. “I demand that you shoot me now.”

  6. AmyV April 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Hey, let’s take Robin at his word, literally. If Robin can’t be clearer, then that’s his problem. He so avoids mainstream media for the RWNJ media outlets of Charlie Sykes and VickiMcKenna, that, well, when he speaks to the Associated Press, then I analyze those words carefully. IMHO, he’s calling Scott Walker a whack job. LOL. Maybe if Vos didn’t avoid the difficult questions with the credible media, he wouldn’t get zinged when he isn’t absolutely clear (or transparent or honest oe secretive)

  7. Ann April 25, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Rep. politicians are waking up from all of the damaging laws they’ve enacting all across this nation and it has to do with trying to be re-elected and not with conscience.

    The electorate will be speaking and all of them must go. They’ve committed political suicide with all of the votes seeking to control women’s rights, the dismantling of the social safety net for the most vulnerable of us, gun laws…yes. Stand Your Ground.

  8. Betsy44 April 25, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    If he is referring to Art, then the sentence before it doesn’t make sense. It basically says people are overwhelmingly going to vote for Walker, then why would he go on to say they want to vote for him (Art), doesn’t make sense.

    • shannon April 25, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

      I agree with your assessment of the sentence structures, Betsy44. It makes no sense to read them any other way, and unless you want to give Vos the benefit of doubt, he called Walker a whack job.

  9. Sarah littleredfeather Kalamanson April 25, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    [Post deleted]

  10. Sarah littleredfeather Kalamanson April 25, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    [Post deleted]

  11. Hematite April 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

    It’s always fun to see the Walker supporters sputtering in anger as they vainly attempt to grasp irony.

  12. Peter Perry April 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    I disagree with Worley Dervish on his grammatical point. Strictly grammatically, the whack job is, indeed, Walker. However, going back to the original article, it is abundantly clear that Vos is referring to Kohl-Riggs, not to Walker. Sorry to be the wet blanket.

  13. Andrew McCuaig April 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    I completely agree with Joy’s statement. The headline is completely false. Vos did not call Walker a “Whack job” and any decent reader can clearly see that. Vos may possibly be distancing himself but let’s not pretend that the super-whack job Vos is breaking ranks. I am a teacher and die-hard Walker-hater, but please… printing erroneous headlines and making liberals waste time sifting for the truth and/or getting our hopes up doesn’t do our side any good.

    • Hematite April 28, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      We are just having fun with Vos’ poor phrasing and Bauer’s poor writing, and the smug attitude toward Arthur that they share. Incompetent reporter meets corrupt, pie-eating politician.

      • Andrew McCuaig April 28, 2012 at 11:13 am #

        Ah, OK. I didn’t get your intent.

  14. Hunter May 5, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

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