The Wisconsin Supreme Court has just issued a ruling that puts an end to a special prosecutor’s investigation of campaign spending in Governor Scott Walker’s 2012 recall election.
“In the end, as the court said today, we’ve done the right thing and it’s just another example of where we’re used to having just about everything you can imagine thrown at us,” Walker said this morning during an interview with Radio Iowa. “We just keep our head down and plow forward.”
AUDIO of Walker’s conversation with Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson, 6:00
Walker formally kicked off his presidential campaign Monday and he’ll arrive in Iowa tomorrow to tour the state in an Iowa-made Winnebago RV. Walker has been at the top of polls here all year, partly because Iowa Republicans saw Walker win that recall election after he successfully limited some union bargaining rights.
“The recall election, unprecedented in American history — winning that and then being the number one target last year just shows what lengths the left will go to and yet in every one of those instances we prevailed,” Walker said. “I think that’s the kind of ability to both fight and win for common sense conservative values that Americans are looking for in their next president.”
The State of Wisconsin sued the federal government this week for the right to require food stamp recipients to pass a drug test. A similar move last year in Georgia was blocked by the feds and Walker told Radio Iowa that, as president, he would “absolutely” allow all 50 states to screen food stamp recipients for drug use.
“The reason for this is not punitive,” Walker said. “The reason I pushed it in Wisconsin and the reason why I would push to do this for the country is because I know in talking to job creators, employers that they’re increasing hungry to be able to put people to work, but the two things they need are people who’ve got basic employability skills…The other thing is that they say: ‘I need people who can pass a drug test.’ If we can get free of the addiction to drugs, we can get them into the workforce with the skills they need to ultimately take care of themselves and someday their families.”
Walker said “closer to the people is better” and as president he would give states more responsibility to not only run welfare programs, but make decisions about transportation and education spending at the local level.
“Even including things like environmental protection,” Walker said. “All 50 states have an equivalent of the Environmental Protection Agency. I’d much rather have those responsibilities go back to the states where the people who actually live there and are involved have to live with those regulations, unlike the people in Washington.”
Walker said the federal EPA would still be involved to mediate interstate disputes involving a river, for instance, that travels through more than one state.
Walker’s RV tour starts in the Mississippi River city of Davenport. On Friday, over the noon-hour, he’ll speak in the “Champions Club” at the ballpark where the River City Bandits minor league baseball team plays.
“We’re going to enjoy this and it’ll be nice finishing up on Sunday to be in Plainfield, Iowa, where I lived for about seven years as a kid,” Walker said. “Look to see a lot of folks that were from town, from school and from our church.”
Walker’s father was a Baptist minister. Walker’s first experience as a public speaker was in Plainfield. At the age of two, Walker delivered a brief Christmas message from the church pulpit.