Skip to main content


LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 29:  Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker holds up his cell phone as he speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition spring leadership meeting at The Venetian Las Vegas on March 29, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Republican Jewish Coalition
More than two decades after leaving Marquette University without finishing up his degree, Gov. Scott Walker wants to earn his diploma.

A spokeswoman said the governor wants to finish his college degree through the University of Wisconsin-System's innovative online course offerings. For now, however, Walker is still waiting for the right degree program to be added to the lineup of the still fledgling program.

"Governor Walker would like to finish his degree through the UW FlexOption once they expand the degree offerings," Laurel Patrick said.

The governor left Marquette University his senior year to take a job with the American Red Cross and hasn't finished his degree. He has often said he would like to wrap up the task. - Milwaukee- Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, 4/7/14

Here's a big reason Walker is looking to get his college degree now:

Walker's lack of a college degree has come up from time to time in the context of his potential 2016 presidential campaign. The last president who didn't have a college degree was Harry Truman. - Washington Post, 4/8/14
Walker also said that it was difficult for him to become a part-time student:

He said he tried to be a part-time student, but couldn't keep up with it when his children were born.

As governor, he has advocated for the University of Wisconsin's online FlexOption, which is designed for people with some college credits looking to finish their degree. - TPM, 4/8/14

Well i for one encourage Walker to go back to college.  While he's there, he should take a history course because he's leading Wisconsin in a very wrong direction:

Under his watch, our once progressive state has plummeted below the standards of Mississippi as the worse state in the union for a black child.

The Annie Casey Foundation study released last week took into account such factors as high school graduation data, proficiency in math and reading, family income, employment prospects and poverty levels.

Under Walker, academic achievement gaps have widened, job growth goals have disappeared, and income inequality has broadened.

Walker has restricted the vote, slashed public education and prevented access to health care to the working poor and Medicaid eligible.

He has resorted to extremes to prosecute dissent, even that offered in song.

His strategy of making the populace poorer, sicker, less educated and intimidated falls in line with his divide and conquer approach to leadership. - Wisconsin State Journal, 4/8/14

Hopefully after this year, Walker will have plenty of time to get his college degree, especially with Mary Burke (D. WI) starting to make waves:

National organizations on both sides seem to be taking Burke’s bid seriously. The Republican Governors’ Association began airing negative TV ads against her in February. In just three months, Burke has amassed a $1.79 million for her campaign war chest.

But even with that strong start, not to mention her own personal fortune and the support of Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood and other progressive organizations, conservative interest groups are expected to pour millions into the race.

A graduate of Georgetown and Harvard Business School, Burke spent 12 years working for Trek Bicycle, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer her family founded and operates.

Burke’s experience at Trek is the best known part of her biography, but it’s been nearly a decade since she left the private sector. She served for two years as the state’s commerce secretary under Walker’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. Since 2007 she has focused on philanthropy, and she won a seat on the Madison School Board in 2012.

While details of Burke’s platform are still coming into focus, her resume suggests someone intelligent and thoughtful, if not a progressive heroine.

Burke has made education a centerpiece of her campaign, and she strongly opposes Walker’s effort to expand the state’s school voucher program.

“If we’re going to drain money away from our public schools to pay for an entirely different school system, we’re in trouble,” she told msnbc.

Burke also wants to tackle the cost of higher education and has proposed creating a state authority to help people refinance their student loans as they would other types of debt.

Burke is an unequivocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act and wants to expand Medicaid in the state, which Walker has refused to do. She opposes new laws that will drastically reduce access to reproductive health care services and could close two of the state’s four abortion providers.

“I just believe very firmly that women should have the freedom to make their own health choices,” Burke said in an interview last year. “I think we have to make sure that the freedoms that women have enjoyed are ones that they are able to enjoy in the future. This is just standing up for what that I think is right.”

The issue most likely to take priority in this year’s election is one that has already caused problems for Burke’s campaign: jobs.

Burke has criticized Walker for falling down on job creation in the state and promises to jump start the state’s economy. She has also supports raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. But her campaign was slow to release its own job creation plan, waiting to do so until just last week. Walker’s campaign had seized on the apparent delay in putting out specifics to attack Burke for not prioritizing middle class workers.

Burke insists the economic plight of Wisconsin’s workers was too important to hurry.

“This is a jobs plan that not only will I run on, but it’s the one that will provide my game plan when I’m governor. So it has to be well thought out and it isn’t something that I’m going to rush,” she told msnbc.

Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs when he first ran in 2010 and has fallen well short of that number.  Numbers released last week put Wisconsin 35th out of 50 states in private sector job creation, adding only 28,351 jobs between September 2012 and September 2013.

Burke’s campaign may well be hampered by voting rights restrictions in the state that Walker has championed. He has signed into law a series of voting restrictions that could disenfranchise students, elderly and disabled residents, and communities of color. In addition to a voter ID law currently facing a court challenge, Walker signed a bill eliminating weekend and nighttime early voting on March 27.

“It makes absolutely no sense to put barriers in front of people to vote,” Burke said. “We want people voting, we want people participating in our government and feeling like they have a voice.” - MSNBC, 4/3/14

Burke recently scored some big endorsements:

Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke has won the endorsement of three major unions, despite her mixed views on the law championed by her opponent Gov. Scott Walker that essentially ended collective bargaining for most public workers.

The Wisconsin AFL-CIO, the statewide teachers union Wisconsin Education Association Council and the Madison Teachers Inc. all announced Wednesday they were backing Burke. - AP, 4/2/14

And Burke has been out touting her jobs plan:

Burke’s five-point plan aimed at boosting Wisconsin’s business climate by focusing on the following areas:

• Organizing economic development around groups of similar or related companies, rather than individual companies. Examples of such clusters included business services, insurance services, hospitality and tourism, and paper and packaging.

• Closing the degree gap to connect middle-class workers with modern jobs. She said that Wisconsin will need to educate nearly 670,000 more workers beyond high school to fill projected job openings by 2025.

• Investing in entrepreneurs and small-business development. She said she would quadruple Wisconsin’s venture capital fund from $30 million to $120 million over four years and attract another $250 million in private funding. She said this would help small businesses grow and create jobs.

• Positioning Wisconsin to be competitive globally. She said she would push Wisconsin to export more goods and services to other states and would help bring foreign manufacturing back to the state.

• Creating a climate to grow jobs and a quality workforce by investing in communities. She said she would, for example, maximize federal funding available for things like high-speed rail and Internet.

She also pledged to create a “Wisconsin Jobs Dashboard” that she said would offer transparency and allow people to track how the state is doing.

She pledged to make it easier for students to take basic requirements at technical colleges and transfer those credits, and to create a student loan refinancing authority to help some current borrowers refinance their student loans.

The plan also detailed her support for phasing in a $10.10 minimum wage in three stages and reinstating Wisconsin’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act. - Wisconsin State Journal, 3/25/14

If you want to get involved and donate to Burke's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Wed Apr 09, 2014 at 12:28 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site