“I may have reformed myself out of a job”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interviews Gov. Scott Walker:

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday returned to the public eye since losing an expensive and hard-fought bid for a third term — telling reporters he doesn’t know what’s next but doesn’t see his loss as a “rejection.”

“It was without a doubt a big election — bigger turnout than ever before — but the numbers we received a week ago Tuesday would have won the election four years ago, would have won the election eight years ago,” Walker said in a 25-minute, wide-ranging interview. “In no way do I see it as a rejection, but rather just a larger electorate than we’ve ever seen in the past.”

Following Walker’s defeat, some Republicans have questioned the City of Milwaukee’s late counting of more than 47,000 absentee ballots, which propelled Gov.-elect Tony Evers to a win. Walker said Thursday he had a team of lawyers look into it, but said it came down to “incompetence as opposed to corruption.”

Walker, 51, said he isn’t sure what he will do after leaving public office in January for the first time in two decades, but said he isn’t planning to join President Donald Trump’s administration.

He said instead of taking a trip to decompress after the Nov. 6 defeat, he spent the time helping his mother move into a new apartment following his father’s death in October.

“More important than getting away from it all is getting into it,” he said of spending time with his mother after the election loss. “I really don’t have much of an interest at this point in going to Washington.”

Walker said he would consider proposals from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) to approve in his remaining days as governor, but suggested none of the measures would be major.

“What have we not done?” Walker said, referring to major legislation altering the state’s landscape for manufacturers, public employees and residents on welfare. “We’ve been such a reformer, I may have reformed myself out of a job.”

Walker again pushed for lawmakers to pass a $70 million incentive package for papermaker Kimberly-Clark Corp. and said if the Legislature doesn’t act by the end of November, “those jobs will be gone.” …

On the prospect of Evers rolling back measures Walker championed, including possibly eliminating the state’s job agency Walker created or altering the contract with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn Technology Group, Walker downplayed the idea of significant change.

“The state of Wisconsin is not going to go backward,” he said. “If I just chose not to run and decided to serve out my term without an election, I’d be very proud of what we’ve done in this state.”

Perhaps we should revisit this in four years, when the state will be infinitely worse off and Evers’ incompetence as an administrator (based not on my opinion, but on what people whose jobs include working with Evers and DPI have said) becomes apparent even to Democrats.

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