Scott Walker

Scott Walker Flip-Flops in Favor of Federal Ethanol Mandate

Wisconsin governor, no stranger to corporate welfare, sings a new tune in front of Iowa farmers


Strikes me more of an Empire kinda guy. |||

In 2006, when he was running for governor, Scott Walker took the opportunity of a proposed statewide ethanol mandate (which his opponent favored) to declare his opposition to all ethanol mandates, state or federal:

"Currently, we have a problem with big government in Madison. On principle, I cannot support this proposal.

"It is clear to me that a big government mandate is not the way to support the farmers of this state," he continued [in a statement]. "Central planning will not help our family farmers, protect our environment or provide jobs. The free-enterprise system must drive innovation to relieve our dependence on foreign oil, not mandates from the state or federal government."

Bolding mine, to cut to the quick.

So what does Gov. Walker say now, in the early-caucus state of Iowa, as he vaults at or near the top of 2016 GOP presidential polls? That he's in favor of the (stupid, wasteful, and destructive) federal mandate, and that maybe he'd think about phasing it out in some dim future (when presumably not running for president in Iowa). Partial transcript of his reasoning, such as it is:

"I'm willing to go forward on continuing the Renewable Fuel Standard and pressing the EPA to make sure there's certainty in terms of the blend levels set. […]

"Now, long-term […] my goal would be to get to a point where we directly address those market access issues and I think that's a part of the challenge. So that eventually you didn't need to have a standard just like you no longer need in the industry to have the subsidies that were there before to help insure we had a strong system. I think eventually you can get to that. But you can't get to that unless you deal with market access. […]

"That's ultimately the best way, to let the market decide, but right now we don't have a free and open marketplace. So that's why I'm willing to take that position."

Washington Examiner columnist Philip Klein delivers the appropriate snort; his colleague Rebecca Berg tracks down other GOP embarrassments on ethanol, as well as this more appropriate answer from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):

"I don't think Washington should be picking winners and losers," Cruz said frankly.

Imagine that.

Walker is no stranger to corporate welfare, supporting as he does $220 million in state-backed bonds so that Milwaukee can help build a new arena for its professional basketball team. No word yet on whether he thinks those welfare recipients should be drug-tested.

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  1. Some crazy how apparently you can’t get funded if you tell Iowa you oppose turning food into fuel.

    1. Well, I turn all food into fuel (and poop).

      I turn ethanol into enjoyment.

      1. All food? Including Pop Tarts, haggis and Steak-umms?

        1. Those things you mention are not food. They are already poop.

  2. As a native Iowa, just let me say “Fuck the Ethanol Mandate”.

  3. My first thought was “maybe he’s lying?”

    So I think that that’s a sign that I was disappointed by this.

    My goal is to reach the point where I say “of course he did” when this happens.

    1. I’m so far ahead of you

    2. I’m gonna defend Walker here, and I’ll probably have to eat this turd later, but…

      Walker could have played it on the DL after his second-term election here, but he went big and took on the university leech. So, he might just be lying.

      Wish I lived in Iowa, where your vote counts.

  4. Does this caucus/primary nonsense really produce better candidates than those we got from the old smoke filled rooms at open conventions?

    1. At this point what difference does it make?

    2. Ron Paul won the Iowa Caucus 4 years ago, so I’m going with “yes”.

      1. Ron took almost every delegate to the national convention, but Santorum/Romney won the straw poll caucus night.

  5. Stupid move on his part. Fuck Iowa. Seriously, the only reason anyone gives a shit what anyone there thinks is because it has the first caucus. All Walker did here was let Cruz look good and take his momentum. Anyone voting on ethanol mandates is probably going to vote for some big government crap weasel like Jeb Bush anyway.

    1. I’m waiting for the day when some candidate just decides to ignore Iowa entirely and concentrate his campaigns in states that actually matter.
      Only the news media would probably play that like he doesn’t care about people in small states or something.

      We must go to Iowa to consult the oracle of ancient farming wisdom to determine which candidate is blessed with the divine ju-ju of electability.

      1. Giuliani did and he got waxed. But I don’t think it was because of that decision. The whole thing is idiotic. It is so ridiculous. Our next President is going to be one of the two major party nominees. And two bum fuck states (Iowa and New Hampshire) have this huge influence over who that is. It is absurd.

        Why don’t the parties have one national primary that decides their nominee? Why do we go through this bullshit? What the fuck is a Caucus anyway?

        1. A “caucus” is a synonym for “white guy”, right?

          1. In Iowa, everything is a synonym for “white guy.”

        2. What the fuck is a Caucus anyway?

          Are you serious?

          1. I am. I have no idea what one actually is other than it is not an election like a primary.

            1. Ok.

              The system is “pay for play”. Every delegate pays their own way to county, district, state, and national conventions. Each convention has a “limit” on the number of delegates, and delegates are supposed to be elected to fill those slots. At the state level, those slots are never filled up, so anyone willing to play to attend can attend.

              The caucus is the precinct meeting that elects delegates to the county branch of the Iowa Republican Party. It also elects delegates to the county convention. But there wasn’t really any kind of vote. At the end of the caucus, we all went up front and wrote two checks: one to attend the county and one to attend by the district and state conventions. Those are the people that elect the delegates to the national convention.

              There is also a straw poll that means jackshit. This is the poll that gets reported at the end of the evening and causes every newscaster to piss their pants in anticipation.

              The last caucus Santorum/Romney won the straw poll only to have Romney/Santorum be named the winner after a recount. Ron Paul came in third.

              In my caucus, 5 people paid to attend the county, district, and state conventions. One was the guy running things (he was a Romney) supporter. The other 4 were Paul supporters.

              At the state convention, Paul took every delegate but two (reserved for the Govenor and the Senator).

              1. Thanks. And that can’t be a good way to determine a nominee.

            2. The party must pay the state to hold a primary election and it is very expensive.

              The caucuses are held in free meeting rooms (churches, schools, etc). The county, district, and state conventions are paid for by the fees paid by the delegates. The Iowa Republican Party takes in more than it costs to run those conventions.

              So the whole process is a fund raiser for the party.

            3. The national party got really pissed after the last election and passed a rule saying the delegates elected at the State convention must match the straw poll numbers.

              I have no idea how that is going to work. The system is designed to make sure that doesn’t happen. In a normal election, the only people willing to pay to play are the die-hard party operatives. They support whoever is the party favorite by time the state convention roles around after all the other primaries are done.

              But the system can be highjacked by a small dedicated group of people (e.g., Paul supporters).

        3. Would you prefer it was New York and California they got to pander to first?

          1. How about one national primary day?

            1. And don’t announce which day it is until the day before. Let the candidates strategize rather than pander.

        4. Listen, you can knock me down, or step in my face, but when you slander the good name of the God-fearing state of New Hampshire, well, you’ve gone a bridge too far.

          But fuck Iowa.

      2. The only problem with the Fuck Iowa attitude is that the media just might replace Iowa with Massachusetts. Or New York.

        At least with Iowa us flyover fucks get a few months of the media pretending to care about us.

        1. It should be Colorado, a perfectly good flyover state that has a rmuch more representative cross section of the US population in it.

    2. It would be fun to see N Carolina nab the first spot from Iowa so we could watch these assholes pander to Big Tobacco instead of Big Corn.

      I can’t believe the Iowegians really would punish anyone who was against the mandate. Fuck you could have just said, “I’m against the ethanol mandate, -whispering – but I’m for a higher price support for corn” and they’d be all for him.

      1. NC is transitioning away from tobacco. Smoking indoors in restaurants is illegal, for example.

        1. I’ll believe NC is serious about it when a pack of smokes goes for 12 bucks.

        2. Never would have happened if they held the first caucus in the nation.

          Every 4 years, the leading contenders would have been asked “Do you support smoking bans?” and woe be to him who said yes.

    3. No one gave a shit about the Iowa caucuses until Jimmy Carter came in third place (1st place was undecided).

      The small states allow someone with very little funding to campaign in person and try to build a following. That may not be a good enough excuse, but without Iowa and New Hampshire, only the big money candidates would be in play from day one.

      1. OK, then. Why not rotate the opening primary/caucuses amongst the smaller states?

        1. some proposals I’ve seen have been to so something like that. You rotate among the small states then rotate among the mid then large. And make it proportional rep at least for the first group(s).

  6. To be fair, his comment about eventual phasing-out of the mandate is real progress.

    It softens, if slightly, the nutpunch.

    1. “Eventually” is pol speak for “please don’t ask me about this again because I didn’t mean a word of it”

      1. I could play this in inverse and say ‘willing to go forward on’ means getting rid of as soon as *I’m* ready.

        Yours sounds more intuitive though.

    2. “Eventually” translates as “never.”

      I haz a disappoint.

      1. Beyond that, unless you really think Obama is a great President and want the next guy to have the same amount of power, Scott Walker, even if he wins the Presidency, won’t be phasing out shit. It is congress that will kill the ethanol mandate if it ever dies. So while his opinion on this is annoying, it really doesn’t mean a lot one way or another. Sure he could push for killing it and that would be nice. But the President can only push for so much. Sorry but this mandate is pretty low on the priority scale all things considered.

  7. my friend’s sister-in-law makes $63 /hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her payment was $16955 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to the website…….


  8. Fuck Iowa.

    Why the hell do we go through this absurd ritual wherein we predicate our selection of presidential candidates on whether they can appease the population of a mostly rural farm state that otherwise has next to zero influence on national politics?

    it’s sort of like groundhog day – trott out a small rodent and ask him option ion on when spring is going to come. Only for no apparent reason people seem to take Iowa (Punksatawney Phil) seriously. OMG! The rodent didn’t win the Iowa caucuses, surely that means that he can’t take Florida!

    1. Politicians don’t think like you or me. They’re creatures of their environment. They believe in their time honored traditions even if they make no sense at all.

      Meet the former speaker of the Virginia Assembly one time at a party. He was a total dimwit who was only interested in how inner party politics and maneuvering worked. Principles were completely foreign to him.

      1. Principles were completely foreign to him.

        That’s pretty much a requirement for a career in politics these days.

    2. Iowa and New Hampshire do not pick the eventual winners. They kill off the also-rans that have no business in the race.

      1. Except when the kill off someone who shouldn’t have been an also-ran.

  9. I figured Reason would catch this. What a disappointment from Scott Walker. Maybe he’ll walk it back. Right now he’s surrounded by a lot of crap advisers giving him crap advice on how to go national. He’ll make some dumb decisions because of it.

    1. Obama, 2008 =

      “I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. Also, we should not be waging war in the Middle East”

  10. Fuck Iowa indeed.

    There was a proposal not long ago for some bigger state to cock-block them (*was it Florida?), and move their caucus ahead of them. The fact is that the narrow-interest groups in Iowa tend for force candidates to take positions on issues that are not consistent with national priorities. Its a shitty place for anyone to have to begin a national campaign. But i guess its ‘cheap’ to campaign there, and it gives the entire field of candidates an opportunity to play. If they all were forced to ‘go big’ early on, half of them would run out of budget.

    1. Perhaps the thinking is that they need to ensure that candidates can appeal to the rural, socially conservative voters before giving him the nomination. I suspect this will change once the SoCons lose their iron grip on the GOP.

      1. Because the Dems have not tried to protect the Iowa/New Hampshire Axis of Derp.

        Nope, its all another SoCon plot.

        The Democratic National Committee, or DNC, approved rules for its 2016 convention along with a primary schedule that will begin with the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, 2016, followed by voting later that month in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The 2016 framework is in line with plans pushed by Republicans…..-schedule/

        Get help, Bo.

    2. I remember that there were several states that were thinking of leap frogging Iowa. It was pretty amusing because Iowa was threatening to double jump them. I think they passed some silly convention rules where if you tried to go too early then your delegation’s vote wouldn’t count.

      On the other hand, I’m relieved that someone came to their senses, because the party hacks who think this is important would have escalated this shit to the point where the primary for 2020 would start 11/5/2016, just so their state could be first.

      1. By state law, the caucuses my come before any other state caucus or primary.

        The national party stripped Florida of half its delegates last time for going early.

  11. You’d think a college boy like him would have been smarter than that.

    1. Pretty sure he was SAE, so….

  12. OT

    Hipsters associated with Buzzfeed go shooting for the first time.

    It appears they had a great time. They’re complete novices and without assistance from the RSO probably would’ve seriously injured themselves.

    They’re exposing a demographic to guns that’s diametrically opposed to 2A so I will refrain from mocking them mercilessly.

    1. “There’s hardly any kick because it goes so fast!”

      Jesus wept.

      1. Newton wept.

      2. Praise God and pass the ammo…

    2. Vice magazine regularly does stories where they send their hipsters out to “interact” with the crazy people who own guns.

      No matter how many times they do it, they never seem to ever get beyond the “Wow. are these rednecks crazy or what?”-shtick

      1. That’s Vice’s whole business. Look at these crazy Liberian warlords! Look at these crazy Norwegian black metal singers! Look at these crazy rednecks! It’s all the same thing.

        1. There is no population as insular and parochial as that of the 20-something urban, coastal hipster.

        2. Yeah.

          The worst part of the above video (*i think – there’s so many of them) is where they try and make a big @I#&$*(@ deal about how “private sales of guns between citizens is – OMG – LEGAL in Florida!??!”

          They purposely set up a sale where they meet a guy

          … in a parking lot
          ….at night
          …. behind a quick-e-mart.
          …..Filmed from a distance… like a police drug-sting.

          They guy selling the gun checks the buyer’s ID to see that he’s an in-state resident. Asks all the appropriate questions. They seemed to be hoping he *wouldn’t*. Their efforts to expose something ‘shady’ were all in vain.

          They could have done it during the day at the person’s home, but that wouldn’t have set the right *tone*, naturally.

      2. Jay Norlinger refers to these kinds of pieces something like “Dian Fossey among the exotics”. Liberals go out and experience guns or some other part of big evil flyover culture and then write an article about it the same way someone visiting a lost tribe in New Guinne would. The entire point is to appear nice but in reality be patronizing as you talk about how “gee those crazy conservatives can be nice people sometimes” as if that is some kind of a surprise.

    3. Holy fuck, that makes me weep for humanity. I’m glad they tried it – full marks. That they looked like pussies and kept firing when they weren’t looking…scary.

      1. Smart move to close the range while they were there.

      2. When my nieces from Japan visit, the local gun range is on their “must do” list. They look more manly than those dufus’s (and are much much safer).

        How can a guy let his son grow up as such a fucking pussy?

        And fuck in the neck the jackass that was going on about his kid being unable to be a responsible gun owner and accidents were bound to happen.

        1. ” How can a guy let his son grow up as such a fucking pussy?”

          We’re a generation of men raised by women.- Tyler Durden.

          1. Barack Obama was raised by a women; therefore, ?????!!!!!!

          2. Maybe?

            I have driven one of my son’s friends to gun safety classes because he was interested in hunting with us and his parents weren’t interested at all in having him learn how to use a firearm.

            So yeah, I guess we are so far removed from our agrarian past that there are hordes of people who not only don’t know how to shoot, but don’t know anyone who shoots.

      3. First shot, head turned away from down range. It would be hard for me to not punch him in the face.

        1. That is the one that got me too. Yes, I would have loved to have seen the RSO smack him and take his weapon away from him. Then show him banned from the range (along with the RSO screaming at him the entire time).

    4. How did yall make it through the intro?

    5. There are lots of hipsters who like and own guns.
      Do keep in mind that in the early days, Burning Man was famous for the “Drive By Shooting Range”.

      You would be surprised how many gun-loving hippies I knew in Texas.

  13. National Pravda Radio is covering the 20th anniversary on the Beijing conference on women’s rights. They started by dealing with women’s rights in China. The interviewer said that Mao once said that women hold up half the sky, but now, in contrast, an official publication showcases attractive woman reporters.

    Yes, China falls short of Mao’s idealistic standards.

    Then an nostalgic interview about the conference.

    1. Now the murder of a dog at a dog show in Belgium.

    2. Wait, it may be Public Radio *International.*

    3. Yes, Mao so idolized the role of women that offered himself to them at very young ages! I see Wikipedia has been edited recently to gloss over that fact.

  14. I don’t know why everyone gettin’ all riled up ’bout Iowa. You’re actually gonna VOTE for one of these shitheads? Come on, people!
    Almanian for President – 2016
    “I probably won’t make it any worse.”

    At least TRY to stick to the man! Come on, who’s with me! Let’s go!
    *runs off like John Belushi in “Animal House”*

    1. Sorry, I’ve already committed to Pat Paulsen. Oh, man, were those the good old days or what?!

  15. I guess he needs to go back to school to learn the horrors of farm subsidies.

  16. “Walker is no stranger to corporate welfare”

    He’s no stranger to handouts
    He knows the rules, and so do I
    Take over the party and throw Rand out
    Other than that, he’s like any other guy

  17. What does he think about the Big Bang though? Isn’t that more important in the grand scheme of things?

    1. Not per se but as a marker for general idiocy. Also, I’m much more concerned about a candidates view of darwinian evolution because that’s much more accessible to non-specialists and is much more likely to have real-world implications.

      1. I’ll gladly chose the retard who wants to leave me alone. I don’t give a damn if he thinks fairies tell him to shit his pants.

      2. Because, as president, he would be responsible for choosing biology textbooks? Because, as president, he’s going to be responsible for antibiotics policy, and he’s going to do it in such a way that flies in the face of natural selection? Has he pushed for anti-evolutionary policies as governor? It’s only “much” more likely in the sense that epsilon is much greater than zero.

        I’m as big a fan of Darwinian evolution as the next guy, and I don’t like SW, but come on. This has always been about culture-war posturing.

      3. So, if George Washington and Thomas Jefferson ran for President, you’d throw them in the “general idiot” bucket, on account of they didn’t believe in evolution?

  18. OT: Obama corresponded with Hillary via her private account.…..80877.html

    The mind boggles. The content of the e-mails was probably something like: “Bitch, you rocked that pant suit!!111!!”

    1. He only noticed the email address when he read the newspapers.

      God! What a totally worthless fuck Obama is.

    2. There had to be dozens, if not hundreds, of people in the federal government who knew about this.

      And not one of them said a fucking thing.

      1. Why would they? Jeopardize their careers, pensions and benefits for what, a bunch of proles?

      2. They may have said something. But who in the media would have published it?

  19. Has Rand Paul come out against this shit? Or is he pandering too?

    1. Unclear but if not he just panders to different interests.

  20. If favoring ethanol mandates in Iowa will get Rand Paul closer to the presidency, then he should absolutely do that.

    Say whatever you gotta say, Rand.

    Some people are surprised when you have to play politics to be an elected politician.

    Some people want to go swimming without getting wet.

  21. I’ve seen the corn fields of southern WI, what else would you expect?

  22. I thank Reason for showing the crony crapitalism that Walker supported in WI. He’s clearly striving to get campaign cash from the 1% rich beneficiaries of ethanol and the Renewable Fuel Standard, in preference to getting votes from fiscal conservatives. He forgets that voters elect him, not money.

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