By on March 18, 2015

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s flip-flop on the issue of ethanol may be just the tip of an iceberg that could affect his chances for the 2016 GOP hopeful.

Autoblog reports several memos linked to the still-unofficial campaigns of the other GOP presidential candidates have noted Walker’s shifts on positions on issues like ethanol, immigration et al. The broad pattern of flip-flopping, as well as his status as an unknown among his state’s voters, means he’ll have a hard go at convincing Republicans that he is their candidate for President of the United States.

On the issue of ethanol, he once denounced the mandate of adding the corn-based variant into gasoline in his 2006 gubernatorial campaign, citing the harm such mandates would impose on “Wisconsin’s working families.” While his team says he still supports that stance, Walker was among those at the 2015 Iowa Ag Summit in Des Moines, Iowa to support the federal renewable fuel standard that allows corn ethanol to be added into gasoline.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

60 Comments on “Gov. Scott Walker’s Changing Ethanol Stance Sign Of Greater Issue For GOP Hopeful...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    I know this guy, you don’t want this guy

    • 0 avatar
      michal1980

      I know this guy, you want this guy.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      I don’t want any of them. Still have to choose.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Don’t worry, barring divine anointment, Scott Walker doesn’t stand a chance of getting elected as the next US president by ANY majority, even with the help of ALL the Independents.

        The unions would go bankrupt financing a negative campaign against him.

        At this juncture in America’s political journey, neither the ‘crats nor the repugs have a viable candidate.

  • avatar
    redav

    I don’t mind politicians who change positions. If any of us did not adjust our attitudes & actions based on new & evolving information, then we’d be bigots, and I prefer that not be a characteristic of my elected officials.

    That said, I absolutely dislike politicians who will say anything to get elected. They are liars, pure & simple.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      >I absolutely dislike politicians who will say anything to get elected.<

      So, every politician ever? Good, me too.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Unfortunately during election time, people take what they see and hear at face value because they paid no attention to what the politician did or said before election season. Unfortunately that’s how it works, the power hungry do *whatever it takes* to win while anyone clinging ideological purity is cast aside because they can’t pull from all sides by pandering to each and every crowd.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      “I don’t mind politicians who change positions” It’s popularly called “The flip-flop” or other such demeaning footwear that indicates political insecurity.

      That said, I personally believe that ethanol CAN be a part of the overall fuel infrastructure of America, but only in states where this expensive additive made from feedstock is readily available and overabundant.

      It doesn’t make sense for oil-producing states where cheap dino-oil is overabundant, like Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, California and such.

      Gasoline, already refined, is dirt cheap when imported from PEMEX in Mexico and pipelined across the Southern border – no Keystone objections here because it has been ongoing since the days of the Alaska pipeline back in the seventies.

      Then again, the agribusiness lobby is a mighty powerful force for the US lawmakers to have to reckon with.

      But notice it is ADM and agribusiness that push alcohol from food stock, not alcohol from non-feedstock like sugar cane waste, sugar beet waste, switch grass, jojoba weed, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        gzuckier

        but then cars would have to be built with dual fuel capability, adding to the cost for everybody else.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          That’s been happening every time a standard is adopted for the US or a CARB mandate is imposed on OEMs.

          FFVs are in wide use today because not all states adopted the use of ethanol at the same time. My state, New Mexico, along with Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Nevada, was among the last.

          Allowing a vehicle to run on fuel ranging from 100% pure-gas, to E10, E15 and E85, is a matter of firmware programming in the engine management computer module.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Probably the bigger issue with Walker is that he is hostile towards both working people and education.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yeah, he don’t like anybody unless your name is Koch

      • 0 avatar
        michal1980

        Hostile?

        Who he isn’t hostile to is the tax payer.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Why – because he hates unions? They’re taxpayers too.

          The taxpayer will NOT benefit from Walker gutting the state’s K-12 and higher education budgets in the long run.

          But his little jihad against unions will help his party in fundraising. That’s what it’s all about. And “conservatives” seem to be all too happy to line up behind that. I have no idea why.

        • 0 avatar
          gzuckier

          because the taxpayer doesn’t pay the huge subsidies to agribiz that induce them to grow corn so much more than the famous “free market” can handle that the government then has to develop new methods to dispose of the corn as a waste product. we’ll make biodegradable styrofoam peanuts out of it! a sugar substitute! biodegradable plastic! burn it in furnaces for heat! put it into food for every domestic animal! feed it to our cars!

          because as Reagan explained to us, subsidies for big business are FREE! it’s money for poor people (who are the only process of disposing of the extra corn not approved, oddly enough) that costs us.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      I love how anyone who doesn’t just throw gobs and gobs of money at the education system each time they ask for it is “hostile towards education.” Let’s cut administrative overhead and get a workable method of evaluating and measuring teacher performance established (any system I don’t care, we just need one!) so we can attract good teachers and dump poor ones, and THEN we can talk about spending more money.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Great post.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        OK, assuming cutting education overhead is the right move (arguable, but let’s run with that for now), is the way to do that with “surgical” cuts to administration alone, or with the sledgehammer approach Walker is using?

        Since the administrators are the ones deciding who gets laid off, they’re going to lay off anyone but themselves. In the end that means the people who actually DELIVER the classroom learning will be the ones who suffer. How does this help education? It doesn’t.

        Universities, particularly really good ones like the UW-Madison, are huge economic generators. They employ large numbers of people in good paying positions, and attract companies who want to locate in proximity to research and well-educated graduates. Gutting their budgets makes no sense…until you start thinking about what part of the state will get hurt the most from it. Look at the state’s most reliably liberal place – Dane County. What’s there? Why, it’s UW-Madison. Who works there? Lots of liberal professors, many of whom are going to lose their jobs and move elsewhere. If the school goes downhill, then students will go elsewhere. Guess how college students tend to vote? That means fewer liberal votes and fewer well paid university professors contributing money to Democratic candidates.

        Same with K-12 teachers. Laying them off means less money for teachers’ unions, which fund Democratic candidates. Throw in some voter suppression in Milwaukee County, which has the state’s largest population of black voters, and you’ve likely turned a pretty reliably blue (or purple) state into Mississippi North.

        There’s your answer as to why this is happening. It has nothing to do with moving a state forward economically, because gutting the K-12 and higher education systems work against that. And if the goal was to reduce admin costs, then the proposal could have required that, versus taking the sledgehammer approach. Wisconsin historically has had one of the finest public school systems in the country, and UW-Madison is one of the best public colleges. Gutting them is unbelievably foolish.

        This guy’s shooting his own state in the foot to turn it red. Revolting.

        And the same process will soon be repeated in Illinois.

        • 0 avatar
          S2k Chris

          Given that generally local school boards manage their own budgets, if Walker cuts the budget and the local board reacts by cutting teachers and not overhead, is that really Walker’s fault? Or is the local school board cutting teachers to win political points against Walker? Dirty tricks on both sides, friend.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          And there you go again. It’s amazing how the big gov, anti market guys constantly accuse the other side of doing what they are doing. Both sides actually do this, but the statists are so unrepentant they just make things up.
          Cons go after education spending because it’s too high. Not because teachers make too much, and not because of union money. If the bureaucracy has gotten so powerful they can avoid cutting the bloated administration, whose fault is that?
          At the same time, The President, who supposedly hates oil for pollution reasons, is doing everything in the world to get rid of embargoes on Iran including ensuring their path to nukes! What do you think the Iranians are begging to sell? Rugs?
          This guy hates Markets, the West, private property, and Texas. He will do anything to hurt Texas and the donors here. He does it every turn. Walker loves Wisconsin, and is improving it. It’s the unions that will turn Wisconsin to ruin to get there way, and the press will blame it on republicans for not caving.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        So you want to be the arbiter of that decision making process or shall we simply install your privately held contracted firm to do it?

        It’s so easy to put forward this argument but when you’re at risk of being fired for having students fail due to outside influences (as almost all research now concludes) it’s going to be hard to find anybody willing to work for low pay as well. So if you want to fire them, pay them well enough to justify their jobs OR fix the society around them so that they can be evaluated fairly.

        All of this costs money, money we have, but money we would rather spend pretending that we’re all independent actors with no interrelation.

      • 0 avatar
        gzuckier

        while we’re at it let’s get a workable method of evaluating and measuring governor performance established (any system I don’t care, we just need one!) so we can attract good governors and dump poor ones. can’t be any harder than objectively rating teacher performance, and governors get paid more.

    • 0 avatar
      an innocent man

      It’s hard for some people to understand, but being hostile to the Education Establishment is not the same as being hostile to education. I’m not saying we should be hostile to the Establishment part itself, just that they’re not the same. And Walker may be against one or the other or both. Don’t know, don’t care, don’t live in Wisconsin. But to oppose one is not necessarily to oppose the other.

      • 0 avatar
        S2k Chris

        Indeed. I’ve “invested” (through various ways) in about $200k worth of post-HS education for myself (undergrad and MBA); clearly I think it’s valuable to pay for an education. That doesn’t mean I am willing to blindly write checks. It’s like someone trying to sell me a $5000 fire extinguisher; no I don’t want my house to burn down, yes I want to protect my child…but that doesn’t mean I can’t get a perfectly good fire extinguisher for $50. This is the kind of “intellectual blackmail” the teacher’s unions and others push on us all the time. “How dare you question how much money we spend and how we spend it, ARE YOU ANTI-EDUCATION?” One only needs to look at the failed schools of Washington DC, which has one of the highest per capita spend per student in the country, to see $$ =/= quality when it comes to education.

        The sad thing is, I and many others do WANT to spend more on education. If you asked me if I wanted to jack up my (substantial) property taxes 10% or 20% and it was all to benefit my daughter’s education, I’d be all for it. But I simply don’t trust that to be the case. Prove to me you’re hiring and nurturing talent, not seniority. Prove to me USING ANY METRIC YOU WANT that you rank teachers and terminate poor ones. Prove to me that additional monies improve education, they don’t just add layers of administration. And on and on. But God forbid we ask these questions, we must be “ANTI EDUCATION”.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          +1 Chris.

          The problem with questions about quality of education is that you can’t meaningfully answer them without touching the third rail in public discourse which is quality of student.

      • 0 avatar
        gzuckier

        ‎Sturgeon’s Law: “ninety percent of everything is crap.”
        as true for teachers as any other field of human endeavor, including politicians and blog comments.

        I’d actually adjust it a bit; 10% is really awful, 10& is good, the other 80% is mediocre consumer grade. seems to fit more or less every human activity, service, or work.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    He’s a politician, so he’s a scumbag. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    So he changed his mind on something he said NINE years ago?

    Good, it means he might just have an open mind (see redav’s comments above).

  • avatar
    Johnny Canada

    What kind of car does he drive? It’s the only characteristic needed to evaluate a politician.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    A flip-flop is in the eye of the beholder. If a commentator is predisposed to dislike a candidate, every nuance is a flip-flop. If you think the guy agreed with you, but now says he doesn’t, you scream flip-flop.

    Frankly, when I hear the term, I think it’s likely anything but a calculated contradiction of an earlier position. The person I start judging is the guy who yelled “flip-flop”.

    With that in mind, I note that Cameron does not actually give the evidence for the flip-flops in this story. This is rumor mongering. Would the story appear if the memos from other campaigns accused your mom of raising a fool? It’s logically the same thing, so…

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Feel free to prove Cameron was not giving accurate information here.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Given that I think any support of ethanol as a fuel additive is basically indefensible, anyone switching to being in favor of it for political expediency is immediately suspect.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        So, is Walker a supporter of ethanol as a fuel additive? You do realize without a specific mandate, the refiners would still make it?

        • 0 avatar
          gzuckier

          As following the chain of links down from this article brings us to, refiners would probably continue to make about the current 10% of fuel as ethanol without the suggested federal legislation, not increase it as the legislation would cause.

      • 0 avatar
        gzuckier

        indeed. just because he changed 180 degrees doesn’t mean he’s just sucking up for campaign purposes, as long as he’s explained the evidence that changed his mind, since it will presumably change all our minds too, because it is so convincing.
        so that evidence would be….?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I note that Cameron does not actually give the evidence for the flip-flops in this story. This is rumor mongering”

      I suppose that getting you to click on the link included in the blog post is too much to ask.

      • 0 avatar
        Landcrusher

        Yes. That’s my point. This is reporting on reporting rather than facts. If the facts are true, verify and publish. If not, don’t hide behind a report on a report nonsense.
        The story here is that another site is reporting his opponents claim he has a problem flip-flopping. The flip-flop in question seems pretty debatable at first blush, but that doesn’t matter. The game is to spread the story whether it’s true or not because it hurts the candidate.
        It doesn’t matter if it’s true because it hurts the guy either way. Still having sex with your dog?

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Walker’s popularity in Wisconsin is low, eeking out a second term on a bad off-year election cycle isn’t exactly cruising to victory in 2016. But again, he’s the most extreme candidate that has been willing to court huge money in this cycle so he has a chance of being relevant atleast through the first couple of votes. He’s unlikely to get the nomination though as his stances on unions & the working class in general is so jarring compared to the soft-shoe corporatists like Romney who atleast try to not admit they hate everybody below a 6-figure salary.

    The way the blue wall has worked since 1996 would mean that for another Bush II to work we would either need complete shenanigans (Florida 2000 & Ohio 2004) or for upwards of 20% of the population to be disenfranchised. Given the current makeup of the states and how Virginia in an off-year election elected a fairly liberal senator the Democrats have a very easy road to 270 which makes the Republican primary more of an argument of who will set the agenda for their opposition position than who will be president in 2016.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      He won the 2014 election with a spread of almost 6%. I know that he’s on the other side, but get real.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        As pointed out (so you can keep being the ‘balanced one’): A margin of 6 points in a turnout with 600K less voters or roughly a 20% decline in a state that voted the same margin of victory for Barack Obama in 2014 isn’t a good position to be in. You don’t want governors from opposing states that have no way of winning their home state when people show up at the polls.

        It’s 6% in a world where if he was in good electoral shape should have been 10%.

        • 0 avatar
          Landcrusher

          Lol

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Yeah, I had to smile too. The guy was elected three times in four years!

            For crying out loud. It is immaterial whether we like or dislike Scott Walker. He’s still standing, his detractors are not.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          1 election as a city official in an off-year election.
          1 recall (which historically fail hence why the Gray recall in California was considered spectacular news)
          1 re-election in an off-year election.

          Conservatives are dedicated in off-year elections. So what part of this aren’t you getting or do you feel you’re more qualified to discuss this because I admit to being a partisan?

          Just a little food for thought, the blog is a bit more neutral than I am but it points out the same flaws.

          http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/06/upshot/scott-walkers-electoral-record-is-less-impressive-than-it-looks.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0

          PS: I’ll be laughing the hardest in 2016, my dear dear friends. :)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Xer, in case you missed my comment at the top, this is my sentiment:

            “Don’t worry, barring divine anointment, Scott Walker doesn’t stand a chance of getting elected as the next US president by ANY majority, even with the help of ALL the Independents.

            The unions would go bankrupt financing a negative campaign against him.

            At this juncture in America’s political journey, neither the ‘crats nor the repugs have a viable candidate.”

            You can start laughing now. It’s America that will do the crying.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            See, I’m not a believer that ‘unions ruin the world’ or any such malarkey as that because I can read economic reports and understand that simple basic fundamental shifts in how we treat workers in our economic system will actually make our economic system healthier. There is a reason why Walker and Wisconsin lag behind ultra-progressive Minnesota. I mean, even if we’re going to get truly partisan-agnostic, it would mean that neither approach has as big an impact on general GDP and job growth. The difference would be in average salaries and income inequality.

            But whatever keeps you happy, HDC. You’re not my department head and I am certainly not your educator. I’m just interested enough to keep putting out an accurate reflection of our collective knowledge on the studied matter.

  • avatar
    gzuckier

    gotta admit, if you could just fill your gas tank with corn likker, moonshine running would have been a lot easier.

  • avatar
    Sobro

    “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s flip-flop on the issue of ethanol may be just the tip of an iceberg that could affect his chances for the 2016 GOP hopeful.”

    Or not.

    The update to the Autoblog post states “UPDATE: Walker is claiming he never flip-flopped, and that he was originally referring to state and not federal ethanol rules. His old ads, though, mention both”

    So there’s that, FWIW.

    I’m assuming this is just poor writing, editing, or both: “The broad pattern of flip-flopping, as well as his status as an unknown among his state’s voters, means he’ll have a hard go at convincing Republicans that he is their candidate for President of the United States.”

    Yeah, winning three statewide elections in 4 years make one’s status unknown in that state. Of course, with better writing that could mean “his status as a flip flopper is unknown among his state’s voters”, but that could be true since he doesn’t have a “broad pattern” of flip flopping just because someone says so and one ethanol statement does not a broad pattern make.

    Xeranar’s omission of “public” when using the word “unions” as a scare tactic is the same as the omission of the word “dioxide” when some talk about “carbon pollution”. As far as his decrying of Walker’s use of campaign money, maybe Xeranar should take that up with the US Supreme Court.

    Anyone who complains about Citizens United will be asked to defend the US Government’s testimony at the Supreme Court that the Federal Elections Commission could indeed ban books within two months of an election under then current election law.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Obama has done plenty of flip flopping and he not only got elected, but re-elected.

    You can keep your health care; Guantanamo will close; we’ll have a transparent website detailing every single thing my administration does; Presidents should not use executive powers; unsanctioned drone use is wrong; etc., etc.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • trackratmk1: Assuming for a moment that widespread electrification comes to pass, what are the differentiators going...
  • jacob_coulter: Less taxes are not the same thing as a handout.
  • sgeffe: Next time, he’ll buy the damned TruCoat! “You’re darn tootin’, I gotta deal for ya!”
  • Hummer: Sporty, True about focus and fusion already built elsewhere. Though an executive car like a new Crown Vic...
  • bumpy ii: The Frontenac had maple leafs on the hubcaps.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States