Also this weekend came the news that Walker’s administration admitted it had overbilled two Wisconsin family planning clinics by 93 percent – or at least $3.2 million. The move was so blatantly ideological that the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the change “raised more questions than it answered.”
Walker’s New Hampshire “Everyman” performance was widely covered in the national media. His family planning screw-up was not.
One agency, which serves rural Northeastern Wisconsin, was billed $1.169 million for overcharging the state for contraceptive costs over two years – a charge that almost equaled its entire annual operating budget of $1.2 million. That was reduced to $180,000, which the agency is still contesting. The other clinic was billed $2.35 million, now reduced to $45,000.
Of course, the agencies incurred big legal costs in challenging the state’s faulty billing, so their leaders were galled to discover the change in billing came with “no apology whatsoever,” in the words of one director.
But why would Walker apologize? His anti-family planning agenda has already forced the closure of five Wisconsin Planned Parenthood clinics.
Longtime Wisconsin progressive activist and blogger James Rowen compares Walker’s purported billing “mistake” to an episode earlier this year, in which he falsely blamed ugly changes to the state’s higher education mandate on a “drafting error” – when they were clearly ordered by his underlings.
This weekend also brought the news that the budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin system that were approved (after the language changes were reversed) will cost UW-Madison 400 jobs. That translates to 320 fewer courses offered in 2016-2017, and 9,000 students missing classes, likely resulting in students taking more time to get their degrees. So far, according to Google, that hasn’t made national news, either.
But Scott Walker continues to run for president as “Everyman,” and much of the national media is buying it.