Posted by Laura Steigerwald on July 22, 2013

This week, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit government watchdog group, released a report -- "The Worst Governors in America," and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came in sixth in the top category. The report has an amusing circus theme and dubs Walker a "Ringmaster," but it is heavily documented and footnoted to reliable sources and primary documents. The criteria CREW used when assessing the nation's governors were the following: corruption, transparency, partisan politics, pressuring public officials, cronyism, self-enrichment, scandal and mismanagement.

Walker made the list of most ethically challenged public officials due to poor marks in several categories, including cronyism, scandal, mismanagement and excessive partisanship. The report reviews his promotion of the Koch Brothers' agenda -- the Kochs are some of his biggest campaign donors. He also got dinged for the extensive "John Doe" investigation of illegal activity that took place during his time as Milwaukee County Executive and during the gubernatorial race which resulted in the criminal convictions of several of his former staff members. And, his mismanagement of the national mortgage settlement funds and creation of the privatized and highly dysfunctional Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which lost track of some $12 million in taxpayer funds, helped bump him to the number six spot in the list.

Other governors who beat out Walker to occupy the top five spots include: 1) Georgia Governor Nathan Deal whose term has been rife with corruption and scandal, 2) Maine Governor Paul LePage who's known for making offensive comments in addition to his questionable ethics in office, 3) Virginia Governor Robert (Bob) McDonnell who made the number three spot with help from a federal grand jury investigation into alleged official misconduct, 4) Texas Governor Rick Perry, who's known for his epic presidential campaign flop, made the list due to a laundry list filled with instances of cronyism, partisan politics, corruption, and self-enrichment, 5) and finally, Florida Governor Rick Scott slid in just ahead of Scott Walker due to numerous ethical concerns regarding his conduct in office, voter disenfranchisement, efforts to privatize Medicaid, and a prison privatization plan that would enrich the nation's two largest for-profit prison companies, GEO Group and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), who also donated to his inaugural fund and campaigns.

CREW primarily focuses on the ethics of federal government officials, but the organization reports that it decided to evaluate state governors "because their actions have a major impact on public welfare, [and] with Washington mired in partisan gridlock, much of the legislative action takes place at the state level."

Comments

What a load of crap!

If they consider Walker to be one of the worst, how would they have rated the stealing weasel, Doyle?

If a Governor doesn't kiss union's butts at the expense of the rest of the citizens, I guess he's considered a "bad governor"

You have a problem with unions? So you also have a problem with workers being treated humanely and being paid a wage they can LIVE on? Not survive, mind you, live on, comfortably.

Yes I have a problem with some/most unions. Many of them no longer serve a purpose. Unless hiking up salaries, benefits etc. and allowing insubordinate workers to keep their jobs is a purpose. Why do you people think that the world falls apart without unions? I have never been a member of a union, and I most likely never will be. I make good money. I live comfortably. I am treated with respect. And you are going to argue that those things occur because unions came into play? Maybe unions served that purpose in the past but that doesn't mean they are still necessary. You people think without unions wages get cut in half and chaotic behavior wreaks havoc in the workplace. Another unrealistic, unreliable outlook from liberals.

Yes, all of those things are thanks to unions. Weekends, FMLA, maternity leave, health and safety in the workplace, etc, etc, etc.

Unions fought for (and people have died for) these rights. From which YOU benefit. Take away these rights, and yours are next to go.

I make good money. I live comfortably. I am treated with respect. The purpose of unions is to assure that ALL WORKERS receive these fundamental benefits from their jobs.
BTW - How the hell is Bobby Jindal not on the top of this list??

Except for those in the labor movement who sacrificed some with their lives before you, so you can live comfortably now. Conservative greed and quick payout POV, has blinded you.

Eternal vigilance to use our constitutional rights to organize is free from your opinion. In WI the thugs our attempting to take away the weekends for workers paid for and written by the W- M-C, a pro business lobbying group.

As long as the rich and powerful are in control, there will be no rest.

Walker is gov now, Doyle is not. Bait and switch is not going to work.

Take a look at the PDF again. There's nothing to suggest the governors are ordered anything other than alphabetically within each group. Note that each group is ordered alphabetically and the document doesn't make any reference to numerical ordering. Walker wasn't "beat out" by 5 other governors...he's just as bad as those 5 other governors.

Bill Moyers presents "United States of ALEC," a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of -- ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council.