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Scott Walker Fails the Leadership Test Again

Issue of the Week

Jun. 23, 2015
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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has shown once again that he doesn’t have the moral compass required in a true leader. While the world reeled in horror after Dylann Roof’s racially motivated shooting of nine innocent people at a historically black church in Charleston, Walker played chicken. Although he denounced the shooting, he waited days before he could follow South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s lead to support taking down the Confederate flag from that state’s capitol building.

We’re sure that Walker was calculating his political odds. South Carolina has an early presidential primary and Walker undoubtedly did not want to risk offending the uber-conservative white voters in that state. Nor, we surmise, would Walker call for more gun control legislation for the very same reason. In addition, reports surfaced that he received $3,500 in contributions from Earl Holt III, the leader of a white supremacist group who allegedly influenced the shooter. Holt also donated $1,250 to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and $1,000 to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. All three Republicans are donating those contributions to charity.

But Walker could have done more to show that he has a strong sense of right and wrong. Racially motivated violence is not merely a state’s issue, nor is it one that a true leader can duck until the media moves on to the next crisis. Scott Walker, the son of a minister, undoubtedly knows better. But Scott Walker the all-but-declared presidential candidate hasn’t learned that leadership comes from doing the right thing, even if it does alienate some supporters.

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Rolling back Barack Obama’s reforms, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has directed federal prosecutors to seek the harshest sentences for drug offenses. Is it bad policy to fill the prison system with nonviolent offenders?

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