Gov. Scott Walker is set to announce his presidential candidacy on Monday in Waukesha, Wisconsin, joining a crammed field of GOP hopefuls.
In a few short years, the two-term governor has rocketed from obscurity to become a Republican frontrunner thanks to his conservative—and often controversial—stewardship of Wisconsin. After taking office in 2011, he set the tone for his governorship when he rammed through legislation that drastically curbed the power of public employee unions, setting the stage for a showdown with organized labor that made national headlines. As a result of anti-union effort, Walker became the only governor in Wisconsin history to face a recall election. During his tenure, Walker has implemented a hit list of right-wing measures. He signed controversial voter ID legislation, a state budget that defunded Planned Parenthood, and, this spring, a bill that made Wisconsin a right-to-work state. As Walker launches his presidential campaign, he faces an investigation into whether his campaign violated election rules during the recall campaign by coordinating with outside spending groups.
Ahead of his announcement on Monday, here are the things you should know about Walker, from Mother Jones‘ archives:
- Walker’s office was recently involved in a failed effort to change Wisconsin’s open-records law in order to obstruct access to government records, including his.
- Walker thinks implementing mandatory ultrasounds for women considering abortion is “just a cool thing.”
- In April, the Walker sent memos to fifty-seven environmental agency employees, warning them that they might face being laid off as a consequence of his budget over the next two fiscal years. The kicker: he did it on Earth Day.
- Gov. Walker and the Koch brothers agree on many things, but are at odds over whether taxpayers should pay for half of a new basketball arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.
- One time, Scott Walker fell for a crank-call from a fake David Koch. Seriously.
- The real David Koch is apparently a pretty big fan, though.
- Scott Walker promised to negotiate with public-sector unions, and then launched a surprise attack on them.
- Scott Walker is not a huge fan of same-sex marriage.
- Scott Walker is even less of a fan of making voting simple and easy.
- Walker and his allies stacked the deck in the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
- Here’s a guide to the scandal that could tank his presidential hopes.
- And don’t forget that time he compared Islamic extremists to Wisconsin protesters!