Scott Walker Called Out For A Lie
[su_right_ad]Brian Williams gets suspended for this kind of thing, and Scott Walker becomes a presidential contender.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker jumped to the front of the unimpressive GOP 2016 presidential pack thanks in large part to rave reviews for his speech at the conservative Iowa Freedom Summit late last month. (The Washington Post charts the impact of the speech here.)
But it turns out one of its most powerful moments was a lie.
Walker told the story of Megan Sampson, whom he said was “the  Outstanding Teacher of the Year in my state.” He claimed Sampson was laid off that same year by Milwaukee Public Schools because of union seniority rules, which were abolished by Act 10, the 2011 legislation that dismantled protections for public employees.
In fact, Sampson was not the Outstanding Teacher of the Year, not even one of them. An actual 2010 Wisconsin Teacher of the Year, Claudia Klein Felske, who won the high school award, laid out the extent of Walker’s fib in an open letter to Walker posted on the Marquette Educator site Monday. There were also awards given for middle school, elementary school and special services teachers of the year, she explained, but Sampson was not among them.
[su_thin_right_skyscraper_ad]It turns out the award Megan Sampson received was the “Nancy Hoefs Memorial Award,” given to “an outstanding first year teacher of language arts” by a small Wisconsin English teachers association.
It’s true that Sampson was sent a layoff notice due to state budget cuts that year, and seniority was one factor, but she was recalled to her post that same summer. She declined the job, and went to teach in the suburbs.
And while Walker was boasting that his 2011 rollback of public workers’ rights made layoffs of younger teachers like Sampson impossible, in fact Act 10 doesn’t even prevent the use of seniority in layoffs.
It turns out that this was not Felske’s first run-in with Walker.
Felske closes her letter by remembering their freshman orientation at Marquette University. “I graduated from Marquette and later became Wisconsin High School Teacher of the Year. You never graduated, and you became the Governor of the State of Wisconsin bent on dismantling public education. Ironic, isn’t it? Situational irony at its best. I’d laugh if its ramifications weren’t so utterly destructive for the state of Wisconsin.”
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