Scorecard on how many campaign promises Scott Walker kept
PolitiFact Wisconsin’s Walk-O-Meter tracked 86 campaign promises made by Republican Gov. Scott Walker since he first ran for governor in 2010.
Now that he is days away from leaving office, after serving two terms, we want to take a look at how he did on the promises.
(By the way, we will soon be launching an Evers-O-Meter to track the campaign promises made by Democrat Tony Evers, who defeated Walker in the November 2018 election.)
Here’s a breakdown based on the ratings we gave to the 86 promises:
Promise Kept: 58 percent
Compromise: 15 percent
Promise Broken: 26 percent
And here’s a look at how Walker did on some of his major promises.
Create 250,000 jobs. Our rating: Promise Broken. This was Walker’s most famous promise. It fell short. Only about 147,000 jobs were added during his first four-year term.
Adopt strong "Castle Doctrine" law. Our rating: Promise Kept. The new law "creates a presumption of immunity in criminal and civil actions for individuals who use deadly force against a trespasser who has unlawfully or forcibly entered their home, motor vehicle, or place of business," Walker said when signing the legislation.
Pass and sign concealed carry legislation. Our rating: Promise Kept. The law allows for the concealed carry of weapons, but has provisions that require licenses and training.
Sign legislation requiring photo ID to vote. Our rating: Promise Kept. He did so less than five months after taking office.
Lower the income tax. Our rating: Promise Kept. Walker’s 2013-'15 state budget included a $651 million income tax cut for the two-year period and cut rates across the board.
Reduce taxes on employers. Our rating: Promise Kept. Walker approved measures to cut taxes for small businesses; remove all income taxes for two years for businesses that move to Wisconsin; and phase out the state tax on the production earnings of manufacturers and agricultural businesses to almost nothing by 2016.
Freeze property taxes. Our rating: Promise Kept. That was accomplished with Walker’s 2011-’13 state budget.
End early prison release. Our rating: Promise Kept. The legislation Walker signed requires prisoners to serve their entire sentences.
Strip policy items and pork projects from the state budget. Our rating: Promise Broken. Walker’s first budget bill, dubbed a budget repair bill, contained the sharp restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees that led to historic protests at the Capitol.
Create A-to-F grading scale for school quality. Our rating: Compromise. Evers’ Department of Public Instruction created a zero-to-100 scoring system, with five levels that bear a resemblance to the traditional A, B, C, D and F letter-grading system. But the Department of Public Instruction insisted that the scores "are not the same as grades."
Establish a teacher evaluation system. Our rating: Compromise. Walker promised a system that would give bonus pay to highly rated teachers and take away teaching licenses from those judged to be ineffective for two years in a row. The system that was adopted uses criteria laid out by Walker, but not the bonus pay or license revocation provisions.
Allow smoking in businesses. Our rating: Promise Broken. While campaigning, Walker promised to repeal the statewide indoor smoking ban. But he changed his mind shortly after taking office.
Freeze UW System tuition at least two more years. Our rating: Promise Kept. Walker’s 2015-’17 state budget included a tuition freeze for the University of Wisconsin System for a second two-year period.
Require a drug test for those seeking unemployment benefits and Food Stamps. Our rating: Promise Kept. He signed those changes into law in July 2015.
Require working-age childless adults receiving welfare benefits to work. Our rating: Promise Kept. That became law in April 2015.
Repeal the Common Core State Standards for schools. Our rating: Promise Broken. Common Core is a set of standards for English and math unveiled in 2010 that came out of years of discussion between private nonprofit groups and state education departments, and came to be opposed by many conservatives. Walker didn’t repeal them.
Serve a full term. Our rating: Compromise. Walker ran for president eight months after winning election to a second term. His run was brief and he remained as governor.