Lubar amps up Walker crit­i­cism: Sign­ing bills would ‘de­stroy’ him

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Milwaukee Wisconsin - Mary Spicuzza Mil­wau­kee Jour­nal Sen­tinel USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - WIS­CON­SIN Kevin Crowe of the Jour­nal Sen­tinel con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Shel­don Lubar, a long­time prom­i­nent Wis­con­sin Re­pub­li­can and for­mer sup­porter of Gov. Scott Walker, is dou­bling down on his crit­i­cisms of the out­go­ing gov­er­nor and his fel­low GOP lead­ers over their lame-duck pro­pos­als to limit the power of the man who beat Walker in last month’s elec­tion.

Lubar, a well-known Mil­wau­kee busi­ness­man and phi­lan­thropist, told the Jour­nal Sen­tinel in a Fri­day in­ter­view that if Walker signs the bills, it will “de­stroy” his legacy.

“I mean, he’s the last word. And he’s the only one that can stop it,” Lubar said. “I think it will fail in court, but that won’t change how the his­tory of Wis­con­sin looks on him. They can look on him as some­body who ig­nores the will of the peo­ple and creeps into the house at mid­night to steal away the re­sult of their vote.”

He added, “I would hate to see that. I’ve al­ways con­sid­ered Scott Walker a friend of mine. I would hate to see him de­stroy him­self with this.”

Lubar’s lat­est com­ments came sev­eral days af­ter he sent a sharply worded email to Walker slam­ming the lame­duck ses­sion and Re­pub­li­can lead­ers over their bills aimed at lim­it­ing early vot­ing and the pow­ers of Gov.-elect Tony Evers and At­tor­ney Gen­eral-elect Josh Kaul. He stressed that he be­lieves Walker’s de­ci­sion will de­fine his legacy.

“I think Scott Walker has the most im­por­tant de­ci­sion of his life — his life thus far,” Lubar said. “And he has to de­cide, am I go­ing to act as a ma­ture Amer­i­can who be­lieves in hon­esty and equal jus­tice for ev­ery Amer­i­can, or is he go­ing to sac­ri­fice that and have his name at­tached to de­fy­ing the will of the peo­ple of Wis­con­sin?”

He warned Walker against “tag­ging along be­hind a few petty, mean politi­cians,” re­fer­ring to Assem­bly Speaker Robin Vos of Rochester and Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Scott Fitzger­ald of Juneau.

“Again, is he a man of char­ac­ter or is he a man of ex­ploita­tion?” Lubar said of Walker.

Walker sig­naled ear­lier this week that he would sign at least some of the leg­is­la­tion, say­ing, “For all the talk about rein­ing in power, it re­ally doesn’t.”

But Lubar ac­cused Re­pub­li­can law­mak­ers of “sneak­ing around” when they passed the bills in an overnight ses­sion that started Tues­day and stretched un­til Wed­nes­day morn­ing, with most of the votes com­ing af­ter mid­night. “It is so petty, and so wrong, and so dis­gust­ing to me,” Lubar said. “I think it’s a pretty clear de­ci­sion point for Scott, and I hope he makes the best one.”

Lubar joined the Young Repub­li­cans his se­cond year at the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin Law School and held ap­pointed po­si­tions un­der Re­pub­li­can gov­er­nors War­ren Knowles, Lee Drey­fus, Tommy Thomp­son and Scott McCal­lum.

The founder and chair­man of Lubar & Co., a pri­vate in­vest­ment com­pany in Mil­wau­kee, Lubar was pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin Sys­tem’s Board of Re­gents, pres­i­dent of the Mil­wau­kee Art Mu­seum, trustee and act­ing chair­man of the State of Wis­con­sin In­vest­ment Board and in 1991 served as co-chair­man of the Gov­er­nor’s Con­fer­ence on Small Busi­ness. He also served as an ap­pointee in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., un­der three pres­i­dents.

AN­GELA PETER­SON / MIL­WAU­KEE JOUR­NAL SEN­TINEL

Shel­don Lubar is a long­time prom­i­nent Re­pub­li­can busi­ness­man from Mil­wau­kee.

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