Lubar amps up Walker criticism: Signing bills would ‘destroy’ him
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.
Sheldon Lubar is a longtime prominent Republican businessman from Milwaukee.