A charge of hypocrisy has been leveled by Wisconsin Democrats, over Governor Scott Walker‘s plans to drug test public assistance recipients. At a Capitol press conference on Tuesday, Scott Ross with liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now said the Republican Governors Association, currently chaired by Walker, accepted 25-thousand dollars from the National Cannabis Industry Association.
“They are, self-described, ‘the nation’s only industry-led organization, engaging in legislative efforts to expand and further legitimize the legal cannabis market in the United States,” Ross said.
Walker wants to require recipients of public benefits, such as SNAP and job training, to be drug tested. “Governor Walker will not turn down an opportunity to turn this into another point of division, hypocrisy be damned,” said state Representative Jimmy Anderson (D-Fitchburg). Anderson said such testing, if implemented, would be a waste of taxpayer money.
“Hypocrisy is a real sickness in this building,” Anderson said.
Records cited by OWN show the marijuana group’s donation to the RGA was made in February. “Receiving a $25,000 donation as head of the Republican Governors Association is extremely disheartening,” said state Senator Latonya Johnson (D-Milwaukee). “It makes me angry.”
It’s unclear whether Walker, who became RGA chair last year, had any role in soliciting the donation from the cannabis industry group. “I suggest that’s something you ask Governor Walker,” Ross said.
Walker spokesman Tom Evenson referred questions to the RGA.
A spokesman for the GOP governors group didn’t shed any light on Walker’s fundraising role, but derided the Tuesday press conference. “Wisconsin Democrats are desperate to distract from the positive results Gov. Walker is achieving for Wisconsin, and with this political stunt today, they are only reminding voters that they are out of touch, out of ideas, and have no message to run on,” said RGA Communications Director Jon Thompson.