Responding to Wall Street backlash, Scott Walker’s sons try making him appear less extreme on same-sex marriage

Louis Weisberg

Gov. Scott Walker’s sons Alex Walker and Matt Walker will appear on CNN’s State of the Union tomorrow, likely to discuss their support for same-sex marriage. Even since the governor suffered a backlash after condemning the Supreme Court’s ruling granting marriage rights to same-sex couples, his sons have been contacting the media to emphasize their support for equality.

The younger Walkers’ campaign began after billionaire hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb declined to donate to the governor due to his extreme opposition to marriage equality, according to Business Insider. Wall Street has become increasingly disenchanted with the Republican Party’s emphasis on social issues, which financial leaders believe has cost the GOP at the polls. And most Wall Street political donors support the right of gays and lesbians to marry.

Thus, Walker’s hardline stance on the issue poses an unforeseen stumbling block to his fundraising efforts.

The sons appear to be sincere: Alex Walker served as best man at the wedding of his mother’s lesbian cousin to another woman.

But despite his sons’ attempts to humanize their father on the issue, Walker is still calling for a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court ruling.

Walker has flip-flopped on many other issues since he decided to seek the presidency. For instance, he was strongly opposed to the federal government’s ethanol mandates until he began campaigning in Iowa, whose economy relies heavily on ethanol sales. Then he shifted his stance in favor of government regulations that require fuel refiners to blend a certain volume of ethanol into traditional gasoline.

But Iowa voters are also the reason that Walker will not be able to backpedal on his pledge to fight back against the legalization of same-sex marriage. Walker must win the Iowa caucuses to stay in the race, and adherents to fundamentalist Christian dogma dominate the state’s Republican caucus-goers.

The surrogate campaign by Walker’s sons might, however, help him appear less radical to voters in a general election — if he were to succeed in obtaining his party’s nomination.

In other Walker news, the governor has announced that he’ll sign the controversial state budget passed this week by Republican legislators tomorrow — one day before he formally announces his presidential candidacy.

Signing the $73 billion, two-year spending plan at a business in Waukesha late Sunday afternoon ensures that media coverage will be minimal for the controversial bill.

Also, the soon-to-be candidate announced last week that he’d tapped Mike Grebe, president of the conservative Bradley Foundation to lead his presidential campaign. The foundation has been a strong backer of Walker’s political career.

Grebe told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that Walker asked him to serve as his campaign chairman about 10 days ago.  Grebe has served as chairman of Walker’s gubernatorial political committee since 2010.

The Bradley Foundation has backed a number of right-wing public policy experiments, including welfare reform and voucher schools. Grebe became the foundation’s president and chief executive officer in 2002.

In late May, Walker appointed Grebe to University of Wisconsin board of regents.