Scott Walker, the onetime national Republican favorite ousted from the Wisconsin governor's mansion last year, has found another new political platform: He will be the figurehead for a new group that seeks promote government reform from the right.
The 18-month-old Institute for Reforming Government announced Monday that Walker will be its national honorary chairman as the group "seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations."
Since losing his bid for a third term last fall, the 52-year-old Walker has put together a portfolio of positions designed to keep him relevant in conservative governing circles. He is finance chairman of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, which will coordinate the party's redistricting strategy after the 2020 census, and national chairman of the Center for State-led National Debt Solutions, which is seeking to convene a constitutional convention with the aim of adding an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.
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RepresentUs acquired 8,000 signatures on a petition asking Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez to keep working on a "revolving door" bill. Paula Barkan, Austin chapter leader of RepresentUs, handed the petition to Brandon Simon, Cruz's Central Texas regional director, on July 31.
Remember that tweet exchange in May between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the one where they discussed bipartisan legislation to ban former members of Congress from becoming lobbyists?
To recap: Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for legislation banning the practice in light of a report by the watchdog group Public Citizen, which found that nearly 60 percent of lawmakers who recently left Congress had found jobs with lobbying firms. Cruz tweeted back, extending an invitation to work on such a bill. Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Let's make a deal."
The news cycle being what it is, it's easy to forget how the media jumped on the idea of the Texas Republican and the New York Democrat finding common ground on a government ethics proposal. Since then, we've collectively moved on — but not everyone forgot.
The government reform group RepresentUs recently drafted a petition asking Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez to follow through on their idea, gathering more than 8,000 signatures.
Sixty percent of young adults in the United States believe other people "can't be trusted," according to a recent Pew Research survey, which found that younger Americans were far more likely than older adults to distrust both institutions and other people. But adults of all ages did agree on one thing: They all lack confidence in elected leaders.
While united in a lack of confidence, the cohorts disagreed on whether that's a major problem. The study found that young adults (ages 18-29) were less likely than older Americans to believe that poor confidence in the federal government, the inability of Democrats and Republicans to work together, and the influence of lobbyists and special interest groups were "very big problems."