Convenient Timing: Scott Walker Flips Position on RFS to Gain Iowa Favor Prior to Presidential Run

July 17, 2015

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, now a 2016 presidential candidate, used to oppose the federal ethanol mandate on the basis of principle. Not anymore—not with Iowa standing between him and the nation’s highest office.

Walker’s sudden change of heart on the policy that created a government-mandated market for corn-based fuel came in Iowa, home of both King Corn and the first-in-the-nation caucuses—an event that acts as a political pendulum leading to each party’s nomination of a candidate for the presidential election. Iowans, especially the state’s political class who disproportionately benefit from the mandate, support it. That’s likely why in March, Walker stood in front of a group of Iowa corn growers and future caucus voters, telling them he supported the federal mandates—even though he had formerly opposed them.

On the heels of his candidacy announcement this week, media promptly flambéed the governor for his conspicuous, if predictable, flip flop on the politically charged mandate.

The Wall Street Journal wrote Walker “abandoned” his long-standing opposition to the ethanol mandate, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Walker’s home state newspaper, wrote, “Walker dropped his previous flat opposition to ethanol mandates, offering a new stance that's well-suited to a state covered in cornfields.”

If you’re tired of Iowa’s special interests dictating federal energy policy for the rest of us, join us now. Take action to reform the federal ethanol mandate.