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Walker Confident He's Clear in Probe, Not Thinking about 2016

Posted at: 11/26/2012 10:23 AM
Updated at: 11/26/2012 11:05 AM

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Gov. Scott Walker tells The Associated Press that he remains "absolutely" confident that he is not a subject of a criminal investigation involving former aides in his Milwaukee County office.

Walker said in a Monday interview that none of the evidence revealed for the first time in court last week would suggest that he's a target of the investigation.

Emails discussed at the sentencing last week of former Walker deputy chief of staff Kelly Rindfleisch showed that members of Walker's 2010 gubernatorial campaign held daily meetings with his county executive office staff.

Walker says he had no knowledge of county workers doing campaign work while on the clock for their county job. He says if he had known what Rindfleisch was doing, he would have taken action to stop it.

Not thinking about 2016

Gov. Scott Walker insists he is not thinking about running for president in 2016.

Walker tells The Associated Press in a Monday interview that he is focused on putting together the next state budget and working as governor.

Walker was elected governor in 2010 and survived a June recall election. He is close political and personal friends with Paul Ryan, the GOP congressman from Janesville who was Mitt Romney's running mate this year and frequently mentioned as a viable presidential candidate in 2016.

Walker says he has talked with Ryan about pheasant hunting and going to Mass, but he has not talked with him about anything presidential.

Walker says, "I've worked far too hard to become the governor and governor again to worry about anything else after that."

Walker says he wants to end same-day registration

Gov. Scott Walker says he would sign a bill that ends same-day voter registration in Wisconsin, but he won't make doing away with it a priority.

Walker told The Associated Press in a Monday interview that his longstanding opposition to same-day registration stands, but seeking a bill next year in the Legislature to do that is "certainly not a priority."

The issue has gotten more attention recently after Walker said in a speech earlier this month in California that he thinks it would be easier on election clerks of voters could not register at the polls.

Walker says his comments have gotten a disproportionate amount of attention. He says he is focused on his economic agenda in the Legislature next year, which includes passing a new two-year budget.

No decision on Medicaid

Gov. Scott Walker says he still hasn't decided whether Wisconsin will seek a voluntary expansion of Medicaid services as provided under the federal health care overhaul.

Walker made the comment in a Monday interview with The Associated Press.

Walker earlier this month said Wisconsin would not move forward with implementing its own state-run health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act. But Walker has not said whether Wisconsin will expand Medicaid services under the law, which he and other critics have called "Obamacare."

The expansion is set to take effect in 2014 unless states opt out.

Walker has been critical of the expansion in the past, raising concerns about how much it would cost the state.

Walker to tour state to get ideas for next budget

Gov. Scott Walker is launching a tour across Wisconsin to gather ideas about what should be prioritized in his next state budget and legislative agenda for next year.

Green Bay on Tuesday is the first stop in the "Talk with Walker Tour" the governor announced on Monday. He is scheduled to be in La Crosse later in the week with other stops in the works for Eau Claire, Wausau and the Milwaukee area.

Walker tells The Associated Press in a Monday interview that the goal is to get people involved in the process of his putting together his agenda for next year.

Walker has already said he will be focusing on creating jobs, developing the workforce, education and government reforms and investing in roads, railways and other infrastructure needs.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)