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Scott Walker on Time’s 100 most influential list

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker

MADISON — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has been named to Time magazine’s yearly list of the world’s 100 most influential people, joining the ranks of world leaders, entertainers and religious figures.

In a particular coup for the GOP governor, his tribute in the magazine’s list was written by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential adversary in the 2016 presidential race.

“His battle to bring fairness to the taxpayers through common sense reform of the public-sector collective-bargaining laws brought him scorn from the special interests and a recall election. Despite these threats, he stood tall,” Christie writes.

In a statement, Walker said he was “certainly humbled by this honor,” which carried a photo of him seated on a Harley-Davidson outside the Capitol.

The Walker piece initially carried the cryptic headline of “The politician who reached out to the West” — the same headline given to the previous article on Iranian President Hassan Rouhani — but was quickly corrected to read, “The heartland’s Republican hopeful.”

Walker drew national attention for the 2011 law known as Act 10, which repealed most collective bargaining for most public workers.

The Time list notes public figures of influence, without necessarily connoting approval. The list this year includes figures ranging from the singer Bono to Pope Francis, twerker Miley Cyrus and Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Other figures in U.S. politics included U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown, and the conservative billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

Walker wrote the tribute to GOP U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesville when Ryan made the Time list in 2011.

The Time article didn’t mention Walker’s Democratic challenger for re-election this year, former state Commerce Secretary Mary Burke. State Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff dismissed Walker’s recognition by the magazine.

“Support for Scott Walker is falling, even with Republicans, as the latest public polls show the governor’s race in a dead heat and more than 60 percent of Wisconsin voters saying Walker shouldn’t run for president,” Baldauff said.

Polls by the Democratic Public Policy Polling and the GOP-leaning Rasmussen Report have found a tight race in the state. A recent poll by Marquette University Law School found a larger lead for Walker.