by Matthew Rothschild, Executive Director
March 11, 2016
Governor Scott Walker
Governor Walker’s office issued a press release today that contained this whopper: “Governor Walker’s office leads the way on transparent and open government.”
It was Scott Walker, after all, who, along with Speaker Robin Vos, was behind a sneak attack on Wisconsin’s Open Records law right before the July 4 th weekend last year.
It was Scott Walker, after all, who seized upon a new definition of “transitory records” by the Public Records Board to deny an open records request concerning who was visiting the governor’s mansion during his presidential run, as well as one concerning text messages about a bad loan from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to one of Walker’s donors.
And it was Scott Walker’s first Department of Administration Secretary, Mike Huebsch, after all, who told members of Walker’s cabinet early on:
“Don’t send me an email of anything important on my state computer, and don’t call me on anything of importance on my state phone. If you have anything of consequence or importance, call me on your personal phones or walk it over.”
This, according to Peter Bildsten, former secretary of the Department of Financial Institutions, and corroborated by Paul Jadin, former head of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.
So Walker can cast himself as some kind of open records hero. Hell, he can call himself Superman. But that doesn’t make him so.