MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker has held numerous closed-door “listening sessions” at which he hears from an audience hand picked from lists provided by lobbyists, fellow Republican politicians and his state agencies with regulatory power over businesses. To give people who aren’t on Scott Walker’s pre-approved list of elites a chance to tell the Governor what they think, One Wisconsin Now is hosting a booth allowing people to record a short video telling Scott Walker what’s on their minds at the Democratic Party Convention on Friday.
“Scott Walker goes to great lengths to wall himself off from hearing from people who aren’t the lobbyists, political insiders and big corporate interests that fuel his political ambitions,” commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “But the people of Wisconsin have something to say, and we’re going to make sure they get that chance to tell the Governor what’s on their minds.”
Throughout 2016 Walker held a series of much heralded listening sessions. But a review of internal Walker administration records by One Wisconsin Now revealed a massive effort of time and taxpayer resources to recruit audiences to ensconce the Governor in favorable settings. In one unseemly instance an insurance industry lobbyist solicited by Walker’s office for suggested attendees at the sessions took the opportunity to also mention he needed to confer with the administration on an administrative rule of concern.
Ross noted that there are plenty of reasons Walker — whose policies have resulted in anemic job growth that lags most of the nation, record cuts to public education, exploding student loan debt and a crumbling transportation infrastructure — might not want to hear from the public. And in 2017 Walker, much like several members of Wisconsin’s congressional delegation, has refused to hold any listening sessions open to the general public.
He concluded, “Scott Walker might not be able to handle hearing the truth about the failure of his administration and his policies, but everyone in this state deserves to have their voices heard by their elected officials, including the Governor.”