MADISON, Wis. — Following remarks at CPAC2017, where Gov. Scott Walker is said to have told Congressional Republicans to “Ignore Protestors,” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross called on the governor to host an actual town hall meeting in Wisconsin. Since his presidential campaign ended after 71 days in 2015, Gov. Walker has held invite-only listening sessions, populated by lobbyists and Walker campaign donors.
“We agree with Gov. Walker calling out Speaker Paul Ryan and Senator Ron Johnson to grow a spine and have some town halls here in Wisconsin,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “We also think Gov. Walker should practice what he preaches and hold an actual town hall in Wisconsin that is open to the public.”
In July 2016, after Gov. Walker held his 50th invite-only event, One Wisconsin Now revealed numerous alarming details about the closed-door sessions, which exposed a massive effort of time and taxpayer resources to ensconce the Governor in favorable settings. In one unseemly instance, an insurance industry lobbyist solicited by Gov. Walker’s office for suggested attendees at the sessions took the opportunity to also mention he needed to confer with the administration on administrative rule of concern.
Records also revealed Gov. Walker and his staff tapped state regulatory agencies and information they collect about the businesses they regulate to generate attendee leads. Secretaries and staff of cabinet agencies like the Department of Health Services, the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Workforce Development and the Department of Administration were directed to provide the Governor’s office with lists of people associated with businesses over which they have oversight or with whom they do business.
One Wisconsin Now also analyzed the campaign contributions of the Walker session attendees and found that people at sessions between January and March 2016 made nearly 4,000 contributions totaling over $1 million, overwhelmingly to Republicans and conservatives.
“Taxpayers have been footing the bill for Scott Walker and his family for 24 years,” said Ross. “He needs to stop whining about protests from six years ago and meet the people paying his salary.”