MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Walker is publicizing multiple “forums” across the state where, at his direction, top administration officials talk tax policy changes with big business representatives. At the first stop in Beloit that featured Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, the Secretary of the Department of Revenue and business representatives, Kleefisch order the meeting closed to the public and media. Kleefisch has also refused to release a recording of the proceedings made by a taxpayer funded member of her staff.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross is calling on Gov. Walker to open future meetings to the public, “Publicly announcing an event and then closing it to the media and public is just bizarre. Gov. Walker needs to tear down the walls of secrecy surrounding these forums, order future events to be open to the public and media and direct Lt. Gov. Kleefisch to immediately turn over the video she had made of the Beloit event.”
Ross noted that previous Walker administration initiated tax law changes included raising taxes on seniors and the working poor while giving the wealthy and corporations billions in tax giveaways over the next decade. In addition, Walker has signed into law the largest cuts to public education in state history and drastic reductions in state help with health insurance through the BadgerCare program.
In addition, this is not the first time the Walker administration has erected barriers to public participation at events featuring members of his cabinet. In one instance, the public was charged $50 per person to attend a so-called jobs summit in Green Bay featuring Walker and members of his administration.
Ross concluded, “The complete lack of fairness in Gov. Walker’s policies that so radically favor the wealthy and corporations over the rest of us is bad enough. But it is insulting to the hard-working people of Wisconsin for him to advertise he’s shutting them out to meet behind closed doors with big business special interests.”