MADISON, Wis. — One Wisconsin Now today filed a request under the state open records law for video reportedly taken by a state employee of a roundtable event on state tax policy including Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, the Secretary of the Department of Revenue and representatives of Beloit area businesses. According to the Beloit Daily News, Lt. Gov. Kleefisch personally directed the meeting be closed to the media and refused to release a copy of the video.
Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director, commented, “What is Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch trying to hide? We already know Gov. Walker and Lt. Gov. Kleefisch have been willing to make record cuts to public education and raise taxes on the working poor and seniors to help pay for more tax giveaways to big business. One can only wonder what she might have said to top that.”
Among the reported attendees at the meeting was a representative of Beloit-based ABC Supply Company. According to a report from the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future, ABC paid no state corporate income taxes in 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008 (the latest year for which data was available when the report was written).
The owner of ABC Supply, Diane Hendricks, famously elicited Gov. Walker’s labor relations strategy of “divide and conquer” at a meeting in Janesville and travelled with him to an appearance at the Reagan Library in California where he announced his support for repealing Wisconsin’s same day voter registration law. Hendricks also made the single largest donation to a state political candidate, $500,000, to Gov. Walker for his 2012 recall election.
Ross concluded, “Lt. Gov. Kleefisch videotaped a meeting at which she acted in her official capacity and, along with another member of Gov. Walker’s cabinet, discussed state policy that affects every single Wisconsin resident. She might be embarrassed about what she said or the ineffectiveness of the policies she’s supported, but she ought to be ashamed of her efforts to hide the open record of the event from the public.”