November 29, 2010

Walker Transition Office Allegedly Working with Right-Wing Radio Host to Concoct Rail Opposition

WIBA/WISN Radio Host McKenna Appears to Use Company Email, Cites Contact with Walker Communications Director to Create Paper Trail of Rail Opposition

MADISON, Wis. — The transition office of Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker appears to be working with right wing radio host Vicki McKenna to manufacture opposition to the Midwest high speed rail project for Wisconsin, according to an email from, McKenna’s corporate account, obtained by One Wisconsin Now.

“For all Scott Walker’s bluster about ‘widespread’ opposition to high speed rail in Wisconsin, his taxpayer-financed transition office is desperate to manufacture a paper trail of opposition,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “With a multi-billion dollar deficit, Walker’s of taxpayer resources to manufacture public relations opposition to high speed rail seems about as inappropriate as sending 13,000 jobs and $810 million in rail fund to Illinois, California or North Carolina.”

In the email obtained by One Wisconsin Now, Clear Channel’s right wing radio host Vicki McKenna begs supporters to contact the Walker transition office and register opposition to high speed rail. The email appears to be sent from McKenna’s Clear Channel email address and includes not only her contact and fax number at WIBA-AM in Madison, but identifies her as a WIBA and WISN-AM Milwaukee employee.

McKenna’s email indicates she has been in contact with the Walker office, specifically transition press secretary, Cullen Werwie, writing, “I checked with Cullen at the office, so they’re ready for the phones to burn down.” The email also includes the telephone number of Walker’s taxpayer-financed transition office.

“Over 7,000 Wisconsinites signed One Wisconsin Now’s petition supporting high speed rail and this is just a tiny slice of the statewide support for high speed rail,” said Ross. “All the collusion in the world between Walker’s office and right wing talk radio isn’t going to change the fact that Wisconsin wants high speed rail and the potential 13,000 jobs that come with it.”

Supporters of rail have had numerous events around the state highlighting widespread enthusiasm for the interstate rail project. Leaders across the ideological spectrum have participated in these events and called on Walker to drop his obstruction against rail to create jobs and a 21st century transportation system for Wisconsin, which reduces the state dependence on foreign oil.

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Support Our Work

Make a contribution to support all the work that goes into One Wisconsin Now’s communication & accountability projects.