Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Less Official Information Released By 'Transparent' Gov. Walker

I remind people - - one recent example among many - - that Scott Walker famously boasted that, as a public official, he "lived" transparency.

That was before we found out there was a secret campaign communications and fund-raising WI-FI system set up by people on his public-employee staff - - cronies and allies - - in the Milwaukee Count Executive office suite just a few feet from his door.

Evading the intent and function of the Wisconsin Open Records law and related County ordinances until John Doe I led to disclosures and criminal charges. 

Also disproving the transparency claim - - besides all recent revelations of secret fund-raising and coordination with so-called independent groups alleged by prosecutors - - are politically-inspired, willful decisions by Walker-run state agencies to cut back the level of public information being released because the data or materials could undermine Walker's pro-business promotion.


*  Under Walker, The State Department of Revenue has cut from three to one its yearly economic forecasts, as I posted, here.

Little wonder: the last one, issued more than five months ago, projects the addition of 40,000 new jobs in Wisconsin for 2014 - - while the real number annually has been above 30,000 in only one of three Walker years.

And is currently trending this year not for 40,000, but near his cumulative average of 28,000+ - - a 30% miss.

*  Also under Walker, the state Department of Natural Resources eliminated first level "watches" in a two-step public notification process about unhealthy air quality. 

Now an alert - - and you can get them by email - - comes out as an "advisory" only after the unhealthy air - - laden with soot particles or other pollution which are invisible to the naked eye - - is already there for the breathing.

I published an account of the policy change early in Walker's tenure in 2011, along with the text of an email from the DNR official making the announcement (these things all originate in, or are approved by Walker's staff) - - a former executive off the staff of the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce - - that reminded people that there wasn't any mandate that warnings or notices be published.

I guess the theory was that in a state just thrown open to business, what you can't see won't harm you - - of the reputation of the state's actual climate for business - - but without the first notification about the dirty air watch,  the elderly, children, runners and people with asthma and other cardio-vascular problems now cannot plan around an unseen condition that is bad for their health until it hits them.

How would you feel if tornado or flood watches were eliminated - - but advisories were issued as funnel clouds or rivers out of their banks were already in your neighborhood?

*  The same DNR has not updated its its main climate change page since June 18, 2012, and even deleted useful information and links. Right now, the page consists of a single paragraph and one link. I have noted this several times.


Gareth said...

Fortunately, for those of us with lung problems, the treasonous Federal Government provides accurate and timely air quality reports at:


I check it every day before leaving the house. Libertarians and Sovereign Citizens are free to suck in lungs full of soot.

Anonymous said...

Just as you said and people don't realize; every state agency except DPI does not have any decision making authority. Walker himself or someone in his office puts out all the directives that come out under the agency banner. No dissent is allowed nor discussion for that matter. This man runs this state with his thumb literally on everything. If Walker ever gets his hands on DPI education will be dead in thus state, and it's dying a slow death even now.

Anonymous said...

Yes, if you are a state employee today, your number one job is to make Scott Walker look good so he can get elected President.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what a WEDC administrator said; "We have one customer, and our job is to make him look good....Huebsch is the prince, Walker is the king." No wonder they can't create jobs they're to busy serving the king and kissing his....ring!

Boxer said...

Message: We don't care.