State Government

Avoiding the Public They Serve

Two former cabinet members under Gov. Scott Walker say they were instructed by former Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch not to conduct important state business by state email or on state telephones. Huebsch said he merely warned fellow cabinet members to be careful because such communications could be made public.

Via Former cabinet members: Top Scott Walker aide ordered them to avoid state email, phones @ WisconsinWatch.org.


Dee Hall is the managing editor at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. Department of Administrative staff told Hall higher-ups instructed them to use alternative communication methods, rather than official email addresses. This comes after a change from the Public Records Board which exempts text messages from public records laws.

Public Records Requests Are A Right, Not a Gift 

So a local paper complains that a local school superintendent won’t comply with a public records request, won’t put the paper on a media contact list, and simply ‘must’ improve communications. 

A few points –

1. Compliance with a public records request isn’t a ‘communications’ issue; it’s a legal issue, of rights of residents under Wisconsin law….

Via 4 Points About Public Records Requests @ FREE WHITEWATER.


Thursday features the release of Wisconsin’s Annual Fiscal Report. This is the report that goes over all of the finances and fund for state government, and covers the fiscal year that ran from July 1, 2014- June 30, 2015 (click here to look at the 2014 document). It’ll go a long way toward determining the state of the Walker/WisGOP budget, and if there might be a bit of flexibility available to soothe the blows from this budget…or if the inevitable additional cuts and tax increases will have to come sooner than later.

Via A preview of Thursday’s hue year-end budget report @ Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse.

Contract for Statewide Exam Goes to Connected Political Donor  

Susan Engeleiter, chief executive officer and president of DRC, was the Republican Senate minority leader in the 1980s. She also ran an unsuccessful campaign against former U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, a Democrat, in 1988.

Engeleiter gave Walker’s campaign $10,000 in October 2014 and $500 to state Superintendent Tony Evers in 2013, according to Wisconsin Democracy Campaign records.

Via State picks former Republican lawmaker’s company to create test to replace Badger Exam @ State Journal

Walker Admin ignores true alternative energy sources

Among six midwestern states, Indiana has increased the use of solar power the most, adding more than 115 megawatts in the last five years, compared to about 20 megawatts for last place Wisconsin, the story reports. In wind power for the period 2011 to 2014, top state Iowa added more than 5,500 megawatts, compared to little or no growth for Wisconsin.

The upper Midwest has been a boom area for wind power except in Wisconsin. As I reported in January of last year, “in 2012 seven percent of the entire world market of wind energy was developed in America’s upper Midwest, but 99.4 percent of this development occurred outside Wisconsin.”

Via  Walker “Worst” Candidate on Wind, Solar? @ Urban Milwaukee.