Smokescreen hides Walker's veto-created loophole

Wisconsin public records law is to be interpreted always with a presumption of complete public access. To build a smokescreen, Walker flouted this presumption.

In the news: In Ashwaubenon last Sunday, Walker signed the budget repair bill into law as '2011 Wisconsin Act 32.' The public was denied access.

The more accessible Ashwaubenon Village Hall holds business hours Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Alternatively, the capitol building in Madison is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. Yet, Walker chose a private location from which the public could be, and was, barred.

In the legislation: An Informed Public: Part Two, The Public Records Law

The law states that the denial of public access to records generally goes against the public interest, and that access may be denied only in exceptional cases.

The public has a right to access the signed 2011-2013 budget.

In the rhetoric: Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie explained the budget would be signed in private and at a business to ensure the focus ... is on creating 250,000 new jobs, not about other things.

  • "creating 250,000 new jobs" is shorthand for "a universally desired result that Walker & Co. wish to conflate with the 2011-13 budget
  • "other things" is shorthand for "the loophole inserted by veto 37."
From this rhetor, we conclude Walker used Fox Valley Metal-Tech to distract the public from a comprehensive understanding of Walker's budget.

Walker used the location to focus his disciple's attention on his campaign pledge of "250,000 new jobs" (by 2015).

Walker kept the ceremony private to focus his critic's attention on his disrespect for public records law.

From friend and foe alike, Walker disguised the nature of his vetoes.  He needed focus to be anywhere except on the loophole of veto 37.

Future work: A look at Walker public relations strategy: The use of a literal blue collar to conflate Walker and the metaphorical "blue collar" of labor.

Fun with resources:

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011


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