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Thursday, February 27, 2014

If Doing Nothing Wrong, Why Does Gov. Walker Need a Second Separate Phone?

Fox News Chris Wallace asks Scott Walker, “Question, if county workers were doing nothing wrong, why should they be using a private email account?

That's the six million dollar question Walker refused to answer. Instead he yammered on, "Well, but that’s exactly to my point. You had a Democratic district attorney spend almost three years looking at every single one of those communications, interviewing people, talking to people and closed the case."

And.....? Nothing. He never answered the question.

Wallace's question can and should be asked repeatedly of the governor by Wisconsin's media, but in addition, include his own recent admission that he now finds it necessary to carry two phones. If you're doing nothing wrong, why have a separate private phone? There's no reason for that second phone. In fact, that extra phone acts as a portable router that stifles the Freedom of Information Act.

I can hear Walker loyalists stomp their feet over that one. Awww man mean, Walker can't have a private conversation at any time while he is governor? Well, yes and no. But a couple things here first.

Walker supposedly created a Code Of Conduct Agreement for his office staff that they must sign in order to remain employed. The agreement defines the hours of his office staff as 8AM to 5PM. That should be the governor's "official" hours as well.

Granted, a governor is expected to be available around the clock if necessary and can be away from the office for an unspecified amount of time, but we should expect the person elected governor to hold the highest standards and at the minimum keep the same hours and conduct as expected of his staff. That means all of his communications during those hours should be done on the state issued network system. That means no separate second phone connection while on the job.

Secondly, a person elected governor or to any major public office has made the choice to serve the public. Sorry to say, but that choice means less privacy during the time being paid on the taxpayers dime. If you want privacy, get a job in the private sector.

Another point is that as technology progresses, laws governing these issues become obviously antiquated and must be updated. That needs to be done. But in the meantime elected officials should be erring on the side of utmost caution, not stretching the laws to the farthest limits of legality.

But speaking of Scott Walker specifically, he has made two admissions that should have raised bells to their highest alarm. Previously, he said mixing political campaign communications during official office hours is routine, and now said he uses a second phone to keep his official duties separate from his political campaign activities.

So when is Scott Walker not acting in his official capacity as governor of the state of Wisconsin? Anytime he answers or uses that private phone.

With his history, that's not good enough for me ...and shouldn't be good enough for anyone.


Anonymous said...

If I was Walker, I would also have a private phone for personal family calls. Most likely, only a small number of people know the phone number of Walker's second phone.

If Walker made these family calls with his government-issued phone, your side would release them to embarrass the Walker administration just like your side did with the jokes after accessing the 28,000 emails.

Remember, Wisconsin voters are watching your side every bit as much as they are watching Walker. Releasing those impertinent jokes made your side look petty and vindictive.

Mark Sevelis
Germantown, WI

Lou Kaye said...

Sure, almost everyone receives calls from spouses, family members or friends while at work. But even with those calls there should be nothing to fear if nothing to hide. Keep in mind the backdrop of choosing to be a public servant on the taxpayers dime. Nobody wants to know or care if your spouse asks you to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home from work. I think anyone who wants to publicize personal calls or messages made between family and friends simply to embarrass someone will be shouted down in the public square and lose whatever mission they were on.

If Walker or any governor is allowed to circumvent state paid networks in their official capacity, then all is lost. He may as well have ten private phones as dedicated hotlines to his favorite donors.

However, I have no idea what your talking about by "your side" (meaning mine) releasing impertinent jokes that made "your side look petty and vindictive."

Anonymous said...

Mark, your comments make no sense. Walker broke the law, knows he broke the law and refuses to take accountability. The emails- petty and vindictive? Are you kidding or stupid? Walker suppressing discussion and covering up the death of a mentally ill woman? Do you know how painful it is to die of starvation? Walker covering up the death of an innocent 15 year old boy and his staff making light of his death? You call anyone petty and vindictive besides Walker and his inner circle and you are as guilty as they are. If you advocate for innocent people to be treated like their death doesn't matter, then YOU TOO HAVE BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS. How dare you? You disgust me and everyone with a conscience and morality.

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