June 10, 2020

"Republican legislative leaders lashed out Wednesday at Democratic Gov. Tony Evers after his staff secretly recorded a May 14 phone conversation..."

"... over how to respond to the coronavirus pandemic the day after the state Supreme Court struck down the state's stay-at-home order. The recording and the reaction to it all but ensures a permanently broken relationship between Evers and Republicans who control the Legislature.... Evers' spokeswoman, Melissa Baldauff, said... 'This was not intended for release to the media or anyone else, however, we were obligated to comply with the open records law to release these records once they were requested.'...  Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, said recording a conversation without alerting the other parties isn't illegal in this state, but is in bad form — and that the nature of the meeting should have pushed the three to talk publicly instead of privately.... Evers at one stage said he was frustrated the state wasn't able to open up in a uniform, phased way.... Fitzgerald repeatedly told Evers the reopening of the state's businesses was now behind them and urged him to develop plans for dealing with large crowds at Brewers games and the eventual resumption of schools. Evers asked Vos and Fitzgerald what they wanted to do if there was a catastrophic increase in cases, expressing frustration with their hands-off approach. 'Do we just say the hell with it?' Evers asked. 'No. Someone should call Barry Alvarez and say is there going to be football in Camp Randall in August,' Fitzgerald said, referring to the University of Wisconsin athletic director."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. You can listen to the recordings at the link.



JackWayne said...

Lashing Out is such a Republican thin to do. Tsk!!!

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Jessica said...

Sorry to be off topic, but wanted to put this here because I'm curious if Althouse has seen this... I had no idea until a friend texted me about it.

Sebastian said...

"a catastrophic increase in cases"

Same old, same old.

Increases are only "catastrophic" if they involve people who actually get hospitalized or die. Most cases are good: asymptomatic or mild symptoms, building up that herd immunity.

Just make sure Althouse doesn't go to a Badger game.

Big Mike said...

Someone is the admin must have tipped off the media to Evers’ Nixon tapes right? But why? He comes across as clueless while the Speaker sounds reasonable and Fitz is in command of the meeting. How does this help him?

An old management saying: "A people hire A people, B people hire C people." In this case the Evers staffer might well be a D person. Make of that what you will.

mccullough said...

It’s four-weeks later. Wisconsin is doing well. Evers should resign. He’s not up to the job.

gilbar said...

When Wisconsin’s Lockdown Ended
A study finds ‘no evidence’ that it led to Covid-19 outbreak

Josephbleau said...

Sounds like Evers and his staff were planning a dirty trick by a strategic release of the secretly recorded Conference with media assistance. The only problem is that the secret tapes made Evers look like a dumb shirt instead of the Republicans.

Inga said...

All three sounded fairly cooperative and reasonable, with some bumpy moments. Evers says he wasn’t aware the meeting was being recorded, so Vos and Fitzgerald getting their pantries in a bunch and calling Evers a “Nixon” is a bit dramatic. Those who recorded the meeting should’ve notified all three parties.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

So Evers took a page from Tricky Dick's book, eh?

I agree that the recording does not make the Republicans look bad. However, I'm sure snippets will be used out of context in campaign ads to make it look like the GOP wants grandma to die.

It's a pretty mild recording compared to the one of hapless Chicago mayor Lori "Haircut" Lightfoot and the aldermen and women of her city the night Chicago burned. "You're full of shit" and "Fuck yous" were flying back and forth. However, they are all Dems so it is OK:


Inga said...

Arizona is seeing a spike in Covid cases three week after reopening. I don’t know why Wisconsin isn’t seeing the sort of a spike Arizona is, except that there is still a large portion of Wisconsinites that are wearing masks and being careful.

We’re starting to see some indicators that the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in Maricopa County and we have enough information to know these increases are not due to just an increase in testing that is occurring,” said Flanagan, whose county includes Phoenix, the fifth most populous city in the country.

While Ducey has insisted this “is not a crisis situation” and suggested the rise in the number of cases is due to an increase in testing, critics say otherwise and accuse the Republican governor of setting a bad example by not wearing a mask while out in public.

To date, some 500 patients have already been transferred out of hospitals likeliest to see the biggest influx of coronavirus patients and the state has set up a “surge line” to help balance the patient load at hospitals around the state, state Health Department spokesman Chris Minnick said.

Already, 11 Arizona hospitals have hit ICU capacity, Ann-Marie Alameddin, the president of the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, said.

Lewis Wetzel said...

It's not in their hands anymore.
Especially after the spectacle they made of the protests and the riots.
What does Evers think that people will do if there is a big increase in covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths? Go to a Brewers game? Hang out in crowded beer halls and discos?

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Bill, Republic of Texas said...

recording a conversation without alerting the other parties isn't illegal in this state

At least one person on the call must have known it was being recorded. If not, then the recording is a crime even if you own the phone line.

I know this because years ago a guy I knew was recording all the phone calls at his house because he thought his wife was stepping out on him.

He was right. He got his divorce and a jail sentence.


Yancey Ward said...

You see in Evers the lie that was "flatten the curve". Evers apparently believed that you could extinguish the virus completely before reopening.

I have said it until I am blue in the face- locking down the country was never going be possible for more than a month or two. It was always insane to think you could lock the country down for the 12-18 months that would be required, at a minimum, to extinquish the virus here and everywhere else.

And, no, cases aren't spiking. What you are seeing is a long plateau that was anticipated for the reopenings- the goal isn't the squash the virus out of existence- the goal is to get the country functioning again so that we don't kill everyone else. Additionally, you see the increase in testing across all the states. You test more, you get more cases for a given prevalence of the disease.

You have to realize the US isn't an homogenous country- you can always find outliers in a country this size, so look at the data for the whole country, not just a state like Arizona, for example. In any case, you can check out a range of states data here. I have added several states since yesterday. Focus on the cumulative positive rates before you start claiming that cases are spiking or surging. You have to understand that the states report data differently. Not all the states have a unified, regular reporting schedule like New York State. A lot of the states try to tie positives to dates of infection, and they also often only report new positives some days of the week, and sometimes bunch positives from several days causing false "spike"- this screws up any attempts at judging things with 7 Day moving averages of new cases and daily positive rates. Texas is especially bad for this as you will several days with 100% positive rate days. I wish they all reported it evenly like New York- that is some pretty data if you check out the tab in my link.

So, when you look at a state look at the cumulative positive rate. If the state is at a plateau of new cases, this rate will be really static or undulating gently. If the infections are abating, this rate will be in a general decline in the 7 Day moving average. If infections are increasing, then the cumulative positive rate will be rising noticeably in the 7 Day moving average.

Mark said...

The local head of AfP probably isn't the most neutral observer, I would guess his statement about Evers to be just politics.

Cannot wait for Fitzgerald to be gone, he would fit in Washington. 36 years in the state senate ... drain the freaking swamp already.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Evers sounds clueless because he is. And doesn't the claim that he didn't know the call was recorded make him look even more feckless? If he didn't know about it, you would think he would be angry. Maybe his handlers haven't told him what to think yet.

Just imagine, this is the clown in charge of restoring Wisconsin's economy. It's hard to see how the state could be in worse hands.

Tommy Duncan said...

A great post that every person in Wisconsin should read.

Greg the class traitor said...

Inga said...
Evers says he wasn’t aware the meeting was being recorded

In which case the recording was illegal, and whoever did it needs to go to jail.

so Vos and Fitzgerald getting their pantries in a bunch and calling Evers a “Nixon” is a bit dramatic

Says the people who called Bush and Trump "Hitler"

Those who recorded the meeting should’ve notified all three parties
Those who recorded a call by three people without the knowledge of any of the three people are criminals.

So Evers is a liar, or his aids are crooks, and some need to go to jail.

And Evers is a bad boss who can't run a legal shop, and so shouldn't be Governor

RigelDog said...

Yancey Ward said: I have said it until I am blue in the face- locking down the country was never going be possible for more than a month or two. It was always insane to think you could lock the country down for the 12-18 months that would be required, at a minimum, to extinquish the virus here and everywhere else.}}}

Thank you. People refuse to accept the reality that the virus is gonna virus and that lockdown is not a disease-eradication strategy. Lockdown is a way to put a bit of a pause on the rate of spread, and lockdown brings new misery and ruined lives every day it's prolonged. We just can't do this for two years, what the hell is wrong with people that they're just blindly following along with the bait-and-switch new goal of an impossible ideal?