In yet another closed door meeting with Wisconsin business, Scott Walkers hand picked representatives are getting the Mitt Romney 47% treatment as a video has now been released after the Wisconsin State Journal asked for them under the Open Records Law. Reporters were kept out of this and other similar meetings until the meetings were nearly over.
Gov. Scott Walker directed (Wisconsins Republican Lt. Governor) Kleefisch and Chandler to stage a series of “Tax Reform Roundtables” with state residents to find out how taxes affected “their businesses and their families,” and he said the Beloit session was a great start.(additions in italics are mine for clarification)
Walker apparently isn't available to hold these himself because he's not spending a lot of time in Wisconsin (shhhhhh, his schedule is STILL a secret).
Here's the big new from the meeting closed door meeting.
A recently released video of the Dec. 9 session at Beloit College shows Kleefisch and state Revenue Department Secretary Rick Chandler extolling state efforts to reduce taxes since Republicans took over state government in 2011, and saying they wanted private-sector ideas for another round of cuts.
“We want to know how we can love you more,” Kleefisch told the group of about 30 executives, managers, accountants and others during the 1-hour, 40-minute session.(bolding is mine)
The Beloit meeting was planned as an invitation-only affair so participants could speak freely without worries about divulging private financial information, Kleefisch said in an interview Thursday.Fageddabout Open Meetings Laws or the publics right to know. This is FitzWalkerStan where even the Constitution doesn't apply anymore.
But plans were immediately tangled in controversy because the gathering was private and dominated by business interests. A newspaper reporter who tried to cover the meeting was locked out until it was almost over.
Kleefisch said the conflict over barring the public stole the limelight from the issue of tax cuts, so she invited reporters to two subsequent meetings last month in Eau Claire and Superior. Any future sessions will also be open, she said.
“The story of tax reform kind of got lost in the minutiae of when the reporters were in or not in,” Kleefisch said. “If you’ve got cameras and reporters with notebooks lining the edges of the room, that amounts to public speaking, and that can make some folks nervous.”
(bolding is mine)
The video was shot by Kleefisch's staff (the 2 previous meetings weren't recorded) and was never intended to be released, however the Wisconsin State Journal requested the video under Wisconsin Open Records Law. You can bet your next paycheck that that will be the LAST of these private meetings that will ever be recorded. And you can expect reporters to continue to be kept out.
Sooooo, what does business want?
They said the state should do more to attract new businesses and help existing companies, loosen restrictions on tax credits, simplify the tax code, cut commercial property taxes, consider lowering income and property taxes while increasing the sales tax, and issue more business loans that don’t need to be paid back in some circumstances.Yup. Cut out taxes, give us taxpayer money and frigging leave us alone so we can exploit workers more. The usual demands from the greedy to push their financial burden onto the peasants backs.
And they're not satisfied with what Walker and his band of Not So Merry Men have already done for them. They've cut taxes for business to the extent that many of them don't pay taxes at all. On top of that, Walker ended the state-run Department of Commerce and replaced it with a quasi-private agency he heads himself, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation which has handed out tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to business in subsidies and loans (which they "conveniently" lost track of).
Here's the video if you can stomach it (warning: it's over an hour and a half).
You might want to check out Cappers take on this on Cognitive Dissonance.