Governor Criticized For Recording Meeting With Republican Legislators

(Madison) Republicans are criticizing Governor Tony Evers for recording a telephone meeting with legislative leaders last month. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called the action (quote) “Nixonesque” and says it is the most brazen example of unethical, unprofessional conduct he has ever seen in his 26 years in the legislature. The Juneau Republican adds that the governor “has gone off the deep end” and his behavior is unbecoming of the state’s top executive. The May 14th conservation between Evers and the legislature was to discuss next steps for a statewide COVID-19 response after the Supreme Court ruled to strike down the safer at home order. It is not illegal to record phone conversations in Wisconsin so long as one person is made aware. Evers spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff told the Capitol Times that Evers was not aware the meeting was being recorded and that he has directed staff that it will not happen again. Baldauff did not apologize for the recording, and said the files were intended “for internal use only.”  Fitzgerald says legislating in divided government is dependent on trust. He says secretly recording members of the opposite party sets a dangerous precedent and will completely erode their ability to work together for the foreseeable future.