ICYMI: Scott Walker Won't Follow Jeb Bush's Lead on Public Records

Dec 16, 2014

They’re running similarly coy campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, but Scott Walker is setting himself apart from his potential rival former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush by refusing to make voluntarily make public all of his emails from his first term in office.

Bush, who this week announced that he is “actively exploring” the possibility of running for president, made the decision to release more than 250,000 emails from his time in office in the interest of “transparency.”

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asked the Walker campaign if he would follow suit; a campaign aide refused to say whether Walker would voluntarily release emails to the public.
In 2010, then Gov.-elect Scott Walker promised to “absolutely” run the most open, transparent gubernatorial administration “in the history of the universe,” yet his time in office has been rife with scandal, to include two criminal corruption probes into Walker’s current and former administrations, secrecy pledges signed by lawmakers, and allegations of bid-rigging and pay-to-play.

Early in his term, Walker was sued by various media outlets for obstructing public records amid the backlash against his divisive Act 10 legislation. And more than 50,000 emails from Walker’s tenure as Milwaukee county executive, released in connection with the two corruption probes, showed that Walker and an inner circle of campaign and administration advisers exchanged emails regarding public business on a secret email network designed to skirt public records laws.

“Scott Walker promised that he would ‘absolutely’ run the most transparent administration in the history of the universe, so why not make good on that promise and keep up with his Iowa primary rival all at the same time?,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “Walker will say and do anything to get elected — he just doesn’t want to be held accountable to those promises and he certainly doesn’t want anyone to know what he really thinks.”