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Leave it to Evers: The virtual governor

Empower Wisconsin | Jan. 12, 2021

Gov. Tony Evers isn’t the chief executive of Wisconsin. He’s the virtual governor. 

He has virtually governed since the pandemic, rarely emerging from the comfort of his government bunker. And tonight will be no exception. 

Evers will deliver his 2021 State of the State address via video. 

It’s about consistency, the virtual governor says. 

“…I have spent the better part of the last year encouraging Wisconsinites to stay home as often as possible, practice social distancing, and limit interactions and gatherings with people outside of their immediate households,” Evers said in a letter to Senate President Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). 

In short, he thinks he’s saving lives by not showing up. He plans to save some more lives when he virtually delivers his second budget address next month. 

Evers encourages the Legislature to do the same — convene virtually.

Republicans will be in the Assembly, in-person, because they seem to get who’s paying their salaries: the state’s taxpayers. 

Legislative Democrats, like Evers, have made a big show of how seriously they’re taking COVID-19, to the point of ridiculousness. They too have been physical no-shows at the Capitol, which, again, taxpayers are paying for. Many of said taxpayers are reporting to work, serving the public. 

Rep. Joe Sanfelippo made the point last week during an Assembly Health Committee hearing when he said, “(T)he constituents that we represent have to show up in order to get paid, and I expect that the Democrats are going to show up to our committee to work.” They didn’t. 

Evers was social distancing from work long before COVID-19. The Democrat is known for his light work schedule, which, during his first year in office, included plenty of pickleball matches, sources say.

In late April, after locking down the state and insisting that fighting COVID-19 was a “24-7” job, Evers told business leaders that he was holed up in the 34-room Executive Residence, playing ping-pong with his wife. 

That’s Wisconsin’s virtual governor. 

 

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