Empower Wisconsin | July 8, 2020
MADISON — Leave it to Tony Evers to blame the Wisconsin Supreme Court for the Unemployment Insurance debacle at his Department of Workforce Development.
The out-of-touch governor’s form letter response to those who have reached out to his office for help in getting their long-delayed unemployment claims settled certainly hasn’t endeared him.
For those who have lost their homes, their life savings and what remains of their hope waiting for DWD to come through after the Evers administration forced them out of work, the form letter from the Democrat and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes must feel like salt in the wounds.
But Evers wants you to know, folks, that he’s glad you contacted his office. Where else would the desperate UI claimants go after being hung up on or stuck on hold at Tony’s DWD?
“Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes and I understand that the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s recent ruling has caused a lot of chaos and confusion,” the form letter insists.
Forget the fact that the Supreme Court decision in May struck down Evers’ stay-at-home order, releasing businesses to reopen and workers to go back to their jobs. It had nothing to do with the administration’s failure to help hundreds of thousands of unemployed Wisconsinites.
Here’s another curious line from the dynamic duo.
“While the situation is changing quickly, our administration is working around the clock to process unemployment insurance claims …” the letter states.
It is not. In fact, one of the chief criticisms in the first few months of the claims rush was that DWD’s phone system shut down at 3:30 p.m. everyday. In the letter, Evers boasts that UI’s call center has extended hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. “to connect with folks as soon as possible.” Lawmakers have blasted the agency for not actually taking calls and processing claims around the clock during a clear time of crisis.
“We are continuing to do everything we can to process these claims quickly so we can get folks the benefits they need during this difficult time,” Evers insists.
When would Evers personally have time to deal with the problem, what with all the Pickle Ball and ping-pong matches and naps.
Meanwhile, the people who need the help are hearing only silence from the Evers administration. They won’t be comforted by politically driven form letters as they face the very real possibility of losing everything.