Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Scandal prompts special tourism council meeting

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 27,  2019

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON —Wisconsin’s embattled Tourism secretary-designee Sara Meaney has called a special meeting of the Governor’s Council on Tourism scheduled for 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4 in Madison.

The purpose of the special meeting, which has not yet been publicized, is to fix the botched elections for leadership positions held in recent weeks, several sources tell Empower Wisconsin. 

Council members received notice the regularly scheduled meeting in January has been canceled. Instead, the council will meet next week, with the first order of business the election of officers, sources said.

Records obtained this month by Empower Wisconsin show the Governor’s Council on Tourism held subsequent online elections for officers after the first online vote ended in a 6-6 tie between council members Kathy Kopp and Joe Klimczak.

State law prohibits online elections for officers of state boards and commissions.

Electronic timestamps show council voting in the first round took place between Oct, 18-21.

Another online vote occurred between Oct. 23-27, in which the election tallied 17 total votes. A final round of balloting occurred between Oct. 28-30, in which Klimczak picked up 10 votes to Kopp’s two.

The three rounds of voting were marred by confusion and controversy. Sources say only some members of the 21-member council were able to vote. In some cases, there were improper votes cast or some council members were said to have voted multiple times.

Tourism officials ultimately declared the votes were “inconclusive.”

Between the first and final round of voting, Meaney asked Kopp to resign her position on the council as early as December, according to Kopp and other tourism sources. Kopp, a widely respected tourism leader twice reappointed to the tourism council by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker, plans to retire next year as director of the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce, but her Tourism Council appointment doesn’t end until July 2021.

“As I indicated to you, I had not thought about resigning early, especially before my duties here at the Chamber are completed,” Kopp wrote in the email to Meaney, which she shared with some of her fellow council members.

Meaney is accused of turning the apolitical tourism department into a partisan agency with a liberal social agenda. At the July tourism council meeting, the secretary-designee discussed her restructuring of the council’s committees to “provide more clarity, better address diversity and equality, and create alignment in the work being done.”

Sources say Meaney and Gov. Tony Evers’ legal team have pushed changes to reflect the governor’s liberal agenda.

“Secretary-designee Meaney explained that the committee documents are based on statute and consultation with our legal staff. Anything that is not covered by statute is based on best practices and can be adjusted over time to accomplish our stated goals,” state the July council meeting minutes.

“The Diversity Equity Inclusion (DEI) committee was established to address concerns raised in the strategic plan regarding developing travel experiences that welcome everyone,” the minutes note.

Wisconsin tourism isn’t known for its exclusionary practices.

“I’ve never seen a mess like this,” one local tourism official told Empower Wisconsin.

Listen to more:

Explore More
All Woke Up: Left fails humor after Sasse commencement speech

All Woke Up: Left fails humor after Sasse commencement speech

Ben Sasse’s liberal opponent and a school board member sound like they have been emotionally scarred from the U.S. Senator’s recent video commencement speech to high school graduates.  

Read More »

May 27, 2020
Dems blame Republicans for DWD debacle

Dems blame Republicans for DWD debacle

Just hours before a hot seat legislative committee hearing, Democrats are blaming Republicans for the debacle at DWD. Remarkable. 

Read More »

May 27, 2020
Stossel: Homeschooling rules

Stossel: Homeschooling rules

The coronavirus pandemic is giving millions of parents a taste of homeschooling. 

Read More »

May 27, 2020
Illinois Judge blasts Pritzker’s ‘royal decrees’

Illinois Judge blasts Pritzker’s ‘royal decrees’

A downstate Illinois judge late last week took on the “insanity” of Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders that have locked down much of the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Read More »

May 27, 2020
Social distancing violations? Racine says, Call Crime Stoppers

Social distancing violations? Racine says, Call Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers has long been the community tip line to report thefts, burglaries, assaults, and other criminal activity.

Read More »

May 26, 2020
Tool of the Week: Michigan’s hideous AG

Tool of the Week: Michigan’s hideous AG

In Michigan, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts liberally. Such is the case of the state’s left-wing nut Attorney General, Dana Nessel. 

Read More »

May 25, 2020
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *