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Tourism chief a real Meaney

Empower Wisconsin | Nov. 11, 2019

MADISON — With a name like Meaney, maybe it’s hard to be nice. 

Sara Meaney, Gov. Tony Evers’ Secretary-designee of the Department of Tourism, certainly hasn’t been mistaken for nice by many in the tourism trade. 

Meaney is accused of trying to push out Kathy Kopp, a longtime and widely respected member of the Governor’s Council on Tourism. The department also appears to have broken Wisconsin’s open government laws by insisting on a, secret, botched online vote to elect council officers. 

Then, Empower Wisconsin learned Team Meaney plans to cut Mr. Nice Guy himself, Green Bay Packers legend and “Dancing with the Stars” champion Donald Driver, from his position as state tourism ambassador. 

That decision left Empower Wisconsin Facebook followers scratching their heads. 

“You want diversity but you’re going to dump Donald Driver? He did the best ads for tourism and highway safety. Come on Evers! Tourism for Milwaukee? WTH,” commented Joel Schultz. 

The bigger issue, critics say, is Meaney’s plan to drive a social justice agenda at the apolitical Department of Tourism. 

For her efforts to turn a benign government agency into a hive of intrigue, the secretary-designee has earned the criticism she’s received. 

Meaney may not be very nice, but she is Empower Wisconsin’s Tool of the Week.  

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