Today Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will hold a “Beer and Brat Summit,” fulfilling his recall-election-night promise to proactively repair the state, reeling after months of partisanship and rancor.
“We’ve got some fantastic, authentic Wisconsin products that we will be sharing with legislators of both political parties and their staff. I am hopeful this get-together will forge relationships that will make it easier to work together to help create jobs,” said Walker in a statement.
Tomorrow we are no longer opponents…Bringing our state together will take some time, but I want to start right away….with some brats and some burgers, to start, and maybe some good Wisconsin beer.
So today, he has invited all Wisconsin legislators and staff to join him for a cookout from 3 to 5pm, exactly one week after he overcame a recall challenge. While most are attending–according to one account, 98 legislators out of 132 had said yes–some cannot attend, and others are boycotting the summit:
Democratic state Senator Jon Erpenbach is taking a pass on the summit, saying it’s no disrespect to Governor Walker, but a beer and brat summit doesn’t really tackle the state’s issues. “Working together at the Capitol will send a louder message (than a brat and beer summit),” argued Erpenbach to Newsradio 620 WTMJ’s Wisconsin’s Afternoon News.
Walker has been criticized for several tactics during his administration — including his inability to extend an olive branch to Democrats.
Erpenbach was considered the de facto leader of the “Wisconsin 14″, who decamped for Illinois when the Budget Repair Bill was in the legislature — to avoid a vote on the legislation.
The menu includes local Wisconsin products such as Sprecher root beer, a variety of brats, cheeses, and, of course, beer.
UPDATE: Big Labor protested the Beer and Brat summit, video from MacIver Institute: