Yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) appeared on Fox Business to defend his union-busting crusade, claiming that a majority of his state’s residents were behind him. As evidence, he cited a new analysis from the Associated Press of emails to the governor’s office.
WALKER: And again today, the Associated Press went through the more than 150,000 emails that we have, and found the majority of them, as I’ve said, are people who support our reforms. Who support our reasonable measures.
Walker has repeatedly made the claim that emails coming to his office were overwhelmingly supportive. Most egregiously, at a February 18 press conference, Walker said, “The more than 8,000 emails we got today, the majority are telling us to stay firm.” But in doing so yesterday, he completely distorted what the AP actually found.
The AP analysis reported that, “for several preceding days, the emails of support Walker received had been vastly outnumbered by those opposed to his plan.” For example, on February 11, the day Walker formally outlined his “budget-repair bill,” emails sent to his office “ran more than 5-to-1 against his plan.” Eventually, the emails turned in his favor, but Walker ignores the nuance in his appearance yesterday.
The AP only obtained the emails through a legal settlement in which Walker was forced to pay $7,000 in legal fees. Under the state’s open record laws, the AP and a local newspaper had requested the emails Walker referenced in his press conference, but he refused to disclose them for sometime, before finally agreeing to the settlement.