Dear Governor Evers:
I am writing to share my thoughts regarding your leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic. Initially I had hoped to focus solely on our common ground as I recognize the enormity of the situation facing our state. Unfortunately, your actions to vilify the Legislature, particularly the Republican leadership, makes this hard to envision.
Empathy for the safety and well-being of our neighbors and fellow citizens is something we all share. Leaders of both parties across the nation acted quickly to save lives. Early on many of us accepted those actions for the greater good – even while recognizing some actions stretched constitutional boundaries. Additionally, many private entities acted to protect people. Restaurants, bars, and churches modified to limit contact and enforce social distancing voluntarily. Yet, today, they all still face tremendous uncertainty under your orders.
As the situation evolved, your attempts to work around our laws and exclude our elected representatives have further marred this effort. This has manifested in the lawsuit before you now, rightfully, from the Legislature. Wisconsinites’ initial good will has been squandered and many feel their only recourse is to protest.
Still, my greatest hope is that you and your administration will work with all Wisconsin citizens, our Legislature, and our business community, regardless of their political affiliation, to go forward in re-opening Wisconsin. Many reasonable plans are being shared to safely begin this sooner rather than later. I encourage you to put partisanship aside, listen, and work to find common ground that opens our state as soon as possible and consistent with every other state in our region.
Wisconsin has seventy-two counties - all of which are unique. That includes their history of Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. Many counties, cities, and towns, especially in the rural areas, have had very few cases overall and some none for weeks. The businesses in those areas should be allowed to open. Hospitals and clinics need to reopen for preventative care. A one size fits all philosophy must be avoided for the good of all of Wisconsin. Clearly Milwaukee, Madison, and possibly a few other high-density areas can and should be dealt with separately. Not allowing safe areas to open will destroy multiple Industries that are the livelihood of so many families.
Finally, I know that there are protests underway and I understand the frustration behind them. I urge those demonstrations to be peaceful, respectful, and to observe Covid-19 safety guidelines. Similarly, I hope you will respect their constitutional right to express their concerns and frustrations.
The bottom line is that I hope we can all come together, protect everyone’s health, and agree upon a plan to safely and quickly get Wisconsin “Open for Business”!
Thank you for your consideration,
Chair, Republican Party of Dane County