As politicians debate the need to get government workers back into the office, we should act on a major lesson from this pandemic: if the state government can function with its state employees working from home, it can certainly function with state agencies headquartered outside of Madison.
That’s why Wisconsin’s government should focus on moving agencies out of Madison to where they fit best. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture can be closer to real Wisconsin dairy farmers than Mickies Dairy Bar in Madison. That goes for other state agencies too, starting with the Department of Natural Resources.
Situating our agencies in and around the communities they serve will help our public servants hear directly from Wisconsin citizens who otherwise feel voiceless. It also saves taxpayers from the sky-high office costs in the City of Madison, and allows parts of the state other than Madison to benefit from the positive economic impact generated by state government.
Owen Robinson, a conservative columnist and blogger, said that discussing a Kleefisch governorship is premature, but added that Kleefisch has been a strong lieutenant governor.
“Rebecca Kleefisch is a very intelligent woman and she’s certainly risen. She’s been a great lieutenant governor,” said Robinson.
Tony Palmeri, a professor at University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley, sees things differently.
“She has not impressed most people as a policy wonk. I would envision her as being more of an active promoter of the state of Wisconsin, which is really what the lieutenant governor’s role has become since the powers of it have become very minimal,” said Palmeri.
Robinson agreed that the Kleefisch doesn’t have a long track record of accomplishments simply because of the minimal duties required by the office of the lieutenant governor.
“She’s out there working with businesses and working in a lot of areas. Bearing in mind, as lieutenant governor, she has virtually no power to actually do anything. She doesn’t have a lot of track record in elected office to really know where she is,” said Robinson.
Added Robinson: “She’s certainly been competent in her current position. Should Gov. Walker be elected to the White House, we’re going to have a woman governor of Wisconsin, and I think we should celebrate that.”