Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Walker Rewards Restaurant Association?

They gave him $38,000, his board bans city’s food safety ratings of restaurants.

By - Dec 13th, 2018 03:01 pm
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An "A" Grade. Photo by Dave Reid.

An “A” Grade. Photo by Dave Reid.

A state consumer protection board appointed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker has sided with the restaurant industry to prohibit local governments from using grading systems to tell the public about restaurant food safety.

The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Board voted 4-2 last month to approve a proposed state rule to prohibit local governments from using grades or scores based on restaurant inspection reports. The DATCP Board is made up of farm and food industry representatives.

The vote ends the City of Milwaukee’s new food grading system, which could increase the incidents of foodborne illnesses, critics say.

“In my view, what happened at the hearing was all about power and money trumping local voices and local wishes,” Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy has charged.

The new rule, which must be approved by Walker and the legislature, was supported by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. The group said food grades and scores are opposed by restaurants and do not adequately warn consumers about the risk of foodborne illnesses at a particular establishment.

Walker’s campaign received $20,800 in individual contributions through the restaurant association’s conduit and $17,000 from the association’s political action committee between January 2011 and December 2017.

Overall, tavern and restaurant owners and employees have contributed nearly $1.4 million to legislative and statewide candidates, including about $445,800 to Walker, between January 2011 and December 2017.

More about the City's Restaurant Grading System

2 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Walker Rewards Restaurant Association?”

  1. Thomas Gaudynski says:

    I wonder if it is time for a little Civil disobedience by local restaurateurs.

  2. John says:

    I really don’t think the grade sign on a restaurant entrance is suppose to, “adequately warn consumers about the risk of foodborne illnesses at a particular establishment.” It’s a friggin one letter grade! It’s suppose to give the patron a heads up that, when inspected, the restaurant was up to certain standards of cleanliness. Not sure what Mr. Gaudynski means by his comment but I think that if I don’t see a grade as I walk in maybe I will walk out but not before telling the restaurant host that I don’t feel safe since they won’t post their inspection grade. I worked a lot of years in the business and if you’re not willing to stand behind you quality maybe you shouldn’t be serving food to the public.

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