Quick to create the hotline, slow to return the calls
One component of Gov. Scott Walker's push to create 250,000 new private sector jobs during his four-year term was a "jobs hotline” to give businesses "direct access to the governor"s office within 24 hours” as they considered expansion or relocation.
The promise from the 2010 campaign was for "immediate action.”
Walker set up the hotline in his first month in office. When he did, we rated the promise In the Works, but wanted to see if calls would be returned as quickly as promised.
We got our answer Oct. 3, 2011 when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported on its review of call logs from the hotline. Through Aug. 25, 2011, about four in 10 calls (39%) were not returned within the promised 24-hour period, the newspaper found.
"Of the 113 calls so far to Walker's office, 69 were returned the same day or the following day,” the article said. "The great majority were returned within two days, though a few took longer than that.”
Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said the office was continuing to improve the service, and planned to meet the 24-hour promise in the future.
But this is a decent sample size on an issue Walker put at the top of his agenda and it's clear the 24-hour goal was not met. His promise was very specific and emphasized speed.
We rate this Promise Broken.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "State jobs hotline for businesses produces few leads so far,” Oct. 3, 2011
Email interview, Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie, Oct. 5, 2011
The phone line is working; too early to evaluate how quick the response is
Scott Walker promised to create a direct line to the governor"s office for urgent communications with businesses that are thinking of coming to or leaving Wisconsin. It was part of his pledge to be aggressive when it came to job creation and retention.
It"s on the gimmicky side, to be sure. And, so far, it"s not much of a hotline.
When we called on Jan. 28, 2011 -- the day the hotline (855-854-JOBS) was announced -- no live human answered. Instead, it went to a message from an aide in Walker"s office who is not tailored to business issues. Nor did the message explain the purpose of the line.
Walker has pledged return calls within 24 hours.
It"s too early to say how rapidly calls will be returned. We"ll put this one at In the Works.