Later today, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin will take a page from President Obama’s playbook: He’ll host a “beer summit.” But this summer shindig doesn’t involve a police officer and a disgruntled professor — it’s an attempt, a week after the recall election, to loosen up Madison’s hyper-partisan political culture:
The cookout menu features brats, a local sausage whose name is pronounced “brahts,” and beer produced by a number of Wisconsin companies. Root beer from Milwaukee-area brewer Sprecher, which made a special label saying “Moving Wisconsin Forward,” also will be served.
Walker pitched the event as a laid-back way to heal political wounds, find common ground and encourage political opponents to work together. Ninety-eight lawmakers, including 37 Democrats, 60 Republicans and one independent, along with about 240 staff members plan to attend the two-hour cookout Tuesday afternoon.
Thirty-four lawmakers have declined the invitation, with at least four publically stating their displeasure with the idea. But their reasons were all tied to politics, not abstinence.