During the conversation Ellis states "I know what you are doing and you're going to live with me long time after he is gone" in which Vos replies tersely "I know!". Who were they talking about? The soon to be recalled Scott Walker or does Walker have other plans? Then Ellis begins to pat Vos on the back, "I'm impressed with you and I respect you and I need you", Ellis continues on after some unintelligible audio to say "Your orders, my orders, Scott Walkers orders where effed up so we voted for a bill that we didn't like, or I didn't like". Vos responds "I know you didn't" with Ellis continuing "But we voted to get it through, then we scrapped it, but it's still languishing, but uh, Michelle Litchens is on board.
Vos replies "mmhmm", with Ellis continuing "So, you know why I'm not afraid? You are going to move on (Unintelligible)...and if you need to use the Democrats, use them" Robin Vos replies "I'm okay with that, but not everyone is okay with that". After that exchange you'll see in the video of Ellis talking about the year 1993 when he bullied a finance chair into doing what he wanted and gave Robin Vos advice about sending someone home. Vos can be seen shaking his head in affirmation.
Near the end of the seven minute video Ellis says "Let me say this, I'll be very disappointed if you and I walk out of the building and what you and I shook hands on, isn't there." Female interjects herself saying something along the lines of "It will be there, they will be run over", Ellis counters "Let me say this, I am a fan of the Milwaukee Parent Choice program, I am a fan of individuals who can't stand poverty to get the hell out of the public school system".
It was this point that Vos says something about the Green Bay School District to which Ellis replies "I know, I mean we've got great school districts in the Fox Cities, the only one getting close to the margins is the Green Bay area. That's not even the Green Bay school district, its target schools because of the geographic disbursement you've got Preble out there that's got all the poor people. So when we are done with this bill, we modify it so that a segment of the school district may move into this program. Green Bay east is fine, west is fine, Preble is a sewer they've got the poverty possum. We need to not make it the entire school system, we need to make that Preble, that geographic quadrant and make it eligible like Milwaukee is for a voucher program." Vos replies "I'm okay with that". Ellis replies "So am I"
So what where they discussing?
We believe that Ellis and Vos were discussing the loophole in Scott Walker's budget that if not closed would allow the Green Bay Public School system to be opened up to the voucher program.
The so-called loophole was inserted into the state budget at the final stage of approval in June by members of the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. The last-minute language allowed voucher schools to expand from their sole location in Milwaukee to Racine. No other city qualified, although Green Bay was one criterion shy of qualifying and several other cities, including Madison, were two criteria short of qualifying for voucher schools, Johnson says.
The budget provision would make vouchers available to "second-class" cities that had 50 percent or more of their students eligible for free or reduced lunch and met certain state aid requirements. Wisconsin has 16 second-class cities, which generally are those with populations of between 39,000 and 149,999.
Robin Vos has been seen around Madison rubbing elbows with school voucher lobbyists and is probably mounting opposition to the closure of the loophole. When Ellis referenced Preble High as a sewer, it was clear he had no idea what he was talking about.
We did a bit of research on Preble High School and found that the school has approximately 2,000 students and also learned that the school is a held in high regard in a very red area of the state. The school is also situated in a middle class neighborhood and not far from homes that range in values of $300,000-$400,000 with former Green Bay Packer players living nearby.
The school is also located in the heart of Senator Dave Hansen's district; you'll remember Hansen overwhelmingly defeated David Vanderleest in this past summer's recall election. We reached out to Senator Hansen for comment on this video as well as WEAC and at the time of publication, had not received a response. There was much more to this conversation and video but we'll save that for our next story.
You can watch the video here