The Institute for Reforming Government is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations. IRG will work as a conduit among several statewide, regional, and national organizations to put forward reform through policy summaries, specific policy proposals, as well as peer-reviewed studies and other means, in order to open the dialog on the need for continued government reform.
It is our duty to shed light into the dark corners of a government that has overstepped its bounds. From local municipalities to state governments across the country to the federal government, the Institute for Reforming Government will work to address all levels of government operations and how they can best serve the people they represent. The outcomes of our work will be made public and will showcase where positive reforms may be necessary for the further betterment of society.
The Institute for Reforming Government’s main focus will be to remove the onerous barriers and red tape separating the individual from an efficient and functioning government. Be it local, state, or federal governance, it is the mission of the Institute for Reforming Government to encourage reform for all levels of government, based on what has worked in state across the country. Through diligent research and effective outreach, the Institute for Reforming Government will work to remove the stumbling blocks that have created a slow-moving, expensive behemoth of governance that works against the will of the people.
What We Do
The Institute for Reforming Government as an organization has realized that the people have been under the thumb of onerous regulation and taxation for far too long. In response to this, the organization is committing itself to tackling tax reform, inefficiencies in government, and burdensome regulations. The Institute for Reforming Government will be working as a conduit among a number of statewide, regional, and national organizations to put forward policy summaries, specific policy proposals, as well as peer-reviewed studies to the public and elected officials in order to open the dialog on the need for government reform.
Who We Are
Mr. Rob McDonald
Chairman of the Board
Rob started his career in state government administration and is a retired local politician. He has sat on various local municipal committees and is a serial entrepreneur. He has been known as a change agent in everything he is a part of. He is married with four children and lives in Lisbon Wisconsin.
Mr. Bill Johnson
Treasurer & Board Member
Mr. Johnson is the President of Johnson Timber and a long-time supporter of conservative causes and many of Wisconsin’s most prominent leaders. He is a former Finance Chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, and also has extensive experience in local government as a former member of the School Board for the Hayward Community School District for 12 years and a former member of the Hayward City Council for four years. He is the father of three children and lives in Hayward, Wisconsin.
Mr. Jim Villa
Mr. Villa is a seasoned political strategist with more than 20 years of experience advising candidates, elected officials, and business leaders in Wisconsin. He serves as the CEO of NAIOP Wisconsin, a trade association for commercial real estate, and is the former Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff for then-County Executive Scott Walker.
Ms. Laura Gralton
Assistant Executive Director
Laura Gralton has worked on local, statewide, and national political campaigns for more than a decade and a half. She has been part of the successful campaigns of notable elected officials such as Gov. Scott Walker, Attorney General Brad Schimel, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, and countless other campaigns. She is respected throughout the finance community as someone who works diligently with her non-profit, corporate, and political clients to ensure they have the means to showcase their message.
Scott K. Walker, National Honorary Chairman
Scott Walker knows a thing or two about bold leadership.
In 2010, the unemployment rate in his state was 9.3% and soon after, he inherited a $3.6 billion budget deficit. After eight years of his leadership as governor, employment was at historic highs and unemployment fell below 3%. Plus, the state finished with a budget surplus every year he was in office.
Scott Walker’s reforms helped the state invest more actual dollars than ever before into schools, freeze college tuition for six years in a row, reduce taxes by more than $8 billion and build a rainy day fund 190 times larger than when they started – all while still fully funding their pension liabilities.
Most importantly, Scott Walker took power out of the hands of the big government special interests and put it firmly into the hands of the hard-working taxpayers. At one point, more than 100,000 protesters (many brought in from other places) tried to intimidate him. They even tried to recall him.
But Scott Walker was unintimidated. On June 5, 2012, he became the first governor in American history to survive a recall election. In fact, he actually received more votes in the special election than in the original election. Two years later, he was reelected to a full term.
During his tenure, Wisconsin lead the way on budget reform, education reform, tax reform, health reform, collective bargaining reform, and workforce reform. It went from one of the worst states for business to one of the best. Wisconsin was consistently ranked as one of the top states for schools, higher education, healthcare, pensions, tourism, millennials and retirees.
Prior to serving as the 45th Governor of Wisconsin, Scott was the Milwaukee County Executive. He was the first Republican to hold that office and was re-elected two times. During his tenure, he cleaned up the major pension scandal he inherited while holding the line on property taxes, lowering debt and the size of the government workforce and winning the national gold medal for the county parks.
Scott worked a variety of jobs – from a dishwasher at a local restaurant to cook at McDonald’s to student manager at a fitness center to sales at IBM. During his senior year at Marquette University, he took a position in marketing and development with the American Red Cross. In 1993, he was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly where he was a leader on tax policy, criminal justice policy, election laws and welfare reform.
Scott and his wife Tonette live in Milwaukee where they are active in their church and various charities. Their adult children, Matt and Alex, live close by in Milwaukee.
Scott enjoys riding his 2003 Harley Davidson Road King, running, hiking, boating, listening to 80’s music, eating custard, cheering for the Packers, Brewers, Bucks, Badgers and Marquette. Most of all, he loves spending quality time with his family and friends.
Become a part of the solution for government reforms. By joining the Institute for Reforming Government you will have the ability to inform the public and policymakers, and lead the charge for necessary reforms to help our nation prosper. Click here to take action.
You can find a copy of the report, Growing Economic Prosperity - Lessons from Tax Reforms in the States, here.You can find a copy of the summary here.“Government does not tax to get the money it needs; government always finds a need for the money it gets.”...
A PDF of this policy paper can be found here. Before Governor Scott Walker took office in 2011, Wisconsin was in need of regulatory reform and improving the state’s economic climate. According to Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), the state chamber, before...
With states across the country continuing to debate whether to accept the temporary financial incentives of a federal expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, Wisconsin’s reforms stand as a clear example of state-based reform providing better solutions than the federal...
How other states have paved the way for tax reform that spurs economic prosperity. Madison, Wis. — The Institute for Reforming Government issued, “Growing Economic Prosperity – Lessons from Tax Reforms in the States,” which evaluates tax reform efforts in other...
How Wisconsin saved taxpayers money while reducing waste, fraud and abuse in state government. Madison, Wis. — The Institute for Reforming Government issued its second policy paper today highlighting Wisconsin-based reforms for reducing burdensome regulations. Since...
Madison, Wis. — The Institute for Reforming Government issued a policy paper today regarding Wisconsin’s state-based reforms that covered everyone living in poverty under Medicaid without taking the temporary financial incentives for Medicaid expansion under...
Madison, Wis. — Governor Scott Walker will join the Institute for Reforming Government as national honorary chair, bringing his experience with state-based reform in Wisconsin and his national profile to the organization as it prepares to expand its efforts. The...
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