Monday morning, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the continuation of Governor Walker’s practice of rewarding supporters with influential and lucrative positions in his Administration: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquarter/119159584.html
Brian Deschane, the 27 year old son of the Executive Vice President for the Wisconsin Builder’s Association, Jerry Deschane, is currently employed in the newly-reorganized Department of Commerce – which reports directly to the Governor’s Office. Two drunk driving convictions aside (most recently in 2008), the young Deschane is a manager in the Department – yet has no degree, and no management experience. He also received a pay increase of over $16,000/year from the previous pay range. This is a blatant example of patronange, and proof of the “pay to play” policies of Scott Walker. Deschane’s lack of qualifications for even an entry-level manager position at Applebee’s demonstrates the complete disregard for any level of fairness in governing this state.
The previous reports of Valerie Cass, former lobbyist and alleged mistress of Randy Hopper, received her state job (and subsequent raise) without even officially applying for the position. This will continue. Under the Walker plan, more and more state departments will be consolidated under the auspices of the Governor’s Office – and positions that once had legislative oversight and accountability will be appointed, answering only to the Governor. These appointments will be based not on qualifications and expertise, but on ideological beliefs – those that align with the Governor’s. Lest we forget, the budget under Walker provides these Department Secretaries and Managers to make whatever cuts they deem necessarry to operate a “fiscally responsible” Department. If you don’t think these cuts will be ideological, you haven’t been paying attention.
Another big appointment forthcoming is the Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs. I spoke with Tim Donovan, former spokesman for the DOA at the height of the protests, WI National Guard retired Colonel, and asked if he was in line for the job (he had previously indicated he had a pending job with the VA), and he said no, he will be starting with the USVA, not the state. He actually stated he would be concerned about the appearance of such an appointment (especially due to a pending lawsuit he has filed with the state after being passed up for a VA job under Jim Doyle). Did Brian Deschane or his father have such a concern? Will any of the other appointees of this administration have that feeling now? They should – as always, we have to keep vigilant, as this Administration has shown it cannot be trusted. They are in office to further their own national political ambitions. Period. It is up to all of us now to protect the democratic process. The best way to do that? Vote – no more can we have the luxury of staying home on election day, for the Corporate interests will continue pumping more money into elections than we have ever seen before. The only response is the strength we have in the numbers of people negatively effected by their policies. Our vote still counts. There are more of us. Vote tomorrow, and stay informed and active in Democracy.