An email from a lobbyist to Governor Scott Walker links a meeting with Tom Ridge to a multi-national “professional services organization” with a history of government privatization worldwide. Badger Democracy received the email as part of an Open Records Request. Former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge is currently a board member or senior consultant with over a half-dozen private corporations, including his own “Ridge Global” International Security Consulting firm. Others include Exelon (Nuclear Energy), Hydraulic Fracturing (Natural Gas extrusion), even PURE Bioscience (patented antimicrobial – with Tommy Thompson), and others. There are many potential connections to Wisconsin in those interests; the lobbyist arranging the meeting, however, works for one of Ridge’s primary employers – Delloitte.
Ray Carey (also a Foley & Lardner attorney working for Smart Government Inc. and the Greater Milwaukee Committee on Municipal Government legislation – and privatization agenda) is employed by Deloitte as a lobbyist, along with his Foley and Lardner colleagues Kathleen Walby and Jason Childress. Carey, Walby, and Childress are also the attorney lobbyists registered with Smart Government, Inc – the lobby for the Greater Milwaukee Committee. As previously reported and confirmed by Walker staff communication, the agenda at the heart of the GMC activity is privatization of public services and resources.
Deloitte has a worldwide record of government services privatization, many highly controversial and costly. The following are a few of the documented privatization boondoggles which have made Deloitte and Tom Ridge wealthy and powerful, at public taxpayer expense:
- Adelphia Communications Corporation – The Securities and Exchange Commission announced on April 26, 2005 that Deloitte had agreed to pay $50 million to settle charges relating to Adelphia’s 2000 financial statements.
- Guangdong Kelon Electrical Holdings Company Limited – Investors have claimed that there was a failure to alert them to the company’s poor financial position.
- Haringey Council Refresh Project – A local government IT project in the UK, in which costs rose from 9 m to £24.6 m. Deloitte were consultants on the project, despite being employed at the same time as the council’s auditors.
- Irish Health Service Executive – Poor consulting support of health accounts system software in 2005 led to major cost overruns and the Irish Health Service Executive pulling the plug on the computer system entirely after substantial cash outlays.
- Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) – The firm implemented the SAP HR system for LAUSD for $95 m and because of faults in the system, some teachers were underpaid, overpaid, or not paid at all. As of December 31, 2007 LAUSD had incurred a total of $140 m in payments to Deloitte to get the system working properly. In 2008 there was some evidence that the payroll issues had started to stabilize with errors below 1% according to LAUSD’s chief operating officer.
- State of California Courts System – The firm has been working on a statewide case management system which originally had a budget of around $260 million. Almost $500 million has already been spent and costs are expected to run as high as $2 billion. No single court is yet fully operational.
- In July 2011 Deloitte faced criticism from public health officials in Australia – Deloitte were commissioned by the tobacco industry to compile a report on illicit tobacco. Government officials called the report “potentially misleading” and raised concerns about the “reliability and accuracy” of the data. The report was seen as an attempt by the tobacco industry to undermine the Government’s plain cigarette packaging legislation.
Special access has been granted to Tom Ridge and Deloitte in the form of Ray Carey and the Greater Milwaukee Committee in his dual representation as lobbyist. Under the current administration rule, Walker could implement privatization in many public service areas without Legislative oversight and consent. Deloitte has a history in Healthcare Services and Municipal Government Finances, both of which are high on Walker’s agenda for privatization. These areas also align with the Greater Milwaukee Committee agenda of consolidation and privatization. This information should serve as a notice to Citizens and Legislators – Scott Walker is intent upon the selling of Wisconsin services and resources for private profit, and public loss. There will be no public accountability or oversight – only huge profit for people like Tom Ridge and the Executives of Deloitte. The only remedy is the recall of Scott Walker and balancing his power in the Senate. Spread the word, share the facts of where the Walker-Fitzgerald is taking Wisconsin.
As of the updating of this post, the Walker Administration has refused comment to Badger Democracy.