Privatization in Wisconsin: 2 Times Convicted DUI & No Degree Earns 81,500 Job With Walker
Wondering how to make ends meet as we all engage in “shared sacrifice”? Well, if your father runs the Wisconsin Builders Association that gave a lot of money to Governor Scott Walker’s campaign, you can expect a cushy appointment in a field in which you have no experience, with a raise in only two months, to the tune of $81,500.00 a year.
Worried that your lack of degree and two convictions for drunk driving will impact your job prospects in a meritocracy where cutting the budget is all the rage? No problem! Have your dad donate $29,000.00 to Walker and sail into a peachy job where you won’t have to worry about holding the state hostage as a union member, because your daddy’s doing it for you. If you want to be sure you get hired, have your dad funnel another $92,000.00 through the trade association for good measure.
This is what privatization looks like in Wisconsin under Walker. You’ve heard about privatization, the Republican Tea Party solution to all of those horrid teachers expecting to be paid something for teaching your children. In Walker’s “budget bill”, he privatized over 37 positions, turning them into political appointments.
So now Wisconsin has Brian Deschane to lead the way overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Oh, it doesn’t matter that he has no experience in environmental issues, because he’s in charge of underground storage tanks and petroleum tanks and products (an issue that heavily impacts builders) and we’ve been assured by Walker’s people that he’ll employ the same ethics he does at the wheel of his car to regulating storage and petroleum tanks. Gee, what can go wrong?
For all of his worthiness, Deschane got a 26% raise since his appointment at the beginning of Walker’s term. Because, you know, we all need to share the sacrifice as Walker uses the state money to repay the industries that got him elected.
Daniel Bice for the Journal Sentinel reports:
Deschane’s father said that during the gubernatorial contest he might have reminded Keith Gilkes, Walker’s campaign manager and now chief of staff, that his son “was out there and available.” “I put in good words for every one of my children in their jobs,” said the elder Deschane. “But that would be the extent of it.”
David Carlson, spokesman for the Department of Regulation and Licensing, confirmed that Gilkes recommended Deschane for an interview with the agency. Deschane’s name does not appear on a list of job applicants with Walker’s transition team, but the governor’s office confirmed that Gilkes interviewed Deschane for a state job in December.
A month later, Secretary David Ross, a Walker cabinet member, named Deschane the bureau director of board services, a job that paid $64,728 a year.
Not long after, lawmakers approved the governor’s plan to convert the Department of Commerce to a public-private hybrid in charge of attracting and retaining businesses, with its regulatory and environmental functions being moved to other agencies.
This is what privatization looks like; incompetent, inexperienced and unethical people given plum jobs on the taxpayer’s dime as political payback. So the next time a conservative talks about how Walker might be unpopular, but someone had to balance the budget, you might remind them that a) there was no budget shortfall until Walker gave a huge tax break to corporations, b) the collective bargaining law which was passed and then not passed did not impact the budget one whit and in fact an independent agency found the budget will be balanced without it, and c) privatization uses taxpayer funds to hire private, for profit companies to do the work that state employees used to do.
Also, when Republicans privatize, our ability to ensure quality dramatically decreases, as seen in Wackenhut’s (now GEO) guarding our prisons and nuclear plants while drunk. Or the Wackenhut guards Walker hired to replace state employees, who turned out to be led by a person with a criminal history. That debacle cost the taxpayers double the money and they got less security for it.
The truth is there are some industries where privatization does not make sense. When we want to keep the profit motive out of things, and when public safety and security is at risk, privatization is not a good idea. Privatization is also a political shift of power to corporations, and as we have seen in recent years, corporations might have the rights of people, but they lack the ethics and morals of people.
Privatization buys you a two time convicted drunk driver with no real job experience and two years of college earning 81,500.00 running the environmental and regulatory matters at the Department of Commerce under Walker while at the same time, Walker smears union members (police, firefighters, teachers, teamsters, etc) as entitled thugs.
What a field day the Republicans would have with a teacher earning 81,500.00 with no college degree, two drunken driving convictions, and no experience. But hey, it’s just the environmental issues at hand here, and what are a few misplaced storage tanks and petroleum tanks that leak? After all, a leaking tank can contaminate soil, ground water, and drinking water supplies and that can cost a company a lot of money. It is a huge liability! When profit is king, we work our way around regulation and liability by keeping regulation all in the family.
And heck, once the property is sold, the liability gets handed off to the homeowner, so you see, it pays to have regulators like those who looked after the Deepwater Horizon rig. You know, friends in high places. Come on, it was worth it to give a big donor’s son a cushy job.
Meanwhile, Walker takes food from babies and leaves working families to lose their homes while lecturing his constituents on shared sacrifice as if he has an ethical leg to stand on.