Perhaps the Wisconsin governorÂ’s administration did not get the memo that the state is broke. Once again, Scott Walker has been accused of handing out a job as a payment for supporting his election campaign. Although the first reported job the governor handed out seemed suspicious, the candidate was at least qualified. The person in this new job does not seem remotely qualified.
As first reported, Senator Randy HopperÂ’s (R-Fond du Lac) affair came to light after protesters showed up at his district home. His wife informed the protesters that Hopper was having an affair and did not live in the district. It was later found out that the woman Hopper is allegedly having an affair with, Valerie Cass, obtained a job in the Walker Administration after a series of e-mails. Not only did Cass get the job, she also got an $11,000 annual raise.
Now comes the news that another Walker crony has obtained a job with the administration. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Brian Deschane got a position with the Department of Commerce supervising employees and managing regulation and environmental affairs. On the surface this looks like no big deal until you dig a little deeper.
Brian Deschane is 27 years old. He does not have a college degree. He has two drunk-driving convictions, the latest occurring in 2008. This information is a little disconcerting but can be somewhat explained away. The governor does not have a college degree and Brian made some mistakes when he was younger. But dig a little deeper to discover the important piece; he has no experience in this field. How much does no experience, no college degree, and two drunk-driving convictions pay? $81,500.
The next logical question is how did Brian come to get such a great, high-paying job with no experience. The answer is the executive vice president and lobbyist of the Wisconsin Builders Association (WBA). He also happens to be BrianÂ’s father Jerry Deschane. Through the WBAÂ’s political action committee Scott Walker received $121,652 in donations.
The Journal Sentinel found Brian DeschaneÂ’s resume and reports that, Â“According to his rÃ©sumÃ©, Deschane, 27, attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for two years, worked for two Republican lawmakers - then-Sens. David Zien and Cathy Stepp, now the natural resources secretary - and helped run a legislative and a losing congressional campaign. He held part-time posts with the Wisconsin Builders Association and the Wisconsin Business Council until being named to his first state gig earlier this year.Â”
Brian Deschane did not respond to requests for comment. His father said, Â“He got the position himself. I didnÂ’t get it for him.Â” He goes on to say that he Â“mightÂ” have mentioned to Keith Gilkes, WalkerÂ’s then-campaign manager now chief of staff, that his son was available for them. He goes on to say, Â“I put in good words for every one of my children in their jobs. But that would be the extent of it.Â”
The spokesman for the Department of Regulation and Licensing (DRL) says Gilkes recommended the younger Deschane for an interview with them. Somehow Gilkes conducted the interview with Deschane for the department instead of the department itself. BrianÂ’s name does not appear on the list of job applicants for WalkerÂ’s transition team; the second time this has happened in two positions.
Deschane originally worked for the DRL making $64,728 annually. A couple of months later Deschane was moved to the Department of Commerce to help work through issues with the transition from a public entity to a public/private entity. Brian received a $16,500 raise for his stellar two months of service.
This is another example, in what is becoming a long list, of the governor not walking the walk. Walker gets on every talk show he possibly can to tell anyone who will listen that the state is broke. He lambasts public workers as overpaid yet his administration handed out raises totaling $27,500 for two positions.
Elections have consequences.
Photo Source: Minnesota Post