Monday, September 19, 2011

Shenanigans With State Jobs Again Undermining Walker

There were stories and blog items dating back to February about Scott Walker having designated 37 top state civil service jobs as political appointments - - a power grab slipped into the so-called "budget repair" bill - - that gave Walker unprecedented control of the government and more favors to pass out at taxpayer expense.

That bill kicked off months of in-state drama and national attention over its assault on collective bargaining - - an understandable diversion of attention from Walker's seizure of those new political chits, and it all faded from view.

I'll bet he never dreamed the issue would resurface as it did on the front page of Sunday's Journal Sentinel.

The disclosure:

That the biggest dollar beneficiary of the political re-classifications - - and set aside that Walker and his legislative lieutenants pulled off seizing control of a fresh fortune in salaries and raises amid all the rhetoric about a "broke" state- - would be Cynthia Archer, the very same state official whose house was the subject of a high-profile FBI raid.

The newspaper says she will be paid 65% more than her immediate predecessor.

Archer served as Walker's deputy administration secretary until last month, when she abruptly shifted into a job as legislative liaison at the Department of Children and Families. She is being paid $99,449 a year - $39,129 more than the $60,320 the last person to hold the job made.
So now the issue is back and in full daylight. (And let's not forget that Walker, while running a financially-devastated Milwaukee County, handed out big raises to political appointees while bypassing regular compensation procedures., as the Journal Sentinel reported in 2008)

But, again - -  just how deeply Walker has politicized state service on top of his attack on collective bargaining.

All devaluing public sector work.

* Two cushy jobs already handed to Jeff Plale, a former South side Milwaukee Democratic State Senator who voted with Republicans in Walker's interest against labor at the end of Democratic Governor Jim Doyle's last term. - - Plale had lost a primary to the more liberal Chris Larson. Friends rewarded.

*  There was the mail room employee fired for emailing the truth about a transportation official instructing line workers to withhold from applicants for Voting ID's that the ID is free. Enemies, no matter no powerless, punished.

* More friends, friends of friends and family of friends get jobs, too: There was the plum handed to son of a donor, or the top-dollar, a bone thrown by Walker to his former Milwaukee County Executive chief of staff, and a bigger job handed to the ranting enemy of an entire agency who was named to run it (the DNR), and other eyebrow-raisers, all catalogued in an April posting.

In an administration supposedly focused on jobs, you need a scorecard to keep up with all the job misfires on Walker's watch


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Walker have reclassified his buddies as the "They deserve more and now have more.." state workers.

morninmist said...

This will help with Walker's recall. He is hanging himself (rhetorical).

Bill Kurtz said...

In fairness, the item about Jeff Plale contained an error. His vote against the state employees' contract (for which Walker richly rewarded him) came after he had already lost the primary to Chris Larson.

James Rowen said...

Bill is correct. Thank you. I have cleaned up the item.