Friday, September 28, 2012

Scott Walker, Damage Controllers, Got Their Hands Dirty Thursday

Scott Walker and his band of one-dimensional power players haven't had much experience with I'm Sorry or Mea Culpa, but that was Job One yesterday after the Wisconsin State Journal broke the story that Walker & Co. had withheld information about fiscal and legal mismanagement from a relatively new business development board Walker chairs.

Worse from a PR point of view, one outraged board member - - a CEO from Walker's core constituency - - had gone public with blistering criticism and a threatened resignation.

Others, including this blog, piled on, (here, too), Damage Control went to DefCon 5, and by the end of the day the unthinkable had happened:

Apologies were issued.

*  Walker himself walked back a talk radio-style barb he had auto-spoken about how the whole thing had been "hyped" by media. He even left a voice mail for the offended CEO.

*  Department of Administration Secretary and Chief Sacrificial Lamb Mike Huebsch was sent out to fall on his sword.

Which meant that the state official in charge of the super-agency that blocked access to the State Capitol on behalf of an administration that "dropped the bomb" on tens of thousands of public employees, and which is still overseeing an aggressive Capitol crackdown on peaceful protesters - - all without anything approaching an apology - -  is responsible for unprecedented Walker-era crow-eating headlines in both the state AP's story and today's edition of the Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin's largest newspaper:

Walker aide apologizes over handling of WEDC federal complaints

In a story that had grown to include three bylines.

Though Administration Secretary Huebsch is so unfamiliar with this business of apologizing, and obviously unaware of the true benefits of transparency in government, that he butchered the cliche in which he gift-wrapped it.

Said Huebsch:
"I will certainly err on the side of providing greater information in the future."
In WalkerWorld, more information is seen as a mistake, still.

I think he meant "err on the side of caution," implying thoughtful hesitation and not, as he suggested, 'erring' by doing something "greater."

None the less, the scapegoats have been heard from, but the story isn't over, as the issue is really about the state's mismanagement of millions of public dollars picking winners and losers at an agency so important to Walker's pro-business persona and political future that he chairs its board.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Heubsch is having to Cover his Boss's A** for public consumption. Walker holds the highest elected position in the State, and he's also chairing WEDC.
Heubsch is making this out to be an innocent, honest mistake by using the "erring" word. Trouble is, it wasn't just a "mistake" on their part, and they would rather not have to say anything to the public--their big money source in the WEDC scheme.