Sunday, September 22, 2013

Walker's State Budget And Insider Trading

SportsmensGate is now a permanent part of the Scott Walker legacy. It should be treated as insider trading, with an abuse-of-public funds enhancer.

Former State Rep. and Assembly leader Scott Suder used his position on the Joint Committee on Finance to insert at the close of its work on the 2013-'15 state budget an amendment creating a $500,000 grant for hunting and fishing promotion tailored for one non-profit group - - United Sportsmen of Wisconsin - - an outfit allied more with partisan GOP political work than outdoor recreation.

Suder's amendment directed that after the end of this budget cycle, the grant would renew at $450,000 every two years - - in other words, a guaranteed funding stream of taxpayer dollars for which no other group could qualify, and which would, after a few years, run into seven figures.

Ask your average non-profit if they would like such a deal.

Walker signed the budget without vetoing the grant, the DNR moved to disburse the funds, Walker lined up a $94,000-a-year plum Public Service Commission regulatory position for Suder who'd decided to leave the Assembly for far greener pastures; Walker ended the grant only after the Journal Sentinel revealed that the group had misrepresented its non-profit status, and more politically-damaging details about the group and the budget amendment were disclosed.

But Walker denied knowing about the grant's seedy beginnings - - a shoulder shrug fitting the 25-year Walker 'I know nothing' pattern - - when confronted with embarrassing information.

This is more than pants-on-fire. It's caught, pants-fully-down.

Make no mistake about it: this was an effort to use inside position to divert public dollars and subsidize a group of political operatives who were backing the party in power.

Under the cover of recreation and conservation activity.

Subsequent actions by GOP legislators to bar further inquiry into how the grant got into the budget only reinforce the belief that Walkerites in the government were cheating the taxpayers and are trying to hide the facts.

Remember the damage-control ordered in 2010 when Walker was County Executive, his GOP campaign for Governor was in full swing (with political operatives working illegally out of his own office suite on County time) and a boy was killed by falling concrete in a County-owned garage?

Said Walker's campaign chief at the time, in an email directive to County employees the day of the fatal accident:

"make sure there is not a piece of paper anywhere that details any problem at all."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Time for a John Doe investigation by the Dane Co D A. Time for the Democratic legislative minority to hold its own public hearings and call in Suder and LeMahieu who sponsored the grant and if they refuse to come forward....guilty as charged. Kedzie and Steineke as DNR committee chairs must explain how DNR became complicit in this scheme and how this happened without legislative oversight. It has to proven that DNR hasn't become a rogue agency under Walker and Stepp that does the bidding of special interests or operates at the behest of corrupt legislators. In fact it needs to be demonstrated that DNR still has an enforcement and regulation function for which it was originally created. If $500,000 was just lying around in the DNR budget after Walker vetoed the federal participation they must be loaded with cash. Nygren and Darling have lost their collective voices but only after they voiced this and other crap with Motion 999 into the budget in the wee hours of the Morning. Taxpayers should not give these fraudulent actions another free pass. TIME FOR THE TRUTH.