Once again, it hasn’t been a good week for Scott Walker, the twice-elected goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwestern subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. As you know, Walker’s great promise in both elections was that he would turn the state around and make it a friendlier place to despoil the wildernes…er…do business. He’s certainly done any plutocrat could have asked on that score; I’m surprised they aren’t digging for iron ore under the dome of the state capitol by now. The problem — and anyone who’s thinking about him as a presidential candidate in 2016, as I certainly am, should recognize it — is that Scott Walker is really rather bad at this.
Those are the numbers provided by the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce, which is basically a trade organization for oligarchs. And they show that Walker has managed to place Wisconsin dead freaking last in short-term job growth and 44th out of 50 states in its overall ranking. It is very hard to get nominated for president as a Republican if the U.S. Chamber is throwing tomatoes at your resume just for laughs. Luckily, though, Walker established a special agency to monitor job growth in the state, so he’s right on top of this problem.
Except, well, no. They’re pretty much screwing up, but they’re having a grand old time doing it.
Auditors also said employees of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., a quasi-private entity, made a number of questionable and unexplained purchases, including season tickets to UW-Madison football games and iTunes gift cards, and contracted for services without conducting open and competitive selection processes.
Unexplained! Suddenly, Camp Randall is infested of a Saturday afternoon with ectoplasmic cheeseheads. Unexplained! This looks like a job for…The Most Awesome Man On Television.
Auditors found a number of serious problems with the agency, among them that WEDC didn’t have sufficient policies - including some that were statutorily required - to administer its programs effectively. It also found that WEDC awarded some money to ineligible recipients, for ineligible projects, and for cash amounts that exceeded specified limits.
Wait. If I don’t put in “sufficient policies”that include those that are “statutorily required,” the police come and take me away. I mean, isn’t that what we outside of the world of quasi-private entities call “breaking the law”? Wait, let’s let the agency head explain what this means:
But Reed Hall, the CEO and secretary of WEDC, said in a letter to auditors and again in an interview that agency leaders have already begun implementing changes and working on improvements. He said there were no “intentional violations” of state statutes…
Which is something you can hear said every day in all the finer arraignment courts in the country.
I’m telling you, don’t sleep on this place. Wisconsin is the lab rat for what they want to do everywhere. That they are also screw-ups is comforting, but it’s not a real defense.