Thursday, June 13, 2013

Act 10 Leads To Rampant Cronyism, Nepotism

The fact that Scott Walker's administration has been rife with cronyism and nepotism is nothing new, although the depth and depravity of would alarm most people.  Remember that one of the first things that Walker and the Teapublicans did was make scores of jobs into political appointee positions so that civil service laws didn't have to be followed.

This led to a hiring spree for Walker's cronies making Madison the Crony Capitol of the World.  Not only was Walker hiring all of his cronies, but he was making sure that they were lavishly rewarded.  And not only were they rewarded with obscenely increased salaries, but Walker went so far as to create a cronyism program, only made possible by Act 10, which encouraged workers to become cronies or at least to be nothing more than toadies.

Walker's cronyism is still alive and well today, with stories still coming out about how Walker is finding cushy state jobs for anyone and everyone that ever supported him.

But now, in Milwaukee, we are seeing the full blown cronyism and nepotism that comes with Act 10 and the hamstringing of the unions.  Lisa Kaiser, of the Shepherd Express, and one of the last true investigative reporters in the city, blows the story wide open:
State employees are speaking out about promotions and bonuses given to relatives of managers within the State Department of Health Services (DHS) Milwaukee Enrollment Services (MilES), headquartered at the Coggs Human Services Center on Vliet Street.
A handful of managers’ relatives with less than two years of experience were promoted over colleagues with up to 14 years of experience.

Those same favored employees were among those who received a $2,500 windfall last week, when DHS awarded roughly 900 employees $2.5 million in bonuses at managers’ discretion.

Vanessa Robertson, chief operations officer of DHS at the Coggs Center, refused to answer the Shepherd’s questions about the allegations last week.

Robertson’s son, Gavin, was among those who received the $2,500 bonus. He was hired in May 2012 and was promoted in April 2013 over employees with more seniority, earning $4.65 more per hour as a result.

David Eisner, a contract administrator for District Council 48, is representing four employees who have filed six appeals with the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission (WERC) over the questionable promotions.

Eisner charged that it takes at least two years for an employee to become proficient and a one-year employee such as the COO’s son should not have been promoted in April.

“This is flat-out nepotism,” Eisner said.

While the passed-over employees can appeal the unfair promotions to the WERC, they have no way to appeal the bonuses.

“And if you’re not the boss’s buddy, you’re not going to get a bonus,” Eisner said.
You really should read the whole article. The blatant nepotism and cronyism and subsequent corruption is so blatant that it is jaw dropping.

I would also add that another predictable result of Act 10 and the ensuing corruption is that this program is seeing a higher rate of turnover than ever before. When this program used to be run by Milwaukee County, even under Walker, the turnover rate wasn't that high.  Now, since Act 10, they seem to be in a constant state of hiring and training new employees.

With the cost of going through the screening process and the training of so many people, I find it highly unlikely that the state is actually seeing any savings from Act 10.

I would also mention that the Walker appointee to run this program, Ed Kamin, has other problems besides, and possibly partially because of, the rampant nepotism and cronyism - such as violating a number of federal laws and wrongfully denying applicants (most commonly non-English speaking) their due benefits.

Lastly, I would point out that Milwaukee County taxpayers are about to be doubly screwed.  Not only will they being paying for the state's corruption, but they will also have to contend with Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele's version of the cronyism reward program.

All I know is that I don't want to hear anyone who supported either Walker and/or Abele to complain about their taxes going up or the decrease in services.  You voted for one or both of these dunderheads, so this is what you get.


  1. Walker would not practice Good Government even if the Kochs told him to do it.

  2. Abele may be a dunderhead, but he was the best choice when paired against creepy Jeff Stone.

    1. Yep i totally agree unfortunately

    2. But he was the lesser choice against Jim Sullivan.

  3. Ditto. A message from Massachusetts,"For those who THINK they are republican and voted for these people, you deserve what you get. I hope it's not too late to turn it around. YOU are the pivotal point of the demise of the middle class. Educate yourselves to recognize a wolves in sheeps' clothing.

  4. I'm sure it's worse now, but cronyism, patronage and nepotism also happened under Doyle when collective bargaining agreements were in effect.

    Sorry to say, the public worker unions were not very assertive in addressing those problems. BUT at least there were some protections.

    There are also protections under civil service regs and HR rules published by the Office of State Employment Relations. Of course any of that can be changed at anytime by the administration and legislature.

  5. Mentioning Koch = calling a conservative racist = lost the argument.

    1. This makes no sense. The Kochs spend big money to get Walker and Wisconsin Republicans elected. Many Republicans are racist. To deny these facts is to deny reality.

      Denying reality does makes sense to contemporary Republicans because their beliefs are not supported by reality.