|Scott Walker, Chair of embattled WEDC agency, looks|
like a pay-to-play scandal, another betrayal of public integrity
by Scott Walker who now calls any suggested probe a
"witch hunt" after promising in 2012 to take dramatic and
aggressive action to address massive failures.
In a normal, moral person the weight of guilt follows lies and other actions intended to deceive.
Scott Walker exceeds the pathologies associated with typical politicians whom most Americans all assume lie to some degree.
This life-long politician is scrambling to react to the WEDC scandal, now in the deny-deceive-and-divert phase of scandal management, without apparent shame.
WEDC Chair Scott Walker issued denials yesterday that he ever read any WEDC letters about a $500,000 loan to Building Committee Inc., and another denial that Walker knew his "top aides, including [former Department of Administration] DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch, pressed for a $4.3 million loan to Building Committee Inc. as the company was collapsing. The company’s owner, William Minahan, made a last-minute $10,000 contribution to Walker’s 2010 campaign" (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal)
This follows Walker's previous denials in 2012 about any knowledge of WEDC's $11.7 million in tax breaks to Skyward, "a Stevens Point-based company bidding on a $15 million statewide student information system." (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal)
In 2012 Walker vowed "aggressive" and "dramatic" action when it was reported some 99 companies' loan repayments were ignored by Walker and WEDC. "Following the revelation that millions in past-due loans had been ignored by state [WEDC] officials for more than a year, Gov. Scott Walker vowed Thursday to take aggressive action at the embattled state jobs agency that he has championed." (Stein, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) Walker vowed then he is "a good steward of taxpayers' money."
In Walker's 2011 Budget Address, Walker announced, "During our special session on jobs, we created a public-private agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation that will focus solely on job creation. Our budget includes the resources and the organization to get the WEDC working to stimulate our economy."
But faced with revelation after revelation that $100s of millions of tax payer money is going down the sewer to donors to Scott Walker and politcal allies with few jobs created and many jobs shipped overseas, WEDC Chair Walker has been forced into a I-didn't-know line of response, a pattern of Walker's.
For instance, in March Michael Isikoff broke a story detailing how a Wisconsin billionaire, John Menard Jr., gave $1.5 million in secret contributions to a "pro-Walker political advocacy group that pledged to keep its donors secret." (Isikoff, Yahoo News)
Subsequently, Menard's "was awarded up to $1.8 million in tax credits by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation ... in 2013 and 2014," and the Wisconsin DNR, the bane of Manard, was decimated by Walker in his proposed budget.
Walker said through a flack he was "not involved" in the WEDC decision on Menard's tax credits though he chairs WEDC.
On May 10, commenting from South Carolina, Walker repeated he and WEDC "absolutely" have been good stewards of taxpayer dollars. (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal)
On Monday. commenting from New Orleans, Walker said the WEDC scandal is a "political witch hunt." (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal) amid calls for a federal investigation into WEDC operations and widespread suspicions of pay-to-play.
Such a federal investigation might fall under the authority of the US DoJ Public Integrity Division, the US Attorney's office or a special DoJ Task Force.
Walker did not comment specifically on the question if his 2012 promised "aggressive" and "dramatic" actions at WEDC have been successful.