Jun 8, 2015

GOP Wants to Axe Legislative Audit Bureau after It Uncovered GOP Corruption

A series of audits conducted by the Legislative Audit Bureau revealed incompetence and corruption at Scott Walker's flagship 'jobs' agency, and now GOP legislators are proposing to dismantle the 50-year-old Bureau. (Elbow, The Capital Times)

The non-partisan Bureau "conducts objective audits and evaluations of state agency operations to ensure financial transactions have been made in a legal and proper manner and to determine whether programs are administered effectively, efficiently, and in accordance with the policies of the Legislature and the Governor." (Legislative Audit Bureau)

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, called the GOP proposal one of the worst ideas in a legislative session fraught with bad ideas. (Elbow, The Capital Times)

This GOP call for dismantling the Legislative Audit Bureau comes after a series in the Wisconsin State Journal revealed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation [WEDC] had routinely given questionable loans, grants and tax credits to Scott Walker donors, and top Scott Walker aides pushed for a questionable $500,000 WEDC loan. (Wisconsin State Journal)

Walker is expected to declare his candidacy for the presidency in weeks.

The call also follows the Walker administration's criticism of Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne announcing he would read the audits to determine cause to begin a public integrity investigation. (Mal Contends)

The GOP move also follows the suggested removal of Walker as Chair of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation by Wisconsin Republicans as Walker became tainted as Chair. (Mal Contends)

Michael Isikoff's story in March also revealed on a massive contribution to a Scott Walker-aligned dark money operation before the donor received "$1.8 million in special tax credits from [WEDC] ... that Walker chairs ... ."

Barca and other Democratic legislators also called for a federal investigation after the audits became public.

“Changing the nonpartisan, award-winning Legislative Audit Bureau into partisan appointees continues the Republican efforts to reduce oversight of state government," Peter Barca said. "The move would allow for more partisan and special-interest influence and further erode Wisconsin’s tradition of clean, open and transparent government."

Barca also questioned the timing of the proposal, "coming on the heels of the extremely critical audit of the Walker Administration's WEDC, which has been rife with mismanagement and perceived cronyism." (Elbow, The Capital Times)

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