Walker jobs agency “in disarray”
Republican lawmakers stonewall reforms and block accountability
MADISON, WI – As Governor Walker continues to travel across the country pursuing his presidential ambitions, more questions are being raised about his flagship jobs agency amid shocking new reports of cronyism, financial mismanagement and potential corruption. In mid-May, the Wisconsin State Journal revealed that Gov. Walker’s top aides pushed for millions in unsecured loans to one of the Governor’s top campaign contributors. Following that story, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that WEDC officials plotted to steer taxpayer dollars to another Republican campaign contributor even after learning that the business owned by that contributor had provided falsified and misleading information.
After months of troubling news stories, questions about improper use of taxpayer dollars and failed performance audits, the Associated Press has declared that Gov. Scott Walker’s WEDC is “in disarray.”
“The ongoing corruption and mismanagement at the WEDC is a black eye for our state,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “I understand that Gov. Walker wants to focus on his presidential campaign but the legislature has a responsibility to look out for Wisconsin taxpayers.”
Democrats have called for greater accountability at the WEDC to prevent additional waste, fraud and abuse that have been identified in multiple audits. Two weeks ago, Senate Democrats introduced a proposal that would have strengthened accountability, prevented outsourcing and required WEDC employees to report fraudulent activity to law enforcement authorities. The proposal was rejected by Senate Republicans on a 19-14 party-line vote.
“It’s hard to believe that the corruption and potential criminal violations that have been exposed at the WEDC are isolated incidents,” added Shilling. “Senate Republicans should stop selling out Wisconsin families to protect the special interest donors behind Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign. It’s time to take action to correct these problems and prevent the WEDC from spiraling further out of control.”