As the heat and drought lingers on, our fair Governor gets to work with the people's business, by putting more of his hand-picked hacks in charge of state agencies that can strike deals with favored businesses.
This time, it's the shake-up at WEDC after their staff got caught trying to steer a $15 million state contract and a promise of tax credits to Skyway Communications. And among the new guys in charge of the business development agency is 30-year-old Ryan Murray, whose entire post-college career has been spent working for GOP politicians and campaigns. Murray now will pull down a cool $103,000 in taxpayer dollars for this new gig, and I know this will shock you, but he's also in close with Scott Walker, as he was a "policy analyst" for Walker's 2010 election campaign (hey, wasn't "policy work" that also Kelly Rindfleisch's job in Milwaukee County?), and then became a Walker-appointed higher-up at DOA after Scotty took office in January 2011.
This shouldn't surprise you, as Walker has a long pattern of hiring hacks whose main attribute is political maneuvering and the promise that they'll have Scotty's back, with competence waaaaay down the list. In fact, Murray was a trusted confidant during the Wisconsin Uprising, as you'll see his name plenty of times in this cache of emails from the days after Walker dropped the bomb. Among the fun notes is when Walker staff is notified of a rumor that Sen. Chris Larson may still be in his Madison office, Murray says "Catch him."
So expect Ryan Murray as the Number 2 guy to operate much as DNR Number 3 appointee Scott Gunderson did when GOP donor Herr Environmental dumped shit near Oconomowoc homes- to listen to GOP politicians like Rep. Joel Kleefisch, and pass the buck in favor of those who paid the GOP's bills. And if it gives away the farm at the expense of everyone else, big deal.
Scott Wittkopf at Badger Democracy has a strong rundown of Murray's "experience", and how transparent a payback this really is. But hey, Ryan Murray's the kind of company man that Scotty needs on the payroll in the Biz Development office, even if he's never spent a day in the corporate sector in his life. (Of course, neither have Scott Walker or Paul Ryan, but they sure talk a lot of good game about it. Maybe Ry's just following in their footsteps).
Hmm, given that the Walker folks are making a big show out of cleaning house at WEDC, anyone else get the impression that there might be a bad jobs report on the way tomorrow? I sure do. It would be a classic misdirection play by this immature, bumbling administration that might be good at the spinning and campaigning thing, but boy do they suck at actual governing.