Political Correction

Rep. Braley Demands Gov. Walker Apologize For Crony Hire

April 14, 2011 11:40 am ET - by Matt Gertz

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) attempted to use a hearing today before Rep. Darrell Issa's (R-CA) Oversight Committee to tout his efforts to destroy collective bargaining rights for public employees, but his efforts hit a bump when Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) demanded that he apologize for the crony hire of Brian Deschane, who lacked experience but whose father had financially backed Walker's campaign.

Walker replied that Deschane was "five levels below me," and said he had him demoted when the hiring came to his attention:

BRALEY: Are you ready to apologize to the people of Wisconsin for hiring the 27-year-old-son of one of your major campaign donors who's a lobbyist, and that individual had no college education, very little managerial experience, and had two drunk driving convictions and was hired for a $81,000-a-year job when you obviously had better qualified applicants? Are you ready to make an apology today to the people of Wisconsin? That doesn't sound like good government to me. [...]

WALKER: That person was five levels below me, when that hiring was brought to my attention, I had my staff go back and have that person taken out of that position, and I acknowledged the fact that there were more qualified people, and I asked someone else to be put into that.


In April, it came out that the administration had hired Deschane. Within two months, Deschane received a promotion and a 26 percent pay raise. Deschane's father runs a political action committee that donated nearly $30,000 to Walker's campaign. Following a "public uproar," Deschane was demoted and he subsequently resigned.

Earlier in his testimony, Walker praised his own efforts to promote merit-based hiring, saying:

WALKER: Our reforms allow schools and our local governments to hire and fire based on performance and merit, paying for performance so we put our best teachers and our best workers out front. That ultimately is going to make things work better.


Apparently those merit hiring efforts aren't working out too well.  

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