What kind of government has taken the reins here in Wisconsin? For all the moralisms and following God stuff, part of Gov Scott Walker's c.v., it is amazing how seedy some of this gets.
The latest example was the front page headline today in the Journal Sentinel, the column by Daniel Bice: No degree, little experience pay off big. It's about a 20-something named Brian Deschane - "no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken driving convictions" who just got a cushy high-paying job in the Walker administration overseeing - really, it's hard to write it because it is so stomach-churning - "environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce."
I am speechless. This is the kind of job that you work your way up for over the course of a career, one that requires plenty of knowledge, experience, and skill. Imagine the experienced employees of middle age who will be overseen by this guy. Imagine our environmental and regulatory matters being placed in such hands.
Oh, and the job pays $81,500-per-year. Great work if you can get it.
But how do you get it? Well, it helps if your father is Jerry Deschane, an executive and lobbyist for the Wisconsin Builders Association, a major contributor to Walker's campaign.
Friends, really, how does the moral right wing justify these things? I will tell you this, though - it reveals the character of the Walker government and of Walker himself.
Then there's the girlfriend of Repub State Sen. Randy Hopper - the affair busted up his marriage - 26-year-old Valerie Cass - just landed a job as 'communication specialist' in the state Department of Regulation and Licensing - at a $11,000 raise from the pay of the person who had the job before her. Her new pay: $43,200.
What is with this government? This is just wrong, friends. It's wrong. But it tells you something about the quality of government we have to look forward to until we can turn this mistake around.
I mean, we could also talk about nepotism. We could talk about the Fitzgerald brothers, Jeff who is Assembly speaker and Scott who is Senate majority leader, getting their father Stephen appointed to head the Wisconsin State Patrol.
This stuff is starting to give off a bad odor - an odor of insider government, of old political machine patronage, of government by payback to campaign donors who are setting the agenda for your government. I have a feeling God would not like this; I have a feeling God would come down on the side of justice and compassion, good honest government, would look with dismay on this kind of power politics and deception.
Wisconsin has long been known for good government, for ethical government. How quickly things change.