Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States and the Father of Modern Civil Service Reform
In late March Daniel Bice, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reported on the Walker Administration's appointment of GOP Senator Randy Hopper's young female friend, Valerie Cass, to a communication specialist post in the Department of Regulation and Licensing.
She is being paid $20.35 per hour.Hard on the heels of Ms. Cass' hire is today's report by Mr. Bice of the hiring of Brian Deschane, the son of prominent Walker supporter, Jerry Deschane, of the Wisconsin Builders association. Mr. Bice reports:
If she were to put in a full year in her current job, she would make about $43,200. Her predecessor was paid at a rate of $31,200 a year.
"Ms. Cass' name was among many forwarded to DRL by the Governor's Transition Team as potential candidates for positions with the department," said David Carlson, the agency's spokesman.
But who exactly recommended her for the post?
Cullen Werwie, spokesman for the governor, confirmed that it was Keith Gilkes, Walker's chief of staff. She was then interviewed by the Department of Regulations and Licensing's executive assistant and deputy and hired by Secretary Dave Ross, a Walker cabinet member.
Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions. Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.
How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?
It's all in the family.
His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year's governor's race.
The group's political action committee gave $29,000 to Walker and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, last year, making it one of the top five PAC donors to the governor's successful campaign. Even more impressive, members of the trade group funneled more than $92,000 through its conduit to Walker's campaign over the past two years.
Total donations: $121,652.
Deschane's father said that during the gubernatorial contest he might have reminded Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager and now chief of staff, that his son "was out there and available."