Scott Walker’s Privatization Mandate Benefits Top Republican Donor

MADISON—The Democratic Party of Wisconsin has learned of a pay-to-play scandal, in which a large Republican donor was allowed to grossly overbid on a contract for routine maintenance work in Outagamie County.

The new provision, which was included in Walker’s disastrous budget that slashed aid to county and municipal governments, is another example of gross Republican overreach that ties the hands of local governments with a top-down mandate that prohibits reciprocal roadwork agreements between counties.

As a result, Outagamie County was required to put a paint-striping job out for private contract rather than maintain their long-standing reciprocal agreement with Calumet County. The call for bids resulted in only one, from massive GOP donor Century Fence, for nearly 5 times above the cost of the reciprocal agreement. Due to the change in the law, Outagamie County is forced to vastly overpay, with taxpayer dollars, a major Republican donor.

“This is just another example of the kind of corrupt, pay-to-play politics that Scott Walker and his radical Republican followers have made a reality here in Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “Walker and his Republican Party are intent on forcing local governments to enrich Republican contributors by forcing taxpayers to pay up to 5 times as much for services previously covered by resource sharing. This is more proof of why Wisconsin can’t afford to wait to recall Scott Walker.”

Background:

  • The new Republican law prohibits local governments from working together and saving precious taxpayer dollars on projects such as road maintenance.
  • Outagamie County received only one quote from a private vendor for routine paint-striping on County Road P [Appleton Post Crescent. 10/28/11]
  • Century Fence of Pewaukee was the one bid, for $3,935, nearly 5 times more than the reciprocal agreement’s cost [Appleton Post Crescent. 10/28/11]
  • Century Fence gave over $112,000 dollars in donations to Republican lawmakers, including thousands to Scott Walker, Rebecca Kleefisch and recalled state Senator Dan Kapanke. [Wisconsin Democracy Campaign]
  • While counties across Wisconsin are struggling under the Walker budget cuts just to provide the services the state already mandates and that courts order, the new Republican law forcing local governments to contract out work to private businesses will cost taxpayers much more money for the same services while enriching Republican contributors.
  • Scott Walker has a history of rewarding Republican donors with taxpayer dollars. In 2009, Walker privatized custodial services for county buildings as Milwaukee County Executive and, after bypassing the county board, awarded a $1.2 million contract to the company owned by Edward M. Aprahamian, one of Walker' 'longtime supporters' and a longtime Republican donor. ['Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 12/13/09]