In the face of a mountain of criticism from all sides, even fellow Republicans and the usually-friendly Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Scott Walker has rescinded a controversial $500,000 grant made to a Tea Party group with close ties to the Walker administration, but questions still remain about the pay-to-play scandal.
On August 29th, Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp stated that she was legally bound to honor the terms of the grant, citing a finding by her legal counsel that United Sportsmen of Wisconsin met the minimum requirements for the grant and therefore, “the Department has no discretion but to go forward with the grant.”
While it’s at least a step in the right direction that the politically-tainted grant was cancelled, the following questions still remain:
1. Was Cathy Stepp, and her legal counsel, truthful in the statement that the Department of Natural Resources was legally required to proceed with the grant?
2. If so, what provision of law did Scott Walker rely upon to unilaterally nullify a legally-binding course of action entered into by the Legislature?
3. Did Scott Walker or Cathy Stepp violate Wisconsin law?
4. Putting aside ethical concerns about their close ties to the Walker administration; did United Sportsmen of Wisconsin violate state and/or federal law in falsifying their federal nonprofit tax status?
5. Given the other missteps we’ve seen from Scott Walker as a result of his “shoot first, ask questions later” pattern of governing, to include the rushed formation of his failed flagship jobs agency and the inappropriate pay raise given to the Capitol police chief, what steps is Scott Walker taking to ensure that no further taxpayer time and money are wasted on correcting his mistakes?