Republicans Trying to Expand Corrupt WEDC Hiring System
Bill Would Take WI Back to Political Patronage Era With Cronies at Every State Agency

Madison - Republicans held a hearing today for a bill to overhaul the state civil service system that was set up to end political patronage appointments for state jobs. Martha Laning, Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, noted that the hearing showed Republicans are trying to set up a new system that allows them put their own political cronies in every state agency.

“Wisconsinites deserve to have the most qualified person working for them. This bill is nothing more than a power grab by the Walker Administration to let them stock every state agency with political cronies,” said Laning. “They want to spread the corruption and cronyism we have seen at WEDC to every state agency.”

Laning pointed to the failed Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) as the best example of the type of employees other state agencies are likely to see under the Republican proposal to overall the civil service system. The WEDC has been plagued by scandal due to employees handpicked by Governor Walker’s team failing to do even the most basic functions of their jobs. As a result, millions in taxpayer financed loans to Governor Walker’s supporters have not been repaid. In some cases, WEDC hasn’t even checked if jobs were created with the funding.

“We’ve seen what happens when political decisions drive who gets hired in state agencies. Unqualified people get hired and hand out millions in taxpayer funding to Governor Walker’s campaign donors without even properly reviewing the companies. Wisconsin residents don’t want to expand this corruption to every state agency,” said Laning.

“One of the primary reasons Wisconsin has always been a great place to live is that our state is fortunate to have dedicated public servants working for us, who devote their careers to making Wisconsin a great place to live. In communities all over Wisconsin our family, friends, and neighbors work everyday to ensure a high quality of life for all of us,” said Laning. 

“This bill would let the Walker Administration start replacing those dedicated public servants with their political friends rather than the most qualified person for the job,” said Laning. “Wisconsin deserves better.”