One of the must reads this morning is written by Bill Lueders in Isthmus.
The retirement of Beth Hastings from the Department of Administration, along with her reflections are a damning indictment on what is happening inside state government.
Caffeinated Politics has lamented that DOA is now headed by Mike Huebsch, a person without a college degree. A person who was unable to graduate from Oral Roberts University. Some call my criticism of Secretary Huebsch a cheap shot. I know it is important to have solid educated people running government. The fact is the Walker Administration is short on real brain-power, and Huebsch is just more proof of that fact.
Hastings retired after 18 years of service to the state, and has important things to say as she bids farewell to the workplace. Words and thoughts that citizens of this state need to pay attention to as they shed light on the government they pay for with taxes.
“I almost feel they’ve been co-opted,” Hastings says of DOA officials. “It feels like they’re grasping at straws. I’m kind of embarrassed for them that they can’t make up better lies.”
But what troubles her is the DOA’s apparent new role as a purveyor of misinformation seen as helpful to Walker’s political agenda. It’s put out comically low estimates of protest crowds (a DOA spokesman, asked why his agency’s crowd tally last Saturday was so much less than that of Madison police, said the cops may have been “counting people we weren’t”) and ridiculously inflated claims of the damage to the Capitol caused by protesters.
“We all just roll our eyes,” says Hastings of the reaction of DOA employees, at least six of whom retired last week, just ahead of Walker’s initial start date for benefit concessions. “They just think there’s total lying going on.”