Best Lines In Sunday Newspaper About Mike Huebsch

From The Wisconsin State Journal, and other papers around the state, comes the line that might be the last piece of the puzzle about Mike Huebsch. 

The story was mostly a puff piece, and not very newsy, but there was this line about the inside of Mike Huebsch’s office that I found interesting.

The office has the look of someone still moving in. One bookcase is half-empty, containing only seven old Blue Books…..

Then there is this nugget of information, as written in the newspaper.

As the former Speaker of the Assembly, Huebsch is no stranger to leadership. But the move from the legislative to the executive branch has put him on a learning curve. The biggest difference, he said, is the Legislature sets policy while the executive branch implements policy.

Really, Mike.  How insightful!  I bet the fourth graders that roam the State Capitol this time of year on class trips can rattle off that factoid.

Perhaps had there been more books on the shelves in Mike Huebsch’s office that he had actually read, or had he graduated from college, or even attended a college other than Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, there might be more meat to the story.

Brian Deschane Proves That GOP Promise Of Wiser Use Of Taxpayer Money Is Folly

Not for the first time does this blog point out that some very mediocre, perhaps even unqualified people, have landed in high paying positions with Governor Walker’s administration.  I have not been shy about my displeasure with those who have no college degree, such as Governor Walker, and his man at DOA, Mike  Huebsch.  Call me odd, but I want elected leaders who are smarter than I am.

On Sunday the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel made it plain for even the most partisan Republican to understand when it printed a most amazing story about the type of person who can rise to the top in the Walker administration.

Something smells fishy in the Walker team. 

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.

Is this how government is supposed to work?

Now just for a minute let us assume that this is always how government operates.  That is, after all, the fall-back argument from those who are presented with stories of this kind.

But isn’t it the conservative Republicans who always tout a better government, more lean and more wary of over-spending on waste?  Is it not the GOP who promise to be better stewards of the taxpayer’s money?

So how then does this stuff happen under their watch?

Beth Hastings, Retired DOA Project Manager Thinks Agency Is Purveyor Of Misinformation

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.”

Speaker Huebsch: Is It Good Policy Or Just Plain Politics?

The issue of how the Wisconsin State Legislature can better distribute the $79.3 million school levy tax credit is front and center in Madison.  The need to insure that homeowners in low-wealth districts get more of a break is essential.  Everyone seems to understand that fact.

A broad bi-partisan group of legislators have fashioned a bill to make this change prior to the December 1st deadline, the time when the state certifies school districts tax levies.  Without such a change nearly 3/4ths of the state school districts would be negatively impacted. 

The crux of the matter is that due to the late date for final passage of Wisconsin’s state budget the elected officials couldn’t send the money back through the general school aids formula.  Instead it was sent to the taxpayer through a property tax levy credit, which usually gives a bigger smile to taxpayers in wealthy districts.  Clearly that is unfair.

The bill that is gathering steam in the Statehouse would address this matter by still using the credit, but sending the money back to the districts through the general school aid formula.

The State Senate will take up this bill this week, but Assembly Speaker Huebsch says he has no plan to vote on it this week.

Say again!

The Speaker told the press that the Senate had the chance to send the money back to the districts in October and failed to do it.  (At that time all sides were fighting for advantages in the budget battle.)  The Assembly had passed the bill at that time but the Senate rejected the measure, as they wanted to deal with the budget in one package.

All the school districts negatively impacted need to ask themselves why Speaker Huebsch thought the bill had merit less than one month ago, but now does not feel the bill meets the smell test of good policy.

Is it bad policy?  No, it is a genuine answer to a problem that resulted from the late budget. This corrective measure needs to reach each floor of the legislature and be passed.

It would be mighty sad if Speaker Huebsch played  ‘gotcha politics’ with the state taxpayers who are caught in the middle of this mess through no fault of their own.

Speaker Huebsch needs to schedule a vote ASAP!

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