When Walker came into office, he compared himself to a small business man who saw a problem, and fixed it immediately...without forethought, planning or the required time for transition.
jsonline-Jason Stein and Kathleen Gallagher: When Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers created the state's partly independent jobs agency 18 months ago, they left out a basic legal requirement put on similar state authorities and commonly practiced by private businesses: to compile and audit its financial statements.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has drawn criticism for poor financial reporting and oversight, from both private experts and the federal government.
This was Walker's baby. So where's the criticism?
"If they were in my class, they'd get a big 'F,' " said Paul Lapides, a business school professor who directs the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. "Every single adult citizen in the state should be saying, 'Wait, you have people on this board of directors who aren't reading financial statements and don't have a clue about how internal controls work?' " Lapides added.
He said the board could be viewed as having a "reckless disregard for their duties."
Former Rep. Scott Klug muddied up his political credentials:
Scott Klug, managing director of public affairs at the law firm of Foley and Lardner, is the board treasurer. Even though Klug isn't on the audit committee, it is "puzzling" that as the board's treasurer he would not insist on greater rigor in financial reporting and better internal controls for dispersing money, said Jeffery Smith, associate professor and director at the Banta Center for Business Ethics and Society at University of Redlands in the greater Los Angeles area.
"The fact that you wouldn't have this agency, which is essentially a trustee of public funds, for them not to take seriously the importance of very diligent financial reporting seems to me at best ironic and at worst a breach of what we would expect as transparency when it comes to public interest," Smith said.
We were all warned, but know-it-all conservative paranoids thought the Democrats were out-of-touch and didn't know anything about managing government or money:
Three WEDC board members have criticized the amount of information they were receiving, including Barca and Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point). In a letter to Walker in September, Paul Radspinner, president and chief executive officer of FluGen Inc., also threatened to resign from the WEDC board if members weren't given more information to help do their jobs. In early 2011, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca and other Democrats repeatedly warned Walker and other Republicans that they were moving too quickly to create the WEDC and needed to take more time to plan. Barca was familiar with the process involved in creating an independent UW Hospital and Clinics Authority and pointed to the "detailed implementation plans" that went into that authority as an example of the kind of forethought that's needed in transitioning a public entity into a semiprivate one.
But I’m sure Walker saw Barca’s warnings as a politically motivated stall tactic, proving once again “projection” will always be a conservative problem.
One more rant:
Republicans talk "business" all the time. They wish business ran the U.S. instead of our constitutionally designed government. In the private sector, nothing is ever mismanaged or goes out of business. And CEO's always know just what to do next. So why can't we run government like a business?
There is a very bad and incompatible wrinkle in that argument; businesses may like being lean and mean, but they also like increasing their profits. So how did growing in size, employing more people, and finding ways to charge more for their product become the model of choice by Republicans?
It's opposite day in Republican world. Shrinking in size, providing fewer services or product, and decreasing revenue isn't anything like a private business. The only thing the GOP does like about some private businesses; running government like a task master, firing people at will.