Skip to main content

The dust has barely settled on Scott Walkers nearly 12% salary increase for his previous personal security officer (now Capitol Police Chief Dave Erwin) and his deputy by transferring them to ghost jobs in order to skirt state law.  Revelations of the salary shenanigans came out late on a Friday and were included in an update to a diary already written on a different Walker Crony Payola Scheme.

That's right, while most state employees have been without a pay increase for a few years in order to keep their negotiated benefits (now Walker and his band of Not So Merry Men are taking 18% of it back to pay for those benefits), he's ensured that his buddies rake in the dough.  He can't do it legally so he transferred them to "ghost jobs" while the salaries on their old jobs get pumped up while they're vacant.

Well, he's done it 3 more times.

Gov. Scott Walker's administration used phantom job transfers this year to give double-digit pay raises to two employees and a smaller raise to a third, quickly switching them from one post to as many as three others and then back to their original jobs.

The biggest pay increase — $14,416 a year — went to a longtime state economist who helped expose flaws in jobs statistics that were hurting the governor's recall election chances, a Journal Sentinel review has found.

Hahahaha!  Doncha just love the part where Milwaukee Pravda uses the term "expose flaws in job statistics"?  What this guy really did was to create a much more favorable jobs report than the Bureau of Labor Statistics report that has been used for decades because the BLS report kept showing Walkers dismal jobs numbers.  And dismal numbers wasn't what Walker wanted just before the recall election.

Well, now that guy has been rewarded and not just with a big salary boost, but he's also been moved from being a political appointee to a Civil Service position.

Department of Revenue chief economist John Koskinen was transferred through three different high-level jobs at the state Department of Administration and then back to his original post, picking up bumps in his pay as he ping-ponged among them. Along the way, the longtime state employee shed his status as a political appointee and strengthened his civil-service job protections.

Like the police officials, Koskinen was never expected to do any work at his shadow jobs, and those scheduling the transfers considered doing all the job changes in a single day, according to documents released to the newspaper under a request made through the open records law.

(bolding is mine)

In total, Koskinen received a 14.4% salary boost when he left the ghost jobs and returned to his regular job.  He now makes 26% more than another chief economist who works for another state agency.  

Embedding political appointees in Civil Service positions was massively done by George W. Bush during his presidency to ensure that party loyalists would survive the end of his administration.

Another receiver of largess is Paula Veltum, who supervises state buildings, including the Governors Mansion.  

Records show that on May 19, officials moved Veltum from being an administrative manager to a phantom slot as an "architect/engineer manager," a transfer that pushed her annual salary to $80,213.

Two weeks later, Veltum returned to her previous job, receiving a $1,220 per year pay hike as a result of the transfer. She also received a $1,000 lump-sum bonus on the same day, a Journal Sentinel database shows.

A sweet 23% pay bump.  Nice.  Even bigger than the increase that Erwin got via ghost job transfers.

The third one didn't get the largess of the others, a measly 5% bump, which is better than state employees who got a stingy 1% increase (a lot of that will get sucked back in benefits costs) from Walker.

Laura Ellingson, a DOA civil servant who oversee the workers' compensation program for state workers, received a 5% raise to $84,501 as part of a shadow jobs transfer over two weeks, the records released to the Journal Sentinel show.

Milwaukee Pravda, of course, uses the typical "both sides do it" malarkey, to ease the Republican pain on these additional revelations (pretty shocking to see them actually covering this).  While previous Democratic Governor Doyle did move some folks into Civil Service positions, he never used ghost jobs to provide huge salary increases, or other shenanigans to reward friends and punish enemies (Walker is the expert on that).

Reaction is coming in.

Jay Heck, executive director at the group Common Cause in Wisconsin, said the Walker administration shouldn't flout the state's pay rules to give some workers pay increases with acrobatic job transfers. If the raises are needed, the administration should change the system to make it both easier and more transparent to taxpayers, he said.
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) said that the Walker administration should be more transparent about such salary increases, since Republicans are often quick to criticize salary increases for other public employees.

"They should have to justify it. ...They have to be mindful of appearances," Barca said.

Republicans in Wisconsin hate the idea of transparency, violated Open Meetings Laws to ram Act 10 (union busting) through, redistricted secretly off-site with a Republican law firm to prevent any input by anyone other than Republicans who swore an oath to keep the information secret, and now got caught rewarding loyalists with cushy pay bumps.  

And if you think that's bad, Scott Walker is the first Governor in our history to keep his official schedule secret!   Of course, it would be very bad politically for citizens in Wisconsin to know how little time he's actually spending in the state conducting state business.  

With the election looming, Walker is proposing a property tax cut of $100 million bucks (how nice of him...not).  He's loving to cite the $100 million figure, but not so happy when folks point out that it will amount to about $13 per year on a typical home.  He gets to campaign on I CUT YOUR TAXES!

Attaboy!

.

Originally posted to Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  He's still hard at work rewarding (33+ / 0-)

    friends and punishing enemies.  It must be hard work figuring out all the angles to make himself look good to voters here and nationally.  If only he's spend a little of that enormous thought process trying to make our state better.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:03:43 AM PDT

  •  Ah yes, the "flaws in job statistics" gambit. (6+ / 0-)

    Here's another take on the juking of the jobs statistics back when it happened, from Rick Ungar at Forbes in May 2012:

    Scott Walker Magically Turns Dismal Wisconsin Job Numbers Into A Pre-Election Miracle

    Alas, those stats aren't showing the numbers that Gov. Walker prefers to see either these days, with a challenger for his office (Mary Burke) having stepped up to the plate -- so just two weeks ago he turned his back on that set of data and went off on misinterpreting yet another source of job-related numbers:

    Philly Fed says Scott Walker, WMC offer misleading data on Wisconsin economy

    If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. - Bishop Desmond Tutu

    by AnnieJo on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:34:08 AM PDT

    •  He's got his minions working on a new (5+ / 0-)

      jobs report scheme, too, which was announced recently.  He believes his own shiny new "jobs report" is "flawed" because it's not reporting the numbers he wants.  

      He has to do something since he got nailed for trying to walk back his campaign promise of 250,000 new jobs in his first 4 years.  Bwahahaha!

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:44:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget the current Vukmir/Van Hollen (8+ / 0-)

    Attempt to destroy Open Records Laws' applicability to lawmakers as well (and in particular records related to ALEC).

    Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

    by GeoffT on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 11:48:02 AM PDT

  •  But Koskinen was *right* (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, blueyedace2, Creosote

    CES' 2011 figures were revised upwards substantially at the end of 2012.  From apocalyptic to very poor levels, that is.

    That doesn't excuse the three-card payroll monte though.

    Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

    by GeoffT on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 12:01:13 PM PDT

  •  Great job! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, blueyedace2, Creosote

    I might diary this:

    New Amazon wherehouse funds WI property owners tax rebates...
    http://www.jsonline.com/...

    It creates ~1k "jobs" - but how much did Amazon get in tax breaks?

    And for a Guv that doesn't like taxes... so WI residents if they own property & buy from Amazon get a tax break?

    The fucking irony... hyprocrisy..

    & does the main WI media put this together?

    •  Sounds like a good one (4+ / 0-)

      Yeah, I wonder, too, how much largess the state is handing out to business.  Considering that Walker controls WEDC (and you know how they "lose track" of loans they give out), I wouldn't put it past Snotty to give big bags of loot with one hand so he can get "jobs" and a small bag of coin with the other.

      The "jobs" Walker brings to Wisconsin are low wage, no benefit McJobs.  Our median wage is shrinking as a result.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 12:16:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Re embedding political appointees in civil service (7+ / 0-)

    Yup, A Bush the Elder embedee -- Linda Tripp --- was the one who ratted out Monica Lewinsky. And a Bush the Younger appointee to the IRS was the one who was in charge of the IRS handling of political groups that led to such a big if flimsy scandal last year AND she was the one who ratted out the agency. Ticking time bombs, like sleeper agents.

  •  I don't understand teh math (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat
    Another receiver of largess is Paula Veltum, who supervises state buildings, including the Governors Mansion.  

        Records show that on May 19, officials moved Veltum from being an administrative manager to a phantom slot as an "architect/engineer manager," a transfer that pushed her annual salary to $80,213.

        Two weeks later, Veltum returned to her previous job, receiving a $1,220 per year pay hike as a result of the transfer. She also received a $1,000 lump-sum bonus on the same day, a Journal Sentinel database shows.

    A sweet 23% pay bump.  Nice.  Even bigger than the increase that Erwin got via ghost job transfers.

    Are you saying that her previous (and now current) job was paying about 60K/year?  That's the only way I can figure out that "a $1220 per year hike as a result of the transfer" makes sense - that she got about 18K for her transfer to the architect/engineering manager position, and then a bump of $1220 from that inflated number to go to her original admin manager position.  Sounds like something important was left out of the story.
    •  These folks can't get big raises while (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl

      they sit in a current job unless it's done visibly and with "good cause".   So, Walker has a scheme where he moves them out of their positions (raises the pay while the job is vacant) and bounces the previous job holders around for about a week or 2 in other jobs just to keep them on the payroll, then moves them back to their original job with a huge pay increase.

      Her original salary wasn't included in the JS article, but might be in the employment database.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 01:58:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I understood the scheme. I just was trying to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        figure out how about $2300 in a raise to $80K was a 23% raise, but then sort-of figured it out enough to ask if that's what you meant.  

        I sometimes wish I had a sugar daddy who would do that for me, but then again I have too many scruples to do the bootlicking and lying that these creeps do to put even more money into the pockets of that sugar daddy.

        •  The original article, from which the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FarWestGirl

          blockquotes were taken, didn't spell it out, but it makes sense if you read between the lines.  The important point is that selected folks get huge raises done secretly and in a twisted, unethical fashion to skirt the law, while Walker treats everyone else like scum.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

          by Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 02:23:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, about that $100M tax cut... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, FarWestGirl, GeoffT

    We've borrowed how many billions to prop up Walker's budget?

    And WIC and FoodShare run out of money in about two weeks if the feds don't get their sh*t together.

    Under Walker we're kind of like a household who's in debt with more debt coming, but hey we've got some cash today so let's go have some fun!

    Fiscal conservatives my a**.

    •  He's doing it for the political meme (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow, FarWestGirl

      That $100 million is a nice number to keep repeating in 2014.  The JS article says it's $13 bucks per year on an average home;  Capitol Times says it's $11.  

      Whatever the pittance is, it's spitting in the ocean compared to the tax breaks, subsidies, and untracked loans he's given to his business buddies.   But drooling knuckledraggers will think Walkers a hero for giving them a tax cut.  

      Don't forget, he took the federal foreclosure settlement that should have gone to those the Banksters defrauded, and used it to plug a big deficit.  That's theft in my reasoning.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 02:53:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  To date, about $1.3 billion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat

      That's general obligation bonds only for FY11-12.  The plan is to really ramp up the transportation fund bonds this biennium - and general obligation bond authority granted in the budget exceeds that needed to just roll over existing debt by about $400 million.

      Fake candidates nominated by the GOP for the recalls: 6 out of 7. Fake signatures on the recall petitions: 4 out of 1,860,283.

      by GeoffT on Mon Oct 14, 2013 at 05:48:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Careful what you wish for (0+ / 0-)

    John Koskinen is my brother in-law.

    He has been an employee of the Wisconsin State Government for over 30 years and because the states Chief Economist  under the previous DEMOCRATIC Governor.  Trust me, he's not a Tea Party supporter or a Walker "minion", he is a dedicated public servant.

    The fact is he was threatening to leave before this "job" change/raise because he can make much more money somewhere else and I'm sure Walker would like to keep him around.

    So keep it up.  He's up for retirement in November and will likely take it due to getting heat for doing his job.  He'll get about the same amount of money from his pension after 30 years and he can then go get another job for more money.

    And then Walker will have the opportunity to put one of his likely less qualified stooges in his place.

    You can bomb the world to pieces but you can't bomb it into peace - michael franti

    by FarmerG on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:50:29 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site