Recall Scott Walker

Scott Walker's Record of Failure - Power Grabs

Since taking office, Gov. Scott Walker has quietly consolidated executive power and sought to shift more powers from the Legislature to the governor's office with little oversight or scrutiny. Some of the examples include:

  • Walker's "budget repair bill" converted several dozen civil service jobs into political appointments, enabling department secretaries to select their own chief counsel, communications director and legislative liaison and bypass the competitive hiring process. The changes not only strengthened executive power but also have allowed some appointees to receive hefty raises compared to their predecessors, chiefly top aide Cindy Archer, who received a salary almost 65 percent more than her predecessor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. ["Archer profited when job shifted from civil service to appointment," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/17/11] [2011 Wisconsin Act 10]
  • The budget repair bill allows the Department of Health Services to unilaterally rewrite the rules for social safety net programs like Medicaid with little opportunity for input from either the public or their elected officials. Changes in eligibility, premiums, benefits and reimbursements that used to be done through the legislature will now be done through DHS. [2011 Wisconsin Act 10] ["Walker budget proposal would impact how health care works in state," Wisconsin State Journal, 03/14/11]
  • The Walker administration suggested using an executive order to transform the state's Department of Natural Resources into a self-contained "charter agency," a move that would have allowed the agency that is supposed to protect the state's air and water to become the tool of special interests and operate "outside many of the rules and regulations guiding the rest of state government," according to the State Journal. ["Walker eyes plan to give DNR more autonomy," Wisconsin State Journal, 05/13/11]
  • Walker pushed to privatize the state's power plants and supported no-bid contracts. The budget repair bill originally proposed to sell 37 plants with no bids and with no review by the Public Service Commission, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The administration did not abandon hopes of selling the plants even after the privatization plan was removed from the bill. ["Walker administration still intends to sell state power plants," Wisconsin State Journal, 3/19/11]
  • A special session that was supposed to center on job creation, and instead turned into a special interest giveaway spree, included legislation granting Gov. Walker power to decide which administrative rules are enacted. [2011 Wisconsin Act 21]
  • Pushed by Walker, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald in late September ignored recommendations from Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller as to which Democrats should sit on a Senate committee charged with examining the state's mining laws. Fitzgerald said he would name his own Democrats to the panel despite calls for more bipartisanship and Senate tradition. ["Senate leaders battle over appointments to mining committee," Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9/27/11]
  • As the 14 Democratic senators planned to return to Wisconsin in March, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald advised that the Democrats' votes would not be counted in roll call votes on amendments and bills during standing committee public hearings and executive sessions since the 14 were in "contempt of the Senate," even though they were still "free to attend hearings, listen to testimony, debate legislation, introduce amendments, and cast votes," according to an email published on Dane 101. [Dane101]

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