Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reveals that Walker is using state funds to pay more than $81,500 a year to the 26-year-old son of a major campaign donor with no college degree and two drunken-driving convictions.
Despite having almost no management experience, UW Madison college dropout Brian Deschane now oversees state environmental and regulatory issues and manages dozens of Commerce Department employees. After only two months on the job, Deschane has already received a 26 percent pay raise and a promotion.
Deschane’s father, Jerry Deschane was a major financial backer of the Governor’s campaign:
Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association…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. Even more impressive, members of the trade group funneled more than $92,000 through its conduit to Walker’s campaign over the past two years.
Total donations: $121,652.
Deschanes’ father admitted that during the gubenatorial campaign he may have put in “good words” for his son with Walker campaign manager (and current chief of staff) Keith Gilkes. A state official has confirmed that Gilkes “recommended Deschane for an interview at the agency.” Michael McCabe, the executive director of the Wisconsin democracy Campaign, said the appointment had “all the markings of political patronage.”
In the coming months, we may be seeing more cases of Brian Deschanes. The anti-union law Walker signed last month also included provisions that would convert more than thirty-seven civil service positions into political appointees chosen by the Governor.