ICYMI: Another Sweetheart Appointment For a Top Scott Walker Associate

Jul 19, 2012

Following allegations of potential bid-rigging out of his economic development agency, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp (WEDC), Scott Walker has made a round of leadership changes, to include tapping his deputy chief of staff, Ryan Murray, as chief operating officer.

Murray, a Walker insider who has served multiple roles in both Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign and the Walker administration, seemingly has no professional experience in the private sector. An online resume for Murray details his total employment experience as consisting of eight years in Republican politics.

Murray’s appointment to head up the state’s economic development agency is hardly Walker’s first questionable appointment with the appearance of political motivation.

In 2011, the son of a wealthy Walker campaign donor landed a job with an $81,500 salary in the Walker administration, even though the 27-year-old had “no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. [1] Later in 2011, Walker installed Renee Miller, a Republican campaign worker with no experience with land records and vital records as the register of deeds for Marinette County, passing over three other more experienced candidates. [2]

And in 2004, then-Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker appointed his longtime political aide, Tim Russell, to serve as the county’s economic development chief, despite Russell lacking the requisite experience or qualifications to serve in such a capacity. After years of de-funding and failed leadership under former Walker campaign staffers, who many criticized as lacking the depth of experience to manage the county’s development efforts, Scott Walker eliminated the county’s Economic & Community Development department in the midst of the 2008 economic collapse. [3]

“Though he has mouthed words of bipartisanship, and promised to work for all of Wisconsin, Scott Walker has made it clear that he has no interest in changing course anytime soon,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “He continues to reward his political allies with jobs for which they appear unqualified, even at the expense of Wisconsin’s economic development.”

Read more here.

[1] No degree, little experience pay off big (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 3, 2011)

[2] Another Walker pick causes stir (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 20, 2011)

[3] Walker plan shifts development efforts (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10/3/2008)