Following a report yesterday from the Wisconsin State Journal detailing the terms of a $500,000 loan extended from the governor’s scandal-plagued flagship jobs agency to the troubled company of a high-dollar donor to Scott Walker, Wisconsin Democrats today filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board calling for an investigation into the apparent pay-to-play corruption.
Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Journal, citing documents obtained via open records requests from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and Walker’s office, reported that Building Committee, Inc., a corporation owned by William Minahan, was in late 2011 the recipient of a $500,000 unsecured loan from WEDC for a proposed project to retrofit bank and credit union buildings for energy efficiency. On Election Day in 2010, November 2, Minahan made a $10,000 contribution to Walker’s campaign — the maximum allowed under the law.
Documents also obtained by the Wisconsin State Journal reveal that the loan was made at the urging of then-Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, who originally requested a loan in the amount of $4.3 million, and then-Walker chief of staff Keith Gilkes, despite the company having significant financial problems and having been unable to secure funding from state or federal energy programs or the utility-funded Focus on Energy program.
Huebsch and Gilkes are also named in the WisDems complaint, which states that, “Given the past history of disregard for Wisconsin’s ethics laws in Walker’s administrations, it is reasonable — and likely — to believe that Respondents Huebsch and Gilkes used their exclusive power and influence as high-level state employees to advocate on behalf of a high-dollar donor to Walker’s campaign, and that they used state taxpayer dollars to finance a “risky” loan to the same donor, a benefit not available to others.”
Read the complaint here.