New WEDC CEO Hire is Governor Walker Message: To Hell with All of You

By Robert Miranda, Editor: Wisconsin Spanish Journal

September 5, 2015

Scott Walker appointed retired M&I banking executive and long-time political supporter Mark R. Hogan as the new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). 

The Governor did this without WEDC board review, proper candidate vetting by the WEDC board or an independent company, and without consideration to mention in the last WEDC board meeting that such a hire is coming. What Walker did is legal under state law however. Still, the hire needs to be approved by the senate. 

“Mark Hogan is a proven and respected leader in finance and business, and we are honored to have him as a partner in our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs and keep Wisconsin heading in the right direction,” Walker said in a statement. “Mark’s experience will be invaluable as WEDC continues to reform and improve processes to best serve the citizens of this state in developing economic opportunities for families all around Wisconsin.”

News reports point out that Hogan has contributed nearly $25,000 to Walker’s political campaigns going back to 2005 and he has most recently given $10,000 to Unintimidated PAC, the Super PAC supporting Walker’s presidential candidacy that can receive unlimited contributions.

As head of the M&I bank credit risk department, Mr. Hogan is the person who should have put a stop to the risky loans the bank was making, and which caused its failure.

Hogan will be paid $195,000 annually, and he will likely start in October, Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.

Walker removed himself as chairman of the WEDC board in the latest state budget, but still appoints the CEO.

Walker sends in “cleaner”

Walker should have recused himself from the hiring process and committed to no contact direct or indirect with the hiring committee to ensure that the CEO hire not be a Walker puppet coming in to cover up for Walker; so should Dan Ariens, because he is a Walker donor.

In addition, Walker should have known that anyone appointed by him or Ariens will be perceived as a Walker puppet and will be viewed as coming in to cover up for Walker. WEDC needed a person who will be viewed as an independent professional, even if Republican. What we have now is a “cleaner.” Someone willing to hide the corruption.

Given the lack of a professional hiring process exercised by Walker and the fact that his two CEO appointments have resulted in complete failures in the past, we, the public, are left to conclude that Mr. Hogan’s job is to continue covering up the scandal left by Walker at WEDC, supported by the current chair Ariens. 

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, said in a statement that he’s disappointed that the Hogan hire, other potential candidates or the selection process, weren’t discussed with the WEDC board at a meeting last week.

What else is hidden that Walker needs a puppet from a failed bank at WEDC? We should demand that the Hogan appointment be rescinded and that a formal hiring process be initiated without influence from Walker. Hogan is an expert in relaxing the rules and allowing risky business loans.

“A change of leadership was desperately needed at this agency but unfortunately, there are persistent problems with the structure of WEDC,” Barca said. “We hope that newly appointed Secretary Hogan will work with us on this process.”
The optimism expressed by Barca, while intended to be diplomatic, clearly is being wasted on a governor who clearly is sending us all a message: To hell with all of you.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on September 07, 2015

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