Gov. Scott Walker’s divisive biennial budget contains a provision that would to
make the top lawyer at the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission into a political
appointee. Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca noted that WERC is an independent agency
and must remain so – especially in the face of the labor upheaval that Republicans have caused
with their elimination of workers’ rights.
“In the budget adjustment bill, Gov. Walker gave himself an additional 37 political appointees,
one more indication that defied his message that this bill was about fiscal responsibility,” Rep.
Barca said. “And now his budget gives him yet another political crony – one that would place an
entire nonpartisan agency in a compromised ethical position and erode public confidence in the
This proposal indicates how disingenuous the governor was when he assured workers that
despite his taking away their basic right to collectively bargain, that they would still have civil
service protection. He proposes that for their last right of appeal employees will be subjected to
the advice of a Walker-appointed attorney. It is inappropriate for an employee to know that their
chance at fairness lies with a Walker crony who is subject to dismissal if he takes a side in
opposition of the Governor.
“This, coupled with the dramatic increase in the number of political appointees, is simply another
way for self-declared CEO Walker to exert control over the workers whose rights he is
trampling,” Barca said. “The level of unchecked control Gov. Walker seeks using political
cronies to carry out his mission is not in keeping with Wisconsin’s tradition of fairness.”