MADISON, Wis. — The treasurer of the political group formed by Gov. Scott Walker to employ his presidential campaign staff in waiting is before the Wisconsin State Senate today for a confirmation vote on his appointment to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority Board. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross raised serious concerns about having someone associated with Gov. Walker’s political operation currently in the processing of shaking down donors across the nation overseeing.
“Gov. Walker’s track record as a career politician is replete with cronyism and corruption,” said Ross. “The question today is, will Republicans in the Wisconsin Senate once again abide it?”
To help facilitate his run for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination Walker created “Our American Revival,” a group currently housing what is expected to be his campaign staff. As treasurer, Andrew Hitt would have access to information about the funds Walker is raising for the group as he jets across the country shaking down donors for campaign cash.
As a Walker appointee to the board overseeing the UW Hospitals and Clinics Hitt helps set policy for a healthcare organization with over 8,000 employees with a budget in excess of $2 billion. The board is also authorized to approve the authority’s issuance of bonds to support operations.
Ross noted that previous research by One Wisconsin Now vividly demonstrates the intersection of policy and Gov. Walker’s fundraising operation. Their analysis of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) found the agency chaired by Gov. Walker directed hundreds of millions of dollars in state economic development funding to businesses whose owners and employees donated generously to Walker’s campaigns.
He concluded, “Now that he’s running for President, Scott Walker’s money machine is in overdrive. That he would even think it’s appropriate to put the treasurer of his political front group charged with advancing his ambitions on a state appointed board with oversight responsibility of a multi-billion budget is outrageous.”