My goodness, the news coming out of Madison this week makes it seem that nobody but nobody in Governor Walker’s administration has any idea on how to responsibly run the joint! I mean really!
First we have reports that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has overpaid at least one contractor for work that wasn’t performed! It seems so egregious that US Representative Gwen Moore is suggesting that we need a federal investigation into the state’s use of federal highway funds.
Meanwhile, Gov. Scott Walker acknowledged the department’s misspending on the contract calling it “completely wrong, completely unacceptable.”
He said changes were made in the aftermath of the 2015 case to help prevent additional waste.
“There should never be a situation like that,” he said earlier this week.
The Journal Sentinel’s investigation detailed how WisDOT was using special provisions on megaprojects in the state’s southeast region that made it difficult to track spending on certain items. In at least one case, the arrangement resulted in a contractor double billing for about 1,500 truckloads of gravel, and the state knowingly paying for it.
The special provisions were used another 30 times for work on the Zoo Interchange, making it impossible for taxpayers to know if another $1.6 million was spent on work never done or materials never received.
Department officials say they have changed policies and beefed up oversight to ensure the practice has not continued.
But they shouldn’t have had to change policies…we’ve been building highways in this state since we were a state. We’ve had to follow federal laws on how to account for federal highway funds for nearly as long. This isn’t rocket science, it’s basic accounting practice. So something is rotten in Denmark…and it shouldn’t have taken the Journal Sentinel’s report to get the state in line. (voters: a valid reason to support political candidates who support freedom of the press and transparency in government).
And then we have same problem, different pew! Next we find that the Wisconsin Medicaid Program paid for care for people who were already dead.
A federal audit of Wisconsin’s Medicaid program found that nearly $600,000 was paid to managed care organizations on behalf of patients who already had died.
The finding comes from an audit by the U.S. Office of Inspector General covering the years 2010 through 2015. During that period, $589,478 in erroneous state Medicaid payments were made on behalf of dead people to managed care groups.
The Wisconsin money involved 1,654 so-called capitation payments, which are monthly fixed payments on behalf of enrolled individuals who are low-income or who have disabilities. Medicaid is jointly administered by states and the federal government.
So this one came up in a federal audit of the period from 2010 to 2015. Solidly in the Walker era. Again this is a simple accounting practice that should have been in place and continued. I mean, Medicaid has been around a significant time period. There isn’t anything new going on here.
And then we find that Wisconsin prison officials have investigated prison staff for 132 incidents of prison staff sexually abusing or harassing inmates?
Wisconsin prison officials investigated more than 100 complaints of correctional officers and staff sexually abusing or harassing inmates in one year, state records show.
Among the allegations reviewed, Department of Corrections officials found enough evidence to prove just 11 percent of the claims, or 15 cases involving correctional staff in positions of power creating intimate interactions or relationships with inmates they were charged with supervising, according to documents released under the state open records law.
The prison staff — including one guard trained in preventing such behavior — are accused of having sexual intercourse and forging romantic relationships with inmates, spanking them and making sexually harassing comments, among other allegations.
This on top of the multitude of issues surrounding the juvenile detention facility at Lincoln Hills makes it seem like the Department of Corrections staff is out of control.
So Governor Walker thinks he deserves a third term? These three failures at management alone should indicate he is incapable of running the great state of Wisconsin! No way that he deserves another four years at the helm.