Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Scott Walker Disrespects Veterans, Tax Payers Alike

Two years ago, the state Veterans Affair Board unanimously voted to fire then Secretary John Scocos.  Among the violations listed was his poor communication skills, misspending money without board approval (he bought a $850,000 fire truck for the King Veterans Center which couldn't even handle a fire in all of the center's buildings), and arbitrarily raising rates for the veterans without notifying the board.

Scocos immediately cried foul and said his job was protected because he came back a few months before.  The problem with his argument is that he had his job back as soon as he returned.  The problem is that as soon he resumed his position, Scocos continued to act inappropriately despite warnings from the board.

So he got fired.

Two years later, along comes the corrupt Scott Walker who first had the Fitzgerald boys take the board's autonomy away and gave control of it to Walker.  Walker then reappointed Scocos, who was already a state employee, to the secretary position, despite the fact that Scocos still had a $500,000 lawsuit against the state and the Board and despite the fact that Scocos already proved himself incapable of effectively filling that slot.

Predictably, this is having ramifications and the Veterans Affair Board is losing good members who were diligent in their service to their fellow veterans and to the tax payers.

A week after the appointment, the board's vice-chairman, Peter Moran, resigned from his position out of protest of the Scocos appointment.

Today, we learn another member of the board, Anthony Hardie, who was a long-time executive assistant to Scocos, has resigned in protest to Scocos' appointment.

Hardie's reasons, in his own words, are very telling:
Given my deep belief in the need for open, transparent, accountable, and responsive government perhaps demonstrated by these few examples, it should therefore come as no surprise that I find highly concerning the recent behind the scenes actions of Mr. Scocos and his surrogates in cajoling, then harassing, then threatening state leaders of the nation’s largest disabled veterans service organization, all related to his intense ambition to be restored to the WDVA Secretary position -- at least some of which appears to have included the use of government employees, time, travel, and resources. A tip-off of these troubling non-public issues was touched on in a recent press account. Furthermore, the use of precious public resources in the personal pursuit of perceived opponents, opposition, and so-called “troublemakers,” should also be of public concern to those of us who still believe in basic American principles -- and that in a democracy, the process of getting to an outcome matters just as much as the outcome itself. The coercion and threats didn’t end after his nomination, but have continued through as late as a few days ago.

I do not currently have the strength to fight against all of this, nor do I wish to pull my beloved Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization into Mr. Scocos’ very sad personal vendetta. All of us have better things to do with our lives, which I know all too well having serious health issues.
Well, at least we now know that Walker did not reappoint Scocos because of his leadership skills, his morals or diligence to duty, because he has none.

Instead, Walker appointed him because he found his soul brother in Scocos, sharing the traits of corruption, bullying and ineptitude.

The veterans and the tax payers deserve so much better than either of these buffoons.

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