Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Walker's Travel Crony

By Jeff Simpson

We already know with people like Brian DeSchane and Dennis Smith that of all of Scott Walker's flaws, his hiring ability might be his biggest weakness.  

Now they are at it again in Fitzwalkerstan.  

The University of Wisconsin System named five finalists for the position of vice president for university relations, including the president of a Milwaukee real estate group who is closely allied with Gov. Scott Walker.

Who is the finalist that is closely allied with Scott Walker?   Our old friend Jim Villa:

Villa’s name appears throughout recently released emails from the governor’s former aide, Kelly Rindfleisch, while Walker was Milwaukee County executive and while he was running for governor in 2010. He’s identified as follows in a 2012 criminal complaint against Rindfleisch:
“Mr. Villa was a former chief of staff to then (Milwaukee) county executive Scott Walker. Mr. Villa served as an informal adviser to the Friends of Scott Walker. He is and was a personal friend to Gov. Scott Walker.”
Rindfleisch was convicted of felony misconduct in office for campaigning on taxpayer time. She is appealing.
In a Feb. 8, 2010, email from Rindfleisch to Brett Davis, Walker’s preferred candidate for lieutenant governor, Rindfleisch wrote:
“I am also working on Villa to get him to agree to host an event. The money guys know him and associate him with Walker, so they would respond to him. That’s the same reason John Hiller is on the list. He’s known as a Walker guy.”

Readers of CogDis remember the name Jim Villa, as the life of the party at the ALEC conventions:

  Jim Villa and Jim Emerson, two state Senate staffers who led the fact finding mission for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), are expected to testify.
"Arrrgh! God, it hurts when I pee," shouted Villa from a ground floor state Capitol restroom. "I thought Clymedia was a flower!"
Emerson is expected to report that legalized prostitution can have a hug upside, including being a tourism attraction for the Wisconsin Dells to take the place of Tommy Bartlett's Robot World, and an employment opportunity in the form of W-2 transition
"By the end of the trip it felt like I was hooked up to one of those milking machines," Emerson said. "I will never be able to look at ping pong balls and uneven parallel bars the same way again."
Villa said that the success of the fact-finding mission was the result of NCSL's commitment to research.
"NCSL completely kicks ass," Villa said. "I went to an ALEC conference on blowjobs and it took a week for me to get the taste out of my mouth."
 What better person to represent the University of Wisconsin in an executive position?   Do we still have to pay for his attendance at ALEC conventions or has he earned enough loyalty rewards points?



  1. Someone please help me understand what this means. It is from a Rindfleisch email to Gilke.

    “How do you not blow a nut with all the lies that the democrats put out. It makes me wanna get Villa’s uncle mike to make mike tate disappear.”

    Who is Villa's Uncle Mike?

  2. Anybody associated with walker is no good for the state of WI. period

  3. So, for a UW System Vice President position we have two hard core Walker loyalists with no experience in higher ed apart from completing a bachelor's degrees, a corporate lobbyist for GE with an MBA and no experience in higher ed, a consultant who works out of his home and formerly worked in private/for profit on line education consulting, and finally, the lone candidate who has actual public higher ed experience relevant to the position. But I seriously doubt Diamond will be offered the job: he lost his last one at the University of Arkansas for being a man of integrity and standing up to a corrupt administration. I don't think that kind of ethic is is quite what the powers that be want here in Wississippi.

  4. The UW System has long been highly regarded among university educators across the country. It is truly one of the State's great success stories.
    For Villa even to be in consideration for this post smacks of Walker crony nepotism. It also makes you wonder what direction Walker wants to do to the UW System. Real estate interests?
    Maybe he could be the connection for selling off assets. The Koch Brothers, after all, are heavily into buying off universities. They practically own George Mason University in Virginia.
    Villa and Walker go way back. He was Walker's chief of staff in the state Senate when Walker was in with ALEC.
    Villa had to testify as part of the John Doe 1 investigation into the illegal fundraising activities. Kelly Rindfleisch lived in Villa’s house at the time she worked for the county, yet spent at least half her time fundraising for Lt. Gov. candidate Brett Davis. In one electronic chat exchange between Rindfleisch and Villa, Villa made it clear that he thought both Rindfleisch and Davis were obliged to him for his fundraising efforts on behalf of Davis. “Brett AND YOU owe me,” Villa wrote. Rindfleisch was allegedly living with Villa to get around Milwaukee County’s residency requirements for county employees. Villa's name has also come up in connection to the suspect Department of Aging deal.
    But really, what better says more about Villa's integrity and qualifications more than "I went to an ALEC conference on blowjobs and it took a week for me to get the taste out of my mouth."

  5. I don't know what I'm most angry about. The fact that this Villa creature is even in the consideration set for a post at the UW System or the fact that the University persists in maintaining (and often expanding the number of) highly paid administrative posts that essentially contribute nothing to teaching quality and drive up student debt. Shame on Walker for clearly trying to reward his buddy's loyalty and shame on the UW System for not taking this opportunity to cut costs.

  6. This is a NEW position. Thanks to Walker? Wired for Vila? Seems to be time for tar and feathers.

    Who is the hiring authority on this, anyway? Must send messages to Ray Cross, president of UW System ASAP.

  7. As a sidebar, it was announced that Medicaid Director Brett Davis last week is resigning his position, effective March 21. When questioned, Scott Walker said the resignation wasn't related to the release of emails from the John Doe 1 investigation that involved Kelly Rindfleisch. Walker added: “He’s been there for three-plus years, done an effective job, got an offer from the private sector and we’ll look at a number of reasonable candidates to put in that position,” said Walker.
    No details were offered about the job Davis would be taking.
    So, Davis suddenly leaves shortly after the Rindfleisch documents are released, and they don't have a replacement lined up to do his job.
    In late 2012, Sen. Katherine Vinehout reported on the job Davis was doing thus far: "A recent audit of the state’s Medicaid system found $2 billion of the $7 billion program could not be assigned to the proper health program – be it Badger Care, FamilyCare or other programs. Part of the problem is the out-sourcing of 40% of the administration of our public health programs.
    …The recent Medicaid audit found amendments were added to contracts that were not budgeted for, had never received legislative approval, were not competitively bid and the existence of which was never reported to the agency’s offices of procurement, budgeting and accounting.”

    1. While the walker crook crew shuffle around BILLIONS in Medicare $ People diagnosed with terminal cancer, supposed to be "Compassionate Allowance" cases for Social Security and Medicare are DENYIED over and over. No Money for lawyers. Been messing with them for 7 months. watched all the Selfie Tears of GOP in Legislature over the Chemo Pill Bill SB300...Reality in Wisconsin is people are dying without dignity some that could be prevented because of walkers inability to manage.