But you’re a young Republican operative whose father is a big contributor, so naturally WI Gov. Scott Walker’s going to give you a high-paying job!
Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.
Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.
How did Deschane score his plum assignment with the Walker team?
It’s all in the family.
His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year’s governor’s race.
The group’s political action committee gave $29,000 to Walker and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, last year, making it one of the top five PAC donors to the governor’s successful campaign. Even more impressive, members of the trade group funneled more than $92,000 through its conduit to Walker’s campaign over the past two years.
Total donations: $121,652.
That’s big-time backing from the homebuilders.
The younger Deschane didn’t respond to questions about his job.
But his father said he doesn’t think his group’s financial support of the first-term Republican helped his son in his job search.
“He got the position himself,” said Jerry Deschane, who returned to the trade group in September after a hiatus during which he worked as an independent lobbyist for many groups, including the builders association. “I didn’t get it for him.”
One Walker critic isn’t buying it.
State Rep. Brett Hulsey called Deschane’s appointment another case of the new administration using state jobs to repay various industries.
Hulsey said he was unimpressed with the younger Deschane’s résumé, including his lack of environmental or management experience.
“It doesn’t look like he’s ever had a real job,” the Madison Democrat said.
Hulsey noted that the recently approved law that made collective bargaining changes converts 37 top agency attorneys, communications officials and legislative liaisons from civil service positions to jobs appointed by the governor.
“This is an example of the quality of candidates you’re going to get,” said Hulsey, owner of the consulting firm Better Environmental Services.