Fearful Symmetries

Witness a machine turn coffee into pointless ramblings...

22 February, 2013

Goin' Mobile

It looks like the state couldn't put the kibosh on BadgerCare soon enough for Dennis Smith because he has now resigned his position as the Secretary of the Department of Health Services to become a lobbyist.

This isn't surprising. DWD is now on their - what? third secretary under Walker.

And then there's the WEDC, a Frankenstein-like entity devised by Walker. Our Dear Leader got to hand pick the leaders of the organization which would be the standard bearer of his "Open for Business" mantra yet it was a complete clusterfuck. It's CEO and CFO resigned. And let's not forget that Walker was the chairman of the WEDC's board.

Many of Walker's cronies whom he puts in charge of state agencies just refuse to finish out his term for one reason or another. Smith, at least, stayed for a couple years. DWD secretaries, on the other hand, are appointed and then bail faster than a deacon in a whorehouse. Do these people just take these secretary gigs as favors? "Yeah, sure, I'll run your agency for a bit. I'm between lobbying/think tank jobs right now."

Look at the press release announcing Smith's new job:

Previously, Secretary Smith served as Director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under Secretaries Tommy Thompson and Michael Leavitt. He also served as Acting Administrator of CMS from December 2003 to March 2004. In addition, Smith also held positions as Medicaid Director for the Commonwealth of Virginia and as Chief of Planning for the California Department of Developmental Services.

He's leveraging experience gained at the taxpayer expense to hang out with Howard Dean and to advise "clients on long-term market opportunities and business strategies related to health system and health insurance reform". It seems like his stint at the DHS was just a resume builder.

I read an article recently but cannot find it now which addressed this kind of situation. This particular piece was about taking on the revolving door at the S.E.C. specifically, if memory serves, but can perhaps be applied to anyone who uses their civil service merely as a way to gain contacts to use in a more lucrative position in the private sector. The idea was to take a percentage of their salary for five years once they leave the government.

In this case, Smith appears to have cut his teeth at the taxpayers' expense and now he has landed a plum job in D.C. for a private firm (he also did a stint with the Heritage Foundation) where he will, no doubt, make what appears to be the riches of Croesus in contrast to the incomes of those folks whom he would deny Medicaid. Perhaps he can give we the taxpayers a cut of his new salary in exchange for the education and a list of like-minded "reformers" upon whom he can rely that he received at our expense.

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|| Palmer, 2:11 PM

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