Walker demotes son of campaign contributor
By Patrick Marley of the Journal Sentinel April 5, 2011
Madison — Gov. Scott Walker abruptly reversed course today and demoted the son of a large campaign contributor to his former job with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing.
The move comes one day after the Journal Sentinel reported that Brian Deschane, 27, had landed an $81,500-a-year job in Walker’s administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. The promotion amounted to a raise of 26%.
His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association. 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. Members of the trade group also funneled more than $92,000 through its conduit to Walker’s campaign over the past two years.
The younger Deschane has no college degree, little management experience and two drunken driving convictions.
“Brian was moved to (the Department of) Commerce at the request of (Regulation and Licensing) Deputy Secretary John Scocos to head up a division that was eventually going to be moved to DRL,” the statement said. “Deputy Secretary Scocos worked with Brian at DRL earlier this year and thought he could help with the transition of the Commerce division to DRL.
“When Governor Walker learned of the details of this agency staffing decision, he directed his administration to move in another direction.”
Walker chief of staff Keith Gilkes recommended Brian Deschane for a job with the Regulation and Licensing Department. In January, he became bureau director of board services, a position that paid $62,728 a year.
His pay will return to the lower amount when he resumes duties Wednesday at the Department of Regulation and Licensing, Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said.