Walker demotes lobbyist’s son Brian Deschane from a great crony job to a decent crony job

It’s still cronyism that have someone with no college degree, no managerial experience and a couple DUIs get a cushy job heading up a division at the Department of Commerce.

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.

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Still, making $62,000 without any real qualifications and no college degree is a pretty good deal. Given that Walker is college degree-debilitated, it still comes as no surprise.

According to the mission statement from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, these are the goals:

The Wisconsin Department of Commerce is the state’s leading agency for fostering the growth and diversification of the economy of the state. The mission of the department is to drive retention and creation of quality jobs and promote safe, healthy communities. This mission is carried out through the administration of statewide business development programs, including export development assistance, minority- and women-owned business certification, entrepreneurship services, and economic development financing programs. The Department also manages the small business environmental assistance program, markets the state, invests in community development, and works to prevent homelessness. The Department protects the safety, health and welfare of residents through the sampling and testing of petroleum products and tank systems; management of the state’s largest environmental fund; administration of laws related to buildings and structures, plumbing and private sewage, ground water protection and mechanical systems; occupational certifications and licenses; and administration of the Wisconsin Fund for Private Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems.


So someone with utterly no qualifications or a degree to support any level of knowledge on the Wisconsin Department of Commerce’s mission gets to head up a “division”?

Getting Brian Deschane a bartending gig at the Brothers Bar would be more appropriate. We’ll drink to that.