Monday, January 7, 2019

The Wisconsin State Senate Should Not Confirm Frostman As State DWD Secretary And PSC Commission Nominee Cameron Valcq For Lack Of Experience

The Wisconsin State Senate should not confirm both of Governor Tony Evers nominees, outgoing State Senator Caleb Frostman (D) as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Public Service Commission Chairperson, Rebecca Cameron Valcq.

By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.

January 7, 2019

Milwaukee, WI -  The Wisconsin State Senate should reject both of Governor elect Tony Evers (D) nominees to cabinet posts, outgoing State Senator Caleb Frostman (D) as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) and the Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairperson, Rebecca Cameron Valcq due to lack of experience. Frostman was the executive director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation in Northern Wisconsin. He actually has no direct nor relevant workforce development experience. Frostman can claim that he has knowledge of economic development and basic workforce development issues in Northern Wisconsin; but he lacks the advanced knowledge and experience needed to tackle the complex issues affecting the State of Wisconsin in this area. He won a special election to fill a vacant seat in the 1st State Senate District and lost to Republican State Senate candidate Andre Jacque of De Pere. Evers nomination strongly looks like a political payoff to someone who does not have a job, but worked in the Evers campaign!
Will Governor Evers repeat former Republican Governor Scott Walker's mistakes? As Walker found out the hard way, the position of Secretary of the DWD is essentially a technical position, not a political one and future governors would do well in keeping this in mind in order to succeed in job development. Governor Evers seems to be following in the same steps that cost Walker his job. Walker's biggest mistake was to accepted Secretary Manuel "Manny" Perez resignation in 2011. Former DWD Secretary Perez brought 30 years of experience in the field to the DWD agency, Doctoral Studies in Labor Economics, community oriented experience and earned the respect within statewide local communities. After DWD Secretary Perez left, neither Walker's appointees to the DWD, Scott Baumbach, Reggie Newson, nor Ray Allen demonstrated they could do the job at the same or higher level as Perez. The result was that under former Secretary Perez, the Workforce Development system in Wisconsin placed 24,000 workers in 4 months, than the combined effort by the three secretaries that Walker appointed to replace Perez, which did not help Walker reach his promise to create 250,000 jobs in his first term of office. In fact, Walker's acceptance of Secretary Perez resignation not only sealed his fate in terms of reaching his employment goals, but also placed the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) in emergency mode while reorganizing, since WEDC came under extreme pressure to create jobs in 2011-2013, and it lowered Walker's chances of winning the presidential primary in 2017. The former Walker's WEDC has also failed Wisconsin taxpayers and turned into a corporate welfare economic bailout without accountability and not assuring that funds should be reimbursed. The WEDC should be disolved and reinvented.
Former DWD Secretaries,  Baumbach, Newson and Allen discovered the hard way, the immense complexity of the issues that exist at DWD and overall labor market. 
By accepting Perez resignation, Walker also lost the Hispanic vote because Perez is not only knowledgeable in work development, but also sensitive to community issues, including immigration issues affecting the farm and dairy industry.  
Governor Evers should not make the same mistakes as Walker by appointing political people to technical positions. The DWD is not a position where a person has time to learn on the job, the appointee must be able to perform at an extreme high level on the first day and every day. The appointee should have direct, advanced, and relevant knowledge and experience for the department.
The same thing with Attorney Rebecca Cameron Valcq being appointed to the PSC. What experience in energy matters does she have? Good question. What level of knowledge and experience does she have related to the problems that occur in our low income communities related to energy? What is her actual experience and knowledge in relation to energy and economic development? 
Cameron Valcq can be congratulated for her achievement and success in having an education, but that is hardly enough to be a member of the PSC where decisions will be made that affect millions of people. This is the same political payoff that Walker did for Michael Huesbch and the PSC Chair Ellen Novak. In fact, the Wisconsin State Assembly and State Senate should consider dissolving it and recreate the PSC, which should include specific requirements pertaining knowledge and experience of the members appointed the Commission be formulated either by law or via administrative rules. The PSC has three commission members and its Chair position was elevated to a cabinet post by a former Democratic governor, but it is simply symbolic, which the chair is appointed full time every two years compared to a Secretary of an agency status position, which is a four year appointment.
According to a Facebook (FB) post on Saturday discussing the lack of qualified Latinos being nominated to a Secretary of a state agency, the comment thread by a FB user says, Cameron Valcq while being "on a panel at a Latina women's forum sponsored by American Family Insurance. She expressed her dislike for affirmative action, and encouraged Latina young women and girls to not list their race on their college application so if they got into college, they know it was because they "earned it" and not because of their race. She comes from an prominent family of Republican Latinos."
Governor Evers should not follow former Governor Walker's example of appointing incompetent people to positions. Also, the Wisconsin State Senate shouldn't let the mistakes of the past repeat themselves!

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