Empower Wisconsin | Aug. 3, 2022
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers’ new campaign ad plays on his phony folksy image. He insists he “may not be the flashiest guy around” but he’ll “always do the right thing for Wisconsin.’
He won’t, as his record attests.
Just as Evers’ 13th campaign ad of his re-election quest was inundating Wisconsin airwaves on Tuesday, the Legislature’s Study Committee on Occupational Licensing was meeting to get to the bottom of the licensing mess that Evers’ Department of Safety and Professional Services has created.
Wisconsin professionals — from psychologists and social workers to security workers and welders — have experienced the same kinds of bureaucratic nightmares as the tens of thousands of jobless Wisconsinites stuck in Evers’ incompetent Department of Workforce Development. Many say DSPS left them on hold for hours, lost their paperwork, and failed to update their files. The story is the same over and over again: DSPS is quick to cash their checks, very slow to process their license applications.
As the Badger State struggles with a health care worker shortage crisis, Evers’ dysfunctional DSPS has left badly needed professionals locked out of job opportunities. In one case documented by Wisconsin Spotlight, a couple looking to move back to Wisconsin faced losing their home because DSPS failed to process the wife’s family nurse practitioner license application for nearly half a year.
“(My wife) is not alone. There are countless other nurse practitioners and other providers from out-of-state, wishing to move to Wisconsin and work there, but they are all stuck in the same black hole of a loop, unable to move forward,” the husband, a certified registered nurse anesthetist, wrote in an urgent email to state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R-Two Rivers).
It’s a “completely broken system,” he said.
And Evers could have done something to fix it. Instead, inexplicably, his incompetent agency waited more than a year to request the millions of dollars the Joint Finance Committee had set aside for system upgrades. In fact, the agency made the request just two weeks ago, DSPS officials told the legislative committee. Emails show an absentee governor who had no contact with his DSPS secretary about the ongoing license crisis.
There’s a trend here.
Emails obtained by Empower Wisconsin show Evers had little contact with his bumbling Department of Workforce Development secretary as Wisconsin’s jobless waited months and months for their unemployment checks. The governor appears to have met with his Workforce Development chief just one time between March 1 and Sept. 18, 2020 — and that was to finally fire him amid growing public pressure.
Evers, on the other hand, will always do right by his far left base. The Democrat has remained in constant communication with his big donor teachers union allies that have pushed to keep schools closed during the pandemic, according to emails obtained by Empower Wisconsin.
The feckless executive’s timid and slow response to the race riots that swept through Madison and Kenosha in the summer of 2020 cost lives and tens of millions of dollars in damage. Evers was quick to demonize law enforcement while he placated and defended the destructive mob.
Ask the business leaders of Kenosha’s Uptown and Downtown districts — parts of which were left in ashes by Black Lives Matter rioters — whether this governor will “always do the right thing for Wisconsin.” They’re likely to have a different take, too.