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Friday, May 31, 2013

Walker's Wisconsin Is Open For Monkey Business

Note: Post Title was Changed

First saw the latest story about the Skyward/Infinite Campus/Walker travesty at the Democurmudgeon.

It's unfortunate for the state of the state of Wisconsin. We knew no matter what the outcome was, that this was going to end in a bad way simply by the way it all began under the incompetent stewardship of Gov. Scott Walker and his quasi-criminal wealth redistribution agency - the WEDC.

Skyward you may recall, was the Wisconsin company that lobbied against the statewide student information system, then was offered tax breaks from Walker's WEDC contingent upon it winning the contract for the state-wide system it lobbied against and lastly, Skyward threatened to leave the state and take 290 jobs if it didn't win the contract. The Minnesota firm, Infinite Campus, played by the rules and by all accounts won the state contract fair and square. But with $80M hanging in the balance, it was obvious this wasn't the last we'd hear from Skyward.

Back then I even wondered about whether Skyward would embark on a similar campaign taken by the former CEO of Bucyrus, Tim Sullivan, who heavily politicized negotiations to win a $600M government-backed loan guarantee for a foreign company to buy its products. Sad to say, that is precisely the path that Skyward appears to have taken on its way to politically force a reversal on the contract decision. Clearly, this isn't the way good government works.

FDL Reporter Excerpt:
Infinite Campus chief operations officer Eric Creighton called the committee’s action “outrageous” and accused Skyward of using “strong-arm political tactics to get their way.”

“It tells prospective bidders they can use the political process to get a different outcome if a procurement doesn’t go their way,” Creighton said in a statement.

Titled by the press as a "bipartisan decision" in an obvious attempt to help spread the load for a bad decision and protect the guilty party, the committee's decision sends a terrible message to all prospective businesses looking to enter Wisconsin.

Even Sen. Luther Olsen, who was one of two Republicans to vote against the measure, surprisingly pointed out that lawmakers should not reverse the contract decision because of political pressure, and warned that the move could damage the state’s credibility and make Wisconsin “just another banana republic." Kind of late in the game but better than never I suppose.

Yet, this episode may go a long way to help uncover the corruptible system of government ushered in by Scott Walker. Where a legislative agenda built on a flawed ideology requires a steady stream of deception, cronyism and corruption to cover for all of its incompetence. It's alot like the lie that gets covered up with a lie that is corrected with yet another lie. In the end it speaks of broken trust and total failure.


Anonymous said...

This whole thing is speculative garbage. You obviously have no background knowledge on this issue. This is something that has been championed by the democrat legislators, as well as republicans from central Wisconsin, as the original plan would come at a huge cost, in both time and money, to 90% of school districts across the state. IC was selected in a back-door, croneyistic mess, and this new motion that passed the JFC will correct the course, coming at a far smaller cost to schools and taxpayers. Watch this clip for some more realistic information:

As for Luther Olsen - his wife runs CESA 12, which is a reseller of Infinite Campus. If the original decision had gone through, he would have stood to have made many thousands of dollars. Is there any wonder as to why he voted against this system? It would be a vote to take money out of his own bank account! The JFC vote was overwhelmingly in favor of a multi-vendor system. 14 - 2 is not a slim margin, and the reason is that this is the right move.

And shame on you for taking such an wild, uninformed position and pretending there's any validation for it. This new decision will save Wisconsin jobs, save money for schools, and cause less interruption at districts which otherwise could have distracted from students' educations. In this case, you're the one doing the dividing.

Anonymous said...

One more thing - Janesville School District uses Skyward! If the original decision had gone through, it would have been at the cost (and judging by the size of the district, I'm guessing $500k or more) that would have been passed on to the local taxpayers! How much would you be griping about the change then! Do some real research before you post this tripe!

Lou Kaye said...

I must have struck a chord somewhere. Too bad it's not speculative garbage. It happened. Coming up with a news video that shows the potential for even more corruption and more bid-rigging than before doesn't exactly win points for your augument. The fact is the procurement process from the very beginninng was flawed without giving any added weight to the creation and retention of jobs. Developing a statewide system to collect and compare data on students is the only way to fly and anyone who thinks using seperate and different metrics for measurement is looking to hide information and bend it in translation. If there was any wrongdoing, bring in the justice system - not the legislative system. The JFC not only changed the rules, but the whole game in the middle of game all due to politics.

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