Thursday, April 24, 2008

Taking Care Of Them What Takes Care Of You

It's the government equivalent of "sleeping your way to the middle." How do you get yourself a job for a state agency that's facing job cuts? Take care of the boss.

General J.B. Van Hollen hired his campaign field director as a state
Justice Department receptionist and has twice promoted him to positions in the
agency's criminal bureau.

Agency employment records show Van Hollen, a Republican, appointed Tim
Jennings as a part-time office associate on Jan. 26, 2007, days after Van Hollen
took office. Jennings worked as a receptionist, sorted mail and handled filing
for $11.55 an hour.

In August, Van Hollen appointed Jennings to a part-time
analyst position in the Division of Criminal Investigation and bumped his pay to
$12.77 an hour. His duties included creating timelines and other analyses in
criminal probes.

In March, Van Hollen gave Jennings a temporary DCI analyst
post at $16.08 per hour. His duties include studying gang activity in the Fox

Okay. That's just good old fashioned cronyism. It happens all the time and in both parties. Most of the time there's nothing in the hiring that would embarrass the good people of Wisconsin. For all we know, Jennings may have been some kind of super-expert on Fox-Valley gangs when he took the receptionist job and was just biding his time.

I was among those who applauded when van Hollen hired former Dane County Sheriff Gary Hamblin to run the crime labs and most everyone thought that hiring former Tommy! counsel Ray Taffora was a grand idea.

But now, for a bright shiny new dime, can anybody tell me what might be troubling about this?

Last week, the attorney general hired Republican aide Bill Cosh as his new

Cosh testified in former Republican Assembly Speaker Scott
Jensen's misconduct in office trial in 2006 that he did campaign work on state
time. The Justice Department helped convict Jensen of misconduct and is
assisting Dane County prosecutors in a new case against him after an appeals
court granted him a new trial last year.

If Cosh comes back to the stand during the Show Trial of the Summer how will the jury view his testimony now that he's working for the prosecution? Is JBvH undermining the case against Scooter? Is he doing it on purpose? Why didn't you listen to us when we told you he wasn't the right man for the job?

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