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Fourth Former Walker Secretary Slams The Governor

Paul Jadin Calls For People To Support Tony Evers

Wisconsin State Capitol
Franco Folini (CC BY-SA)

Another former Walker administration cabinet secretary has come out against the governor, saying he plans to vote for Democratic challenger Tony Evers this November.

Paul Jadin, the first CEO of Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., announced his decision in a letter first reported on by the Wisconsin State Journal. He was joined by former Financial Institutions Secretary Peter Bildsten and former Corrections Secretary Ed Wall, who have previously criticized Walker.

The three wrote that they believed Walker’s agenda was one they were willing to embrace and help implement when they started working for him.

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“That pride evaporated at various times for each of us as we found ourselves disagreeing with both policy and practices within the administration that lacked integrity,” the three wrote. “It became clear that his focus was not on meeting his obligations to the public but to advancing his own political career at a tremendous cost to taxpayers and families.”

Jadin, Bildsten and Wall blamed Walker for deteriorating roads in Wisconsin and said schools were still “reeling” from cuts to education in the governor’s first budget.

They said Walker’s political ambitions had influenced his approach to governing in Madison.

“When he decided to run for president in 2015 he subordinated Wisconsin interests to those in Iowa and New Hampshire and his policy/budget proposals started to clash with members of his own party who still would have to stand for election in Wisconsin,” wrote the former Walker secretaries.

The Walker campaign issued a statement praising the development of the WEDC after Jadin left the agency in 2012.

“WEDC has grown leaps and bounds in success after moving on from the days of Paul Jadin’s management,” said Walker campaign spokesman Austin Altenburg.

Altenburg also pointed to a 2013 state audit that was sharply critical of the WEDC under Jadin’s leadership.

In addition to Jadin, Bildsten and Wall, former Walker Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb has also been critical of the governor. Gottlieb has not said who he plans to vote for in November.