Monday, November 20th, 2017

Above the treasurer’s pay grade


Dawn Marie Sass has now found someone to blame for the troubles in the state treasurer’s office – Governor Doyle.

Reversing herself from a past statement, Sass said in an interview last week the politically motivated hires included two that had been called into question by a Wisconsin State Journal report last year and said they had been suggested by Gov. Jim Doyle’s office.

 A Doyle spokesman denied the claim.

Sass has been under fire herself in recent days for hiring her niece, whom she likened to a daughter, for a short-term position in her office. The niece, Amanda Sass, is no longer employed by the Treasurer’s office.

In the interview, Sass said that her deputy, John Lease, a former aide to Doyle and Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, brought Democrats into the Treasurer’s office to fill merit-based civil service jobs.

“(Lease) has tried to politicize the office more than I have felt it should be politicized,” Sass said. “He thought I should have more politically loyal people here in the office and not civil service people.” (ht: Owen Robinson)

When Sass defeated Jack Voight, I remarked how the results were amazing given that the main job of the state treasurer is to give away money.  Sass has been unable to even master that basic skill, and a backlog in claims of “unclaimed” property is the result. 

So let’s understand this.  Sass gets in trouble for hiring her niece and for incompetence, and for her incompetence she blames political appointments for whom she was ultimately responsible in hiring. 

Some smart Democrats should be figuring out who will challenge Sass in a Democratic primary.  And some smart Republicans should be taking Sass’ word and demanding an investigation into who pressured Sass into making political hires for civil service positions. 

We sometimes debate who should be a candidate for recall.  Should anyone start the effort against Sass, put me down for $5 and hand me the petition to sign.

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