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Why on Earth Does She Need This, Right Now Exactly?

You have seven months in a lame-duck administration, the Legislature closed up shop a month and a half ago, and you’re actual duties under the Wisconsin State Constitution are almost as limited as Doug LaFollette’s…so what do you do?

Well, if you’re Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, you think fine time to hire a new Policy Director.

Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton today announced the appointment of Kris Adams Wendt as her Policy and Community Relations Director, effective June 7, 2010.

“Kris brings a lifetime commitment to the public sector and broad-ranging expertise to bear on her work as policy director,” Lawton said. “I am honored to have her help, and look forward to our collaboration in service to the people of Wisconsin.”

Wendt most recently led the Rhinelander District Library as Executive Director from 2003 to 2008, where she focused her work on strengthening community outreach programming. During her tenure as Executive Director, the Wisconsin Library Association named the Rhinelander District Library as its “Library of the Year” for exemplary outreach to community members of all ages.

Prior to her term as executive director she served as Associate Director and Adult Community Services Coordinator from 2001 to 2003 and Associate Director and Children’s Librarian from 1974 to 2001. She co-chaired the Wisconsin Library Association’s Legislative Day from 2007 to 2010.

Wendt serves on the Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Council on Library and Network Development, and the State Superintendent’s Advisory Council on RuralSchools, Libraries and Communities.

In 2003, Lt. Governor Lawton tapped Wendt to serve as a core convener of the Northwoods Regional Solutions Network of Wisconsin Women Equal Prosperity, her groundbreaking economic development initiative to improve the status of women in Wisconsin.

Wendt earned a B.A. from Carroll College and a M.A. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

These no doubt are fine credentials, but let’s review what the Lt. Governor of Wisconsin does again, shall we?

Yeah, I can’t think of anything either, sorry.

In all seriousness, what “Policy” is this new state employee going to do?  The Lt. Governor of the Wisconsin is primarily a power-drained suit and a paycheck waiting for the Governor to die.  In the case of Lawton, Doyle’s so striped her of responsibility that her biggest highlight in the news recently was telling Marquette University they couldn’t get a $13,585 grant to their museum.

(No, national readership, I didn’t make that up.)

In terms of implementing practical policy for the state, Ms. Wendt will not be doing that, since with the Legislature adjourned for the biennial, nothing this woman comes up with will even be considered.  All Ms. Wendt is, without needing to go any further, is a waste of money to the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

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  • http://www.newsofthenorth.net/article.cfm?artic

    Maybe Lawton's looking to branch out past art shows into puppet theatre.

    But my real guess, entirely uneducated, is that she's just engaging in the time honored, bipartisan tradition of departing administrations filling vacancies with friends, buddies, and people who need a pay bump for WRS as their long-time staff transition into other jobs. I'd be more upset if I didn't know how many people the Assembly GOP promoted into higher paying jobs before going into the minority (effectively giving them permanent salary increases). Or if I couldn't remember the sizable stack of “performance bonuses” that Scott McCallum gave to many of his departing staffers/most loyal campaign volunteers.

    This is a waste of money, but so is Mike Huebsch and Kitty Rhoades having research assistants who make 90k and 75k a year to answer phones and write letters to constituents, just because they used to work in the speaker's office. That whole building is filled with waste. This is just another fine example.

  • kevinbinversie

    Oh yeah, totally agree with you there.

  • dad29

    a waste of money to the taxpayers of Wisconsin

    AND an enhancement of Marian the Librarian's pension payouts.