As reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, a consulting firm owned by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign treasurer Kate Lind received a state contract for services, after being the only one to bid on it. The firm, Solutions KCB, is slated to get at least $35,000, and possibly much more, to raise money for a party celebrating the 100th anniversary of the State Capitol. The firm also subcontracted for work from a new public relations company opened by Gov. Walker’s campaign manager.
“It’s no coincidence Scott Walker’s campaign treasurer just so happened to be the only one bidding on this contract,” said One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne. “They knew who they wanted to get this state contract and they rigged the process to make sure they did.”
Walker’s Department of Administration defended their actions resulting in Lind’s firm being the only one to bid on the contract, claiming that face value of the contract allowed for an expedited bidding process. But tucked into the contract is a provision to allow Walker’s treasurer to claim a 30 percent commission on any funds raised in excess of $75,000, potentially pushing the payday for Lind well over the expedited bid threshold.
On the campaign side, in attempting to distance themselves, Walker’s spokesperson claimed there was, “ ...no business connection between the campaign and Solutions KCB.” However, a reviews of state records reveals Lind and businesses associated with her have been paid over $1 million by Walker’s campaign.
The state corporate registry lists Walker’s treasurer Kate Lind as the agent for Aspect Consulting and Lind Weininger LLC. In addition to sharing the same address as Solutions KCB, Aspect has been on Walker’s campaign payroll since 2009 and been paid nearly $900,000, according to state campaign finance records. Lind Weininger LLC has been paid over $142,000 since 2012 and in 2017 Kate Lind Legal LLC received three payments totaling $11,250.
Adding to the unseemliness of the deal is, according to the newspaper report, a public relations firm recently formed by Gov. Walker’s campaign manager and former gubernatorial chief of staff Keith Gilkes was subcontracted by Walker’s treasurer’s firm for work on the party. Gilkes and his political consulting firm have been on Walker’s state campaign payroll since 2009 and he ran the super PAC associated with Walker’s 71-day bid for the Republican nomination for president.
In addition to snagging a part of the state contract for the Capitol anniversary party, Gilkes’ new venture was brought on by the team lobbying working to pass legislation for the largest state giveaway to a foreign corporation in history in which state and local taxpayers will be liable for nearly $4 billion to subsidize Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn.
“The excuses and attempts to distance themselves from this sleazy deal coming from Gov. Walker’s administration and campaign are more like a coverup than an explanation," Browne said. "They got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, and the perpetrators ought to be held accountable for what they’ve done.”
One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.