Monday, March 06, 2006

DOYLE SWITCHES PSC CRONY TO CAMPAIGN CRONY


SAT., FEB 25, 2006 - 12:57 AM
PSC aide gets Doyle campaign position
PHIL BRINKMAN and JASON STEIN Wisconsin State Journal
The top aide to the chairman of the state Public Service Commission has taken a job with Gov. Jim Doyle's campaign, a move that has critics once again questioning the independence of the regulatory body.

Dan Schooff, executive assistant to PSC Chairman Dan Ebert, is leaving to become the political director for the Democratic governor's re-election campaign.

Schooff, of Beloit, served three terms in the state Assembly before Doyle appointed him in 2004 as administrator of the state Department of Administration's energy division. He was appointed to the PSC last March.

"Dan Schooff is talented, well-respected, and has done great work as a former legislator, as a member of my administration, and at the PSC," Doyle said in a statement Friday. "I look forward to working closely with him as the campaign moves forward."

Doyle's relationship with the PSC has come under scrutiny with recent revelations that authorities are investigating possible links between donations from utility executives and state regulators' approval of the sale of a nuclear power plant.

Although Doyle has appointed two of the PSC's three members, both the governor and regulatory officials maintain the commission is independent of the governor's influence.

Schooff is a longtime Doyle loyalist and was one of the few Democratic lawmakers who supported Doyle in the Democratic primary during his first bid for governor four years ago, said Jay Heck, executive director of government watchdog group Common Cause of Wisconsin.

"The governor's campaign claims that the PSC and even the appointments to the PSC are totally independent of the governor's office and are not subject to pressure or discussion," Heck said. "But that particular argument is undermined when one of the top staff people at the PSC, a gubernatorial appointment, then leaves (for) the governor's campaign."

Doyle campaign spokeswoman Melanie Fonder rejected the suggestion that Schooff's hiring showed the governor was too cozy with the PSC.

"This is a person who has a long history in Wisconsin including as a former legislator and as a member of the governor's administration," Fonder said of Schooff. "The governor always picks the people who are best for the jobs."

1 Comments:

Blogger kenoshakid1 said...

Schoof is great guy. Where's the comments about Jensen?

10:56 AM  

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