Thursday, July 28, 2011

DAV Reviews Candidates for WDVA Secretary

DAV-Wis. has reviewed the resumes provided by the Governor's office for the eight nominees for Secretary of the State of Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs.

The nominees provided by the Governor's office to DAV-Wis. for review included:
  1. James Duff
  2. Jason Johns
  3. Kent Koebke
  4. James Lewis
  5. Paul Lima
  6. Russ Peck
  7. Andrew Schuster
  8. John Scocos
The new, more open public process for selecting the WDVA Secretary was created under AB 96, signed into law earlier this month by Governor Scott Walker as Act 36, with the strong support of DAV.

The resumes were provided to DAV upon request for additional information for review.  Candidate statements regarding their application for the WDVA Secretary position were inexplicably not provided.

After substantial discussion in a scheduled teleconference yesterday, DAV's Executive Committee selected, as DAV's recommendations to the Governor,  Jason Johns, Ken Koebke, and Andrew Schuster.  

DAV Executive Committee members expressed a strong desire for a new direction at WDVA.  According to Al Labelle, DAV-Wis. Legislative Director and one of the Executive Committee members:
"AB 96, which reorganized WDVA, was done to give a fresh new outlook to a dysfunctional government agency with an acrimonious environment."  "We need to be looking forward, not backwards.  Looking backwards will only bring us once again dysfunction and acrimony."
The next stage in the review process is an August 1st teleconference with the Governor's office and DAV leaders, consisting of the DAV State Commander and other DAV-Wis. leaders selected by the Commander.

2011 07 25 - Resumes Up To Date

--Anthony Hardie
Madison, Wis.


  1. Who will the other two leaders be? Will they be Executive commitee members?

  2. Wow, not a single woman up for consideration. Do we know the make-up of the applicant pool?

  3. No women applied, Don't make an issue where there isn't one.

  4. I'm going to guess that the other two leaders will be Ken and Anthony. One an Executive Commitee member, and the other an individual that has never been elected to any position by the DAV body but yet seems to hold immense power over the Dept.

  5. "dysfunctional government agency"
    Labelle is clueless, along with the others that pushed AB96. WDVA functions just fine, and doesn't need this political drama added. Anyone that works there knows this.

  6. @12:28 There's a big difference between influence and power. Thankfully, Anthony is willing to assist DAV with his experience and willingness to help. Do you like the new DAV website? He did that. How about all of our blogsites, including this one? Again Anthony. We didn't have a legislative program before he and Al Labelle, who he mentors, built one from virtually nothing. How about DAV's work on veterans employment, which Anthony has helped with immensely? Did you like our Fall Conference last year with the DOD medical headliner from Washington? Again Anthony.

    @11:42 If you think WDVA is fine, where have you been? Shuttered programs. The Union Grove Home a ghost town. A deeply disappointing record of hiring disabled veterans. A general lack of leadership. A dysfunctional Board. A culture of denial. The Claims Office in Milwaukee downgraded and shortchanged. Need I go on?

  7. If Anthony is so great run for an office. That is how things are done in a fraternal organization. If he wants to run the Legislative program (which he appears to be doing anyway) run for the office. Al appears to be just a figure-head. Is Ken doing anything, or is Anthony doing all that too? Either run for office, or appoint him to a real position, not some made up position to justify his power. He is obviously running this Department. As far as lack of leadership, the only place I am seeing it, is in our own Department. We have allowed Hardie to select Johns as our #1 selection...are you kidding me????? He has no experience what so ever. He must be good buds with Anthony though. You folks must have totally forgotten what it is like to wear a blue hat. I am ashamed at this point to be a WI DAV member.

  8. @10:10
    "@11:42 If you think WDVA is fine, where have you been?"
    Having daily, actual, first-hand experience at WDVA... unlike yourself, which is pretty obvious based on your inexperienced comments.

    "Shuttered programs."
    The programs (ex: ANV) run by the board have lasted longer with each annual budget (8-11 months), in comparison to programs (ex: ANV)altered by the state legislature (2-3 months with no health aid type limits). Shuttered programs...no. Intelligently controlled programs that last... yes.

    "The Union Grove Home a ghost town."
    It's a money pit that never should have been (same thing will happen with the new home).

    "A deeply disappointing record of hiring disabled veterans."
    A fair number of veterans and disabled veterans have been hired. Commonsense is required to first and foremost acquire and maintain skilled and talented employees. The key word is "commonsense" when hiring.

    "A general lack of leadership...A dysfunctional Board.....A culture of denial."
    Simply not true. You're basing that on a grudge or partisan politics.

    "The Claims Office in Milwaukee downgraded and shortchanged."
    That's the VA's concern.

    "Need I go on?"
    Not really.

    Well put.