Wednesday, April 01, 2009

No Experience and No Attention to Detail?

We already know that Rose Fernandez has ZERO experience in the area of education. Even hard line right wing partisans noted this serious problem before the primary. Nothing about her lack of experience has changed since those observations were first noted. Unfortunately that is not the only problem with having Rose Fernandez at the helm of education in Wisconsin. Since we have no track record in education, the only thing that we can do is take a look at how she has handled other responsibilities. In doing so, we have to look at her administration of the virtual schools group that she led and the small business that she and her husband operate.

We already know that Rose Fernandez did not leave the Wisconsin Coalition for Virtual School Families in the most organized fashion. Apparently when she was leading the organization, she never set a system in place to comply with important IRS disclosure rules. In a previous blog posting, I detailed the odyssey that I was forced to go through just to obtain the organization's IRS form 990's. These documents are supposed to be readily available upon request and it was very clear that she had never established a process by which her organization could adequately respond to a request for disclosure. This lack of organization led to a formal complaint, because these disclosure rules are important and complying with them should have been very easy.

While I was trying to locate the missing 990 forms, the registered agent for the organization suggested that communication with its leaders has always been a challenge. I assume that this includes the time that Rose Fernandez used to lead the organization since she only recently stepped down. Since one of the primary responsibilities of a registered agent is to keep the organization's documentation updated, I decided to check the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions records for the Fernandez-run organization. A quick glimpse at the information offered on the DFI site seemed to confirm a disorganized theme. The record shows that the virtual schools organization first registered with DFI in 2005 and promptly is marked as "delinquent" as soon as 2007. That "delinquent" status appears to have continued all the way until earlier this year. The only thing that DFI needed the Fernandez-led organization to do is simply provide an annual report and pay a fee. Apparently that was too hard to manage.

Rose Fernandez and her husband also operate a small business, which is organized as a Limited Liability Company. As such it is also required to file annual reports with the DFI. Yet again, a look at the status of this small business contributes to what appears to be a common trend for Fernandez. The DFI website shows that their business, Roll n Rack LLC, was first recorded in 2003. Once again, we find that Rose Fernandez business has had a "delinquent" status with DFI since 2008. Again, the only thing that DFI really needs from Fernandez is for her to file an annual report and pay a fee, why is there such an apparent and reoccurring problem with such simple tasks?

We already know that Rose Fernandez has ZERO experience in the area of education, but now we must ask some real questions about her leadership and attention to important detail. The above examples are really fairly simple tasks but on Fernandez watch, none of them were addressed properly. If Rose Fernandez cannot negotiate the simple obligations of a small organization and small business, how are we supposed to trust her with the many complex duties of running the entire Department of Public Instruction for the State of Wisconsin? No experience and no attention to detail? That is not the kind of "change" that we need at DPI.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that was a very weak argument. Because someone didn't pay a fee, they can't run DPI?

Are you joking? Or do you want to hang your hat on this one?

Cory Liebmann said...

There are so many places to "hang my hat" that I'm might have to buy are just the reasons stated in this blog posting:

1. Zero experience in education but wants to run education for the state.

2. Runs an org but can't figure out how to comply with irs rules.

3. Runs an org but can't figure out how to pay fees and file proper paperwork.

4. Runs a small biz but can't figure out how to pay fees and file proper paperwork.

5. Runs an org whose own registered agent complains about how bad the communication was...

All of this by someone that wants to run the Department of Public Instruction for the entire State of Wisconsin? Give me a break, if she can't manage such small things, why are we supposed to trust her with the education of Wisconsin's children? Blind faith I guess.