FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- October 23, 2009
Contact: Van Wanggaard 262-930-6503 firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanggaard Applauds County Officials’ Efforts to Fight Public Assistance Fraud
Questions his opponent’s decision to strip county of fraud-prevention funding
Earlier today, state senate candidate Van Wanggaard expressed his support for Racine county officials’ proposals on how to fight public assistance fraud. Wanggaard also criticized his opponent’s decision to support a bill stripping the county of the funds needed to accomplish the task.
“I applaud County Executive William McReynolds’ efforts to fight fraud in the Wisconsin Shares child care subsidy program,” Wanggaard said. “The plan that he and Human Services Director Debra Jossart presented to the Secretary Bicha of the Department of Children and Families lays out comprehensive and tough-minded approaches to dealing with the ongoing problem of criminals exploiting a program that was designed to ensure quality daycare for our children. While DCF is clearly making an effort to work with county governments to address the issue, it was Racine County that proactively sought to coordinate efforts to find and prosecute fraud cases.
Although my opponent, Senator John Lehman, claims to be an advocate of fighting fraud in the public assistance program, he fails to mention that he voted for a state budget that eliminated Racine’s share of state dollars to fund fraud prevention efforts.”
An astonishing number of fraudulent reimbursement claims have been uncovered after several high-profile media reports and state audits showed daycare providers accepting payments for services that were not being provided. Further investigations turned up serious oversight shortfalls in the program, including cases of child care providers residing at addresses of registered sex offenders.
Racine County has received funding from the state to fight fraud in the Wisconsin Shares program since its inception. The state budget that was passed several months ago eliminated all funds that would have been sent to the county to fund the essential operation. Incumbent state senator John Lehman voted for the budget.
“Ensuring that our taxpayer dollars are being spent on essential child care services, and not being fraudulently obtained by opportunistic criminals, is of utmost importance,” Wanggaard said. “More importantly, taking away funding for oversight efforts to ensure our childrens’ safety is reckless and irresponsible. John Lehman needs to be held accountable for his support of a state budget which takes tools away from Racine County to fight fraud in the Shares program.”