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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Marotta resigns DOA post

[media-credit name=’DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]doylespeech1_dm_416[/media-credit]Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announced Steve Bablitch will replace Marc Marotta as the state's secretary of the Department of Administration Monday.

Marotta, who served in Doyle's cabinet for nearly three years, will return to the private sector. Doyle said Marotta has had a pivotal role in "steering the course" of Wisconsin over his term.

"Marc Marotta has been at the center of everything this administration has done," Doyle said, calling Marotta one of his closest advisors, colleagues and friends. "He has been a major player in some of the enormous accomplishments that we have achieved during that time. [H]e took over the Department of Administration when the state faced a budget deficit of $3.2 billion."

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Marotta has assisted to balance the 2003-05 budget and a subsequent $1.6 billion budget deficit, Doyle said.

Marotta helped the Doyle Administration slash $670 million in overhead and cut 4,000 positions from the state payroll.

Doyle also credited Marotta for his role in promoting better public education, healthcare and job initiative policies.

"Obviously, Marc has some very big shoes that have to be filled here," Doyle said.

However, Doyle said Bablitch will have no trouble taking over the cabinet position, touting Bablitch's long career in both the public and private sectors.

"Steve Bablitch is a person of great integrity with a strong commitment to public service," Doyle said.
Doyle said his friendship with Bablitch goes back to the beginning of Bablitch's career after he left law school.

"I have known Steve for a long time — I hired him as a law clerk when I was District Attorney in Dane County," Doyle said.

Bablitch also served as the Administrator of the Division of Corrections for the Department of Health and Social Services under former Gov. Tommy Thompson. When Thompson created the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, he named Bablitch the first secretary of the fledgling agency.

"Steve's experience isn't limited to just government," Doyle said. "He had broad experience in the private sector."

Bablitch worked for Cobalt Corporation as the Chairman of the Board and CEO of the insurance holding company.

Doyle said Bablitch, a Wisconsin native, has dedicated his life to bettering the state.
"He really is the right person to pick up where Marc left off, helping us to reform government, become efficient, while delivering high quality services and remaining true to the most basic values in this state."

Marotta said the state's condition has improved since Doyle took office.

"It's been truly a privilege to serve Governor Doyle and the state of Wisconsin," Marotta said, thanking the governor and the DOA staff for their support.

Marotta also backed Bablitch, called him a good friend and applauded his background.

"Steve is going to do a phenomenal job, but I thought I'd leave before my hair looked like his," Marotta said, taking a flippant jab at Bablitch's graying hair.

After Marotta, Bablitch thanked the governor for his appointment.

"I can't tell you how honored I am by this appointment and especially how much I appreciate the confidence you have shown in me," Bablitch said.

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