Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wisconsin Is Open For Business - - Monkey Business

Scott Walker has been overseeing some sketchy deals.

If the bucks stops with him, he's got a few million still floating around out there and they belong to you and me.

Walker had the Legislature direct millions of dollars to his jazzed-up, buzzword-heavy, quasi-public competent Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, (WEDC), that replaced the stodgy old Department of Commerce - - and whose board he chairs - -and a lot of them weren't being tracked or collected.

You might as well have run these public loan programs out of a cardboard box on a paark bench down by the Lakefront under a "Free Money: No Questions Asked" sign. 


For more than a year, the state's flagship jobs agency failed to track whether businesses are repaying loans from state taxpayers - leaving the public in the dark about how much they are owed on a total of $8 million in past-due loans to 99 businesses...

The loans that are past due by at least 30 days - and in some cases much longer than that - amount to 16% of the state agency's total loan portfolio of $51 million in loans, said Ryan Murray, the WEDC's chief operating officer.

Murray said he learned from staff late last week that the agency had stopped systematically tracking its loan collection efforts and has no records on those efforts since June 2011, the month before the WEDC started.
This is the second recent disclosure raising financial and other management questions about the agency: 
Federal officials are raising legal, fiscal and management questions about how Wisconsin's new cabinet-level Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, (WEDC) - - created in 2011 as a top Scott Walker priority - - awarded millions of dollars in federal Community Development Block Grant funds received from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development...
The Wisconsin State Journal broke the story, while blogs have piled on - - here and here - - and the entire fiasco raises serious questions about how the agency is being run.
You wonder who will hold Walker accountable for this fiasco.

1 comment:

Gareth said...

WEDC might try emulating the private sector by securitizing the deliquent loans as AAA bonds and unloading them on unsuspecting foreign pension funds. This has worked quite well for Wall Street banks in the past and ... oh, wait.