Saturday, March 28, 2015

WEDC a model of unintended consequences

The Cap Times notes today that the Monday expose of Walker's connections to Eau Claire billionaire John Menard, Jr. has again shed light on the financial, policy and political failures of the Walker-created-and-chaired Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WEDC.

The Cap Times piece is a great read.

What fascinates me about the entire matter is how badly WEDC has turned for Walker who had so much invested in it, sort of like the baseball team manager who walks (sorry, but interesting pun) a couple of batters in a remade lineup only to see a batter hit a grand-slam home run.

He proved his executive powers by creating the agency after defunding the Department of Commerce.

Then he created a politically-friendly board of WEDC directors touting the private sector's model and lingo - - "Corporation" - - to run it, and made himself the Chairman so he could get every molecule and second of airtime credit which he and his handlers could wring from it.

Then he had the Legislature advance WEDC millions of dollars in loan, grant and tax credit funds, then cue the jobs that would flow like falling water and fill in his boastful 250,000 new private-sector jobs promise - - then on to the White House as Reagan 2.0 and job-creator-in-chief.

D'oh! Wisconsin is now 40th among the stats in job-creation, falling from an already-mediocre 31st, and those jobs that are being created fall into low-wage service categories in a state where Walker will not budge off the legally-minimal $7.25/hr. wage. More, here.

And WEDC is providing national media like Yahoo's lead investigative reporter Michael Isikoff the window through which to see things about Walker we here have long known.

Road to the White House? He's put the state on the road to ruin.

As the Cap Times note, WEDC is an institutional and functional train wreck. The jobs promise is a well-known failure and Walker has retreated in the post-Yahoo WEDC/ethics fallout by claiming he's pretty much uninvolved in the agency's financial practices.

A commander-in-chief practicing duck and cover.

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

You imply that using tax dollars as a slush fund to pay back contributors wasn't the intent of WEDC. I'm not do sure I agree with that.