Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What? WEDC isn't ready on Foxconn?

[Updated from 10/17/17] 

Call it business as usual in the state allegedly open for business.

Update - - Let me rephrase that, as a State Senator says a surprise delay holding up the approval of the state's $3+billion commitment to Foxconn is due to the discovery of an oversight in the deal on the level of a "nuclear bomb." 

But don't fret about it; in fact, there's no need for you to know anything particular about it at all:
WEDC board chairwoman Lisa Mauer confirmed the vote was pushed back because of a particular concern but also declined to provide specifics. She said it was detected late in the negotiating process.
“We want to get this right,” Mauer said. “When something goes awry, you step back and you address that specific issue, and that is what’s going to happen.” 
So I'm sticking with the rest of the post that describes Scott Walker and his WEDC's incurable mishandling of their sworn obligations and the public funds entrusted to them.
No one should be surprised that the board of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has delayed voting on the $3 billion contract with Foxconn (comprehensive Foxconn project history, here).

It seems there was one small detail missing: the contract, so deadline blown. Mark my word: it won't be the only one. 

File it with stories headlined "Cutler throws interception," or "Ron Johnson has empathy deficit." 

Speaking of delays: Remember when Waukesha was supposed to get its new water supply up and running in 2018, and while Walker's DNR goosed the paperwork along, there hasn't been a refreshed water tap turned on, let alone a shovel of earth turned yet for new piping or pumps - - not even a final agreement on where the new supply will be coming from.

All such situations are made worse for taxpayers by intentional, high-level partisanship; WEDC is the same, Madison-based, stumble-prone agency that sat on its hands as the jobs-heavy Oscar Mayer plant was shuttered just a few miles away.

The message sent by Walker and the WEDC to heavily-Democratic Madison and Dane County; go suck lemons.

Here's more information about the state's recent disinterest in retaining good manufacturing facilities and jobs, white collar payrolls and staffs, and existing investments which supplied tax base to support basic public services.

Remind we why we even have a WEDC in the first place, other than Walker wanted a private-sector connected, ideologically-correct state business agency he said would do better than the Wisconsin Department of Commerce he inherited.

And the WEDC is part of the same GOP-led, Walker-era state government that had a hard time all spring and summer performing arguably its most important but routine obligation -- passing a budget - - but also, as we speak, cannot complete the partially-rebuilt Zoo Interchange and shelved for lack of funds,  foresight and common sense the expansion of I-94 past Story Hill and Miller Park. 

All are and were Walker priorities. Since 2003.

On the other hand, you can't expect a multi-tasking world traveler to get everything right, what with pressing issues on the Governor's mind like managing an intra-party crisis with a pouting Robin Vos, or lining up with Big Daddy Trump on the posture of NFL players during the national anthem.

More observations:

*  Perhaps the WEDC misses the steady hand of its founder and former chairman, that same Scott Walker, who abandoned or was bounced from the position because he was having a hard time chairing a scandal-plagued jobs and development agency in a state with only middling growth and, at the same time, selling himself to out-of-state audiences as more than just a competent punter

During, yes, a presidential bid which managed to incinerate a million dollars in ten weeks on its way to a 0% standing in national polls. 

*  And speaking of WEDC's past troubles, a shout out to the first reader who can name all the agency's executive directors and senior financial officers in the order in which they quit.

Here's a starting point to the WEDC merry-go-round in the Wisconsin State Journal from August, 2015, and in case the big picture were to escape, the story comes with this citation at the top: 
From the WEDC under fire series.
And that link takes you to the series, with this intro: 
Irresponsible loans, a lack of oversight and personnel problems have plagued the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. since its creation by Gov. Scott Walker's administration in 2011. 
*  Final point. It has only been since May of this year that the legislature returned to the lending authority it had stripped from WEDC because negative audits had found multiple problems with vetting borrowers or grantees, tracking taxpayer-supplied loans and grants, and so forth.

Yet this is the lead agency which is supposed to shepherd $3 billion in unprecedented public financing over 15 years to Taiwan-based Foxconn with Wisconsin's potential break-even point as far out as 2047.

All at Walker's pre-2018 re-election request.

I'll be more than 100 years old in 2047, but keep my heirs posted.


Man MKE said...

Prosperity is just around the corner. Not that corner, the one eleven blocks over.

Anonymous said...

Every time I see the picture which you post of the dopey looking idiot, I get infuriated that our citizens are really this stupid. I hate the picture, but it best describes who he really is. He is a thief, and thieves are typically extremely stupid people.

I am a teacher and have witnessed the devastation that has happened to education and every other public sector in what used to be this great state. Before he was elected a friend from Milwaukee described him as an idiot, yet the citizens fell for the moron. We still are falling for his stupidity. "Hey lets give away several billion dollars to a foreign company that has screwed over every place they promised to set up shop and who treats their workers like animals. We will also not have them follow any environmental regulations, and will steal land from property owners." OK. In Scott Walker we trust, as signs say all over the state. Yes, these freaking idiots equate Walker with God, so they will never question what this dip$#!+ does.

So let's just tell it the way it is:
1. We have a dotard leading this nation.
2. We have the stupidest governor ever in the history of this country.
3. A majority of the voters in Wisconsin put them on the same level as God.

Anonymous said...

Governor Walker's promotion of his deal with Foxconn looks like he's trying to make lemonade out of lemons.
Facing an upcoming gubernatorial challenge he is desperate to distract us from his unfulfilled promise to bring 250,000 new jobs . After two terms he has yet to make good.
Enter Foxconn. Wooed to our state by the creator of the WEDC, a closed-door, supposed job generating agency. It's proven to be corporatons' best friend by graciously handing over our hard earned money with loose strings attached. Millions of our dollars remains unaccounted for. Benefactors have exported our jobs. His loyalty to Wisconsin workers is shameful.
Like Walker, Foxconn too has proven incapable of meeting its promises with billions of dollars worth of examples from Indonesia to Pennsylvania. Recently they laid off 60,000 workers in Kushan, China, replacing them with robots .
Working people of Wisconsin have been soured by Walker's broken promises. We must demand that he depart radically from his tight lipped and loose strings approach.
He must be transparent in negotiations , with accountable benchmarks for job numbers, decent wages, and environmental protections.
His loose strings requests can't become another noose around the neck of the working people of Wisconsin.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

This is well-said. These people are not to be trusted. Not Walker, not WEDC, and not Foxconn.

If this deal was legit and good for Wisconsin, they wouldn't be doing it in secret

Anonymous said...

Thank-you for that comment about voters putting them on the same level as God. I have said to people that the politicians are our PUBLIC SERVANTS. They need to be serving us. I have even e-mailed Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin and stressed to them that politicians are supposed to be serving we the people. Of course I think Ron Johnson is pretty much useless. I talk about the Koch brothers and how they are buying the GOP to do their bidding. I ask all the time how come this doesn't come up in the media more about the Koch brothers and spread the word. I tell how they spent almost a billion dollars on last year's elections and plan to spend 400 million next year. A lot of people don't know who the Koch brothers are and I just get stares from my comments like I can't possibly be from this planet. I hear comments from the democrats how they know they are going to win such and such an election. Then, the loss. It is so disappointing. Something needs to be done soon to stop the mess this country has become and make it work for everyone. No more stealing from us to give the rich tax breaks. Citizens United needs to end. They give wonderful sounding names to organizations that aren't in the best interests of the citizens of this country at all.