Friday, September 28, 2018

WisDOT ripoff exposed by Journal Sentinel

Deliberately paying twice for road 'work' 
in Scott Walker's easy-billing administration explains why we have so many Scottholes.

Great scoop by the Journal Sentinel's Raquel Rutledge:

Investigation: Wisconsin DOT knowingly paid twice on stretch of roadwork for Zoo Interchange

And look where the story goes - - to Foxconn: 
Yet nobody sought to recover the funds. And nobody has been held accountable for the waste. 
Instead, some of the same WisDOT workers who signed off on the more than $400,000 overpayment — along with the contractors who demanded the money — are teamed up on the state’s latest mega roadway construction project three years later: I-94 near the Foxconn development.
Several posts in this Foxconn archive about how much state transportation funding has been diverted there.
Foxconn will create more road, transit service shortfalls, planners predict. 
Walker hails partial federal bailout for Foxconn roadwork 
Expect Walker to deny, distract over new $30 mil. Foxconn road 


Anonymous said...

Note that this mjs report is identified as.a "watchdog" but is not attributed to the usual "watchdog" report that typically "misses" (or ignores?) stories that make the current administration look bad.

This is gross fiscal mismanagement - actually criminal pay-to-play. This this report declines to look at campaign donations - a serious oversight.

And this report understates the problem, by making vague references to additional overpayments and provisions for "dozens" of extra payments.

What you won't see at mjs is a factual report identifying all of the fiscal mismanagement under Walker. And as good as this report is, don't expect a follow-up that quantifies:

*All the vague references to overpayments and extra payments made by DOT

*Campaign contributions by this industry, per firms (especially those recieving the stolen booty), and individual donations by key employees

What you will see are more pro-Walker op-eds, bogus Politifact anysis propping Walker up, and endoresement before the election.

After all, if mjs was going to endorse Evers, they would tell the entire story about Walker's fiscal mismanagement and the role he's played putting records numbers of family farms out of business with CAFOs.

That last one is a story no major media outlet in Wisconsin has told even though it should lead the election coverage because these were his core supporters.

James Rowen said...

I'm posting this comment, but it really belies a misunderstanding about how media work. Waiting to expand the story with all the detailed context you are looking for would have delayed the immediate exposure of the corruption. Papers publish what they know when they know it. I am sure there will be followup.

Anonymous said...

I work in media including print publication and do understand anf have experience with this - it is not my point that this story should have been held up to include the bigger picture. Text comments, however, are easy to misunderstand and perhaps I should have been clearer.

It is still a valid point to say that either a larger contextual story could appear or there could be an op-ed that puts ths total financial mismanagement in perspective.

Likewise - this story begs for a follow-up as it does identify 400,000 in misspent money and clearly states there is likely much more.

My comments above have nothing to do with sitting on a story that should be headlines across Wisconsin, lead broadcasts, and even be part of squawk radio.

Delete the comment if you like, keep you comment as you deem fit, but please do not let my comment be misrepresented without this clarification. It is an objective fact that mjs has a long track record promoting scott walker. This is a good report by this "watchdog", but the overall impression without more context and comments is, "Its only $400,000".

Anonymous said...

I don't get your comment above, Rowen. I do not read the first comment as directly stating or even applying that anyone should have waited to publish this story until they filled in more facts or wrote a op ed or even factual story on how this malfeasance is connected to other fiscal mismanagement.

Did you edit out parts of the first post or are you just assuming that is what was said?

It is entirely fair to say:

1. MJS has a long history of promoting Scott Walker

2. MJS has repeatedly printed some "inconvenient" stories over the years -- they really have no choice but to report the news -- but then they revert back to pro-Walker nonsense of they publish misleading comparisions and proclaim "both sides do it"

3. This story, as published, leaves many with believing it was not a lot of money and the contractors claim they were due more money anyhow -- what's the big deal?

4. As published, there is clearly more to the story -- will there be a follow up? We know it must be more than $400,000. Are we going to see more reports that document this? Is it a little more or a lot more?

5. Are these companies donating to Scott Walker? Are their employees? Since there were names identified, how hard would it be to check a donation website? That would take minutes and would not have delayed the story.

I don't think there will be a follow-up, but we will see. If not, are you ready to admit that, while this watchdog may have meant well and did a good job, the publisher does not intend to tell this story in context?

MJS has a track-record, even under its recent owner. It is reasonable and fair to question them until they clean up the mess they purchased.