Friday, July 5, 2019

Foxconn complains about living in a fishbowl. Oh, brother!

Foxconn still doesn't get Wisconsin.

Behind its paywall, the Journal Sentinel recounts a complaint from Foxconn that its Racine County project is being put into "glass fishbowl" scrutiny that is somehow unfair.

The story emerges from comments in a video, here.

For the record, this is not the first time we have heard these kinds of complaints, and I'd argued that Walker had done a bad job of preparing the company for its reception here.
Updated from 5/14/18. The company may claim to be surprised by opposition to its proposed use of diverted Lake Michigan water, but Walker bears the blame for the backlash which is rooted in his anti-clean water/air and land actions, and decisions by his Foxconn-compliant agencies - -  all of which he knew was coming. 
Walker may have presented himself to the company as a Wisconsin strongman who could jet across the Pacific and sketch out a deal for historic subsidies on a single sheet of paper - - you know, friend of Trump's, former Presidential candidate, holder of all the cards in the Legislature and the State Supreme Court.

But there was no way that people in the state which produced environmental giants like Aldo Leopold, John Muir and Gaylord Nelson were going to look kindly on imperious and greenlit wetland filling, farm land losses, or dismissal of legacy land ethics which other projects routinely had to respect.

But Walker was booted out by the voters, and Foxconn has been around these parts for long enough to also understand the political environment here.

Like, for example, how having the project's state financing and oversight run through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, (WEDC), would guarantee heightened concerns that would roil the fishbowl's water.

Remember the agency's horrible and politicized track recordlending to a different, high-profile business introduced to Wisconsin by Walker which never built anything promised here, failing basic paperwork accountability, subsidizing job creation overseas - -a scandal only just now addressed - - and so often overlooking routine lending standards and reviews that legislative leaders from Walker's own party removed him as WEDC board chairman and temporarily took away its power to make any more loans. 

And the company still doesn't seem to understand that the more the project was tied to Walker and his campaign for re-election - -and the deal polled poorly - -  the more permanent would be the Foxconn fishbowl toxicity.

All these issues and more are archived at one blog post dating to Walker's quick trip to Asia 25 months ago to get the deal off the ground.

So, yes, the deal is in a fishbowl - - whose fault is that? - -  and there have been days when merely keeping the bowl level would have been a boon:

Bottom line: publicly complaining is not going to win the company any points, with more bad p.r to come if it thinks the path to credibility lies in greater circumspection instead of more transparency.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Can Poxconn apply for some of that wingnut welfare?

If people like Scott Walker and Dinesh D'Souza and Newt Gingrich are eligible then it seems like Foxconn could be eligible too!