Thursday, August 15, 2019

Official silence after Foxconn sessions a bi-partisan slap

No Wisconsin public official looks good coming out of recent meetings with Foxconn executives by withholding what took place.

Refusing to reveal what got discussed suggests that a) the meetings were a substantive waste of time, or b) the company laid down a no-disclosure rule because it had things to say that the public would not like to hear - - including that perhaps it still cannot commit to a real plan creating the thousands of good-paying, blue-collar jobs with signatures and handshakes.

Foxconn could withhold plenty of information about its plans if it were exclusively spending its own money on Wisconsin activities, but the public sector has promised Foxconn more than $4 billion in taxpayer dollars.

The legislative leaders in the meetings were among those ramrodding that effort. They also legislated the suspension of basic environmental protections and fast-tracked judicial privileges for the project, and set in motion more public processes that eased air quality in an already pollution-prone zone moved people off their land and out of their homes.

So a huge, sprawl-inducing, fresh water-fueled site - - requiring a disputed, Great Lakes diversion - - could be cleared and made more accessible with a quarter-billion public dollars in controversial, dangerous highway expansion spending to serve the company's earlier, and already trimmed, on-agaoin/off-again and as yet-to-be-nailed down plan.

Never in Wisconsin has so much been provided to a company with so little received in return.

Bulldozed acreage, displaced homeowners, special environmental favors, broken promises and now after two years a 'no comment' from our top elected officials does not a public-private partnership make.

Wisconsin needs more honest brokering and transparency after two years-plus of shell games and favoritism, and the withholding of details by all parties of meetings with the Governor, Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority at this late date is an inexcusable, confidence-sapping slap.

I will add this disturbing chapter in the Foxconn story to an archive I have maintained for 26 months, here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think a slight correction could be made: In Your statement, "Never in Wisconsin has so much been provided to a company with so little received in return." "Wisconsin" could be replaced with "the USA". And inclusive of what was "given" to Foxconn should be the personal and emotional turmoil of giving up one's home, one's community, one's sense of Family history and the health of the natural environment to a company from another country that had relatively little actual accountability to those it displaced.