Friday, April 30, 2021

GOP legislators excited to move WI ahead to the 1950's

Robin Vos and his gerrymandered Republican legislative allies

aim to decimate Gov. Evers' 2021-2023 state budget - a move that will deepen multiple levels of inequity and suffering and intentionally ignore basic human needs and contemporary problem-solving:

Republicans who control the Legislature's budget-writing committee plan to strip out nearly 300 items from Gov. Tony Evers' two-year state spending plan, including his priorities of expanding Medicaid, legalizing marijuana and freezing enrollment in private voucher schools.   

The move also will remove solutions Evers called for to long-standing problems in Wisconsin: like the closure of the state's youth prison where staff and teen inmates have been physically abused and the creation of statewide standards for the amount of toxic chemicals allowed in drinking water. 

It's a backward-looking and punitive approach to governing which nicely mirrors Ron Johnson's behavioral imitation of Joseph McCarthy, the 1950's version of a shame-hogging BadgerLand GOP State Senator.

Granted, McCarthy=Johnson is an imperfect comparison based more on 'style' and chronology because we know that GOP Senator Joseph McCarthy attacked Russian influence he 'saw' everywhere while Johnson is said to have been a spreader of Russian influence.

Regardless, the 'modern' Wisconsin GOP - or is it the Wisconsin subsidiary of Hawley, Miller, Don. Jr. & Boebert - seems increasingly wedded to a 1950's model that worships big business, promotes class advantages and uses government as a cudgel, not a comfort.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Vos & Co. illegally hired private lawyers w/public $$, judge says

Think of it as your bank account being hacked.

Wisconsin's GOP legislative leaders who could not be bothered to work most of the Pandemic Year 2020 while collecting full pay from taxpayers added to their abuse of the public treasury and trust by hiring illegally private attorneys in anticipation of litigation over the gerrymandering extension they are likely to soon craft and approve, a judge has ruled:

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu entered into contracts in December and January with two outside law firms to handle the redistricting process, including any future lawsuits. The contracts allowed for spending of more than $1 million in taxpayer money to the two law firms.

Dane County Circuit Judge Stephen Ehlke ruled Thursday that the contracts are void because Vos and LeMahieu were not authorized to hire the law firms. LeMahieu and Vos did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

I've noted several times on this blog - recently, here - in a posting about who has control of federal COVID19 aid - that Vos and Co. have a penchant for throwing big bucks at private law firms, along with other free feathering of their own fouled nests: 

Republicans in Wisconsin have been on a partisan power trip ever since voters removed Scott Walker from a governorship which the GOP assumed was theirs in perpetuity.

As if Walker was still safely ensconced in office with the same certainty they'd guaranteed themselves after hiring private lawyers with taxpayer dollars to craft district maps in secret that continue to give Republican legislators more seats and political power than honest mapping would have fairly awarded.... 
A reach for COVID dollars would be par for Vos's course, as he has used the Speaker's powers for personal staff expansion, repetitive private-attorney hirings, and more assorted lawyering-up by the millions of taxpayer dollars. 
Just as he has added more dollars to legislators' receipt-free meal reimbursements, making any trade of public-food-policy-for-partisan-advantage even more repulsive.

As I said with regard to Republicans now 'representing' Wisconsin in Congress: there seems to be no limit to devaluation of the honor and the work they have brought to holding their high offices. 

Details about the hefty payments which were to begin in January are here.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ron Johnson talks love on Twitter

WI GOP Senator and 'used mop head' showcased on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" -

- Ron Johnson, took to Twitter Wednesday evening to attack Pres. Biden's address to Congress, here:

While his statement contained predictable, partisan boilerplate doomsday hits about ruinous change policies  Biden is allegedly foisting on the country, Johnson went on to suggest that Biden doesn't "truly love" - or even like America the way Johnson and his followers do.

Setting aside that Johnson's oddly angst-ridden existential question - "Can anyone even like, much less love something they want to fundamentally transform?" - is what a hapless George Costanza would have asked of Jerry on "Seinfeld" after yet another breakup, please remember: 

The last time we heard Johnson talking about "people that love this country" he was excusing people who were involved in trying violently overturn the Presidential election: 

“Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn't concerned,” Johnson (R-Wis.) said in an interview on conservative radio host Joe Pag’s show Thursday.

I'd also add that any politician who 'truly loved' people and the country wouldn't have declared that 11 million COVID19 deaths in the US was OK, and would not have his influence to repeatedly undermine the value of  pandemic-stemming vaccines, as has Johnson, here.


Monday, April 26, 2021

A census of ghouls, fools and tools

Some of the 2020 Census data is out, and Wisconsin retains its eight US House seats, and with two Senators, 10 electoral votes.

Remember that this is the Census which the defeated administration repeatedly tried to skew against big cities like Milwaukee with their immigrant - and legally countable - populations, so I expect we will see in subsequent data releases an official loss of population in Milwaukee which surely be an undercount.

I have some familiarity with the census procedures, having served during the Norquist years as the city's 1996 census liaison, and I know that even in the best of times (thus not with the Stephen Miller/White House-led campaign of anti-immigrant intimidation) there is understandable reluctance in neighborhoods and households with undocumented residents to open doors and speak with government officials who want to and can only legally count people, not turn them in to law enforcement.

But Wisconsin's census-related political problem with the number of Congressional seats we have - other than the overall transfer of power to the GOP-dominated south and West that strengthens an already-unfair and disproportionate Electoral College edge with it - has less with what we have and more to do what we do with them, and in particular with how heavily gerrymandered Republican incumbents abuse and devalue the majority of seats they've latched onto.

And these Three Fools and a Tool have had themselves quite a month of April - heaping on top of its long-acknowledged cruelty a toxic layer of cringe-worthy stupidity not seen in Wisconsin since Joe McCarthy showed the nation that indeed he had 'no sense of decency.'

Some April 2021 lowlights from the Three Fools:

Grothman

The Oracle of Glenbuelah adds rap and dance to his expansive canon

Tiffany

Ignored racism, enslavement and other American realities

Fitzgerald

With Tiffany, Smeared top Biden health nominee.

But unsuccessfully, apparently.

* And then there's the [Russian] tool - Ron Johnson, who also had himself a high-profile and even more highly-embarrassing April.

Ron Johnson's new embrace of 7,400 COVID is nothing new

Because, remember: He even considered the deaths of 11 million Americans from COVID19 as an acceptable price for others to pay. 
GOP Senator Upbeat Coronavirus May Kill ‘No More Than 3.4 Percent of Our Population’ 

* And there's this one leading the Wisconsin State Assembly who displays elements of his more senior party leaders, so could easily blend in if he took a promotion to Congress as have The Fools: 

WI science foe Vos now expert on immunology. Also "The Matrix."

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Ron Johnson's new embrace of COVID death is also old news

While the nation's leading COVID19 expert 

New shoulder shrug is just like the earlier ones

headed to the airwaves to correct Ron Johnson's blasΓ©, dangerous take on the common sense value of life-saving vaccines, please remember that Johnson has repeatedly downplayed and distorted the pandemic's consequences and toll.

And even considered the deaths of 11 million Americans from COVID19 as an acceptable price for others to pay -  

GOP Senator Upbeat Coronavirus May Kill ‘No More Than 3.4 Percent of Our Population’

- in exchange for unfettered access to cheeseburgers, date night movies, the kind of air travel he gets for free as a Congressional perk, and other measures that protect his freedom.

"I certainly am going to vigorously resist any kind of government use or imposing of vaccine passports.... That could be a very freedom-robbing step and people need to understand these things."

And when The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had earlier given numbers' guy Johnson a chance to explain his callous COVID math, he came up with this: 

But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu,” Johnson said.  
Johnson acknowledged that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less,” he said.

By the way, 3.4 percent of the US population is about 11 million human beings.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Johnson's anti-COVID-vaxx campaign disregards 7,400 dead constituents

GOP US Senator and self-declared lethal libertarian-of-sorts Ron Johnson leap-frogged other legacy and contemporary competitors for Worst Wisconsin Legislator, Ever by saying during the historically brutal COVID19 pandemic he keeps minimizing that he saw "no reason to push vaccines on people," and "what do you care if your neighbor has one or not?," The Associated Press reported.

Johnson, who has no medical expertise or background, made the comments Thursday during an interview with conservative talk radio host Vicki McKenna. Contrary to what medical experts advise, Johnson has said he doesn't need to be vaccinated because he had COVID-19 in the fall. 
Below are some of the multiple thousand of reasons gathered from credible sources which explain why people need to be encouraged to get the vaccine.

And which also explain why Johnson 

should immediately resign from public service because he is endangering the public he's openly not serving.

* Most-recent Wisconsin COVID19 case data published by The New York Times:
Total Wisconsin positive cases, 654,681. Total deaths, 7,438.
Total positive COVID19 cases in Winnebago County, Johnson's home county: 17,918, up 137 in the previous 10 days.

The Glenbeulah oracle adds rap & dance to his expansive canon

You've probably heard by now that GOP WI House member and Grammy Awards devotee Glenn Grothman has accused popular rapper Cardi B of contributing to the decline of American culture.

U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, a Republican from Glenbeulah, said on the House floor Thursday that rapper Cardi B's appearance at the Grammy Awards earlier this year was "inconsistent with basic decency" in a speech urging the Federal Communications Commission to ban performances like hers.... 

Cardi B, who won a Grammy Award in 2019 for best rap album, told her 17.9 million Twitter followers that Grothman should worry about more pressing issues facing the country.  

But before you denounce Grothman as some sort of ignorant, intolerant and small-minded misogynist, you might want to review other weighty matters - like geology, ophiology, the American family, African-American culture, single-parenting, and the War on Men - which Grothman has analyzed and addressed openly to better appreciate his mind and heart, including:

Garter snakes

Kwanzaa is bad and survey research proves it

The Black family, and more

Well caulking can ward off mining blasting

Public employees should work on MLK Jr. Day

'Gals' have schemes, and more (video)

Single parenting spurs child abuse

Legalizing equal pay for women is wrong

Single mothers get government bribes

The War on Men will destroy America, and more




Thursday, April 22, 2021

DNR's reforestation plan undercut by DNR-okayed deforestation for golf course

It's great that the WI DNR is promoting on Earth Day a statewide tree giveaway and reforestation plan to help battle climate change - a scientific reality which the previous administration approached by firing scientists and deleting climate change data and materials from its website.

More Walkerite/Orwellian censorship of climate change from DNR climate change web pages

So our reconstituted and better-focused DNR now needs to fully embrace its new direction by withdrawing support for privately-owned golf course construction Walker's DNR had approved which an expert says will require the environmentally-degrading deforestation of up to 45,000 trees:

Based on a quick density count viewing into the edges of the upland forest area of Kohler Company’s 247 acre parcel in Section 14 along the Lake Michigan shoreline in the Town of Wilson, I estimate the number of trees of greater than 6” trunk diameter to be roughly in the range of 50,000 to 70,000. Kohler’s grading plan for the golf course included on DNR’s website shows that about 63% of that upland forest gets re-graded, which would necessarily remove about 30,000 to 45,000 trees, as a rough estimate, having trunks greater than 6” diameter.. 

So the primary adverse effects on the environment of upland deforestation is the loss of quantity and diversity of habitat. This includes the loss of upland ecologic functions critical for the ecologic function of the adjacent wetlands that are not being filled. The golf course plan shows massive grading and deforestation and replacement with fairways right along the edge of great lengths of wetland along the Black River. 

Ignoring that adverse effect in both Kohler’s EIR and WDNR’s EIS for this project is one of the major deficiencies that [another source] has repeatedly pointed out. The EIR and EIS are supposed to address all aspects of the proposed project, not just filling some of the wetlands. These reports entirely omitted any specific description of the adverse effects of the massive deforestation, including those effects on wetlands not being filled that is planned along more than a mile of wetland boundary.

Note also that the project (now stalled in court) would absorb public acreage within the adjoining state park, and calls for construction along a Lake Michigan shoreline increasingly pummeled (information, photos, here) by intensifying storms. 

Again, does this sound like a good idea? 

Promoted by a Department of Natural Resources, and its oversight Natural Resources Board?

Some history, here:

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released, amid additional controversy, a preliminary Environmental Impact Statement, (EIS), based heavily on information provide by the company....

Here is a link to a Journal Sentinel story about the draft EIS....a
nd here is a link to the draft EIS. 
If environmental protection is goal of the state - - a supposition constantly put in grave doubt by Gov. Walker and his "chamber of commerce" DNR - - any reasonable person reading the document would conclude that the project's environmental harm far outweighs any perceived advantages.

Simply put, the DNR and its oversight board now must do the right thing by the land and water it holds in trust for the people and remove itself from tainted policy-makers - 

Former DNR employee: Staff pressured to OK Kohler golf course on rare Wisconsin wetlands and state park

- who were rejected in 2018 by voters statewide.

-------------------------

Thousands of trees in this nature preserve will be felled for the proposed golf course. Aerial photos courtesy of Steve Back, here. 

 


 

 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

WI science foe Vos now expert on immunology. Also "The Matrix."

[Updated 4/22/21 with this example.]

You may have missed Robin Vos's latest, self-serving manipulation of the COVID crisis - check the Wisconsin Examiner's piece linked below - and this reliably anti-science Republican officeholder is also trying to use science itself to back up what's just another outburst of traditional GOP anti-intellectualism -  

Was Vos’ immune-system πŸ’ͺ🏻 brag anti-vaccine? 

- spiced up with some odder, oddball Twitter words and images that are science-based only if you think "The Matrix" was real:

Initially, on Thursday morning, he went on a rant in a new post, with a meme of Keanu Reeves with the words: “I HAVE AN IMMUNE SYSTEM THAT’S WHY VACCINES WORK.”

Before we scientifically catalog some of Vos's science-bashing, let's offer for support and COVID context his blaming immigrants in his own district for contracting the virus, his nationally newsworthy contradictory walk-and-talk about COVID prevention and his multiple work - an example - against public pandemic protection orders in favor of 'you're on your own' behaviors as the pandemic was raging.

Republican legislative leaders went to court Friday to show support for a lawsuit against Gov. Tony Evers' statewide mask mandate after more than 17,000 people in Wisconsin tested positive in the last week and some hospitals are on the brink of being overwhelmed. 

Now back to Vos, who become Speaker of the GOP-gerrymandered Wisconsin Assembly in 2013 -  

- and stamped more than a dozen intentional anti-science blemishes (I once counted 33 such anti-science instances and initiatives by Walker) on the Vos permanent record when he:

* Shut down after 15 seconds a special session of the Assembly called to address gun-related injuries, suffering and deaths. A leading Wisconsin physician has labeled gun violence a "public health issue."

* Has repeatedly blocked the expansion of Medicaid health services to low-income Wisconsin residents. Science says people with access to medical care enjoy longer, happier and more productive lives.

[Update] * Stripped money from the budget because too much of it was aimed at replacing water pipes in Milwaukee made of lead. 

Which is toxic. 

And causes brain damage in children whose low-income families which are concentrated in the city cannot afford the hefty price for the pipe replacement, let alone new housing which no longer uses lead pipes.

Or the landlord will not make the upgrade.

So Vos's party cut the funding. 

Despite, you know, a record $4 billion in public monies rubber-stamped for Foxconn by Team Walker-Vos in record time. 

Including millions to pipe in fresh Lake Michigan water despite a multi-state/two-nation agreement to conserve the Great Lakes water except for last-ditch public health reasons, but in this case to help a Taiwanese multi-national corporation make money by manufacturing big-screen TVs in Vos's home county.

A plan now jettisoned, as predicted, but the water piping moves forward to fuel sprawl.

* Repeatedly helped restrict or been willing to sacrifice food assistance to low-income Wisconsin residents even though science knows people need food to learn, succeed and live.

* Blasted UW System funding and scholarship with the crudest and least-scientific argument possible. 

Vos, who led an assault on university officials over fund reserves last year and backed Gov. Scott Walker’s tuition freeze, said this week that he wants to ensure that faculty at the university spend more time teaching and that research ought to be geared toward helping the state's economy.

“Of course I want research, but I want to have research done in a way that focuses on growing our economy, not on ancient mating habits of whatever,” said Vos.

* Recently maneuvered to allow the continuing practice of so-called 'conversion' therapy which aims to rid people and especially children of the sexual identity of their choosing. Or as the GOP-leg Legislature would frame the scientific field it supported: Child development. 

The GOP-led Legislature used the same parliamentary maneuver to block enforcement of rules that were to restrict the dumping of so-called 'forever' toxins in Wisconsin waterways. Both of these unscientific GOP-led maneuvers were reported in the same story, here.

* Backed the flawed, failed plan through sweetheart legislation to level the pristine Penokee Hills in northwestern Wisconsin by a politically-connected out-of-state firm. It was plan was to dig a gargantuan open pit iron ore mine despite known threats to the region's clean air, drinking water and life-sustaining Native American wild rice growing estuaries. 

Among the scientific disciplines honored: Wisconsin history, Native American treaty rights, maintenance of rural life, clean air and groundwater quality. 

* Promoted the easing of rules intended to stem the release of polluting phosphorus into state waterways that helped bring about sharp increases in the impairment of Wisconsin rivers, lakes and streams 

* Backed large groundwater-hogging-and-contaminating cattle feeding operations over the interests of nearby residential well owners and others wanting equity in water policy decisions-making. Disciplines honored include groundwater quality and blue-baby syndrome research.

* Helped bring about higher speed limit for big highway trucks despite predictions by non-partisan expert of more crash injuries and deaths. 

As I wrote in 2016

I mean, why listen to stupid experts with facts in hand when a Robin Vos knows better?
AAA Wisconsin is urging the Wisconsin State Senate to stop proposed legislation that would raise the maximum speed limit on rural highways to 70 mph due to concerns that higher speeds make it more difficult for vehicles to slow or stop in order to avoid a collision, and can increase the severity of resultant crashes. AAA is particularly alarmed about the potential implications for trucks, as their weight makes those considerations even more pressing....
The evidence from neighboring states provides a clear warning: higher speed limits lead to higher rates of truck involvement in fatal crashes.

* Pushed for fast approvals of the flawed Foxconn project in a flood-prone county he represents without the production of a routine, science-based environmental impact review of construction on prime agricultural land and wetlands which are nature's defense against flooding.

* Made no complaint when the US Environmental Protection Agency overruled its own scientific staff and eased air pollution regulations over portions of Southeastern Wisconsin including Vos's home county of Racine. The eased regulations were another break for the Foxconn project.

Killed a Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line, and led the elimination of Regional Transit Authorities statewide despite the contributions transit makes to cleaner air, eased road congestion and economic development along bus and rail routes.


 


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Evers' new Foxconn deal saves $2.77 billion

More later:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 20, 2021
Contact: GovPress@wisconsin.gov 
 This is the text of Evers' accouncement:
Gov. Evers Announces Renegotiated Foxconn Contract to Save Taxpayers $2.77 Billion
$80 million, six-year agreement to guarantee taxpayer savings, protect local and state infrastructure investments, require job creation to receive incentives
MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today announced the state has renegotiated its contract with Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics manufacturer. The new agreement negotiated under Gov. Evers between the Wisconsin Economic Development (WEDC) and Foxconn will save Wisconsin taxpayers a total of $2.77 billion compared to the previous contract, maintain accountability measures requiring job creation to receive incentives, and protect hundreds of millions of dollars in local and state infrastructure investments made in support of the project.

“When I ran to be governor, I made a promise to work with Foxconn to cut a better deal for our state—the last deal didn’t work for Wisconsin, and that doesn’t work for me,” said Gov. Evers. “Today I’m delivering on that promise with an agreement that treats Foxconn like any other business and will save taxpayers $2.77 billion, protect the hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure investments the state and local communities have already made, and ensure there’s accountability for creating the jobs promised.”

Under a contract amendment approved Tuesday by the WEDC Board of Directors, Foxconn is eligible to receive up to $80 million total in performance-based tax credits over six years if it meets employment and capital investment targets. 

The right-sized contract includes comparable rates and incentives to those offered to other companies by WEDC. The original contract negotiated in 2017 authorized $2.85 billion in performance-based tax credits to build a Generation 10.5 plant, not including new tax incentives from local governments and road and highway investments by the state and local governments, which brought total taxpayer-funded subsidies to more than $4 billion.

WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes noted that the amended contract will boost Wisconsin’s economic recovery as the state works to respond and bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The agreement provides the opportunity to be responsive to the marketplace that a modern, forward-looking company like Foxconn needs to pursue innovation. At the same time, by right-sizing the contract, our state is in a position where we can ensure that all businesses – everywhere – have the resources they need to grow and prosper,” Hughes said.

A comparison of the original and amended contract is available here. The new agreement, which is effective upon signing by WEDC and Foxconn officials:
  • Provides $80 million in performance-based incentives if Foxconn hires 1,454 qualified workers earning an average wage of $53,875 and invests $672 million by 2026;
  • Allows Foxconn, like other manufacturers in the state, to earn tax incentives without specific requirements as to what it produces or manufactures, as long as it meets the hiring and capital investment targets;
  • Sets the same tax incentive rates for hiring and capital investments as all other projects WEDC assists;
  • Adds Foxconn Industrial Internet USA, Inc. (Fii USA) as an affiliate eligible for tax incentives;
  • Reduces the length of the two sides’ commitment from 15 years to six;
  • Preserves protections for local governments’ investments in the project; and
  • Strengthens taxpayer protections by allowing the state to recover 100% of incentives paid each year in the event of a default.
 
###

 ------------------------------------------------------------------

Lake Michigan water was to be diverted to the Foxconn site. We'll see if that ever happens.

From the shoreline, looking east across Lake Michigan 

WI DNR touts rare butterfly focus Cathy Stepp had once mocked

Let us for good reasons reprise the ugly environmental record of high profile/small deerslayer, fake nose fancier, retired (mercifully) US EPA official and Scott Walker corporate cudgel Cathy Stepp's snotty rant (now unavailable, but saved here, and below) against both Karner Blue butterflies and the Wisconsin DNR employees she ended up 'managing' who were trying to help save the species.

Her words:

The most crushing/controversial rules that businesses have to follow in our state are--most times--done through the "rule making process" of our state agencies. Without bogging everyone down with some really boring procedure talk, suffice it to say that many of these great ideas (sarcasm) come from deep inside the agencies and tend to be reflections of that agency's culture.

For example, people who go to work for the DNR's land, waste, and water bureaus tend to be anti-development, anti-transportation, and pro-garter snakes, karner blue butterflies, etc...This is in their nature; their make-up and DNA. So, since they're unelected bureaucrats who have only their cubicle walls to bounce ideas off of, they tend to come up with some pretty outrageous stuff that those of us in the real world have to contend with...

- so please enjoy with me the content and its ironies in Tuesday's DNR news release as Earth Day approaches:

On Earth Day 2021, Milwaukee River revival is a model win

A healthier, faster-flowing Milwaukee River 

shows that committed public agencies and tireless grassroots organizations can give the people and the environment alternatives to thoughtless, self-defeating waterway abuse.

I remember that Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist was already pushing for the removal of the North Ave. dam when I went to work for him in the late 1990's; when the dam was finally taken out the river again could support a salmon run and an abundance of other species, as the WI DNR later reported.

Years later, the celebrated removal of the Estabrook dam further upstream after years of agitation by Milwaukee Riverkeeper and other groups is helping a Sturgeon revival in the river

Sturgeon were native to the Milwaukee River but were wiped out in the 1800s by pollution, habitat destruction and the building of dams that prohibited their movements upstream.

The large, ancient fish have only recently started to show up in the Milwaukee River due to sturgeon reintroduction efforts in the watershed.

And when I swung by the river Monday, I loved seeing this relatively new sign (and all the anglers, too):


 

Everyone and everything wants, needs and deserves clean, fresh water; the progress made in the Milwaukee River corridor and the networks it connects with are big, sustainable wins for the watershed and the state.

We know that pollution, climate change, funding shortfalls and special interest and even partisan obstruction remain barriers statewide that demand our attention, but as Earth Day 2021 gets underway we can honor the good work that so many people do everyday.

Salute. 

Monday, April 19, 2021

On Earth Day 4/20, Evers to stem Foxconn $$ runoff, too

Perhaps remembering the money WI taxpayers lost when Republicans broke the Talgo train deal, Gov. Evers appears poised to announce he's reworked the Walker-Vos Foxconn Sprawl-Inducing-Fiasco.

A deal which Vos - newly-self appointed to the state development agency board - is already crapping on and lying about even though the details this latest Democratic cleanup of a Republican created mess haven't been released, according to this report

On Sunday while appearing on "UpFront" on WISN-TV, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said Evers was "playing politics" with the development and that Foxconn is "meeting all the goals that we set." 

“Foxconn is making concessions because they are having their back up against the wall even though they are meeting the goals that were set by the last administration and by the legislation we enacted,” Vos said, referring to the original deal signed by then Republican Gov. Scott Walker and backed by Republicans in the Legislature. “The governor doesn’t seem to want to keep the state’s deal, which is why he’ll come forward with a new proposal.”

Here's a 400+archive of posts about how Walker and Vos got Foxconn Fever.

Ironic, isn't it, that Evers' plan to steer a wetland-filling, pollution-enabling demolition of prime ag land for a never-built flat-screen TV factory away from further damage to taxpayers will be announced Tuesday, April 20 when Earth Day 2021 kicks off - because from its earliest days the whole Foxconn Fiasco was as far from earth-friendly as a project could get.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2018

Foxconn flooding poured downstream to mainstream media; 3 takeaways

Flooding poured downstream from the Foxconn site and into mainstream media, too.

So a meteorological event became a media event. What did all that teach us?

While this blog reported on the event - - here and here (and was also presaged, here) - - there are at least three lessons in this Journal Sentinel story, for example, that sent, amplified or created strong messages.

1.  Activism gets results. So props to "A Better Mt. Pleasant" and its savvy, dedicated allies.

2.  Visual images like this one carried the story.


3. Foxconn's damage control extended beyond onsite repairs to a memorable analysis and pledgein the newspaper's story:
Claude Lois, who is managing the Foxconn project for Mount Pleasant, said in a statement that “runoff that resulted from the unusual rain event on Monday was short-lived and was addressed promptly that same day by the team.  
“Additional proactive measures were completed yesterday that are intended to prevent any similar events in the future.” 
The rain events were "unusual' and "short-lived" and are not likely occur "in the future?" Just another proof that the DNR really should have left the climate change material on its website it struck and deleted in 2016, including this key section (what is in yellow remains):
Human activities that increase heat–trapping ("green house") gases The reasons for this change at this particular time in the earth's long history are the main cause. Earth´s average temperature has increased 1.4 °F since 1850 being debated and researched by academic entities outside the eight warmest years on record have occurred since 1998Wisconsin Department of Natural ResourcesIncreasing temperatures have led to changes in rainfall patterns and snow and ice cover. These changes could have severe The effects on of such a change are also being debated... 



A Foxconn Fever primer

[Updated continuously from June, 2017] This archive with close to 400 posts has tracked, explained and provided context and commentary for Wisconsin's publicly-awarded and record-breaking environmental favors, legal privileges and $4.5 billion in state and local funds to subsidize and assist a Taiwan-based Foxconn factory in rural Racine County, Wisconsin. 

Call it a Scott Walker - and failed campaign manuever - production.

From NBC Nightly News, 7/21/19
The archive also documents waivers of what been routine judicial and environmental reviews for a promised now- cancelled perhaps back-on-again-but-smaller?? Foxconn factory development that is still in line to receive a massive daily diversion of Lake Michigan water.



And emit nearly 800 tons of air pollution emissions annually over Racine County open space, farm and wetlands where Trump's EPA loosened air quality standards at Walker's requests.

--------------------------------
* The City of Milwaukee has struck a far more frugal deal with Milwaukee Tool than what the Foxconn fiasco still promises. And without filling wetlands, diverting Great Lakes water or kicking a fresh spate of sprawling road expansion.
* Right-sized Foxconn deal reduces Walker-Vos commitment, public costs by $2.77 million, or about 90%. A lot of Racine County land and homeowners paid far too high a price for Walker's failed re-election ploy.
* Earth Day 2021 a fitting moment for Gov. Evers' effort to stem more taxpayer revenue from spilling off the Foxconn site.
* Will electric cars be built at the Foxconn Mt. Pleasant site? Despite industry leaders Tesla, GM, Ford and multiple firms in China? You'll have to wait until August to find out.
* Having paved the way for Foxconn to milk Wisconsin for billions in subsidies, new roads, utility lines and other legal and environmental privileges, GOP Speaker Robin Vos decides to appoint himself to the state board now trying to rework the Foxconn fiasco. Talk about a fox moving into hen house suite.
Foxconn expanding. But not in Wisconsin
* And now, the retreat, as Foxconn offers to trade some promised subsidies for "flexibility." The word has special partisan and ideological meanings in Wisconsin worth recalling.
* The jobs numbers and forecasts for Foxconn employment at the Mt. Pleasant site just got worse.
* Foxconn has not met its over-promised pledges. COVID has wrecked budgets in Wisconsin, public and personal. The state needs to keep saying "No" to Foxconn's pitch for more taxpayer millions to which the company is not entitled.
* If Foxconn isn't going to build its promised mega-factory, why does it still hold air, water, wetlands, legal and other special permits and permissions
* Foxconn's downgrade from a product factory to a demonstration project of sorts is not a shocker. It's demonstrated a lot about Wisconsin and GOP ideologues for years.
* WI GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has played key enabling roles in the state's two current big stories: the rampaging pandemic and the ongoing crash of the heavily-subsidized Foxconn project in his home county of Racine:
* Another national media takedown of the entire Foxconn project, where the main building 1/20th its original size has been granted a permit to change its designation from manufacturing to storage:  
* Breaking news: No tax credits until state and Foxconn agree on a new, relevant contract. Despite all the farmland plowed under, wetlands filled, highway work-to-nowhere-completed and local debt acquired. Again, thank you Scott Walker for-nothing-but losses. 
* Three years in and there's little to show for all the public spending. 
3rd anniversary of Foxconn deal is approaching, company follow-through negligible
* Vos's district is heavily larded with Foxconn-related roadwork. Yet Vos is complaining that Gov. Evers is allocating a far more modest sum statewide to road needs Vos and Walker's crew ignored for eight years. Totally hypocritical.
Vos gets Foxconn road-building bloat for his district, yet begrudges the rest of the state a more modest amount.
* One realistic Illinois sees a silver lining in a smaller Foxconn workforce. Too bad WI pols weren't this honest when they promised Foxconn billions.
Clear-eyed IL business sees benefit if Foxconn's workforce misses its goals
* As GOP fear-mongers about socialism - - what do you think all those Foxconn subsidies are about? Try 'corporate welfare,' or 'state socialism.'
In WI's state/corporate socialism, benefits and billions shoveled to Foxconn.
 

* Trump really wants Foxconn to do something in Wisconsin before the election. 
Trump's message to Foxconn: Don't box me in
* 2019 reporting ended with a bang.
A timely summary of Foxconn follies, pratfalls
* Foxconn is about to finish its main Mt. Pleasant building, but for what purpose?
Wisconsin's really big box won't be building biggest screen devices
* Local officials declared the Foxconn site 'blighted' to speed up removal of residents from their homes and farms. Now a hold-out wants a seat on the Racine County Board. 
Foxconn Site resister announces for County Board
* Trump's trade war with war is based in part on his objections to the many subsidies and favors it gives to businesses. Yet he and WI GOP officials provided the same kinds of state-provided perks and breaks for Foxconn.
Trump's objections to China's business subsidies undercut by subsidies he favored for Foxconn
* A business writer notes that Foxconn is tightening up its web of facilities in Asia, thus making it inefficient to build a new plant far away in Wisconsin. Duh!
Wisconsin could get squeezed out of Foxconn's future.
* Wisconsin tax credits disclosed Tuesday to Milwaukee Tool for facilities' expansion amount to one-seventh per job that have been promised to Foxconn. And the gap would widen substantially as the Foxconn project shrinks.
State tax credits per-job to Foxconn dwarf deals with high-profile Milwaukee-area firm
* Oh, no one saw this coming. (Not)
Foxconn can't find workers willing to move to Wisconsin.
* 12/13/19 - - Friday the 13th breaking news: Foxconn contract unraveling.
Basically, it's all hitting the fan
* Walker could get tough questions about a new Foxconn financial expose, but only if media at a Milwaukee Press Club event on 12/3 have the interest in following through.
Walker needs tough Foxconn-financing questions at 12/3 media-sponsored program
* Another report blasts the unreliable assumptions underlying Foxconn subsidies which could end up costing Wisconsin billions in development.
Report: Foxconn subsidies could smother billions in Wisconsin economic activity.
* The Lake MI diversion for Foxconn was openly condemned in Canada. Wisconsin's diversion record has been slammed there before.
WI's Great Lakes diversion record aired unfavorably in Canada
* Robin Vos had justified killing Amtrak expansion in Wisconsin, regardless of millions of dollars in forfeited taxpayer money and valuable equipment, because it was a 'sweetheart deal' fueling a costly 'bad decision.' This words may prove brutally ironic as Foxconn shrinks in significance.
Vos's words may jam Foxconn into irony vice
* Two years in, let's make sure we know how we got here and why.
Foxconn is a flop
* No Foxconn Innovation Center in Green Bay. Still, it's not all doom and gloom.
Foxconn jilts Green Bay
* U of IL says it's getting $50 million from Foxconn. The UW-Madison was supposed to get $100 million and to date has received less than 1%.
U of IL might not want to spend the money yet.
* E. Kenosha County may have to tighten up clean air permitting
Walker-Trump coordination eased clean air regs over Foxconn zone, not all of SE WI
* First Foxconn-inspired housing component flops.
* At the regional planning commission, same old song.
SEWRPC whitewashes Foxconn environmental issues, other matters
* Big Mt. Pleasant setback: Foxconn cancels its control tower.
No more conning tower in the ever-changing projec 
* Foxconn's $100 million commitment to UW-Madison has netted only $700,000 from the company. Gee: who saw that coming?
Foxconn commitment to UW-Madison less than 1% funded
* The headline you didn't see, because it would have killed the deal.
'8th Wonder of the World' will assemble coffee machines in Mt. Pleasant.
* Yea! People were displaced, and a Great Lakes diversion was a proved for - - wait for it - - assembling robotized coffee vending kiosks.
Attention, disappointed Foxconn TV shoppers
* After people were moved out, and land bulldozed, a Foxconn road project - - like the whole shooting match there - - gets downsized.
In Year 3, Walkercon blight comes in sharper focus
* For the record, the Foxconn diversion from Lake Michigan would be Wisconsin's 5th. Why are the other states so compliant?
About Pleasant Prairie's Lake MI diversion. That's right. Not Mt. Pleasant's for Foxconn. Who remembers?
* Nice to see national publicity about the Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn and Wisconsin's propensity to approve such arrangements regardless of the two-nation, eight-state Compact managing the Great Lakes.
Strong Wash Post op-ed vs. the Foxconn diversion
*Freshly disclosed data show thousand crashes, 200 injuries, two deaths. Some road-planning.
Road planners made I-94 NS near Foxconn into a danger zone
* Blackouts are not a confidence-builder.
Information squeeze extends the Foxconn blight
* Speaker Vos' tweet which disclosed nothing of his meeting with Foxconn officials says he got an update and a reiterated commitment - - but to what version of Foxconn's plans?, who knows. His tweet has been retweeted a whole 19 times in more than two days. This is what passes for disclosure in WI about a project eligible for $4 billion plus public subsidies. 
Here's Robin Vos 'report' on his Foxconn session
* After nearly 27 months, 'no comment' by the company and top state officials about Foxconn's plans is unacceptable.
'No comment' after top-level meetings a bi-partisan public slap.
* So if Foxconn sells before it opens a new large-screen factory in low-wage, more-friendly-labor-law China, why would it open anything similar or close to it in higher-wage Wisconsin?
China may sell its new China factory which was to be a twin to the Wisconsin project
* N. IL Congressman, residents, upset over Foxconn site flooding runoff, WI's oversight [sic]
Fears aired over more Foxconn site flooding, downstream pollution
* And another Foxconn-linked pol bites the dust.
Foxconn not a career-maker. Again.
* How many Foxconn jobs, and doing what? 
Finally a state official's succinct analysis: 'No idea...No idea.'
* Just for the record: Trump predicted on ground-breaking day last year an even bigger Foxconn factory than the one which keeps getting smaller. And a bigger workforce than the maximum 13,000 which no one is projecting anymore.
Remembering when President Preposterouus made outsized, outlandish Foxconn predictions
* Foxconn complains about project life in a "fishbowl." Not a good strategy.
Oh, brother
* The head of the MMAC says he doesn't have a crystal ball to predict Foxconn jobs, though 1,500 - - or about 11% of the originally-pledged 13,000 - - is nothing to sneeze at.
On Foxconn, jobs, another crystal ball glitch
* In the embarrassingly named "WisConn Valley, another non-delay delay."
Another Foxconn non-delay delay
* Severe highway crashes in the I-94 Foxconn construction zone.
Crashes spiking in Racine County and since the Foxconn roadwork began
* How deeply does the Walker 'chamber of commerce mentality' still run? The Foxconn diversion was just approved by a WI administrative law judge who was a former Walker official, donor, and ex-GOP legislative staffer. Sound fair to you?
Foxconn diversion first approved by Walker's DNR get green-light ruling by judge who was Walker donor, staff appointee.
* US and Canadian Great Lakes water regulators meet next week in Milwaukee. The could put the Foxconn diversion on their agenda.
Foxconn diversion could be discussed at US-Canadian water officials' meeting in Milwaukee next week
* A judge has ruled that Foxconn is entitled to its daily Great Lakes diversion. It's a precedent that weakens the Great Lakes Compact and drives another nail in the SE regional environment.
Another Great Lakes diversion adds to Wisconsin's status as the region's worst water manager.
* Foxconn has already notified the DNR it will fill wetlands equal to the square footage of about 17 football fields. And there's more construction for more buildings, parking lots, amenities, related facilities and roads to come.
The rain falls. The floods spread. And Wisconsin still enables wetland filling. 
Again, Foxconn murkiness. So add how tall its first building will be to questions about free water demand, waste water, clean air, downstream effects, hires, robots, production, viability, and so on.
Despite all the public favors, still a transparency deficit
* This is the 324th post in this archive.
The F-con enters year three and ex-Gov. Walker isn't even in the US to comment
* If you can get a 'Wisconsin' contract doing Foxconn work from Germany, let's expand the definition of who's a Wisconsinite for work at Foxconn, should a facility ever open with actual human workers.
For seat on the Foxconn gravy train, expand Wisconsinite hiring definition.
* Lawsuits reveal EPA staffers knew the air pollution exemption for Foxconn obtained by Walker from Trump's EPA was not justified.
Feds want to quietly reverse the Foxconn air pollution favor

* How very Trumpian: Foxconn sues in Green Bay over parking dispute.
Foxconn works overtime, plugs empty values 
Why Foxconn, WI jobs are in play internationally, and how Walker left us as mere observers.
Foxconn in international dramas, while WI taxpayers and local governments can only watch.
* 13,000 Foxconn jobs. or maybe it's 6,500. Who cares. 'That's all kinda sidebar stuff.
WI GOP, Fitzgerald refine their aspirational political numerology
* Foxconn says it was too cold a few months ago to work on its site. In Wisconsin. PolitiFact isn't buying it.
Foxconn building weather-delay claim rated 'false.'  
* What kind of public strategy is this? Foxconn says "calm down." It's only $4.2 billions your money, after all.
Foxconn smashes Walker's crystal ball
* Oops. Evers Role-a-Dopes Walker, Vos.
Turns out it was the company that sought contract changes!
* Foxconn is creating an ecosystem. Really?
On Earth Day eve, Vos misuses the word 'ecosystem.'
* Robin Vos, State Rep. from Smarmytown.
Talks down to the new Gov., who happens to hold a Ph.D successfully defended.
The Great Lakes diversion for Foxconn? Not so vital after all.
So there's a Plan B for Foxconn water, the Racine Water Utility mgr. says.
* Good for Evers to try and renegotiate the Foxconn deal. Look at all the major pending issues.
Four big issues of cost and liability hang over the Foxconn deal.
* Of course Evers wants a new Foxconn deal. The company has altered and shrunk the project.
Dismiss the GOP's caterwauling about scaling back the Foxconn deal. That's reality.
* More flooding fears downstream.
A flood of Foxconn flooding stories - - since 2017
* Foxconn's chairman is taking a reduced role before his big US plant is set to open in WI.
Seems like a strange time for Foxconn chairman to step to the sidenlines
* Foxconn adding real estate in 5th location. Is it an electronics firm or property collector?
Boardwalk, Park Place still available
* More government-sponsored infrastructure pushes into Foxconn zone. 
Near Foxconn site, more sprawl. It's no accident.
* New statewide WI poll shows Foxconn support still under water by 6 points.
After 2 years of spending and hype, Foxconn still does not have majority support.
* GOP legislators like Robin Vos won't borrow $40 million for cleaner Milwaukee water. The public subsidies for Foxconn iand new road-building in and through Vos' district are more than 100 times that sum.
GOP leaders push public $ to their districts. To Milwaukee, not so much. 
* Say, what? Mt. Pleasant is now leasing Foxconn land? For farming? Wasn't farming on the site considered blight just last year?
Mt. Pleasant to profit from leasing 'blighted' [Sic] Foxconn land for farming. 
* Seems Foxconn is building a facility that rules out the kind of manufacturing upon which public subsidies, water diversion and air pollution permits were based. 
Urban Milwaukee: Foxconn construction in Mt. Pleasant suggests assembly work, not heavy-duty, high-tech manufacturing
* The legal briefs are piling up. 
Foxconn's Great Lakes diversion OK from WI DNR earns strong legal challenge.
* Foxconn, UW-Madison have nothing to say about their $100 million partnership.
Chill Madison. You'll get updated: When it's appropriate.
* WisDOT wants more wetlands, land and local dollars for the Foxconn project, this time to widen a county road over the objections of local residents. Talk about the gift that keeps on taking.
Foxconn-related road 'improvements' echo similar projects
* So does the scaling-back of the Foxconn product-line at its projected Racine County factory mean there will be fewer of the gaudy, dreamy amenities also promised there?
Will Foxconn still create that Mt. Pleasant fantasyland-cum-ecosystem?
* Just for the record: Earlier this week, IL officials said that the Foxconn project, complete with significant wetland fillings, was already sending silt into the already flood-prone Des Plaines River. The Foxconn project is nowhere near complete, and the Des Plaines River is under a flood warning through Sunday morning. Not a good sign.
Why N. IL is nervous about Foxconn, wetland-filling.
* Microsoft says Foxconn broke licensing payment deal.
Microsoft: Foxconn broke agreement, missed licensing payments.
* Foxconn earns WI two rebukes in one week from different Great Lakes neighbors. Walker has left behind a huge mess for citizens, Evers and his DNR to repair.
Walker's water policies, Foxconn, slapped from IL and MI
* Illinois officials downstream raise alarms over Foxconn's hits to environment. 
IL officials cite Foxconn river damage, wetlands losses
* While Walker is off watching spring training baseball, Evers is busy dealing with Walker's Foxconn mess with a novel approach: level-headed honesty:
On Foxconn, Walker said 'the eagle has landed.' Evers-the-teacher does the myth-busting.
* Major Wisconsin media carrying fresh interviews with experts who lay out this likely scenario: Foxconn won't be building a factory as promised in Racine County and local taxpayers indentured to the company are on the hook for millions and millions of borrowings already on the books.
Grim new reviews for Walker's Foxconn folly
* Assembly Speaker and leading Foxconn water-carrier wants us to be "damn happy" that Foxconn is here - - though just what it will do is open to doubt.  Vos wants the company to emit every last of its 796 tons of air pollutants annually the DNR has said it can belch out into Vos' district. Will his constituents with heart and lung disease, or concern for air quality and climate change, be as happy?
Vos airs out what makes him happy
* Evers has stripped millions from the WEDC budget  it wanted to continue Walker's pitch to out-of-state Foxconn recruits, like those stupid Illinois commuter train ad blitz our train-hating former Governor authorized. I'll bet the money gets reinserted by the GOP budget editors.
Vos can re-engineer Illinois train Foxconn recruiting ads Walker had funded
* When Robin Vos tells we can't afford Gov. Evers' proposed budget spending that spreads benefits statewide, remind him of all the spending he has approved recently for his district, party, staff and personal air miles.
How Robin Vos spent his credibility. And your money.
* Again were told that Foxconn is creating an "ecosystem." I'll bet the farmers whose land in Mount Pleasant has been bulldozed preferred the ecosystem Mother Nature had already provided for their work and appreciation.  
Of Foxconn and ecosystems, real and synthetic

* Clean air, flooding, Great Lakes conservation and climate change concerns give IL plenty of reason to ask for Evers' Foxconn review.
IL officials want Evers to revisit Foxconn's WI permits
* Everyday people and plenty of elected officials didn't want New York City to plan the Corporate Welfare game. Heads up, Wisconsin pols.
New York City to Amazon: Don't Foxconn us.
* Walker concedes he failed at job-creation. Why else would he state that Foxconn will revive Midwest manufacturing. Wasn't that his job for the last eight years?
Walker posts his most embarrassing post-defeat bid for relevancy yet
* Not 1st time State Sen. Tim Carpenter has protected the public interest.
Carpenter a reliable bulwark v. Foxconn, GOP/Walker Toxic Touch
* Milwaukee, regional groups remind us that the Foxconn Great Lakes water diversion should be declared a non-starter. 
Salute to Milwaukee Riverkeeper for keeping up the pressure.
* The WI GOP sure flushed or forgot some of its important 'values.'
The WI GOP flushed for Foxconn at least 3 core principles
* Milwaukee businessman, for the second time, blasts the Foxconn deal and the GOP pols who fell for it.
WI businessman slammed the Foxconn deal in 2107. And again, just now.
* Bloomberg News calls Foxconn 'disastrous...hollow...nakedly political.'
Big national business media outlet uses 49 sources to demolish Foxconn and the politicians who were used to buy in.
* Doesn't matter if Foxconn fails or bolts or simply shrinks: Vos got all that highway money for his district.
Vos is King of Sprawlville.
* Evers' campaign included a pledge to look into the DNR's award to Foxconn of four air pollution permits. Now he's following through. If it were the big new paper mill its emission will equal, would you want it in a region of SE WI where air pollution standards were relaxed by the US EPA at Walker's request?
Evers follows through on Foxconn air pollution permits review
* Anything new going on with the FUBAR Foxconn project? Not if you look at the WEDC Foxconn project and news site.
Foxconn turmoil in Wisconsin? Not on the state's main Foxconn project info website.
* Journal Sentinel asks if WI overpaid for Foxconn. After already answering the question. A year ago.
Why is the Journal Sentinel asking a question it already answered?
Robin Vos engineers a deep Foxconn retweet. Explain, please.
Grist for Vos' next press availability
* Foxconn's projections for blue-collar work are shrinking as the company throws out a big new number of anticipated engineering hires. Put a pin in this.
Foxconn says it will hire 10,000  engineers for the WI operation. That's a big new number.
Walker is quoting a Trump reassurance on Foxconn. Please!
What's worse than a Walker reassurance on Foxconn? Trump's. 
* On-again, off-again Foxconn project, with its bulldozing, subsidy-hogging and environmental risks, wags Wisconsin.
Foxconn Fiasco shows arrogance of WI's leader class. Again.
* Vos, Fitzgerald tell a cover-your-as* whopper about Foxconn and Tony Evers
WI GOP fib gets jump on Lie of the Year Award
*  The bond-rating firm Moody's issues warning about local government's Foxconn risks.
Here's a new way to measure Walker's Foxconn folly
* Foxconn now says it cannot say 'if, when and which' items it will manufacture or assemble in Wisconsin. The billions of dollars in subsidies granted, and other permits, permissions, perks and approvals were based knowing that Foxconn would build an LCD TV facility. How is this deal not now voided?
Foxconn changes the channel; old, new questions remain
* WI got federal funding to add driverless trucking technology on I-94 to help move Foxconn manufactured goods to Mitchell Field. But if there's no factory envisioned on the Foxconn site now, why spend the highway money on the 'upgrades.'
Should Wisconsin still finance Foxconn special driverless I-94 shipping lane? 
* Foxconn has cancelled its Racine County factory. So it doesn't need the host of water diversion and air pollution permits the DNR awarded it. Or the facilitating federal clean air enforcement exemption handed over by the US EPA along the SE WI lakeshore north of the Illinois line.
No Foxconn factory, no need for those air and water permits and permissions.
* January 30 produced the news that Foxconn was scaling back its WI project and would not be building a factory, as promised - - and publicly-funded - - in Racine County. Here's short course in how that came to happen.
Short roadmap to today's Foxconn news
* Protection for taxpayers was not adequately built into the Foxconn deal until WI State Democratic Senator Tim Carpenter blew the whistle and got it inserted.
Let's correct Walker Tweet about doing us Foxconn deal favor
* The headline says it all.
Breaking news: Foxconn says "not building a factory in Wisconsin."
* Oh, boy. Talk about a Friday news dump: Foxconn has 'adjusted' its hiring and recruitment timelines.
Walker's WI looking conned and outfoxed
* Oh, here's a surprise: Foxconn missed its 2018 hiring goals. All they had to do to qualify for state subsidies was to create 260 jobs. All they could muster was 178.
Foxconn misses jobs' creating goal 
* The pictures tell the story.
Foxconn's water diversion and discharge are important, because...

* !000 Friends of Wisconsin nails the environmental sacrifices at the heart of Foxconn con.
1KFriends of Wisconsin's short, brilliant summation of the Foxconn con
* Oh, boy. At this late date, non-partisan auditors say WEDC's oversight of Foxconn isn't, well, legal, or in complying with the controlling contract. 
WI GOP's early incompetence on Foxconn exceeds itself
* National podcast examines the deal. Local officials are upset.
Foxconn deal, impacts, reviewed by national podcast, irking local officials
* The WI GOP's power grab bill provides all sorts of protections for Foxconn by relocating authority over the state's project funding to the GOP-dominated Legislature and its finance committee. Now we are learning that Team Walker is also keeping control of the project by refusing to fully comply with a records request by litigants taking issue with the agency's Lake Michigan water diversion approval. So stay tuned.
WI DNR sued over Foxconn water diversion records
* Foxconn is among the GOP elites' power grab priorities.
The Walkerite WI GOP's unbearable and destructive elitism
* Foxconn among the items the GOP power grab bill reserves for self-serving GOP protection
The GOP power grab bill serves owners, donors and the legacy of one GOP godfather
* Another contraction at Foxconn, on which Walker literally bet Wisconsin's farms. and then some.
Foxconn lays off 155 in Indiana
* Still betting on the come.
Foxconn water bid gets more backers, slowed court calendar
* As we learn that Foxconn is making "deep cuts" company-wide, let's look back at how and why we were roped into the Foxconn world.
Before FoxCon, there was WEDC-con. By Scott-con. 
* In both cases, the road-builders won, while you, your wallets and clean air lost.
Walker era bookended by hostility to Amtrak, favors for Foxconn
* Lawsuits over air emission permits, a Lake Michigan diversion, plus concerns about downstream water quality and site runoff flooding are among the major environmental concerns Walker's flawed DNR management and WEDC funding have left for the next governor.
Walker dumping lawsuits, policy failures on incoming WI DNR
* VA and NY both scored far more jobs and at substantially higher average rates in new Amazon HQ facilities than what Wisconsin 'won' from Foxconn. File with your other items labeled 'Why Walker lost.'
For 25,000 HQ jobs, NY paid half what Foxconn gets from Wisconsin for twice as many jobs. VA did even better.
* Over Foxconn jobs, Walker breaks faith with the people. Of Chicago.
Wait: Foxconn jobs are for engineers from Asia?
* Walker invites in a caravan. From China. To Mt. Pleasant. For Foxconn. With WI tax subsidies.
Walker's jobs' plan: Import Chinese workers to Racine County for Foxconn.
* They're bulldozing and tearing down homes and literally lowing ahead as if nothing were amiss, but Foxconn's water and air permits are gaining formal complaints and litigation locally, regionally and beyond. 
It's Walker's baby, but Foxconn is gaining obstacles
* This is an installment of a 21-part series devoted entirely to the Foxconn matter. 
Walker's 8-year war on Wisconsin's environment. Part 19. Foxconn. 
* I noticed that an older posting about waterway pollution talked about sediment from improperly managed construction sites was a worse waterway polluter than ag runoff. The runoff for days from Foxconn's site after summer rains is a good example.
WI DNR says mismanaged construction site runoff is a major waterway polluter. We have a fresh example...
* Brad Schimel forgot in the 10/14 debate to mention when asked about Foxconn that he was an instant and public supporter of the proposal, and has since publicly stress the need for its 'success.' 
In Sunday debate, Schimel forgot to feature his Foxconn friendliness
* $1,159.50. Seriously?
DNR's Foxconn pollution fine doesn't deliver a deterrent punch
*  The Foxconn diversion featured in a Detroit-based Great Lakes water policy review.
Updates, commentary about Foxconn, Waukesha Great Lakes diversions
* More millions shelled out by Mt. Pleasant over property seizures. 
Mt. Pleasant pays more millions for Foxconn land seizures. Also lost: government credibility. 
* The Great Lakes Governors and their Canadian counterparts are meeting in Indianapolis. Why won't Walker hop on one of those state planes he's been using all campaign season, fly there and justify the Foxconn diversion, brad on his great work cleaning Great Lakes tributaries, protecting the ground water, etc?
Walker won't fly to Indiana and showcase his FUBAR Great Lakes 'policies.'
* Walker and WI GOP-run state senate will give the Foxconn-style public tax break subsidies (about $100 million) to the very rich multinational firm Kimberly-Clark - - but only after the Nov. 6 election. That's to avoid Foxconn baggage in the election, and also to get K-C the money in case the state senate flips. Profiles in cowardice.
GOP gets cold feet over subsidies for K-C's Cold Springs plant
* Do you think the concerns about dirty and water from the Foxconn site moving into Illinois has anything to do with it?
The EPA's pro-Foxconn Cathy Stepp is out of step with Illinois Senators
* Fighting Village Hall in Mt. Pleasant, and winning.
Some holdouts kept land from seizure for Foxconn; the outrages continue.
* Basically, the Case vs. Foxconn in one photo:

* Anybody remember any of this being included in the original discussions, negotiations, 'plans'?

With state $, Lake Michigan water, Foxconn sending super suburban sprawl to once-bucolic Mt. Pleasant
Foxconn promotional video suggests Versailles is coming to Mt. Pleasant. Or is it DisneyWorld? 
* Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin was reposting projections which threw cold water on fears of increased flooding downstream from Foxconn...before the recent flooding.
Foxconn flood muddied Robin Vos' Twitter feed, too

* Mud, flood, water pollution, fake 'blight,' eminent domain and now a second local credit rating downgrade; what else is on the agenda at this Saturday's annual Mount Pleasant Day 2018?
Muddied landscape, fiscal picture could frame Mount Pleasant Day 2018 on Saturday
* Lessons learned: Images, activism pay off. Corporate P.R., not so much.
Floodwaters poured downstream from Foxconn to mainstream media; 3 takeaways
* Residents want answers, action in wake of predictable 'Lake Foxconn runoff in flood-prone Racine County.
Mt. Pleasant residents want answers, action after Foxconn site runoff.
*  As predicted, heavy rains in SE WI have led to flooding off the Foxconn site and into the Pike River.
See the flood runoff from the Foxconn site. Heads up, downstream!!
* Despite the heaving subsidies, or perhaps because they're on the schedule, Foxconn will add to or create shortfalls in the region's road and transit spending. What a deal!
Foxconn will create more road, transit service shortfalls, planners predict. 
* No one has updated the state's Foxconn public relations website with the news that the company is retreating from its signature pledge to build the plant of the future. Though the site has plenty of pretty pictures of Scott Walker. Surprised?
State's taxpayer-paid Foxconn news site not updated since Aug. 3rd; plenty of Walker pix
* To no one's surprise, Foxconn now will not commit to building a factory producing the kind futuristic products for which Walker handed them billions, and to which they are contractually bound to produce. The company and WEDC are in full spin mode. It's too late.
Conned and outfoxed, Walker should quit
* While WI floods, its expert information about why has been scrubbed by Walker's administration.
Wisconsin is flooded with water, science dismissal, too
* Lake County, IL, having been hit by recent severe flooding, has hired a consultant to study possible runoff downstream from the Foxconn site. Here's a question likely to be studied:
Given the impacts of climate change on likely storm severity, are the five stormwater detention ponds planned on the Foxconn site adequate?
* More than 50 affiliates of the League of Women Voters in four states have joined the legal challenge to the Wisconsin DNR's quick approval to a Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn. This adds to the pressure to enforce and save the Great Lakes Compact of 2008, now at risk by Wisconsin's continuing pressure on the other states and outlier status on water conservation in the region.
Multi-state group joins opposition to WI approval of Lake Michigan water for Foxconn
* The Foxconn giveaways - - legal, financial, environmental - - are on my top 12 list of reasons why Walker should be defeated by Wisconsin voters this November.
Walker's defects, disqualification explained in these 12 posts.
* As Walker continues to tweet up a storm about Foxconn saving Wisconsin (and his own broken-job creating promises and related campaign bacon, too), the company reported that 'soaring operating costs' were cutting profits. Why do you think the company is spending $4 billion own robotics, and has said it expects to replace most if workers with those machines.
Foxconn reports soaring costs, falling profits. Are its robotics in the wings?
*  Local governmental infighting over taxpayer dollars for Foxconn is just the beginning of many, many problems there set in motion by Walker's one-man campaign agenda.
Two Foxconn tracks; Walker's to November, the public's to mid-century. 
*  Abusive state power serving Foxconn in Mount Pleasant forces more property owners to sell.
State planning, intentional blight enables unpleasant Foxconn grind
*  'You get a subsidy, you get a subsidy...'
Walker shovels out your money, wins hard-work award
* Walker, the WMC, Trump and Pruitt's EPA went all in on relaxing air quality standards over much of SE Wisconsin. Today's ozone alert won't be the last, given Foxconn's projected 796-dirty air annual belch. History of Wisconsin under Walker reducing these alert notices also in this post.
Dirty air alert over WI lakeshore counties/Foxconn zone on 8/4 won't be the last
* The Foxconn subsidies, in perspective. Arkansas says the Foxconn-style handouts Walker wants for  Kimberly-Clark would violate that state's 'fiduciary responsibility.'
Arkansas official sends Walker scrambling for that book that tells you what words mean
* Ozone alert over the Lakeshore counties. What's ahead, and what predated it, too.
WI lakeshore counties' ozone alert. Won't be the last.
* The Foxconn bulldozing and land grab, along with the failed Gtac mine plan, a state parkland transfer to help enable Kohler to build his wetland-filing, habitat destroying, privately-owned golf course, and many other examples statewide highlight Walker's enthusiasm - - now again abetted by AG Brad Schimel's legal powers - -  for special-interest favors and projects.
Schimel joins Walker in dismissing basic land, other public rights
* Second lawsuit filed over clean air exemptions drawn to maximize Foxconn's allowable emissions. Post includes information about water diversion litigation, property rights' suit.
Trump/Walker 'Freedom to breath more smog' rule earns lawsuit
*  Foxconn and Mount Pleasant were supposed to save a stand of very old bur oaks - - one perhaps 400 years old right in the construction zone. Any news of their fate?
Any news of pre-Revolutionary War oaks in Foxconn's way?
* He announced the project last year. The legislature has committed the taxpayers' billions. Bulldozers are moving dirt. So why is Walker still trying to justify it to voters?
Ad blitz confirms Foxconn's weight on wobbly Walker incumbency
* Because Illinois communities downstream from flood-prone Racine County see the threat.
4th IL agency concerned with flooding opposes Foxconn environmental exemptions
*  Five million WI electric customers will pay $117 million for a Foxconn power line. Through their bills. For 40 years, thanks to Walker's PSC. We await his sales-pitching tweets.
Because $4.5 billion in public subsidies isn't enough, Bucky...
*  If you get to pick the winners in Wisconsin's corporate welfare sweepstakes, you get to be a winner, too.
Walker donors nailing down more Foxconn contracts. Report.
* We try and figure out why Walker didn't opt for an easy Foxconn photo op.
Walker didn't schedule an easy Foxconn photo op. What's up with that?
* So when does Walker declare the expenses associated with all his Foxconn events as political donations?
Three questions about Walker-Foxconn events
* Think of the documented, $640-per-motorist annual car repair bill attributable to Wisconsin's persistently-rutted roads as Walker's wheel tax. Then grasp that many, many millions of transportation dollars are being sent to SE WI for new Foxconn-related road-building while the rest of the state's roads remain poorly-maintained.
Walker's yearly Scotthole wheel tax: $640 per Wisconsin motorist 
* Foxconn's generation-long drain on Wisconsin transportation spending will make our pothole-rutted, faster-moving roads less safe and more expensive to travel
Wisconsin's deadly road-tripping comes with deferred repairs, higher speed limits
*Trying to get the cart behind the horse whee it belongs.
Groups trying to slow Foxconn's politically-driven bulldozing
* Property seizures available at the Foxconn site wouldn't be Trump's first eminent domain rodeo.
Trump would have felt right at home where land seizures loom
* Foxconn can blend higher-paying corporate and research jobs' salaries with the projected $23/hr. wages paid to estimated 5,000 factory-floor workers to help meet its pledge of 'average' wages per job of $53,000+. More of that one-sided private-sector 'flexibility' we hear about in Wisconsin these days.
Foxconn math could boost company qualifying for subsidy-qualifying pay target 
* The damage Foxconn will cause to Wisconsin clean air, wetlands, surface waters, wildlife and the rural environment mirrors his entire eight-year 'record.'
Walker's across-the board campaign against Wisconsin land, air, water and wildlife 
*  Because Walker dare not call his campaign-assisting, $4.5 billion public subsidy for Foxconn the record-breaking 'corporate welfare' it is, he's forced to dress it up with some new, sanitized wording.
For Foxconn, Walker bulldozes the language, too
*  So Foxconn is reducing the size of its construction? Who knew what and when about that? I'm sure WI AG Brad Schimel will get right on that. Wait, what? He's already on the record hying the original numbers? Never mind.
Why WI GOP AG Brad Schimel can't probe devolving Foxconn deal
*  The Foxconn plant will be smaller, cheaper than what's been hyped. Until later. Maybe. Proving that sell a Rube Goldberg machine, first you have to make sure you're working with a rube.
Walker & WI: Baited, switched, outfoxed and conned 
* Yes, Walker's DNR scrubbed climate change science off its state website, but WisDOT's master plan was already out there with multiple references to climate change, the human activities which cause it and recommendations about energy and transit alternatives that can mitigate it.
Foxconn project undermines surviving WI climate change information, recommendations
*  Chicago Sun-Times warns of Foxconn site runoff downriver into flood-prone areas.
IL bemoans flood potential from Foxconn paving, 'planning'
* Foxconn is the ultimate example of sprawl 'development' in Wisconsin. I bring together two of this blog's more-focused themes: "The Road to Sprawlville," and Foxconn.
Not Wisconn. Sprawlville
*  Mount Pleasant residents, grassroots groups to rally at 6/28 Foxconn ground-breaking. Also attending: Scott Walker and Donald Trump, with a big-ticket fundraiser also on their agenda.
Grassroots to rally vs. Foxconn ground-breaking on 6/28 
* Walker didn't say a word about Trump's seize-the-kids southern border policy this week. Today, we know why, as Walker's at the White House, because, you know, Foxconn...
Walker, silent no more...
* People statewide are not buying Walker's photo-ops which promote Foxconn's purported 'benefit-to-your-town.' Because people know Foxconn is sucking up a generation's worth of Wisconsin school aid, road repair and broad-based economic development.
Foxconn could be Scotthole that disables Walker's campaign.
* Oh, by the way, Foxconn says "many" jobs you thought were headed to Racine County are going somewhere else. But thanks for the diverted water, local lending, TIF and land deals worth local hundreds of millions of dollars.
Will Racine Co. taxpayers subsidize development elsewhere? Seems so.
* Foxconn morphs from Walker's political panacea to "ecosystem" status, as language joins land being bulldozed.
About Foxconn, Walker goes oxymoronic 
Walker rejected Obama-era federal funding investments in Medicaid, Amtrak and broadband, because, you know, federal funds, bad. But now that Trump offers federal funding to pay for some Foxconn-related roadwork, Walker says, 'yippee!'
Walker hails partial federal bailout for Foxconn roadwork
* 1,000 dump-truck loads of gravel a day. At 73,000 pounds each. During 16-hour, seven-day-a-week hauling. For months. On roads, old and new. Who's going to pay for the damage? You will.
Foxconn site work could trip major outbreak of #Scottholes
* More Foxconn, less Harley-Davidson. 
In Walker's right-to-work WI, good pay replaced with less
* The DNR says on Sunday, May 27 that the air quality in Wisconsin is "good." DNR data on its website also shows most counties in the state have moderate air quality, and only three rural counties air quality is actually rated "good" right now - - but counties with "unhealthy" readings - - including those with big populations, like Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha in the Foxconn zone - - far outnumber the "good."
The WI DNR says the state's air quality is "good." Seriously?
* WI air quality in SE lakeshore counties heading to the unhealthy, 'orange' range for seniors, children and some with chronic illness. But the DNR won't tell you that as it did before Walker took office. And when Foxconn adds its new annual massive emissions tonnages?
SE WI dirty air notices: And when Foxconn adds its annual 796 emission tonnages...
* So soon? An Asian industry media report claims Foxconn may not need the huge plant envisioned in Wisconsin because supplier difficulties may rule out, at least initially, the assembly of large-screen TVs there. Are we moving into Walker Folly territory yet? 
Foxconn wobble
* You can add fears in Illinois about downstream flooding off the Foxconn site in a shared, two-state watershed to concerns to Illinois about Foxconn-related air pollution and a Great Lakes water diversion.
Foxconn's environmental downsides of growing concern in Illinois
* No surprise!
Major Walker backer gets major Foxconn contract
* Walker keeps failing to convince people statewide that Foxconn is to their benefit. Latest example north of the Foxconn site.
Manitowoc writer not buying the Foxconn story Walker's selling
* Walker says Foxconn is confused by its critics. Guess who didn't lay out to the company the inconvenient truths? 
Walker gets the blame for poorly-prepping Foxconn
* Noted financial academics say Foxconn subsidies are counter-productive. Plus, think of the environmental benefits if the clean air and water impacts were averted.
Experts say Foxconn subsidies are lost-opportunity job killers.
* Walker's campaign is open for business.
OWN tracking lead Foxconn contractor Walker donations
* A business publication helps get a bad actor removed from Foxconn work, but the episode shows the need for better communication between state and local officials.
Why one Foxconn contractor is already off the job
* Many Foxconn jobs will pay less than the $57,000 annually promised as the average by the company, and many of the jobs are not going to be family-supporting.
Foxconn pays between $9.22/hr-$64,000+
* A fresh taxpayer-paid Foxconn p.r. event for Walker today. But no unpleasant questions at this carefully-controlled event, please, so here are some reminders.
Walker-Foxconn-campaign strategy clarified today
* It's less newsy that Foxconn intends to hire thousands of people for lower-skilled-and-wage jobs and more important to understand that the factory's site is right where its own state rep., Robin Vos, made sure there are no coordinated transit services crucial for lower-income workers less likely to have or afford to operate cars.
Foxconn always planned WI site as low-wage hub
* WI AG Brad Schimel, GOP ally of Scott Walker and his 'chamber of commerce mentality'-driven DNR, will not protect SE Wisconsin from already-dirty air soon to be laden with another 796 tons of airborne pollutants from Foxconn - - so IL AG Lisa Madigan is stepping in with a federal lawsuit to do Schimel's work for him. And for us.
Foxconn-friendly EPA air regs for SE WI get IL lawsuit
* Michigan legal activists urge Great Lakes states to take over review of Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn which Walker's DNR hurriedly-approved. This is an effort to invoke the Great Lakes Compact. To save it.
MI group raises alarm about Foxconn diversion, seeks broader review by other states
* Walker may not know or care that he's earned a spot at an historic climate change crossroads, so here's the story.
Walker's Grey Skies win is one for record books' material
* Walker needs Foxconn to distract voters from his still-failed 250,000 new jobs promise. And if that means sacrificing clean air, clean Lake Michigan water, the integrity of the Great Lakes Compact, Racine-area wetlands and billions in public subsidies, so be it.
Walker wants Foxconn as distraction from his failed 250,000 new jobs promise
* Trump, Walker, DNR and US EPA coordinate to ensure that SE WI will not have strongest air quality standards, rule, enforcement. #MWSA.
Making Wisconsin smoggier again
*  US EPA exempts SE WI and thus Foxconn site, environs from stronger clean air rules. Big win for Walker, Foxconn, but not children, seniors, joggers, asthmatics, COPD sufferers, etc.
Pharmacies, RR/ICUs big winners in latest Walker Grey Skies push 
*   Corning said it wanted Foxconn-like subsidies to build glass sheeting plant near the Foxconn site, but Team Walker squelched that before backlash could reach DEF CON 5.
Walker nixes Foxconn-style-state payments to Corning, but... 
* Multiple review and permit exemptions, easy air pollution approvals and a questionable Lake Michigan diversion hurriedly greenly by the DNR for the Foxconn project are part of the larger environmental damage Walker and the GOP have wrought statewide.
Walker's lazy, loose 'policy-making' is fouling Wisconsin land, air and water
* The other seven Great Lakes states have the right under the Compact to review the WI DNR's approval of a diversion for Foxconn. And history shows that other diversion approvals given additional reviews are improved.
The other Great Lakes states could review the Foxconn diversion
* Wisconsin's DNR needs an updated, reality-based mission statement, given its obeisance to Foxconn and other special interests it reflexively serves through Scott Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality.'
Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality DNR needs a new mission statement
* Walker goosed along a quick Lake Michigan water diversion approval for Foxconn, but he may run into opposition from other Great Lakes states and supporters of the Wisconsin Constitution, Article IX.
The WI DNR adds quick approval of Foxconn diversion to quick approval of air pollution permits 
 * Yeah, says the DNR, no need to worry about Foxconn's intention to spew more than 700 tons of pollutants a year over Racine County. Next up: all that Lake Michigan water Foxconn wants, and says it will clean.
Foxconn's 4 air emission permits get quick WI DNR speed-dating 
*  Former Gov. Tommy Thompson's sort of mea culpa about his history of harsh sentencing and Super Max imprisonment 'reforms' becomes a suggestion that a "select group of future parolees" could be tracked into Foxconn jobs.
Gov. Super Max finds new uses for prisoners
*  Small City of Milwaukee research agency again unearths facts about a Lake Michigan diversion.
Milwaukee report exposes state's pathetic Foxconn diversion 'due diligence  
 * A blog reader suggests converting the 7-million-gallon-per-day Lake Michigan diversion for Foxconn and Mount Pleasant into daily tanker truckloads. It's a big, long line. 
Foxconn Lake Michigan diversion = 1,100 tanker trucks everyday in a 14-mile long line. 
 *  Illinois and New York are raising the same kind of questions which Wisconsin water activists aired at a recent hearing about the legality of Foxconn's bid for a Great Lakes diversion being pushed by Gov. Walker. His DNR gets to review and can approve the application - - unless the other Great Lakes states mount  substantial resistance.
Illinois, New York raise questions about Foxconn's bid for Lake Michigan water
*  Wisconsin pushed through the Great Lakes regional body a controversial Lake Michigan diversion for Waukesha, but the other states attached conditions due to Wisconsin's checkered environmental stewardship under Walker which could come back and bit the Foxconn diversion.
Awareness of Walker's poor water stewardship spreads to other Great Lakes states
* Foxconn's likely acquisition of site land via condemnation is controversial so naturally Paul Ryan - - with a history of of opposing such practices - - is ducking that issue. He has a long record of duck-like behavior, easily tracked.
Paul Ryan, like a duck...
 Walker signed the deal six months ago and road work at the Racine County site began in January. Could it be that a spate of negative stories about possible property seizures, air pollution and Lake Michigan water quality are making boosters nervous in this election year?
Boosters still touting Foxconn benefit to WI. Why now?
*  This is what you get when you let a Governor unleash his 'chamber of commerce mentality' onto the DNR and across state government: air pollution, CAFO-contamined drinking water, filled wetlands, state park land conveyed to private developers, etc.
From Mount Pleasant to Sheboygan, and beyond, beware developer-politician collusion
 * Racine County, nearby Lake Michigan and plenty of area codes far and wide will be dealing with levels of air pollutants equivalent to what is spewed by a major paper mill should the WI DNR gives Foxconn the emission permits it wants.
Wi DNR sets hearings on Foxconn's whopping air pollution ask
*  Remember when Kenosha decided that 'winning' Foxconn was too pricey and consequential? The Kenosha Mayor is happy with his decision, while neighboring Racine communities will pay a heavy cost in dollars, land, water, congestion, , etc.
Kenosha happy with no-risk Foxconn proximity
* Walker and his GOP/business-obeisant caucus exempted Foxconn from environmental wetland permits and didn't even require a basic DNR oversight in the form of environmental impact statement for the site. But regional planners a few years wrote a comprehensive land use plan for all of Racine County that laid out the negative consequences of losing ag lands, habitat, open space, wetlands and other environmentally-significant resources. A sample:
Because of the many interacting relationships existing between living organisms and their environment, the destruction or deterioration of one important element of the total environment may lead to a chain reaction of deterioration and destruction of other elements. The drainage of wetlands, for example, may destroy fish spawning areas, wildlife habitat, groundwater recharge areas, and natural filtration and floodwater storage areas of interconnecting stream systems."
Anybody else read this comprehensive report? Anybody care? 
Regional planners have catalogued resources on 'WisConn' site
* And, of course, enabling more allowable air pollution in SE Wisconsin has nothing to do with Foxconn. What's next for our 'chamber of commerce mentality' state under Walker? More lawn darts in the elementary schools? An end to state-sponsored cigarette cessation programs?
Walker adds dirty air to GOP's WI pollution portfolio
* Wisconsin has been grabbing Great Lakes water since 1986
Foxconn diversion is 5th Great Lakes grab by imperious, outlier Wisconsin
* Walker's DNR has sole approval role in Foxconn's water diversion bid. Given what Walker's done to the DNR, who think's the review will be science-based, open-minded and fair?
Walker has debased WI agency reviewing Foxconn water diversion bid
* Bruce Murphy, Urban Milwaukee tracks the money.
Foxconn deal gets even worse
* Foxconn says it will be a good environmental citizen and abide by all applicable rules - - which is a hollow pledge after Walker and the GOP legislature basically exempted Foxconn from routine environmental review and permit procedures that protect wetlands, streams, and lakes. 
At Foxconn diversion hearing, citizen clarity, special interest chaff
* At the Wednesday, 3/7 Foxconn water diversion hearing in Racine, let's get rock-solid guarantees about the return to the lake of clean wastewater - - unlike what's been reported flowing from Foxconn facilities in China.
To Walker, Foxconn: Lake Michigan is blue, not 'black-green-sudsy' 
* Consider where Foxconn wants to draw its daily millions of gallons of fresh water, use in its heavily absorbing and chemical-laden manufacturing processes - - and where it intends to redeposit - - treated - - about two-thirds of the draw.
Photo montage of Foxconn's water supply and discharge receptacle
* Only in Wisconsin could you have the DNR urge government help in stemming habitat loss for the endangered Monarch butterfly, then a few months later approve road-building through known Monarch habitat. Because, you know, Foxconn.
DNR approves 'incidental' taking of Monarch habitat for Foxconn-roadwork
* Intentional or not, there's a big omission from application filed by Racine County for a major diversion of Lake Michigan water. The application gets its one and only hearing on March 7th.
1 question about what's missing from Lake Michigan diversion plan 3/7 hearing
* Idiocracy on full display as Walker strips another $90 million from the budget to fix what are the second-worst roads in America:
Walker's Foxconn Fever infects state road repair budget
* The WI DNR will hold a March 7th hearing on the application to a body of Great Lakes governors under terms of a 2008 multi-state/US-Canada compact for a Foxconn Lake Michigan water diversion. That Compact set a high bar for diversions in exceptional cases to address water shortages or health issues, not to guaranty the well-being of a business that, in turn, would give one state an economic advantage by tapping into this shared, finite resource.
Foxconn diversion undermines Great Lakes Compact. Hearing 3/7.
* The Village of Mount Pleasant begins blight-designation processes for Foxconn farmland and other properties for their faster acquisition to serve both the company and the state Department of road-building Transportation. My take: the real blight began with Walker, spread to the Legislature and infected the local governments there and now it's a full-on outbreak of Foxconn Fever.
Blighted tag could get Foxconn rural land more quickly 
* To pay for expensive road projects like those he's promised to Foxconn, Walker would raise the gas tax, institute toll roads and even take federal infrastructure funding he once sneeringly called 'free,' even if comes with increased state matches.
Nothing matches Walker's flips on federal matching federal $$
* The GOP says it likes choice, except when it comes to transportation.
How Walker sunk Amtrak funding, boosted I-94 work in Southern WI
*  Road tolling used to be a third rail issue in Wisconsin. Now the WI GOP is talking it up, and the need for hundreds of millions of dollars for Foxconn road-building is driving the issue.
WI road-tolling? Costly - - and no quick fix.
* The report says all Foxconn plants, including Wisconsin's, could be fully automated, though it's more likely that some workers would be retained for certain tasks. 
WI Foxconn plant could be robotized: report
*  Billions for Foxconn, millions for Kimberly-Clark all tied to Walker's failed 250-000 new jobs pledge.
Walker's famous FUBAR 250,000 new jobs pledge bites him again
*  Boxed in by election-year pressures and the precedent he invented, Walker is offering Foxconn-level job-retention subsidies to Kimberly-Clark (and even more widely, he says). K-C has said it is funding plant closings in Wisconsin and elsewhere with Trump-Ryan tax cut dollars. Subsidy on top of subsidy.
Desperate Walker forced to offer another company Foxconn-level subsidies
*  Add in the cost of marketing jobs to out-of-staters, then consider the losses to Wisconsin workers and communities if Chicagoans commute in for jobs paid for by Wisconsin taxpayers, and the true cost to Wisconsin of the Foxconn-per-job subsidy keeps rising.
Why the per-Foxconn-job subsidy is actually more than $200,000
*  Never has so much public money been thrown away by a Wisconsin politician. 
Walker's lavish public spending on Foxconn explained
*  This data-driven report shows how little of Wisconsin's $4.5 billions in subsidies to Foxconn is actually directly related to job creation and sets a new standard for reporting about an unprecedented Badger State boondoggle.
Wisconsin Budget Project's invaluable Foxconn report
*  The Wisconsin DNR can move really fast if Foxconn has a need.
Fast-tracked 3/7 Great Lakes water diversion hearing for Foxconn
*  Foxconn wants huge water Lake Michigan diversion, so a lot to clean before returning it.
Foxconn's Lake Michigan diversion will exceed Waukesha's initial draw
*  Add air pollution to the Foxconn impact.
Foxconn will be major emitter of air pollutants
*  Walker figures the utility customers in WI and three more states picking up a $117 million tab for Foxconn will be too busy or curious to notice it among billions more. 
Ratepayers regionally to pay for Foxconn utilities' expansion
*  Yorkville, in Foxconn project zone, saying "no" to water, land use changes.
Foxconn-area town balks at project's sprawl demands
*  Walker's new Wisconsin Idea involves sending business elsewhere.
Foxconn general contractors based in Rhode Island, Germany
*  Walker and the GOP legislature gave Foxconn a special fast-track route to the State Supreme Court for litigation arising in state courts. But as I predicted in November, there could be lawsuits over property seizure, and sure enough there is now a federal lawsuit on that very point which will not go on the Walker/Foxconn special state court fast-track.
Federal lawsuit detours around sweetheart WI/Foxconn fast-track
*  The company can quickly bulldoze the land, so why not tenants living there?
Media inquiries slow the Foxconn eviction machine
* Foxconn wetlands filling begins. More to come, perhaps statewide, as what's good for Foxconn is good for every other small wetland owner in Wisconsin, GOP boosters say.
First Foxconn wetlands fill is big; more to come
* Because every dollar for Foxconn roadwork is a dollar not spent filling potholes and repairing roads across the state which rank second-worst for repairs nationally.
Why no Walker ribbon-cutting on first Foxconn roadwork
*  Ah, what's eleven grand these days?
The $11,508 Foxconn question of the day
*  While potholes grow like mushrooms, Walker wants even more taxpayer transportation $$ for Foxconn.
Governor Pothole and his Foxconn infatuation
*  Walker after federal funds for Foxconn. 
Walker's tightening Big Government embrace
*  Yeah, just skip that huge payment.
Try this Foxconn payment-skipping maneuver with YOUR bank
*  Walker starves roads statewide, finds $30 million for new road for Foxconn.
Expect Walker to deny, distract over new $30 mil. Foxconn road
*  Walker wants to lure environmentally-tuned in millennials to the GOP's \environmentally-degraded WI.
Walker train ad stupidity and hypocrisy, part three 
*  Right-wing lawyers threaten local Foxconn funding.
In Wisconsin, the right is at war with itself
*  Leading environmental public interest law firm Midwest Environmental Advocates now following Foxconn issues.
Midwest Environmental Advocates posts Foxconn issues page
*  Here is the actual, 29-pagel Foxconn contract, as signed.
Here is the signed Foxconn contract
*  The ad features a trail biker. In WI, where Walker freshly blocked funding bike trail & sidewalk funding.
Walker's train ad stupidity and hypocrisy alert, part two 
*  Give Walker an award for shortsightedness, hypocrisy and audacity: After killing an Amtrak extension from Madison that could have moved high-tech employees right to the heart of his so-called 'Wisconn Valley,' and reliably blocking commuter rail right through SE Wisconsin and any rail initiative in the state, Walker now wants millions from state taxpayers for ads on Illinois trains and other pitches urging Chicagoans to move here or take am Illinois train to a Foxconn job. When did he become Governor of Illinois?
Stupidity alert: Anti-train Walker now pitching WI through ads on IL trains 
*  Basically, every woman, man, and child in Mount Pleasant just got a sprawl-inducing second mortgage. 
A campaigning Walker assigns small village debt, sprawl
*  Again, we ask: does Foxconn need to apply for a Great Lakes diversion, as reported? Can Racine, or Mount Pleasant handle the water supply and wastewater treatment demands, and by the way, exactly what's in that discharge, anyway?
Undercovered Foxconn questions demand answers. Again.
*  Prediction: illegal work shifts won't be the only ugly story you read about Foxconn practices in the coming months and years.
Foxconn boosterism looking a little icky today
* Summary post about the WI GOP war on the environment includes an explanation of Foxconn's coming collision with state wetland and water law.
Insiders, experts explain WI GOP's damage to the environment  
*  Foxconn part of great WI water giveaway.
Walker, GOP officials worsen WI water, wildlife crises. Part two.
*  WI experts, advocates add Foxconn project the environmental dangers' list.
Walker, GOP officials worsen WI water, wildlife crises. Part one.
*  Foxconn is a big one, but not the first. 
The con on protecting WI air, water extends far beyond Foxconn
*  Look past the gee-whiz promises to see who's already getting paid.
Foxconn offers gravy train, adds pie-in-the-sky
*  Watch Walker during 2018 spin 260 jobs into 250,000
At public expense, Foxconn gets low bar, Walker high praise
*  Foxconn fiscal fakery isn't Scott Walker's first foray into phony data.
Scott Walker's numbers games; the legend grows
*  Walker inflates Foxconn investment pledge by $! billion.
Walker hails $10 bil. Foxconn pledge; MJS says it's $9 bil.
*  When the hoopla ends, the hard work and choices begin
After WalkerFoxconnFest, the real meetings
*  Hubris alert.
Walker and Stepp were ready for Foxconn. Just ask them.
*  A billion here, and billion there...
Is Foxconn pledging a $10 billion investment...or is it $9 billion?
*  WEDC board doesn't get to see the contract after all
Slippery process: WEDC board approves Foxconn contract summary, not the actual contract
*   Who's on that WEDC board voting on Foxconnn in secret?
Private-sector dominated WEDC board dealing with Foxconn deal in secret 
*  File under "not reassuring." or "Duh!"
Vos praises WEDC...for doing its job
*  The Nov. 6 secret Foxconn review session WEDC deigned to hold is a sham.
Rolling dice for Foxconn, in secret, with our money
* A ray of sunshine forced on Foxconn contract.
Tim Carpenter wins a Foxconn round for the people
* Props to Madison writer Lawrence Tabak.
Tremendous addition to our Foxconn awareness
*  In perspective: the con began long before Foxconn.
How Walker is privatizing and selling off Wisconsin
*  Exhibit "A" - - Walker's gift or public waters to Foxconn.
Walker will float campaign on our water
* Loopholes shield Foxconn FUBAR contract from public view.
Foxconn's banker WEDC subject to open records. Or not  
* Walker's WEDC: Foxconn contract, history withheld from public.
Walker's Foxconn cover-up gets worse
* More proof that Foxconn's environmental exemptions are the proverbial camel's nose in the people's water tent.
Wisconsin water grabbers are at it. Again.
* Vos got Foxconn, big highway deal, still griping.
Why Robin Vos' losing hit on fellow Republicans is so irrational
* Foxconn giveaways targeted to SE WI, now mysteriously delayed.
Walker's '18 campaign baggage getting heavier
* Fixing FUBAR Foxconn contract w/out saying "drafting error." And more.
Scott Walker: Clean up on aisle '18
* The Foxconn contract FUBAR is being covered up.
Walker's Foxconn coverup clock is running
* Foxconn deal delayed.
What? Foxconn deal isn't ready at WEDC? 
* Foxconn now driving the WI highway budget & away from everyday needs.
Hurried $252 Foxconn million for I-94 N/S is both outrage and chicken feed
* Villages take more time to ponder building a schoo.l
Locals pushed to hand Foxconn $764 million
* Will Racine area cabbage fields sprout lemons?
Foxconn's $764 million local shares get aired this week
* Saying 'trust the company' overlooks reality and the record.
Booster discharges murky Foxconn spin
* Yipes! Local taxpayers will pony up $764 million local dollars For Foxconn.
$764 million cost of Foxconn 'win' for WI local government
* Rush in WI to legislate broad environmental rollbacks statewide, Foxconn-style.
In post-Foxconn WI, GOP is done w/air, wetlands law 
* The Foxconn measuring stick.
Foxconn gets swift [WI AG] Schimel boost, rape kits get indolence
* About Walker overpaying for Foxconn by a factor of five.
So Scott Walker walks into an auction...
* Major fox in the Foxconn chicken coop.
Walker names Great Lakes Compact foe as key Foxconn aide 
* Oh, those Foxconn obstacles.
Fast-tracked Foxconn mix could sour
* $3 billion bet on his re-election campaign. Then on jobs.
Note to NY Times: Foxconn is about Walker re-election. Then jobs.
* Walker-led GOP group whitewashes his past, Foxconn future.
Walker shills rewrite his job creation record, Foxconn outlook
* Really painful, stupefying irony alert.
Foxconn bill signing to spotlight Walker/Vos transportation incompetence
* Walker, Foxconn and the "s" word.
Scott Walker's missing Foxconn word
* Foxconn deal underscores Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality 'governance.
Walker's WI is model hard-right "chamber of commerce" state 
* Oh, and about that little overlooked Foxconn item - - a Lake MI diversion.
Foxconn water diversion story needed more attention 
* Viewing Foxconn through Walker's discarded ethics lens.
Walker's deleted ethics code could have skewed Foxconn giving, lobbying
* Foxconn is Walker's biggest use of gov't to pick winners and losers, yet...
Despite denials, Walker uses gov't. to pick winners & losers
* WI Senate joins the Foxconn parade
Wis conned. GOP-led State Senate gives OK to unprecedented giveaways.
* Not this special favor for Foxconn, this one!
WI GOP Senate Leader adds phantom judicial 'restriction' to Foxconn deal
* Foxconn settles on Racine County, despite flooding history there.
Foxconn headed for flood-prone Racine County
* Foxconn might feel it's the one which got conned.
For new WI mines, more env. giveaways than Foxconn got
* Along with tax breaks, free highway work - - special Supreme Court access.
WI GOP lawmakers hand Foxconn newer, bigger favor
* One potential Foxconn locale is struggling with the opportunity.
With Foxconn looming, Mount Pleasant had a meltdown
* Out-going DNR Secretary Stepp spills the beans.
DNR's Stepp says a Foxconn was the plan all along
* Holding Foxconn to the Walker/Trump environmental (will-wink) 'standards.'
Exposing Walker's environmental Foxconn con
* 'No-tax-increase Walker' might just raise local taxes.
Add local taxpayers to school on cusp of Foxconning
* WI may find Foxconn draining education funding.
WI legislators, on educ. funding today, could show Foxconn effect 
* Latest news: Foxconn's billion-dollar 'strain' on state budgets, or "D'uh!"
Go suck on $1 billion worth of lemons, Bucky
* At least this time he didn't call you an ISIS fighter.
Vintage Walker uses Foxconn to flip off the people
* A rushed project would not need so many corrections.
Another day, another Foxconn data correction.
* GOP leaders Walker/Vos/Stepp have long failed job creation, environmental protection pledges.
On Foxconn assurances, consider the sources and histories
* 13,000 jobs? No accident that the Assembly and public didn't have all the facts.
Put Foxconn on hold until Walker explains data suppression
* Robin Vos, reckless and feckless.
Robin Vos trivialized $3 billion, ignored shocking jobs info
* Dispensing with clean blue water, green legacy. 
Green? WI GOP likes brown, orange, perhaps blackish and 'sudsy'
* And the next shoe drops. 
Seeing Foxconn 'win, WI GOP env. wrecking crew eyes mining favors 
* Walker, GOP laid Foxconn groundwork years ago.
Foxconn favors are basic to Walker, GOP's sloppy playbook
* Walker evades leadership from #Foxconn to #Charlottesville.
On jobs, moral leadership, persistent Walker con
* Reality, troubling numbers, no state budget mean nothing to GOP legislature.
GOP Foxconn votes proceed robotically as jobs, revenue estimates fall
* New Foxconn bill version, same environmental rollbacks, records show.
Amended Foxconn bill retains env. waivers, special privileges
* Changing the rules to fit the players.

As WI, GOP change the rules for Foxconn, a reminder
* WI will subsidize Foxconn jobs paying nowhere near family-supporting wages.
WI now talking about <$15-per-hour Foxconn jobs
* Now they're just wishing and hoping.
Witless Walker's farcical Foxconn fix
* The Chicago Sun-Times 'thanks' Walker for pro-Illinois Foxconn plan.
Another bad review for Walker's Foxconn deal
* Now we look for solace to Scott Fitzgerald (!) as Foxconn gets horrible reviews.
Foxconn doubters turn their lonely eyes to...Scott Fitzgerald!
* Foxconn is to get a pass from normal DNR reviews, which is fine with the DNR.
Stepp puts the DNR in on Foxconn env. evasion
* Walker told his Foxconn critics to 'go suck lemons.' Then...
Sucking lemons - - or absorbing buyer's remorse - - for 26 sucking years
* Walker's fake-news Foxconn projects are collapsing.
Foxconn taxpayer projections zoom, payroll benefits plunge
* No surprise that major WI polluting industry. wants env. exemptions.
If Foxconn is exempted from env. oversight, why not CAFOs?
* Who's to say that Foxconn privileges won't be applied statewide?
And if environmental rules and laws are waived for Foxconn...  
* Does Michigan have better deal-makers than Wisconsin? 
Foxconn eyes Michigan for high tech development site
* Water law expert says Foxconn environmental rollback endangers the deal.

Noted water law expert predicts WI officials' Foxconn 'bungle'
* The Walker/WMC tag team.
Foxconn to locate at intersection of Walker and WMC avenues
* Big business laughs off Foxconn project environmental concerns.
Wisconsin Biz lobby sneers at routine Wisconsin conservation guarantee
* Walker never saw a wetland he didn't want filled.
Walker's giveaway Foxconn bill extends his war on wetlands
* Zoo Interchange completion $$ rerouted to another project for Foxconn.
Because the I-94 Vos/Foxconn exit isn't in the Zoo Interchange
* Foxconn process 'open,' says Walker after closed door briefing for GOP caucuses.
Walker opens 'open' Foxconn FavorFest behind closed doors
* Walker, Ryan producing Foxconn political ads.
Walker giveth to Foxconn, taketh for his re-election
* Walker would allow Foxconn 19th century 'environmental' practices.
'Wisconsin Valley' or Wisconsin, Inc. dead zone?
* The Legislature pushed to re-create Wisconsin as Wisconsin, Inc.
Rushed Foxconn special session set for 11 a.m. August 1
* SE WI communities should worry about what Walker wants to do with their budgets, tax collections:
For Foxconn, Walker bets your farm, breaks the bank(s)
* Walker, AG and legislature could give away what's not theirs:
Foxconn favors face WI Constitutional barrier
* GOP Wi Attorney General Brad Schimel weighs in, pre-emptively and rhetorically.
Greenlight for Foxconn in WI AG's Tweet, rhetoric
* Walker to convert Wisconsin to Wisconn without a constitutional convention, and if you don't like it, 'go suck lemons."
Walker to sacrifice DNR, PSC and WisDot integrity for 'Wisconn'
* The cynical pot has his say.
Walker - - Gov. Cynicism - - decries Foxconn 'cynics'
* Walker already has '18 campaign in Foxconn frame.
About Walker's '18 election Foxconn over-under
* In Walker's Wisconsin, some blue-collar jobs are more important than others.
Walker touts Foxconn construction jobs, threw away Amtrak's
* Walker, Trump should become the new champions of Great Lakes preservation and climate change science. 
Great Lakes water lifts Foxconn deal
* About jobs.
3,000 Foxconn jobs would not = 3,776 WI mfg. jobs lost in '16
* Are HB-5 $$-for-visas in the deal?
Are green cards for investment in a Foxconn-WI deal?
* Public dollars needed.
How many WI dollars will Walker give super-wealthy Foxconn?
* When Foxconn stiffed another state.
If you've got Foxconn fever, remember Pennsylvania's hangover
* Vos blocked transit Foxconn workers could have used.
Vos' long transit blockade does not help Racine's Foxconn future
* Walker killed Amtrak service Foxconn might have loved. 
Amtrak line killed by Walker could have fed Foxconn
* Vos has a budget power move.
Vos plays Foxconn card in WI budget fight
*  For quick Japan trip, Walker kept Foxconn secret 
Desperate Walker on 48-hour jobs mission - - to Japan

The assurances from Assembly Speaker Vos and others won't be the only things washed off this site.