Sunday, June 21, 2015
Scott Walker's Flagship Agency Reforms Taxpayers Out Of $124M
Possibly the greatest heist in Wisconsin state history, more than two dozen awards totaling $124.4 million were made to companies without formal review by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp (WEDC). The WEDC as many know, happens to be the now four-year-old "new" version of the state's commerce department groomed and reformed by its board director, Gov. Scott Walker.
This incredible new amount as detailed in documents made public on Friday now dwarfs the previous scandal (the fifth in a series of WEDC scandals) of $500K in taxpayer funds given to the now-defunct construction company, Building Committee Inc. through a single, review-free "forgivable" loan.
Also yet to be considered are the names of companies and the amount they donated to Walker's campaigns before and after picking up the no-strings-attached capital awards.
If there is any consolation possible in any of this, just over 2,100 jobs can be counted as potentially linked to the 27 awards totaling $124M, bringing the cost to a ridiculous $60,000 per job.
This latest scandal reminded me of a local story from last year when the Janesville Gazette newspaper accused Sen. Tim Cullen and a few other Democrats (who are in the minority) for "stalling" a bill of state "reforms" on forgivable loans and tax credits. At that time, Cullen opposed the bill because it lacked accountability and oversight, and did not incentivize job growth. Sound familiar?
Soon afterward, the newspaper then championed Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (ALEC) for her effort on doctoring the bill just enough to get it passed.
The Political Environment - The half-million-tip-of-the-iceberg is now a $125M iceberg
Chicago Tribune - Scott Walker's Wisconsin jobs agency gave out $124 million without review
Posted by Lou Kaye at 1:50 PM