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Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Wed May 08, 2013 2:50 pm

Walker, governor and CEO, has been busy traveling all over the country in his quest for the White House, but he did interrupt his full schedule for this: Walker convenes hasty meeting over job agency. Can you guess in which county the emergency meeting will be held?

Meanwhile the Wisconsin Legislature is considering giving the WEDC more taxpayers' money.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Detritus » Wed May 08, 2013 3:11 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Walker, governor and CEO, has been busy traveling all over the country in his quest for the White House, but he did interrupt his full schedule for this: Walker convenes hasty meeting over job agency. Can you guess in which county the emergency meeting will be held?

Yoknapatawpha.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu May 09, 2013 4:28 pm

Jobs agency faces loss of funding

Members of the powerful budget committee were poised Thursday afternoon to debate a measure proposed by co-chairmen Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, and Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills, that would place significant new reporting and verification requirements on WEDC in order to qualify for state funding.

The measure also would require WEDC employees to comply with state ethics laws and be required to file annual statements of economic interest. The agency also would be required to follow state purchasing rules.

Why weren't those common sense measures put into the legislature that created the WEDC in the first place?
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby snoqueen » Thu May 09, 2013 5:52 pm

If you have to ask, it won't do any good to explain.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu May 09, 2013 6:08 pm

Rhetorical questions are often like that. Walker apologists will avoid them like the plague.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby ilikebeans » Thu May 09, 2013 6:11 pm

WEDC board member also has a loan from WEDC

Lots of interesting points here from an attendee that recorded the meeting.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:35 pm

Dems keep up pressure on WEDC as political influence persists

For instance, Paul Radspinner, CEO of Madison-based FluGen, was appointed to serve on the WEDC board by Walker in 2011. It turns out his company in 2008 also received a $250,000 loan from the old Department of Commerce, which WEDC replaced.

While the ethics disclosure rules would help avoid those embarrassing conflicts, critics say they do nothing to prevent WEDC from awarding taxpayer incentives to companies that make campaign contributions to the Governor or other elected officials.

“It was a good first step, but not enough to fix the troubled agency,” says Senate Minority leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) in his weekly address.
...
In a 2011 report titled “Public-Private Power Grab” the Washington. D.C.-backed watchdog group highlighted problems in other states that had created public private partnerships (PPPs) in an effort to boost their economies.

The reported noted that PPPs have been around for more than 20 years but have been dropped in several states because they were so problematic.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:47 pm

The hits keep coming.

Superior's Kestrel Aircraft late on loan payments to WEDC

In January 2012, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker traveled to Superior for a stunning announcement that suggested he wasn’t blowing smoke when he vowed Wisconsin was be “open for business.”

Kestrel Aircraft Company said it going to invest $120 million in a production facility that would employ 600 workers, the most new jobs in Superior since World War II. The company would produce a high-performance, single-engine plane made from carbon fiber.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Walker's public-private corporation that replaced the state's Department of Commerce, quickly stepped in with $18 million in Enterprise Zone Tax Credits and a $2 million economic development loan.

But nearly two years later, Kestrel has yet to open its factory and is now 90 days late in payments on two state-administered loans.

Moreover, the company has been having trouble meeting payroll for some 100 current employees, split between its operations in New Brunswick, Maine, and Duluth-Superior. One employee told the Bangor Daily News that direct-deposit checks have been arriving late and his health insurance was dropped.

Company president Alan Klapmeier -- a legend in the aviation world who with brother, Dale, once built a plane in the family barn in Baraboo -- maintains Kestrel is only awaiting further funding.

Further funding? I call that throwing good money after bad.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby DCB » Wed Oct 23, 2013 12:38 pm

A group called 'Good Jobs First' has a report called "Creating Scandals Not Jobs".

The report details the problems with WEDC, and related programs in several different states.

Three years ago, newly elected governors in several states, most notably Wisconsin and Ohio, decided that the best way to create jobs was to transfer economic development
business-recruitment functions to “public-private partnerships.” These experiments in privatization have, by and large, become costly failures.


You probably won't be surprised to learn that other states saw the same problems we had: corruption, scandal, lack of transparency, and a complete failure to live up to their promise.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:44 pm

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:57 pm

DCB wrote:You probably won't be surprised to learn that other states saw the same problems we had: corruption, scandal, lack of transparency, and a complete failure to live up to their promise.


And many of those states were brought up during the campaign as scrapping their own versions of WEDC and returning back to departmental control. WEDC is another on a list of many Walkers fails.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:48 pm

A new report says that the WEDC is biased towards Republican districts when disbursing grants (with taxpayer money). Walker responds by saying the report is biased and that the job creators all live in GOP territory.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon May 26, 2014 10:39 am

More evidence that giving corporations taxpayer money is not cost effective in creating new jobs.

Targeted benefits for businesses: Job creation or corporate welfare?

To some it’s corporate welfare. To others it’s job creation.

But no matter the spin, state governments — including Wisconsin — are increasingly using targeted benefits like tax credits and other incentives to attract companies.

Unfortunately, policy makers and elected officials are overlooking the negative side of those subsidies including cronyism, wasted resources and bias against smaller firms, says a new report.

Researchers at George Mason University studied economic development efforts across the country and found precious little bang for the public buck.


See the full article for examples. States spend more per job created than the salaries workers get. But the corporations profit from such government largesse.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Fri May 30, 2014 11:11 am

Guess who gets the majority of WEDC (taxpayer) money.

The report from One Wisconsin Now maintains that nearly 60 percent of some $975 million in assistance distributed by WEDC went to firms that had contributed to Walker or the Republican Governor’s Association.

Among those mentioned in the report are developers of Madison’s new Edgewater Hotel, which benefited from nearly $56 million in low-interest federal loans administered by WEDC.

“Cronyism, corruption and incompetence have been the hallmarks of Gov. Walker’s administration and nowhere is that more evident than with his signature economic development initiative,” said One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross in a statement released Thursday with the report.

One Wisconsin Now reviewed the most recent campaign finance records and found that 192 donors were associated with companies that got WEDC awards. The report says Walker received more than $1 million in direct campaign funds and another $1 million via the RGA from WEDC aid recipients.
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby HawkHead » Fri May 30, 2014 11:13 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Guess who gets the majority of WEDC (taxpayer) money.

The report from One Wisconsin Now maintains that nearly 60 percent of some $975 million in assistance distributed by WEDC went to firms that had contributed to Walker or the Republican Governor’s Association.

Among those mentioned in the report are developers of Madison’s new Edgewater Hotel, which benefited from nearly $56 million in low-interest federal loans administered by WEDC.

“Cronyism, corruption and incompetence have been the hallmarks of Gov. Walker’s administration and nowhere is that more evident than with his signature economic development initiative,” said One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross in a statement released Thursday with the report.

One Wisconsin Now reviewed the most recent campaign finance records and found that 192 donors were associated with companies that got WEDC awards. The report says Walker received more than $1 million in direct campaign funds and another $1 million via the RGA from WEDC aid recipients.


I guess I would have no problem with this if it was $1,000 to a campaign here and there. But when the totals are over $2,000,000 it is pretty hard not to think that some favoritism took place.
Last edited by HawkHead on Fri May 30, 2014 11:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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