That revelation, combined with other stories that showed WEDC tax credits had more correlation to Walker campaign donations than job creation, led a panicked Governor Walker to announce in September that WEDC would not be associated with outsourcers.
Companies that accept financial awards from WEDC will now be required to alert the agency if they outsource Wisconsin jobs....So flash ahead 7 months, after Walker was re-elected, and take a look at what hit the news yesterday.
"If people want the privilege of getting taxpayer funds to help their business go forward, then there's some requirements," Rep. [Peter] Barca told his fellow board members. "The requirements are you're not gonna outsource."
Gov. Scott Walker, who serves as WEDC Board Chair, echoed Rep. Barca's sentiment.
"I don't think its unreasonable to say, if you're going to make a change in those circumstances, which we understand change is gonna happen, we'd like to know," said Gov. Walker.
Companies that outsource would also have to disclose that information in their annual reports to WEDC, while new companies seeking funds would have to sign a document stating no WEDC money will be used to outsource Wisconsin jobs.
Eaton Corp. announced last week it is permanently discontinuing the manufacture of printed circuit boards at its facility in Watertown, which will result in the elimination of 93 employees there.Oops! Here's the TV report from last night, where Neumann also mentions the $23 billion in sales that Eaton pulled in last year.
"We first informed employees in April 2014, one year ago, that we would be moving the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) line from Watertown and consolidating it into another existing facility in Tijuana, Mexico," Eaton Corp. Spokesperson Ann Marie Halal told 27 News. "These actions are in response to ongoing business and market conditions and a continued challenging business climate. They will allow the business to continue to compete globally and meet market demand."
A 27 News investigation from July 2014 found that Eaton Corp. had received over $190,000 in WEDC tax credits despite laying off 163 employees at its Cooper Power Systems plant in Pewaukee in April 2013. The company moved those jobs to Mexico as well.
Well imagine that! Scott Walker and WEDC didn't follow through on their promises, and corporations continue to steal from taxpayers while taking away workers' jobs. Sure, the WEDC staff claim that they'll try to get back some of the $370,000 Eaton received, but given that they still can't find tens of millions of dollars they previously loaned out, would you count on them to do so?
This Eaton outsourcing episode reiterates two things-
1. Do not take your eyes off of Scott Walker for a second, and require that there be actual proof of action before you believe he will ever live up to his word. For example, Walker's tax-exempt campaign fund says it will pay back Wisconsin taxpayers for all the campaign trips Walker has taken in recent months. Don't accept it, and keep asking about it, until there is an actual check that clears.
2. It's well past time to shut down the slush fund known as WEDC, and put those funds toward filling some of Walker's many budget holes.