Monday, September 11, 2017

WEDC cannot be trusted with the Fox-con

As the State Legislature plans to jam through vote on the Fox-con in the coming days, Citizen Action of Wisconsin reminded us of one of the top reasons we should be skeptical about that giveaway - because the bill has the scandal-ridden Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) be the overseer of the payments to and job creation attainment of Foxconn.

Citizen Action put together a spreadsheet on the tax credits handed out by WEDC over its 6-year history, and it shows that most of the companies that receive taxpayer-funded WEDC handouts don't create the jobs that the press releases said they would.
Of the 337 WEDC awardees with established job creation goals at least 3 years old, 60% (203 awardees) failed to meet their goals.....

--Of the 203 awardees that have not met their job creation promises, the difference between their actual job creation as reported by WEDC and their goals are 14,744 jobs. This means the WEDC job creation gap is larger than the total number of direct jobs being proposed by Foxconn in the best case scenarios (13,000 jobs).

--The numbers would be even worse if WEDC kept net job creation numbers, because it is well documented that many WEDC recipients have outsourced other jobs while taking state tax credits.

--WEDC has a very poor record of taking back tax credits when corporate recipients fail to fulfill their job creation promises. WEDC has only sought to claw back $9.9 million from 24 companies, less than 12% of companies who have not met their job creation goals after 3 years. WEDC does not report how much of this money has been successfully recovered.

--The 203 companies that still have not hit their jobs goal in at least 3 years have already received $94.8 million in verified tax credits from WEDC, with another $158 million awarded but not yet dispersed.
And the Fox-con dwarfs any other WEDC handout, but we're going to let those guys oversee it when they clearly can't track and verify smaller deals?

Let's not also forget that WEDC CEO Mark Hogan negotiated the Fox-con with that foreign corporation, and has been actively going around the state for the last 6 weeks trying to sell it. Do you think that guy and the Walker lackeys running the WEDC Board are going to admit the truth when Foxconn is failing to deliver and that taxpayers are getting ripped off? COME ON, MAN!

Would you trust these guys?

But let's be honest. WEDC was never intended to be a legitimate oversight agency that kept a careful watch over taxpayer dollars. From day 1, it was designed as a Walker/GOP slush fund to kick back campaign donations to.

Let's also remember Mary Bottari's 2014 expose in The Progressive dealing with WEDC's willful incompetence. Not only was WEDC recklessly handing out loans and grants while spending lavishly on itself, but the REAL mission of WEDC was revealed when its former director of compliance started asking too many questions about what was going on.
"I was once told by an administration higher up, 'We have one customer, and our job is to make him look good. . . . [former DOA Secretary Mike] Huebsch is the prince, Walker is the king.'"
Among the many reasons to oppose the Fox-con, the fact that the slush fund known as WEDC was chosen to "oversee" this operation is right at the top of the list. And anyone who votes for this is accepting of that corruption.

1 comment:

  1. Exactly right on what you're saying here. There are so many reasons for any sane person to stop this Foxconn charade: if serious policy people, would come out and say what it is, then it would not be a jam through.
    As Citizen Action points out, as well as MALContends (, this deal has "huge scandal" written all over it. Reps that want it will pay the political price at the ballot booth.

    Call and pressure your State rep to stop this road to nowhere for most of us. It's critical now to decide whose side you are on.