Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The WEDC follies roll on, and get worse

Here's a great summary on the unfolding scandal involving WEDC's politically-connected $500,000 loan to Building Committee, Inc. The article is courtesy of occasional Funhouse commenter "lufthase," and it shows how this guy tried for years to do a pay-for-play operation with Dems in the late 2000s, but the Dems wouldn't bite on it and give assistance to such sketchy characters with shaky plans. But once Scott Walker and the GOP made the state "Open for Business" in 2011, they were more than willing to play ball and kick back taxpayer funds to these guys.

Also props to Dee Hall and Matt DuFour on their two excellent articles exposing the BCI scam and just how the WEDC slush fund operated. Those scoops shamed the Journal-Sentinel into a rare act of journalism that blew this story wider yesterday. Patrick Marley and Jason Stein took a break from the paper's usual stenography and Walker puff pieces to call bullshit on Scott Walker's attempted evasions and "I know nothing" responses to this WEDC kickback.
The Sept. 9, 2011, letter from Paul Jadin, WEDC's chief executive officer at the time, was sent to William Minahan, owner of Building Committee Inc., a company that is now being sued by WEDC for defaulting on the unsecured loan without delivering the promised project and the jobs it was supposed to create.

Jadin said in his letter of intent that he was writing "on behalf of Governor Scott Walker" and noted "cc: Scott Walker, Governor" at the bottom.

Walker's top cabinet appointee, then Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, urged WEDC officials to provide the loan, and Walker's then-chief of staff Keith Gilkes attended an initial meeting on it, according to records provided to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel by the Walker administration.

"In closing Governor Walker and I are firmly committed to doing everything possible to expedite the processing and awarding of this incentive award," Jadin wrote in the letter.
So what's Mr. Unintimidated's response to this revelation? To whine about "partisan witch hunts" and have his lackeys give an excuse equivalent to "the dog ate my homework." This clown wants to be president? If it wasn't so serious that this crooked buffoon could be close to the button, it'd be hilarious.

And speaking of homework, it's pretty obvious that Walker and the WEDC staff wasn't too keen on doing theirs when it came to evaluating Building Committee, Inc.'s financial stability, as the J-S (sensing blood in the water?) is reporting tonight.
Building Committee Inc. and its owner William Minahan, a donor to Walker's campaign, indicated in their September 2011 application for the state loan that the company, its owners and officials had not been involved in any lawsuits or civil cases in the previous five years.

But online public records show that Minahan faced legal action by the state Department of Revenue in November 2010 for tax delinquency in the amount of $15,700 and that Building Committee was also sued for thousands of dollars in a money judgment case just over a year before Minahan signed the application. They were the first of many court actions that have been filed against Building Committee.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), a member of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board, said that the loan should have never been made by the agency, given that a cursory search of online court records could have picked up the company's financial problems.

"A simple (Internet) search would have found it was there," Barca said.
Nice operation you got there, Scotty. Not incompetent or crooked in the least.

This story has serious legs, and I have a hard time believing that BCI are the only people who the Walker boys were being sketchy with. The US DOJ needs to take up Barca's request, and get the Feds on this case NOW.

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