Friday, May 8, 2015

Chairman Walker botched WEDC reforms again, expects to be President? Conservative voters must like throwing out money as welfare handouts for business.

And Scott Walker wants to run the country? Take another look at the guy who created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation back in 2011, took control as chairman, and followed through with his promise to deal with businesses personally.

Walker couldn't resist breaking state law for business handouts:
Gov. Scott Walker Friday abruptly dropped his proposed merger of the state's top two
jobs agencies after an audit found that one of them had again failed to follow state law and its own policies in awarding taxpayer funded incentives to state companies. The nonpartisan legislative audit contradicts the repeated assertions of state officials that they had strengthened the weak financial controls at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and represented a surprise reversal for the Republican governor and all but certain White House candidate.
Walker’s mismanagement over something he never had the talent to control in the first place, should tell voters nationally the level of incompetence we've personally witnessed here in Wisconsin.

Walker desperately tried to keep his presidential ambitions alive:
"After hearing concerns from legislators, stakeholders, and the (Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) and WEDC boards, we asked legislators to remove the proposed agency mergers from the state budget and we asked the bill authors to not move forward with the proposed separate legislation. Given the issues raised at the recent joint WEDC/WHEDA board meeting, it is not the appropriate time to pursue these proposals."
Walker got caught red handed breaking our state law. It only highlights his usual contempt for regulation he personally doesn't like:
The audit found some companies receiving state help were not required to submit records to verify job creation; contracts with companies did not always include requirements contained in state law; WEDC didn't verify the accuracy of information submitted by companies on jobs created; and the agency waived fees for five companies even though WEDC policies at the time didn't allow that.
Pretty careless for the WEDC board chairman:
Walker seeks to sell himself as a potential White House candidate by pointing to his economic record.
Check out this laughable statement from Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, who still thinks he can sell that old “guardians of taxpayer money” nonsense:
Republicans were committed to striving "to ensure that all of our state agencies provide the highest possible level of service to Wisconsin's taxpayers."
I thought this one attempt to deceive the public was worth noting, since it created the appearance of accountability:
In 2014, WEDC decreased its balance of past due loans by $4.2 million by amending 13 loan contracts to defer loan repayments, writing off nine loans, and forgiving two more. 
It could have been worse, and Democrats said so early on. Walker wanted to take oversight out completely. But as I recall, those warnings were considered partisan and sour grapes from the liberal minority:
Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers would no longer sit on the board of the state's flagship jobs agency Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca a WEDC board member, expressed skepticism about taking elected officials off the board. "It flies in the face of reason that an agency that has had a history of serious issues would move to have less accountability to taxpayers." 

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