Thursday, December 20, 2018

Taxpayer Sucking Foxconn Con slipped through WEDC and smart business minded Walker and Republicans? No...

Even though the holidays have kept me busy and away from posting new and outrageous stories about our radicalized state Republicans, I've also been thinking about the creeky nature of government under Scott Walker, Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald. How can any society advance when we work so hard to stay in one place, or heck, even go backward?

The latest Foxconn outrage is all part of Scott Walker's "legacy." Not only did Walker wake up to "technology," but he put our future in the hands of a company that wants to lead the world in automation and robots. Thank you? Walker's supply-side fantasy land of economic magic missed a very real detail in the Foxconn contract:
The Legislative Audit Bureau released a review that found the state jobs agency is operating under rules that would allow officials there to award tax credits to Foxconn for workers who aren't in Wisconsin. The bureau recommended the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. change its practices to prevent taxpayers from spending money on jobs that aren't in Wisconsin.
Cap Times reporter Jessie Opoien wrote a whole article about this. Never once in her reporting did she ask how this rule slipped by everyone, especially Scott Walker's WEDC, the agency Sen. Fitzgerald and Rep. Vos purposely prevented Gov. Evers from replacing. 
WEDC written procedures allow tax credits to be awarded for some employees who do not live in Wisconsin as long as they are directed from and paid in the zone that encompasses the Foxconn campus in southeastern Wisconsin.
Yikes, that can't be good. As JS's Molly Beck writes, Fitzgerald thinks it's no big deal, just a few people...maybe more, and more, and more...:
(Fitzgerald said), "I talked to WEDC chief operating officer, Mark Hogan yesterday about this and I kind of asked him specifically, Mike, are we talking hundreds of people or are we talking like onesies, twosies, somewhere in the country? And his description was it is a very small number ... 
First, what is a small number, and second, does that sound like good financial management?

Ready for This: Remember, WEDC needed constant auditing because of its incompetent Chairman (Scott Walker who was fired), bad books and forgotten loans. But Fitzgerald even turned lousy bookkeeping into a huge positive...would I kid you? 
"WEDC in the history of the state -— I don't think there's been any agency as audited or as scrutinized as WEDC," Fitzgerald said. "Whether I like it or not it's going to continue specific to even what happens to the agency and obviously it's all being driven by Foxconn. So it's going to be bird-dogged all the way through the entire process."
 If you'll believe that...missing this huge con is now a sign of good GOP government? Republicans know Democratic Governor Evers will be able to showcase his more popular plans for the state that got him elected, so when something this bad turns up, thank god Republicans caught it? Really:
Audit committee co-chair Rep. Samantha Kerkman, R-Salem Lakes, said the report is "reassuring" to residents near the Foxconn project and throughout the state "to know that this evaluation is setting a baseline for compliance to the terms of the contract."

"Once again, the diligent work of the Legislative Audit Bureau has uncovered a discrepancy that had the potential to cost Wisconsin taxpayers money. This audit has given the Legislature and WEDC the ability to identify this issue and correct it prior to any tax credits being awarded," said committee co-chair Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay.

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