Friday, July 20, 2012

Walker's Universal Excuse

One of the hot topics of the week in Fitzwalkerstan is the shake up in Scott Walker's corporate-controlled economic development debacle. Walker felt he had to shake up the management of this group by putting in more reliable yes men after the group got caught in illegally bid rigging by offering a favored company tax breaks as it was bidding on a major contract.

Scott Wittkopf points out that Walker's newest appointee is an unqualified crony.

Meh. Walker's entire political career is nothing but one long string of one example of cronyism after another.

But there was a red flag in the article about the shifting of personnel at WEDC (emphasis mine):
WEDC offered a tax break to the company in March, then rescinded it in June after Walker's administration deemed it inappropriate because the company was bidding on a $15 million project to run a statewide school information system.

"We did not feel it was appropriate," Werwie said. "As soon as our office learned of it, we put a stop to it."
That rung a bell with me. I heard a very similar statement from Walker's camp before:
“The Milwaukee County executive's office expressed policy was that county employees were not permitted to use county time or resources to conduct any political activity. Scott Walker expected everyone to follow the law and made that clear publicly and privately," Walker campaign spokeswoman Ciara Matthews said in the statement.
That quote is, of course, in reference to Darlene Wink getting busted doing Walker's campaign work while working in his county executive's office.

And as anyone who is a frequent reader of this here blog can tell you, when it comes to Walker, there's more. There's always more.

I would hazard to guess that the real reason for the shake up in WEDC was not because of the bid rigging. Rather, it was simply because they got caught doing it. It should give one pause and have them wondering how much more of this has gone on or is going on that we haven't caught yet.


  1. Bid rigging, is that still illegal?

  2. By their very nature, these "public-private partnership" economic development corporations have had a poor track record; their only constant has been to use public subsidies (taxpayer dollars) to benefit a company who tries to blackmail the locals by threatening to move their operations.
    This is apparently the business model our state has adopted since Scott Walker took office. WEDC is public (uses government buildings, takes taxpayer finance) and private (public records are made private, the officials deal privately with firms in creating sweetheart deals); taxpayers are left holding the bag.
    This is exactly what Ron Johnson was involved with in Oshkosh before anyone had heard of him.
    Randy Hopper did the same in Fond du Lac when "he" was responsible for saving Mercury Marine from moving; nevermind that the deal hinged on workers taking big concessions and $123 million ($70 million state tax money/the rest local). The disgraced Hopper is now working his magic with the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corp.

  3. Public money sucked into private use.

    Instead of some form of the public getting a service of any kind, or some kind of product (like, roads or bridges...) where the public at large can get some use out of what the money created, it all goes into some pet project of a government officials friend in some way.

    Back in the day, the old folks would say something along the lines of the politicians trying to make themselves rich. I always thought they meant the politicians were pocketing the money and giving themselves raises and what not.

    No, I was wrong.

    That would be illegal and immoral, so to get around that technical aspect, politicians start funding their friends.

    Their friends fund the politicians other friends. And it all comes full circle.

    There is no public in public government anymore.

    For Hopper and his Mercury Marine deal, check out how much our local Mercury Marine CEO is taking in for his cut of the production of work!!!

    See how well the union-busting (state supported here, by the way; BOOOO) worked for Mercury Marine workers and the community.

    It is a good measure to see what is to come for Wisconsin.