Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CC

We've already discussed what a train wreck Scott Walker's WEDC is.  They've lost track of tens of millions of dollars. And they took the money that they could find and used it for Badger game tickets and iPods.

Another problem with Walker's WEDC is that they were too careful about who they gave money to, such as Kestrel Aircraft which they thought would bring in 600 new jobs:
Governor Scott Walker today announced that Kestrel Aircraft Corporation will establish its manufacturing and headquarters in Superior, creating up to 600 new jobs.

“I am pleased with the aggressive package we have put forth in conjunction with strong local support to make this major job creation contribution to Superior,” said Governor Walker. “This relocation will be a huge boost to the Superior-area economy.”

Two state agencies, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Develop Authority, partnered with local officials to bring Kestrell’s expansion to Superior.

“This combined effort by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Housing Economic Development Authority, the city and county shows how serious we are about Wisconsin’s commitment to supporting business development and the creation of good paying jobs,” said Paul Jadin, CEO of the WEDC.

The WEDC will create an Enterprise Zone in Superior to provide $18 million in tax credits to Kestrel Aircraft Corporation. WEDC will provide a $2 million loan and is working with the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to secure a $2 million State Small Business Credit Initiative program loan. The repayment of the WEDC loan and eligibility of tax credits are based on the capital investment, worker training and job creation by the company.

WHEDA has committed to work with Kestrel to obtain a $30 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) for the Superior project. NMTC is a U.S. Department of the Treasury program that assists businesses that locate and grow in qualified low-income areas.

“I am pleased that WHEDA is partnering with local officials and WEDC to use our new economic development tools including SSBCI,” said Wyman Winston, WHEDA Executive Director. “It is a testament to the people of Superior that Kestrel Aircraft is committed to build the next generation of commercial aircraft utilizing the know-how and talent available in the state of Wisconsin.”
They gave Kestrel $22 million to create up to 600 jobs.

So how did they do? Well, about as well as anything that Walker touches.

In fact, they did so poorly under the Walker agenda that it hurt workers 1,500 miles away:
Kestrel Aircraft Co., a major tenant at the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, continues to face funding problems, leading to problems with vendors and an inability to cover employee insurance.

Kestrel CEO Alan Klapmeier confirmed Wednesday that his startup company is behind on rent payments, has been late with paychecks and that Kestrel employees in Brunswick are currently without health, life and dental insurance after the company failed to pay premiums.

Kestrel employs about 40 people at Brunswick Landing, where Klapmeier announced in July 2010 that the company would invest $100 million to design and build a new turboprop single-engine plane. At the time, Klapmeier said it hoped to bring 300 jobs to the former Navy base, although he later said as many as 600 jobs could have been created.

But in October 2011, citing difficulties obtaining financing — including New Market Tax Credits — in Maine, Klapmeier announced that the company would manufacture the planes in Superior, Wis., although composite components of the planes would continue to be made in Brunswick. The company employs about 60 people in Superior.
Not only were the workers not getting paid, their insurance was cut off and vendors were cutting the company off due to not getting paid.


  1. And Kestrel still isn't close to having 600 jobs today, probably never will, and local taxpayers are making up the difference.

    Keep that in mind when you hear of the $18 million being given away in Kenosha for the Amazon warehouse that "plans to" add 1,000 jobs

  2. So Wisconsin taxpayers are shoveling out money to keep Kestrel on life support while it stiffs workers and suppliers in Maine. Why the inability to raise money from the private sector for such a revolutionary airplane? Obviously the private sector has done it's due diligence and knows something that WEDC doesn't, which isn't surprising when you consider who runs it.

  3. Perhaps if the chairperson of the board of WEDC was some one with CEO experience in the private sector as opposed to one whose only private sector experience was a part time student job until getting kicked out of college the results of the organization may improve.

    1. Or if the Number 2 guy at WEDC wasn't a 30-year old lifetime GOP hack with ZERO private sector job experience, we might have better results.

      Of course, we seemed to have better results when we had state officials with oversight over the process. Funny how it becomes more corrupt and a bunch of empty promises of job growth once that oversight goes away and WEDC comes in.

      Republican "governance" (I.e. Cronyism) at its best

  4. How the HELL did I miss this story of astounding WEDC failure in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel???????????