Thursday, July 10, 2014

Scott Walker: "Land Ho!"

A couple of days ago, both Scott Walker and Mary Burke launched new video advertisements in their snorefest of a gubernatorial race.  Interestingly, Burke's was a positive ad touting her family's bicycle company and Walker's was an attack ad based on some news from eight years ago.  (It's not a good sign for Walker to have to go negative while he is the incumbent and it's still fairly early in the campaign.)

I will not get into doing any fact checking on either commercial, per se.  I'll leave that to the able hands of others.  But I will discuss the hypocrisy of Walker's ad.

In his attack ad, he points out to an alleged incident in which Burke, then head of the Department of Commerce, saying that she "wasted" $12.5 million on a vacant lot for a company that never used it to build a facility and create jobs.  I guess we're supposed to just ignore that Walker had four years to do something about this, but has apparently chosen not to.

But the real kicker is that when it comes to land deals, Walker doesn't have any ground to stand on while hurling mud.

In fact, his problems go all the way back to his days as Milwaukee County Executive.

Milwaukee County owned a large parcel of land in Wauwatosa, which was one of the most unique spots in North America due to having a naturally occurring haven for migrating Monarch butterflies.  When Walker took office, he vowed never to do anything to harm the land and even talked about asking to make it a state park.

Like everything else Walker says, this proved to be just another lie.  He not only sold the land to wealthy land developers, but he sold it for a fraction of the worth of the land.  On top of that, he also sold the Parks Administration building with a promise to lease it for the next twenty years.  The land was supposed to go to building an extension for the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.  So far, everything has been built there but that.

When Walker became governor, his bungling of land deals only got worse.

If the gentle reader would recall, within a month of taking office, Walker set about paving over wetlands in Ashwaubenon to build a store for Bass Pro Shop.  However, when the company learned that Walker was damaging wetlands for the store, they pulled out of the deal.

In 2012, Walker promised precertified land to companies willing to come to Wisconsin.  This gimmick was to be administered through Walker's newly created WEDC, which has gone on to lose tens of millions of dollars and to give money to companies that used it to outsource jobs to foreign countries.

As a final example, it was just reported that Walker is set to sell off several state assets in a no bid process and won't even reveal the fair market values of said assets so that the taxpayers won't find out how badly they're getting ripped off.  Any bets on the buyers of said assets turn out to be campaign donors?

And do I even have to mention iron mine, frack sand mining or pipelines?

At first, I was amazed that Walker would try to attack Burke from such a weak position.  But after a few moments of reflection, I realized that as weak as a position as this is for Walker, it is one of his strongest ones.  After all, I can't imagine anyone would take him seriously if he started talking about creating jobs, stimulating the economy or helping the working class.


  1. Considering the track record of Walker's WEDC, Walker has no grounds to criticize Burke.

    Hello, Burke Campaign! You really need to run ads highlighting how Walker's WEDC has spent hundred of millions of dollars and lost tens of millions of taxpayer money with hardly any job creation to show for it. $203 million in taxpayer money created 4,796 jobs.

  2. …… and apparently some of the WEDC money was used to create jobs overseas.

  3. Scott Walker's grand plan of WEDC reflect the corruption and incompetence of both. They have royally screwed Wisconsin taxpayers, as well as the state economy. The information supplied in the Progressive "How Many Jobs Has Walker's WEDC Created?" article needs to be told to voters, for starters. Those 4,796 jobs each cost more than $42,325, which is obscene! It's indefensable!

    WEDC recently granted developer Louie Lange of Commonwealth Companies $400,000 to tear down and renovate properties on Main Street, including office space for its new corporate headquarters, spec retail space and 10 market-rate apartments.
    Five jobs, each already filled, are to be created.
    Lange donated $10,000 for Scott Walker's 2010 campaign.

    1. Good Lord! $400,000 to turn a landmark 1925 Rapp & Rapp motion picture palace into a 32-space surface parking lot? What could those fools be thinking! If nothing else a vacant lot in the heart of their supposed Arts and Entertainment District would be the kiss of death to Fond Du Lac's downtown revitalization dreams. Nothing spells "failure" like demolish with no plan to rebuild.

      But, hey, a $400,000 return on a $10,000 investment -- let it never be said that Scooter's big money backers don't know how to turn a buck into forty!

  4. I'm confused. I thought you hated Burke more than Walker.

  5. After Bass Pro Shop pulled out in Ashwaubenon, Cabela's filled in and built on this wetlands.

  6. Mary Burke is Wisconsin's Elizabeth Warren.

    1. Sadly no. Burke is a corporate Democrat like Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Chris Abele.

      Warren would go after WEDC and WMC. Burke is trying to work with them.

  7. Capper, I think you are on to something.