Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

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HawkHead
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby HawkHead » Fri May 30, 2014 11:14 am

Henry Vilas wrote:Guess who gets the majority of WEDC (taxpayer) money.

The report from One Wisconsin Now maintains that nearly 60 percent of some $975 million in assistance distributed by WEDC went to firms that had contributed to Walker or the Republican Governor’s Association.

Among those mentioned in the report are developers of Madison’s new Edgewater Hotel, which benefited from nearly $56 million in low-interest federal loans administered by WEDC.

“Cronyism, corruption and incompetence have been the hallmarks of Gov. Walker’s administration and nowhere is that more evident than with his signature economic development initiative,” said One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross in a statement released Thursday with the report.

One Wisconsin Now reviewed the most recent campaign finance records and found that 192 donors were associated with companies that got WEDC awards. The report says Walker received more than $1 million in direct campaign funds and another $1 million via the RGA from WEDC aid recipients.


DP

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Jul 13, 2014 1:14 pm

More problems for the WEDC.

It was a tough week for Gov. Scott Walker’s key job creating entity.

First, WKOW-TV reported that at least two companies receiving money from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. later outsourced jobs to foreign countries.

Both Eaton Corp. and Plexus Corp. got millions of dollars in financial awards from WEDC only to lay off Wisconsin workers and transfer that business to other locations.

Plexus, which provides electronics manufacturing services, laid off 116 workers from its facility in Neenah in 2012, with U.S. Department of Labor later ruling those employees were eligible for benefits under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program, benefits available only to employees laid off because of job outsourcing.

Eaton, an electric power management company, received a second award from WEDC even after laying off 163 workers at its plant in Pewaukee and moving those jobs to Mexico.

Now, reports are surfacing in Superior that WEDC-backed Kestrel Aircraft is nowhere close to getting its plan off the ground to build a turbojet airplane there and is arguing with state officials about future funding.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:00 am

More about Kestrel:

Headlined “Kestrel in Brunswick: How blue-sky promises came crashing down,” the story describes how Kestrel owner Alan Klapmeier had been fighting with officials in Maine about not providing enough taxpayer support for his dream of manufacturing commercial airplanes at a closed military base in Brunswick.

According to the report, Klapmeier was expecting a $100 million allocation of New Markets Tax Credits — a federal program designed to encourage investment in low-income rural areas — but had only received about a fifth of that amount.

Failing to land enough funding in Maine, Klapmeier began seeking other sources of public money and apparently found a willing participant in newly-elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.


So much for a free market approach.

And then:

The latest news from Superior says the company has fewer than 65 employees and has been cutting staff.

But Hackett says maybe Wisconsin shouldn’t be surprised how things have turned out given Klapmeier’s earlier efforts to extract more public dollars from Maine.

“We may be dealing with a serial offender here,” he says.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:39 am


Steve Vokers
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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Steve Vokers » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:54 am



WTF??? No, seriously, WTF???

They couldn't find anyone to give $6 million to that would have actually created jobs?

The Burke ad writes itself on this one.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby gargantua » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:01 am


Actually, it doesn't. The headline didn't say that without the tax credit, Ashley may leave the state and we risk losing 3,800 jobs. You can argue that we should call their bluff. But what if they aren't bluffing?

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Henry Vilas » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:10 pm

Maybe the taxpayers should have given them $12 million in order to avoid any layoffs.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby peripat » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:56 pm

Blackmail goes by so many names.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby DCB » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:11 pm

gargantua wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. The headline didn't say that without the tax credit, Ashley may leave the state and we risk losing 3,800 jobs. You can argue that we should call their bluff. But what if they aren't bluffing?

The headline also doesn't explain what the money would be used for. Part of the money would go toward relocating a creek. To prevent flooding. The article doesn't explain why Ashley gets tax credits for this, or why the DNR isn't footing the bill.
But it does say:
The company faced criticism for expanding its headquarters into a wetland in 2005. The project took more than a decade to obtain the required environmental approvals and resulted in the company spending $1 million to build nearby wetlands more than twice the size of the land it developed.


Huh. Just speculating here, but maybe they shouldn't have built in a wetland?

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Steve Vokers » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:18 pm

gargantua wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. The headline didn't say that without the tax credit, Ashley may leave the state and we risk losing 3,800 jobs. You can argue that we should call their bluff. But what if they aren't bluffing?


Maybe we should ask some of the 1,900 people who are losing their job whether they are down with their tax money going to their (soon to be former) employer?

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:25 pm

DCB wrote:But it does say:
The company faced criticism for expanding its headquarters into a wetland in 2005. The project took more than a decade to obtain the required environmental approvals and resulted in the company spending $1 million to build nearby wetlands more than twice the size of the land it developed.


Huh. Just speculating here, but maybe they shouldn't have built in a wetland?


Just speculating here as well, but I'm guessing that quote is probably a good reason why:
Steve Vokers wrote:The Burke ad writes itself on this one.

probably isn't in the cards.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby HawkHead » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:52 pm

gargantua wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. The headline didn't say that without the tax credit, Ashley may leave the state and we risk losing 3,800 jobs. You can argue that we should call their bluff. But what if they aren't bluffing?


At what point does the state have to pay businesses to keep jobs in the state? 1,000 employees? 500 employees? 100 employees?

I should get all of the partners in our CPA firm to threaten moving and see how much we can get from WEDC.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Sun Aug 24, 2014 2:24 pm

HawkHead wrote:At what point does the state have to pay businesses to keep jobs in the state? 1,000 employees? 500 employees? 100 employees?


And what is the exchange rate?

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby gargantua » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:57 pm

HawkHead wrote:
gargantua wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. The headline didn't say that without the tax credit, Ashley may leave the state and we risk losing 3,800 jobs. You can argue that we should call their bluff. But what if they aren't bluffing?


At what point does the state have to pay businesses to keep jobs in the state? 1,000 employees? 500 employees? 100 employees?

I should get all of the partners in our CPA firm to threaten moving and see how much we can get from WEDC.

I don't pretend to have that answer. My point was that Henry asserted that the headline says it all. I disagree.

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Re: Gov. Walker's WEDC "Loses" over $8 Million in Loans

Postby gargantua » Sun Aug 24, 2014 4:06 pm

Steve Vokers wrote:
gargantua wrote:

Actually, it doesn't. The headline didn't say that without the tax credit, Ashley may leave the state and we risk losing 3,800 jobs. You can argue that we should call their bluff. But what if they aren't bluffing?


Maybe we should ask some of the 1,900 people who are losing their job whether they are down with their tax money going to their (soon to be former) employer?

Sure! In the interest of fairness, we should ask the 1,900 people who stand to retain their jobs where they stand as well. Where do you stand? If it is really true that providing this credit keeps 1,900 jobs in the state,would you support it? I think I would, if I really believed we'd lose them otherwise. I hate government being involved in this stuff...but to save that many well paying jobs....


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