Journal Times: “WEDC less than vigilant with taxpayer money”

Mar 17, 2015

As Scott Walker prepares to leave Wisconsin for a presidential campaign trip to South Carolina, another editorial board is taking Walker to task for the failures at his scandal-plagued flagship jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

After the latest embarrassing internal review at WEDC released earlier this month revealed the agency again failed to follow the law and properly track taxpayer funded loans, the Beloit Daily News editorial board slammed WEDC as “run badly” and now the Racine Journal Times is joining in the criticism calling the agency’s failures “embarrassing” and questioning why, after so many audits revealing significant problems, WEDC hasn’t made the changes necessary to comply with the law and properly track taxpayer funds.

A series of audits in 2012 and 2013 showed Walker’s Economic Disaster Corporation lost track of $56 million worth of taxpayer funded loans, violated state and federal law, and lacked basic internal accounting controls.

Scott Walker’s flagship jobs agency was supposed to drive the economy to create the 250,000 jobs Walker promised, but instead has been an overwhelming failure ever since its hasty inception, known not for economic development but the loss of millions of dollars in taxpayer funds, unprecedented staff turnover, lack of accountability, and significant shortcomings on its own job creation goals.

The latest federal jobs numbers released today show that Walker added 137,400 jobs in his first term, just fewer than 55% of his goal.

“WEDC is Scott Walker’s creation and he must be held accountable, not only for it failures in economic growth but for its failure to be a competent steward of money that belongs to the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Wednesday. “It’s beyond comprehension that this gross ineptitude has been allowed to stand over and over again. He might not have seen the latest news since he’s busy campaigning for president all over the country, but the buck has to stop with Scott Walker when it comes to his failed flagship jobs agency.”

Read the Journal Times editorial here.