Gov. Walker’s negotiations lack taxpayer protections,expertise, and basic competence
“This week’s revelations surrounding Gov. Walker’s Foxconn negotiations reveal a shady process, cobbled together and scrawled by hand on a sheet of paper, where the governor placed a foreign corporation in the driver’s seat. I’m seriously concerned Wisconsin is being taken for a ride,” said Martha Laning, Democratic Party of Wisconsin chair. “We all want to create jobs and protect taxpayers, and we can do it without rushing the process and hiding it from the public and our business community.”
According to news reports and interested parties, the WEDC vote was delayed when board members discovered the contract contained what one described as a “nuclear bomb” that “would not have protected taxpayers whatsoever.” This mistake, which may have involved putting Wisconsin at great financial risk with a $3 billion contract, comes amid mounting public concern over the lack of transparency and the professionalism of Walker’s negotiations.
Had a board member not discovered these potentially fatal flaws, the vote might have gone forward and Wisconsin could have been put in serious financial jeopardy. WEDC’s own spokesperson confirmed it was detected late in the negotiating process.
The vote was delayed until Nov. 8, but lead Foxconn negotiator and WEDC CEO Mark Hogan admitted that he and Gov. Walker planned to be out of the country much of the time while this incredibly intricate and complex contract is being rewritten, after which Walker plans to be focused on his own future and re-election, not on protecting Wisconsin.
“This project now has the potential to put Wisconsin taxpayers at enormous risk, yet a desperate Gov. Walker and his scandal-plagued negotiating agency can’t even be bothered to see the process through.”
Laning, who has been raising questions on the Foxconn transactions and the impact it could have on our state’s finances from a business finance perspective, characterized the Foxconn deal as completely fiscally irresponsible.
“All of us want to grow jobs in Wisconsin and none of us want to see our tax dollars go to waste. From the beginning, the Foxconn negotiations have been a rushed, secretive process aimed not at creating jobs, but at promoting Walker’s political ambitions at Wisconsin’s expense.
“Narrowly dodging a “nuclear bomb” shows just how careless this process has been. That’s why I’m calling on WEDC and the Walker administration to make public the contents of the contract. Let Wisconsin’s business community and taxpayers view and vet the deal so we can rest assured that our interests — not just his political ambitions — are protected.”