Saturday, July 9, 2016

Walker Enriching Dutiful Cronies

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation also known as WEDC is a public-private agency created in 2011 by Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Governor Scott Walker created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce. WEDC grants loans that would give assistance to a company's attempts to grow and employ more workers within the state of Wisconsin. [source]

Scott Walker’s WEDC in Full Meltdown
In May 2014, One Wisconsin Now ran the numbers on WEDC loans and found that nearly 60 percent of some $975 million in assistance distributed by WEDC since 2011 went to firms that had contributed to Walker or the Republican Governor’s Association. 
"This new audit confirms that WEDC is the embodiment of the cronyism, corruption and incompetence of the Walker administration,” One Wisconsin Now’s Scot Ross told CMD.
WEDC made 27 awards totaling $124.4 million without proper review
Gov. Scott Walker’s flagship job-creation agency has made at least 27 awards totaling $124.4 million to companies without conducting a formal staff review, the agency reported Friday afternoon. 
The new information comes on the heels of a State Journal report last month that found the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded an unsecured $500,000 loan to a struggling Milwaukee construction company at the urging of Walker’s top cabinet secretary.
And, from a Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau report:
WEDC did not consistently follow statutes or its policies when making financial awards. WEDC did not comply with all statutory requirements related to program oversight. Staff did not consistently comply with policies established by WEDC’s governing board. Additional efforts are needed to help ensure that WEDC administers its state-funded programs effectively.
Industry clusters, workforce training and a new, competitive grant for organizations assisting start-ups are the biggest winners in what is essentially a flat 2017 budget proposal by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. 
WEDC's budget, the first that top executive Mark Hogan has overseen since taking the helm in October, was approved by the agency board's finance committee earlier this month. It will be presented to the full board in July for approval. 
Under the proposal, about half of WEDC's expenditures for services delivered around the state — $18.2 million — would go to businesses and communities for redeveloping contaminated sites, job creation and job and workforce development. Another 20%, or $7.3 million, would go to entrepreneurship and innovation efforts. 
The rest of the spending is divided among advancing key industries (19%, or about $7 million), building export capacity (9%, or $3.5 million) and attracting businesses to the state (3%, or just under $1 million).

I think we can safely say that these clowns, apparatchiks of the Walker regime, have no clue on economic growth. To some degree, I don't really think they care. This is just another way of funneling public dollars to private accomplices. Yet, again, we have Republicans (in this instance, the Scott Walker administration) using the government as a slush fund for their private excursions, paybacks and cronyism.

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