Saturday, May 4, 2013


Have you been paying attention to Scott Walker's initiative to supposedly spur job growth? Transforming the Wisconsin Department of Commerce into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation? Yes, even though Republicans always claim government doesn't know what it's doing and must get out of the way. When Republicans are in office, suddenly an entity of their making is the answer for explosive job creation.

In January 2011 Good Job First released, Public-Private Power Grab: The Risks in Privatizing State Economic Development Agencies (which I wrote about in February 2011).
The idea is far from new but it is not a common or standard practice. Economic development PPPs date back more than 20 years, but only seven states currently allow private entities to control their business recruitment functions: Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Rhode Island, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. 
Several other states previously employed PPPs but abandoned them because of performance problems. Most of the seven states that currently make use of economic development PPPs have experienced a variety of performance problems. These include the following:
  • Misuse of taxpayer funds (Rhode Island, Florida and Wyoming);
  • Excessive executive bonuses (Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Wyoming);
  • Questionable subsidy awards by the subset of PPPs that have a role in that process (Michigan and Rhode Island);
  • Conflicts of interest in subsidy awards (Florida, Utah and Texas, which makes limited use of PPPs);
  • Questionable claims by the PPP about its effectiveness (Wyoming, Florida, Utah and Indiana); and
  • Resistance to accountability (Florida and Michigan).
I followed up on my initial posting with more critiques, ending with Wisconsin Economic Development: Walker's Untraceable Slush Fund. This is what Republicans do. They use government to enrich themselves and their cronies. They really have no concern for public policy and governing. The government is simply a means to easy-money for their pilfering and pet projects.

And now the verdict is in...

More evidence of corruption and misappropriation:

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