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The WEDC Republicans

Writing yesterday at the New York Times, liberal economist and Nobel laureate Paul Krugman addressed economic challenges of rural communities in Getting Real About Rural America.  It is a blog post about which reasonable observers of any ideology – left, center, right, or libertarian –  could agree.  Krugman writes There’s nothing wrong with discussing these…

The Astonishing Truth About WEDC

One can be a longtime critic of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, and still learn even worse things about that agency. With the Foxconn deal pending, WISGOP legislative leaders Vos & Fitzgerald want the WEDC board to be able to see the full text of the Foxconn contract. See Walker Delays Commenting On Possible Change…

Legislative Audit Bureau: WEDC Still Fails at Basic Tasks

Wisconsin’s Legislative Audit Bureau, as required by state law, has “completed a biennial financial audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and a program evaluation audit of WEDC’s economic development programs.” Perhaps the politician-publisher of the Banner, who has hawked these programs so many times, and is himself the recipient of a WEDC award,…

‘WEDC has been a disaster from the get-go’

After years of defending the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, one newspaper (out of several in the area) finally concedes the obvious:  ‘WEDC has been a disaster from the get-go.’ See, from 11.28.15, http://www.gazettextra.com/20151128/our_views_consider_two_steps_for_salvaging_state8217s_job_creation_agency, subscription req’d. Yes, it has been a disaster, as politicized intervention in the economy, to the benefit of one’s well-fed, white-collar executive…

Gov. Thompson Rejects WEDC-Style Loans

Republican Tommy Thompson, who served for fourteen years as governor, has written in opposition to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s loan program.  It’s the right position to take, and shows that Thompson understands the problems with WEDC.  Explicitly, Gov. Thompson’s opposition to WEDC-style loans includes local communities’ doling of loans through their own programs.  (Whitewater’s Community…

WEDC Spends More, Produces Less

It should come as no surprise that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s millions in taxpayer handouts to well-fed executives and political cronies are producing less with each successive spending spree: The state’s flagship job-creation agency handed out nearly $90 million more in economic development awards last year than the previous year, yet those awards are…

The WEDC Taints Walker (and local officials even more)

The WEDC is a state and national story that has local implications. Some of the toughest political battles are intra-party ones: Republicans or Democrats fighting against fellow party members for their respective primary nominations.  For rival Republicans, Gov. Walker’s creation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation will offer a legitimate and compelling line of attack against his…

WEDC Leader Quits: “It is time for me to return to my previous retired status”

Having presided over the national embarrassment that is the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, WEDC leader Reed Hall now heads for the exit:   The state’s top economic development agency, stung by a series of scathing audits, media reports about questionable loans and accusations of mismanagement, is once again seeking new leadership. After three years steering…

The State’s WEDC and Whitewater’s Facsimiles

Ongoing revelations about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are a double concern: they’re stories of statewide malfeasance, and those revelations beg the question of how local officials in Whitewater are managing their own pools of public money. First, the latest stories (it’s a steady stream) of state-level error, waste, and negligence: Madison— Failing to run…

Another Six-Figure WEDC Loan to an Unworthy Applicant

View image | gettyimages.com Across the state, revelation after revelation shows that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has been a mistake, a wasteful political endeavor contrary to sound economics. Locally, support for the WEDC, from Whitewater’s Community Development Authority, Chancellor Richard Telfer, City Manager Cameron Clapper, etc., shows not only that they’re ignorant of sound…

Conservatives Against WEDC

Only a generation ago (not long, really), most conservatives would have rejected something like the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s ineffectual, wasteful attempts to manipulate the economy for the benefit of a few insiders’ friends. Today, communities across our state are beset with any number of unctuous men hawking a kind of big-government conservatism, with false…

12 Points on the WEDC’s $500,000 Loan for Campaign Contributor’s Failing (and Lying) Company

Seemingly, all Wisconsin is discussing a $500,000 Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation loan to a failing company of a Walker political contributor.  Here’s a summary of what’s known so far. 1.  The loan was to Building Committee Inc. (BCI), a business owned by William Minahan, a Walker political contributor (and Minahan made contributions to other campaigns,…