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Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021: Marketing

This is the ninth in a series on Whitewater’s local politics of 2021. Through all the difficult events of the last two decades (a Great Recession, an opioid epidemic, economic stagnation, creeping nativism, a pandemic, a pandemic recession), Old Whitewater has responded with the same question: how can we market the town to others? If…

Foxconn’s Venture Capital Fund

Bruce Murphy has a solid assessment of Foxconn’s much-touted (by Foxconn) venture capital fund in About That Foxconn Venture Capital Fund. It’s well worth reading in full. A few key points: Unfulfilled: Louis Woo of Foxconn had promised this venture fund for startup companies would naturally connect to Foxconn’s innovation centers in Eau Claire, Green Bay…

Tommy Thompson @ UW-Whitewater: Day Late, Dollar Short

Former governor and current UW System president Tommy Thompson spoke at a UW-Whitewater Faculty Senate meeting on Tuesday. Thompson addressed a campus that confronts statewide funding reductions, a tuition freeze, repeated administrative scandals and failures over the last decade, a decline in the conventional student-age demographic, and competitive pressures from other universities. For all these…

WISGOP Legislation Would Gerrymander Wisconsin’s Electoral Votes

A WISGOP legislator, Rep. Gary Tauchen, has drafted a bill to award Wisconsin’s electoral votes by congressional district, thereby maximizing the importance of gerrymandering. Melanie Conklin writes that GOP has bill to reallocate Wisconsin’s electoral votes by congressional district: And that is what a new bill authored by Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) would do. It…

Highlight’s from The Verge’s Foxconn Assessment

No failure better reveals the bankruptcy of corporate welfare in the Walker and Trump years than the Foxconn project in Wisconsin: exaggeration upon exaggeration, but nothing productive. This was a failure of judgment so obvious and significant that everyone involved should retire from policymaking. Walker Administration, Trump Administration, the WISGOP, the WEDC, down to Whitewater’s Community…

Accountability Comes Calling at Foxconn

After years of grandiose – ludicrous, truly – claims about Foxconn from Trump to Vos to boosters in Whitewater, Accountability has made her way to Foxconn. If not Accountability personified, then at least Missy Hughes (the new, Evers-appointed leader) of a slightly-reformed WEDC. Josh Dzieza of the national publication The Verge reports Wisconsin denies Foxconn tax…

Foxconn & UW-Madison: Two Years and Less Than One Percent Later…

Kelly Meyerhofer reports UW-Madison still waiting on Foxconn’s $100 million pledge 2 years later: Foxconn Technology Group gave no money to UW-Madison over the past year, renewing questions about the company’s commitment to its $100 million pledge to the university nearly two years ago. UW-Madison received $700,000 in the first of a five-year agreement — less than…

The Lingering Problem of Local Exceptionalism

A common error in small rural communities is the persistent, false claim that local officials are examples of a local exceptionalism that makes them implicitly immune from the flaws and mistakes that beset the rest of humanity. Under this thinking, while there may be problems in the wider world, there are no local examples of…

The Janesville Gazette‘s Time-Share Stage of Decline

A nearby newspaper, the Janesville Gazette, part of an out-of-state chain (APG) owned by a family that made billions in billboard advertising, recently tried to position half-off advertising as a ‘community grant‘ program. See That’s Not a ‘Community Grant’ – It’s Half-Off Advertising. It’s an old – often true – adage that bad goes to…

Boosterism, ’30s Style

Although the Roosevelt Administration was (whatever its other mistakes) candid about the economic conditions it faced, there was in the ’30s, as there has been over the 2010s in Wisconsin, a delusional impulse to happy talk – regardless of economic conditions – among some politicians and some business groups. Margaret Bourke-White‘s Kentucky Flood depicts the…

More Deaths, No Benefit from Anti-Malaria Drug That Trump Pushed

A malaria drug widely touted by President Donald Trump for treating the new coronavirus showed no benefit in a large analysis of its use in U.S. veterans hospitals. There were more deaths among those given hydroxychloroquine versus standard care, researchers reported. The nationwide study was not a rigorous experiment. But with 368 patients, it’s the…

Foxconn’s ‘Innovation’ Centers: Still Empty a Year Later

 Over at the national tech website The Verge, Nilay Patel reminds that a year later, Foxconn has still done nothing with the ‘innovation’ centers that foreign corporation promised it would open around the state. They’re still empty:    See FOXCONN’S BUILDINGS IN WISCONSIN ARE STILL EMPTY, ONE YEAR LATER. In Whitewater, the ‘Greater Whitewater’ Committee…

If Vos & Fitzgerald Read More, and Spoke Less

So Speaker Vos and Senate Majority Leader Fitzgerald want Gov. Evers to allow an exception to the Safer at Home order for Easter Sunday services. (They’ve also included Passover in their request, but they’re either too ignorant or too dishonest to concede that Passover is commemorated traditionally in a home setting. It’s obviously a certain…