Governor Scott Walker’s WEDC Mess Proves He Is Not Good Steward Of Taxpayers’ Money

It wasn’t as if there was not a chorus of voices both in and out of government who did not send up alarms and suggestions about the need to be more prepared prior to the startup of Governor Scott Walker’s jobs creation agency.  But with gusto and short-sightedness the Republicans plunged ahead and created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.

Since WEDC opened their doors there has been far more negative news than anything one could be proud to hang their hats on.

The news this week is just pure devastation for Walker and his administration.  For more than a year WEDC has lost track of $8 million in past due loans.  To put that another way it is 16% of the agency’s $51 million loan portfolio, or 99 businesses that WEDC failed to track.

In addition to getting a handle on this grave political error for Walker there needs to be found a remedy for the concerns raised by the Department Housing and Urban  Development for WEDC’s failure to follow strict policies.  In addition WEDC needs to address why it offered tax credits to a  company bidding on a state contract.

How in the world did Wisconsin get to such a sorry place?  This news makes all those brave press releases from Walker aimed at Illinois businesses who might want to move here sound rather silly.

Wisconsinites should feel the same as State Senator Kathleen Vinehout who labeled this all correctly by saying “It’s infuriating.”

It was the Republicans who sold themselves as being sound fiscal managers, and frugal stewards of the taxpayer money.  But look at what they do when given the chance to perform!

Dismantling the Commerce Department that was run by professionals and creating WEDC with too many political hacks has proven to be a major embarrassment.

The warnings that Democrats gave about the need to be more careful with planning a new state agency should have been heeded, and now in retrospect those warnings seem pretty damn smart.

“This just proves that when the Legislature rushed through the changes to abolish the Department of Commerce and create the WEDC, it shows that what we had warned – that there needed to be real planning to handle this transition – has now been proven true,”  (State Senator) Lassa said.

An audit committee report should be started at once to find if any shady dealings or improprieties have taken place at WEDC.  Given the scale of the problems within the agency there needs to be a total accounting for everything.

4 thoughts on “Governor Scott Walker’s WEDC Mess Proves He Is Not Good Steward Of Taxpayers’ Money

  1. onevote

    Let me cast my one full vote here and express my view. My view of this whole WEDC mess is that it’s proven to be a complete, dismal failure in attempting to accomplish what it said it would. First, using state tax money (which could normally be used for other high priorities, like schools and health care) for the purpose of job creation has proven to be a bad idea with bad results. Second, the legislature should have never created a public-private partnership operation for the purpose stated firstly. Third, bringing in the private aspect leads to no accountable tracking of where our state tax dollars are being spent.
    They seem to think they can operate on whichever rules they want, whenever they want.
    So, we’re supposed to believe that WEDC made a single, innocent “mistake” in not tracking loans to 99 separate businesses (no picking winners and losers here, no, and one wonders if the winners chosen just might be campaign contributers) over the course of several months–it just slipped their mind?! This was just a “mistake”?!
    This whole fiasco called Scott Walker and WEDC should be seriously examined, by competent, independent financial investigators. We any, just maybe, laws broken here–at taxpayer expense?!

  2. Luc

    This is it. I’ve had it. I have had it with all of scooter’s many incompetencies. I say, it’s about time to slap the cuffs on him already and throw him in the slammer. Just be done with it already!

  3. ProgressiveConservative

    Maybe this is what happens when you don’t adequetely staff agencies? It seems like there are a lot of departments under Walker which are a little too lean in the personnel area. Things are bound to get overlooked eventually.

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