Exact Sciences In Needless Headline

Readers know I have been a long-time supporter and booster for Exact Sciences.  I was forth-right in my calls for the company to have a downtown Madison headquarters, urging the city to lend assistance to help seal the deal.  The Judge Doyle plans did not materialize, but my underlying position on that proposal remains.  If we only listened to the ones in Madison who are opposed to everything we would still be mired down over how to proceed with Monona Terrace.

But for all the credit that Exact Sciences gets for medical research–and it is very much merited–I can not pull punches with the news which was reported today.

WEDC is in charge of job creation for Wisconsin and dispenses more than $3.1 billion a year in tax credits, grants, loans and bonds. Its handling of those awards, especially its tracking of companies in default, has been under scrutiny for years. WEDC is also in the spotlight for negotiating the contract with Foxconn Technology Group for a project that could yield the company more than $4 billion in state and local tax credits and other public benefits.

The most recent WEDC audit found continued problems with how it tracks job creation and awards to companies. Two of the cases highlighted involved Exact Sciences, which went unnamed, and another anonymous company that received $462,000 in tax credits even though it lost 17 jobs.

That company, as WEDC revealed in response to AP, is national retail chain Walgreens. Hogan also initially declined to name that company last week.

Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, said it was good that WEDC released the names of the companies in response to the open records request, but it was “deeply troubling” that Hogan initially refused to do so.

“That never should have happened,” Lueders said. “Given the many known problems involving the agency he heads, it should be crystal clear that the public is entitled to maximum transparency when it comes to these awards.”

WEDC has been a walking disaster since the lights first came on in their offices.  Audits and reports, which have surfaced over the years, have not allowed citizens to feel those in charge are competent.  The agency is far better at creating negative headlines than using resources in a credible fashion.

But Exact Sciences does have a healthy reputation and does mighty important work which potentially touches all of our families.  The company makes Cologuard, a colorectal cancer diagnostic test.  To have them involved in headlines with WEDC, who used creative ways to track job development, is truly sad.

I wish that Exact Sciences had been forthcoming prior to the need for an open records request.  The company is held in a high regard by many and should not weaken that bond by having their work now linked in a negative headline with WEDC.   What has happened to them this news cycle is a major PR blunder.  It could have been handled so much differently.

Why Don’t Evangelicals Live Their Faith On All The Issues?

Over past decades during presidential elections I recall some evangelicals asking the question “What would Jesus do?” But since 2015 I have wondered many a time why evangelicals no longer ask about Christ’s foundations when it comes to Donald Trump or his administration.  Perhaps they do not wish to ponder what is happening to themselves.

While an abortion law made many headlines this week, and evangelicals crowed about using the levers of power (at least in the short-term) to their seeming advantage, I have a few questions to ask.

How do these same evangelicals who claim to put so much value on life not hold this White House accountable on the matter of immigration? If evangelicals wish to force a person who is raped to carry the baby to term, shouldn’t they also slam down hard on Republicans who call immigrants “pests”?  Is life not to be valued from start to finish, even when dark-skinned?

How do evangelicals square their religion with their own government separating families at the border?  Do children, who are ripped from their mother’s arms by immigration agents, have less value than the evangelical’s own description of ‘babies being ripped from the womb” during an abortion?

Should evangelicals accept, with no comment, when a president laughs during a political rally about shooting immigrants?   Do evangelicals find some harbor for such an absurdity within the Bible?

How about the close-lipped attitudes of evangelicals when it comes to the daily shootings in this nation where school children need to practice for mass shootings the way my peers trained for a tornado?

Striking at health care which seeks to aid all people, or siding with polluters and damaging  our environment, while supporting those who weaken regulatory controls all show how insincere evangelicals are when it comes to walking their talk.

In my Sunday School classes, and then church over the years, I was taught Christ was about love.  In that framework, so to show our shared values with him, we are to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and love our neighbor as we would love our-self.  We are not to separate families at political borders, or call brown-skinned people “pests”.

There is no doubt why evangelicals now fail to ask “What would Jesus do?” after they have bent their knees for Trump.  The answer would then require many tables to be turned up-side down in their temples.