Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
Campaign Cash

Walker Gets $51,000 From Six Companies

And they get $25 million in grants, credits from WEDC.

By - May 19th, 2017 11:01 am
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Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo from the State of Wisconsin.

A half-dozen companies that got nearly $25 million in state giveaways in the last half of 2016 have contributed more than $51,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign since 2010.

These companies were among about four dozen businesses identified in a Legislative Audit Bureau report on Wednesday as top recipients of state tax credits, grants and loans in the last six months of 2016 from three corporate welfare programs administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC). Here are the audit’s key findings and the full report.

WEDC, which is the state’s economic development and job creation agency created by Walker in 2011 shortly after he became governor, continues to fail to accurately track the number of jobs that are created or retained by the businesses that get WEDC state assistance, the audit said. The agency handed out $10 million in bad loans over the last two years and failed to turn over millions in tax credit repayments to the state until after auditors inquired, the audit said. And job creation numbers reported by the agency were also inaccurate because it double counted some jobs and included others from companies that have gone out of business.

The half-dozen companies named in the report, the state breaks they received, and their contributions to Walker and other Republican legislative and statewide candidates between January 2010 and December 2016 were:

  • S.C. Johnson & Son in Racine, which received a $500,000 break from the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. S.C. Johnson employee contributions totaled about $30,900 to Walker and $27,650 to other GOP legislative and statewide candidates between January 2010 and December 2016;
  • Refrigeration equipment-maker Sub-Zero Group, of Madison, $2.8 million in tax credits. Company employees contributed about $11,300 to Walker and $5,135 to other Republicans;
  • Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp., $18 million in tax credits. Company employees contributed $5,200 to Walker and another $5,775 to other Republicans;
  • Specialty paper-maker Expera Specialty Solutions LLC, of Kaukauna, a $1 million state grant. Company employees contributed $2,000 to Walker and about $6,100 to other Republicans;
  • Impact Seven, of Rice Lake, a community development corporation, $421,200 in state tax credits. Company employees contributed about $955 to Walker and $500 to other Republicans;
  • Russ Davis Wholesale, of Wadena, Minn., a produce wholesaler, a $2 million state loan. Company employees contributed $800 to Walker and $1,550 to other Republicans.

The audit released Wednesday was the latest in a string of state audits and media reports – here, here, here, and here – that have found WEDC failed to properly award, document, and track millions of dollars in corporate welfare it has doled out since its creation.

Earlier this month, the GOP-controlled legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, which is reviewing Walker’s proposed 2017-19 state budget, voted to reinstate WEDC’s loan program. Two years ago, Republican lawmakers voted to phase out the loan program as of June 30, 2017, after a 2015 state audit showed WEDC failed to properly track loans or determine whether the recipients created or retained the jobs they promised.

Last year, the agency received about $9.2 million in loan repayments, forgave $6.7 million, and wrote off $2.45 million worth of loans that could not be recouped.

Categories: Campaign Cash, Politics

8 thoughts on “Campaign Cash: Walker Gets $51,000 From Six Companies”

  1. SteveM says:

    $2m to a Minnesota company?

  2. Rita says:

    Wow, look at all that corporate welfare! I sure hope all the owner, CEO’s and managers are taking drug tests.

  3. Rita says:

    oops, forgot shareholders too!

  4. Jason says:

    Governor Jim Doyle received millions of dollars from Wisconsin Indians to get a sweat heart casino compact that lasted twenty five years. I am sure when the next Democrat governor arise the teacher unions will be first in line to cry poverty….in their best little Orphan Annie wigs “oh please sir I only make $30 dollars and hour and work four days a week, can you spare another $20,00 a year or help me work three days a week.”

  5. Rnprn says:

    No fuking money for roads, but $millions for unpaid grants to Walkers donors!

  6. JPKMKE says:

    Although these are legal political contributions and a link between the contributions and the tax advantages would be hard to prove, it does wreak of a Clintonesque pay-to-play scheme. We do need to find more ways to import jobs into the state. All of our job growth cannot be local organic growth. If tax credits are needed to do that, I am supportive.

  7. Vincent Hanna says:

    Doyle hasn’t been governor for six years Jason. Let it go. It’s like a sickness you have. Doyle Derangement Syndrome. One of many sicknesses you seem to have.

    What if tax credits don’t result in job growth?

  8. Jason says:

    Vince, take a look at downtown Milwaukee there are at least twenty buildings that benefited from Walker’s tax credit. Are you against union Carpenters, Electricians and Plumbers making an honest buck?

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