Did Foxconn Lobby Illegally?
Began meeting with state officials in April, didn’t register as lobbyist until August.
State lobby law requires businesses, groups and other special interests to register with the state after communicating with state elected officials on proposed rules or legislative bills if they do so on five or more days during a six-month period.
Lobbying law does not require those who seek a contract or a grant with the state to register as a lobbying group unless or until they attempt to influence the development or drafting of legislation to enable the contract to be implemented.
So the question is when did the development and drafting of the Foxconn deal legislation start?
This is what we know:
- In testimony last week at a legislative hearing on the measure, Special Session Assembly Bill 1, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) Secretary Mark Hogan said the first meeting on the Foxconn project took place on April 28 in Washington, D.C. WEDC is the Walker administration’s economic development agency.
- On July 27, Gov. Scott Walker executed a memorandum of understanding with the company that outlined the terms and responsibilities for an agreement, via legislation, between the state and Foxconn for its proposed Wisconsin manufacturing facility.
- The bill was introduced Aug. 1 by the Assembly Committee on Organization at the request of Walker.
- Detailed fiscal estimates and reports by six different state agencies on the bill’s tax, transportation, and environmental costs were issued Aug. 3.
- Foxconn registered as a lobbying group on Aug. 3 as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.
It would seem that a legislative proposal as large and sweeping as the corporate welfare and environmental rollback measure for Foxconn, which registered in favor of the bill after the measure’s Aug. 1 introduction, would have taken weeks to develop and draft, and would have been done with the company’s input.
Shortly after the bill’s introduction, more than a dozen trade groups representing business, manufacturing, real estate, transportation, construction, and banking interests, among others, registered in support of the bill.
- Foxconn Will Make 10K Ventilators - Corri Hess - Jun 19th, 2020
- Medtronic and Foxconn Partner to Increase Ventilator Production - Foxconn Technology Group - Jun 18th, 2020
- Foxconn Audit Delayed Two Months - Erik Gunn - Jun 3rd, 2020
- Back in the News: Foxconn’s Profits Plunge By 90% - Bruce Murphy - May 19th, 2020
- Foxconn to Assemble Procedural Masks in Wisconsin for Pandemic Relief - Foxconn Technology Group - Apr 20th, 2020
- Murphy’s Law: Foxconn Squeezes Evers - Bruce Murphy - Apr 15th, 2020
- Foxconn Says It Earned Tax Credits - Corri Hess - Apr 9th, 2020
- Back in the News: Foxconn Plant Will Make Ventilators - Bruce Murphy - Apr 8th, 2020
- Op Ed: Foxconn Facility Could Help in Pandemic - James Rowen - Mar 29th, 2020
- Op Ed: The Foxconn Road to Ruin - James Rowen - Mar 9th, 2020
Read more about Foxconn Facility here