WEDC Shifts on Foxconn Contract
After saying board members could now see contract, they will allow vote only on staff review of it.
Whoops, the deal with Foxconn is shifting yet again.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Agency (WEDC) was supposed to create a final contract with the Taiwanese electronics company, which has promised to create as many as 13,000 jobs at a promised $10 billion, LCD panel manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. In return for that, Foxconn would receive $3.8 billion in subsidies, with $3 billion coming from the state — the largest subsidy in American history given to a foreign company.
But as the Cap Times and then Urban Milwaukee reported, no members of the WEDC board were being allowed to actually see the contract they would vote on. Instead, board members would only be given a summary of the contract by WEDC staff and would be voting on that. “Any contract that WEDC signs is available to the public” only after it is signed, said Mark Hogan, CEO of the WEDC.
But in response to this media coverage, Hogan did an about face, announcing that board members would be given a copy of the contract before they voted. “Given we are very close on the contract language, and given the size of the award, now is the appropriate time to make it available to you as board members,” he told board members by email, as the Journal Sentinel reported.
That led everyone to assume board members would be voting on a copy of the contract they were being given at the next meeting of the WEDC. Wrong.
“We’ve now been told we’re not going to vote on the contract, only on the staff review of the contract,” Carpenter tells Urban Milwaukee.
This would mean that no public officials would have voted on the final contract with Foxconn before it is signed.
“I would like us to vote in open session so everyone can explain their vote,” Carpenter says. He also intends to ask if board members can make amendments to the contract, Carpenter says. But given that they aren’t even voting on the actual contract, that seems unlikely.
As for the staff review of the contract, it keeps changing, Carpenter says, and has been given to board members in various pieces, with additional exhibits and amendments, rather than in one complete document. “It becomes very difficult to understand the changes being made,” he complains.
The vote is expected to be taken toward the end of today’s meeting, which takes place this afternoon.
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- Murphy’s Law: Local Costs for Foxconn Cut By 2% - Bruce Murphy - Feb 8th, 2021
- Foxconn Sued for Breach of Contract - Corri Hess - Feb 4th, 2021
- Vos and Wanggaard Continue to Gaslight Public on Foxconn Development - A Better Mt. Pleasant - Feb 3rd, 2021
- Murphy’s Law: Robin Vos Will Solve Foxconn Fiasco - Bruce Murphy - Feb 2nd, 2021
- Murphy’s Law: 9 Reasons a New Foxconn Contract Is Unlikely - Bruce Murphy - Dec 21st, 2020
- Audit Says Foxconn Loophole Needs a Fix - Corri Hess - Dec 9th, 2020
- Back in the News: Residents Outraged by Foxconn Fiasco - Bruce Murphy - Dec 8th, 2020
- Back in the News: Foxconn Landing Google Contract? - Bruce Murphy - Nov 23rd, 2020
Read more about Foxconn Facility here