James Rowen
Op Ed

Why Did MMAC Do Foxconn Study?

Maybe to help Republican candidates facing voters who don’t think Foxconn will help economy.

By - Mar 24th, 2018 04:16 pm
Foxconn signing. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

Foxconn signing. Photo by Graham Kilmer.

With Gov. Walker having signed the Foxconn deal nearly six months ago, and road work underway at the site since January, you wouldn’t be expecting another outbreak of Foxconn fever at this late date.

But that’s exactly what the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce did Thursday when it released a new, “conservative” study that gives the project a fresh coat of paint.


In reporting the MMAC study, the Journal Sentinel notes the methodological and statistical flaws in earlier studies which had justified the record-breaking taxpayer subsidies headed Foxconn’s way.

So you could say that all the MMAC – – it’s the SE Wisconsin’s regional chamber of commerce – – is doing is straightening out that record.

Here’s an alternative or supplemental analysis:

Walker and dozens of legislator-Foxconn boosters running for reelection this fall needed a boost of their own after the authoritative Marquette University Law School poll only weeks ago produced findings and news like this which no Foxconn backer wanted to see, let alone put into a campaign ad or talking point:

Voters think the State of Wisconsin overpaid on the massive Foxconn deal in spite of it bringing benefits to the Milwaukee area, a new poll has found.

In the most extensive polling to date on the multibillion dollar deal, the Marquette University Law School poll found that 49% of voters think the Foxconn Technology Group factory won’t be worth its cost to taxpayers and 38% think it will.

And this:

A majority of voters across political parties and regions of the state — 66% to 25% — don’t think the deal will help their local employers.

And this:

Statewide, 62% of those polled were very concerned or somewhat concerned that the Foxconn project will have an impact on water or environmental quality, while 32% were not worried.

And there have been other disclosures since the Marquette poll came out which  also explain why the project might need a fresh shine, such as these, among others:

WI DNR schedules hearings on Foxconn’s whopping air pollution.

Foxconn-area residents angry over plans to take their homes 

Foxconn finds way to stick 7 million-gallon straw into Lake Michigan

And earlier, this:

Funding for state road down as much as $90 million. Foxconn cited.

Look – – no one doubts Foxconn will spin off benefits, but let’s not pretend that the entire enterprise will be liability-free when it comes to the environmental, public health and budgets in SE Wisconsin, and statewide, too – – real issues which need to be acknowledged, can be quantified and subtracted from an otherwise one-dimensional bottom line.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

11 thoughts on “Op Ed: Why Did MMAC Do Foxconn Study?”

  1. Terry says:

    Career Politician Scott Walker’s FoxCON job is the worst example of corporate welfare in Wisconsin, perhaps US history. 4.5 BILLION of our tax dollars in corporate welfare for a Taiwainese, I mean, Chinese company is completely idiotic! This will DO NOTHING for Northern Wisconsin and now Apple is seriously researching making its own screens instead of contracting with FoxCON anyways! Thus the crappy low wage no benefits taxpayer subsidized manufacturing jobs for Southern Wisconsin (and Illinois in reality) will be gone before they ever really materialize!
    Career Politician Scott Walker and Donald Trump are no talent ass clowns and both must be removed from office asap. Vote Democrat and we can have 18,000 new jobs, a hundred million annually in new tax revenue and a much more egalitarian, safer society just by ending cannabis prohibition, getting Big Government out of the way of what the People in Wisconsin actually want, all without spending 4.5 Billion to do it! Time for a change Wisconsin!

    Dump Walker!
    Dump Trump!
    Dump FoxCON!
    Legalize freedom!

  2. Jake formerly of the LP says:

    They did it because the MMAC is a right-wing front group who has been wrong about economic policy for the last 20 years.

    The facts show the Fox-con to be a horrible boondoggle that will help to screw up the state for years fiscally and environmentally, with no real benefit to anyone outside of a corner of SE Wisconsin, and a few corporate oligarchs.

    So what does Walker and his MMAC allies do? Try to “create their own,reality” through anecdotes and GOPper-ganda like these fake studies and photo ops where real questions aren’t asked. Don’t fall for it.

  3. Jacob Pickard says:

    The MMAC in fact is part of the problem. There support for Walker and his quid pro quo hacks.

    The MMAC does more harm than good for Milwaukee and the area by supporting the republican tools that at every chance punish the area and it’s residents.

    Their the WMC bastard child.

  4. WashCoRepub says:

    Um, maybe because of the relentless pounding of every single left-wing interest group and ‘think tank’ out there, which is breathlessly highlighted by the sycophantic, slobbering toadies of the mainstream media?

  5. PMD says:

    It’s interesting that this comes out right after the Marquette poll showing weak public support for this. Also why do conservatives struggle with understanding irony? WashCoRepub slobbers shamelessly over every GOP press release and accuses the media of being sycophantic. Talk about no self-awareness whatsoever.

  6. Troll says:

    Is this the same Marquette poll that predicted a comfortable Clinton victory in 2016? Was the Fox Conn question proposed to the questioner in a negative light? Why did Senate and assembly Democrats vote for Fox Conn? Is there a bias on giving state funds to millionaire African American basketball players versus high tech Asians? Why did so many other states compete for Foxconn and Wisconsin cannot? When did liberals decide not having a technology company in Wisconsin was a bad idea After years of crying for new tech in Wisconsin.

  7. Jake currently of the MKE says:

    The screens the con want to build are not new tech.

  8. PMD says:

    Why does Americans for Prosperity oppose the Foxconn deal? If a Democrat was governor Troll would be bashing it daily here.

  9. Terry says:

    @WashCoRepub, get your own disses and stop stealing my words you Nazi sympathizing, racist fascist appeasing sycophantic TRUMP TOADY!


  10. Troll says:

    It appears the left is against legal immigration from southeast Asia (fox conn personnel)and for illegal immigrants from south America.

  11. Terry says:

    @Russian Troll, if by “left” you mean Gary Johnson voters? It appears Republicans are now for Big Government subsidized “jobs” as well as handing over 4.5 BILLION dollars to a Chinese company in corporate welfare! That’s what Republicans call “small government” and being “fiscally conservative.” Everybody else calls it what it is, idiocy.
    All Republicans stand for these days is their own tribal party which consists of nothing more than a bunch of hate and anger filled, Big Government Nanny State control freak wrinkly old white men, aka racists, misogynists, homophobes, Nazis, Confederates and drooling half-wit Trump Toadies like you that grovel, suck up and lick their boots.

    Dump.Walker 2018
    Dump ALL Republicans 2018
    Legalize Freedom!

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