Walker Administration Keeps Details of Foxconn Deal Secret as Agency Entrusted With Overseeing Deal Subject of Another Critical Review
‘People of Wisconsin Are Correct to Think They’re Getting Scammed’
MADISON, Wis. — As the state legislature’s Joint Audit Committee reviews another critical review of the performance of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), a contract between the agency and Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn to implement the details of the largest state subsidy to a foreign corporation remain hidden from the public. According to the audit, the agency created by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011 continues to fail to adequately track jobs created or retained and has a dramatically increasing amount of potentially uncollectible loans. Meanwhile, despite a request from a WEDC board member, the agency appears set to continue to hide the details of the contract with Foxconn until after it is signed.
“Another audit finds Gov. Walker’s WEDC continues to fail to meet even basic standards of accountability and competence,“ commented One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “They have done nothing to earn the public trust and their behavior in hiding from the public the details of how they intend to send billions of our tax dollars to this corporation until after the contract is signed is outrageous.”
The provisions of the deal fail to require Wisconsin tax dollars only go to support Wisconsin jobs, include no worker protections for those working for a company whose CEO referred to employees as “animals” and literally consulted with a zookeeper for management tips, give special exemptions from state environmental protections to the corporation and limits the powers of judges in cases brought against Foxconn.
Now the contract to implement the terms of the deal is being negotiated behind closed doors. A member of the WEDC board has demanded the provision be made public before it is signed, but the agency has refused to respond to date.
Ross noted a new public opinion poll shows that even the citizens of Southeastern Wisconsin where the plant is proposed to be built are skeptical of the size of the handout for what they have been promised in return. In the five counties around the proposed site merely 38 percent of those surveyed think the spending billions of dollars on subsidies to Foxconn that could have been used for schools, roads or investments in homegrown companies will be worth it.
He concluded, “This is a bad deal for Wisconsin, negotiated by a desperate Gov. Walker focused only on his own political future, that will be managed by an agency that has failed time and again to demonstrate basic competence. The people of Wisconsin are right to think they’re getting scammed.”
One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.
- State Reviewing Foxconn Jobs Report - Erik Gunn - Jul 23rd, 2020
- Foxconn Hosts Smart Manufacturing Web Conference, Launches iAI Institute - Foxconn Technology Group - Jul 10th, 2020
- 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
Read more about Foxconn Facility here
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