An audit shows that the problems with WEDC are many, and each and every one of them is a trademark for Scott Walker's style of "leadership:"
Sloppy accounting practices, poor monitoring of loans and an exodus of employees spelled trouble for the state's beleaguered jobs agency, an independent audit released Monday found.The article goes on to say that $19 million of the $51 million in loans this group has made will probably never be recovered.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., a quasi-public organization created by Gov. Scott Walker in July 2011, was meant to be the flagship agency leading his effort to help create 250,000 jobs during his first term. But Wisconsin's job growth has been stunted, and WEDC has been plagued by serious problems, including its failure to track millions in overdue loans and a high turnover of top officials.
Now, if one could find a Walker apologist that will even admit there is a problem with WEDC, they would say that it's not Walker's fault and that the should be credited with trying something new and bold to help the state.
Of course, like Walker, they would be lying through their teeth.
This sort of private-public partnership (PPP) has been around for decades and has failed each and every time that it was tried:
“Turning economic development over to PPPs is fool’s gold,” says Good Jobs First Executive Director Greg LeRoy. “What really matters is business basics: strategic public investments in skills, infrastructure and innovation — not privatized smokestack chasing.”But the money quote comes earlier in that article:
The reported noted that PPPs have been around for more than 20 years but were dropped in several states because they were so problematic. And it cited major issues in states that were still using them.
Those problems included misuse of taxpayer funds (Rhode Island, Florida and Wyoming); excessive executive bonuses (Virginia, Florida, Michigan and Wyoming); conflicts of interest in subsidy awards (Florida, Utah and Texas); questionable claims by the PPP about its effectiveness (Wyoming, Florida, Utah and Indiana); and resistance to accountability (Florida and Michigan).
At this point, nobody is accusing WEDC of any intentional wrongdoing.See what I mean about WEDC being so symbolic of Walker's leadership style.
Rather, it appears the agency designed by Gov. Scott Walker to replace the old Commerce Department was simply over its head, short-staffed and filled with political appointees with no experience in handling large amounts of public money.
I could write a book listing all of the examples that Walker has put unqualified cronies in positions of power, short-staffed an agency and/or had the earmarks of possible corruption.
Someday, I just may do that.