By Jeff Simpson
Republicans are desperate for anything they can dig up on Mary Burke. Well the ones that did not endorse her yesterday that is.
The latest attack is based on this story from 2007.
Shortly before announcing her resignation as Wisconsin's secretary of commerce, Mary Burke issued a harsh criticism of her agency.
The Commerce Department, which ought to be among the state's most influential economic players, has sat on the sidelines while other states vie to recruit new businesses, she said.
"We are not out there selling the state and attracting the companies," Burke said late last month, echoing private-sector criticism.
Her Nov. 1 departure, announced last week, gives Gov. Jim Doyle the opportunity to name a replacement with enough dynamism and private-sector savvy to thrust Wisconsin into the fiercely competitive game of business attraction. It also means that business leaders and executives from around the state will closely scrutinize the nominee's credentials.
"We haven't been there when we need to be," said Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
While I wonder what Mr. Sheehy has to say about WEDC, that is for another blog. Here Mary Burke wants a bigger budget to help lure more companies to Wisconsin. The budget she wants increased?
The nonprofit Forward Wisconsin agency, which does marketing but not industrial attraction, has a budget of $600,000, with half that amount supplied by the state and the rest from non-taxpayer donors. In his current budget proposal, Doyle wants to add $590,000 for business attraction.
Fast-forward to Gov. Scott Walker's Wisconsin, where the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), staffed by the governor's cronies, has misplaced millions in tax dollars, blew off auditing compliance rules, and went on a spending spree for iTunes gift cards, football tickets and booze. And the consequences are nil.So the committee that Scott Walker personally chairs, treated Wisconsin taxpayer money and their position as the committee that brings business to Wisconsin as a big frat party.
How did Scott Walker address such egregious abuse of taxpayer money and position?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker proposes increasing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s marketing budget to $7.15 million by the fiscal year starting July 1, 2014, from the current $2 million.Yes I am quite sure this is a conversation that Mary Burke would love to have!