Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Winning Issue #24473648 - WEDC

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.

Ms. Burke felt that spending only $600,000(1/2 of which was not taxpayer money) was not enough to accomplish her goals of attracting businesses.   

Now let's compare/contrast.   

We know that when Scott Walker became Governor, he ended the Commerce department and he replaced it with Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) a private?public partnership that he personally chaired.    

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!  

 (Credit: )



  1. Even with millions and millions of dollars at his disposal, Scott Walker couldn't run a one car funeral. (The money would all get shoveled to his cronies anyway.)

  2. Even with only spending 600k, Mary Burke did not bring any jobs or companies to Wisconsin. Instead, she created 1000 jobs in China to build bikes marketed to Europe. I guess she'll have to rely on that valuable Madison school board position to get her elected governor. Forward, Scott Walker!

    1. thats a nice talking point but its just not true. However if you are against outsourcing of jobs, I hope you sign up to help Rob Zerban defeat Paul Ryan.

      yes Forward scott walker since we cant possibly go backwards any farther

    2. So what are your thoughts about Walker's taxpayer- funded "trade trip" to China that he made earlier this year?

      You GOP trolls make it WAAAAY too easy. And you guys are clearly desperate already.