By Jeff Simpson
For some reason, maybe its ego, the Walker Administration loves to blow our tax money on television ads. We saw the incredible waste of money that the WI Department of Tourism had with their desire to pump up right wing Hollywood types and play out 30 year old fantasies.
Now , what might be Governor Walker's biggest failure, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, has decided to also jump in the - let's waste more taxpayer money on TV ads game.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will use close to 10 percent of its $5.75 million annual marketing budget — itself more than triple last year’s $1.5 million budget — for the two ads, which feature brief testimonials from business executives touting the state’s “pro-business climate” and “strong workforce.”
Ignoring the fact that these are just Walker campaign commercials that we the taxpayers are funding(Walker is an expert at using our $$ to get elected), these commercials on their face value are utterly ridiculous.
Does anyone with an economic clue in their head really think that watching a 30 second silly commercial is all it will take for a company to relocate into Wisconsin? Of course not, but that is why WEDC has been such a failure. Had Reed Hall been smart enough to just spend ten seconds on Google, and realized what a waste of taxpayer dollars this is.
Businesses commonly cite five main reasons for moving, according to Sharon K. Ward, an economic development consultant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. These are labor and work force issues, the desire to reach new markets, the need to upgrade facilities or equipment, the desire to lower costs or increase cash flow, and considerations about quality of life. For different businesses and at different times, certain concerns are more important than others, Ward notes. But just about all moves can be attributed to some combination of these issues.Because they watched a television commercial did not make the top five. Who knew?
However tragically sad this whole story is, the Walker administration is always good for a laugh. WEDC deputy director Ryan Murray does not disappoint.
The ads don't mention Minnesota, Illinois or any other state. Kelly Lietz, WEDC's vice president of marketing, said agency officials aren't looking for a border war or to insult anyone. Still, WEDC Deputy Secretary Ryan Murray acknowledged Wisconsin is competing with neighboring states.
"I'm sure my counterpart in Illinois won't be happy to see these ads running in his state," Murray said. "But it's a competitive environment."
That would be Ryan Murray, 30, who in July was named by Gov. Scott Walker to be the chief operating officer of the quasi-public Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state's principal jobs promoter. (Paul Jadin is its CEO.) Murray's resume (PDF) shows him to be conspicuously devoid of any private-sector experience, but well schooled in the political arts.
Murray studied political science at UW-Superior and Macalester College (no degree is noted), and then blazed like a meteorite from the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign through multiple Republican legislative offices to a series of senior positions for Walker, culminating as director of policy and legislative affairs.
Ryan Murray defines crony capitalism and the failure of WEDC to be anything more than a very costly arm of the Friends of Scott Walker campaign.
That is the problem that Ryan Murray does not understand. His counterparts in Illinois and Minnesota are working on campaigns where they belong, not handing out I-tunes gift cards to their friends.