wisconsin capitol
Press Release
August 22, 2014

Gov. Walker Can’t Dispute Facts of One Wisconsin Now WEDC Report

Facts: $570 Million in State Economic Development Dollars Went to Businesses Whose Owners and Employees Contributed to Gov. Walker, Wisconsin Last in Midwest Using “Gold Standard” of Jobs Data

MADISON, Wis. — The increasingly desperate campaign of Gov. Scott Walker hastily convened a press conference yesterday to dispute the undeniable facts that his policies and administration have been an utter failure on job creation. As Walker’s campaign spin machine shifts into high gear, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the facts remain a majority of state economic development funds doled out by the Wisconsin Economic Development went corporations whose owners and employees contributed $1.2 million to Gov. Walker and the most comprehensive survey on job creation shows Wisconsin trails neighboring states and the national average.

Ross commented, “Gov. Walker has shown time and again he’ll do or say whatever he thinks he needs to do to win an election. But facts remain facts. Almost 60 percent of economic development dollars went to corporations whose owners and employees contributed heavily to Gov. Walker’s campaign. And under Gov. Walker’s administration and his trickle-down economic policies Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest on job creation.”

A report by One Wisconsin Now analyzing the political donations of individuals associated with businesses receiving economic development assistance through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) found:

  • Gov. Walker has received a more than $1 million direct campaign benefit and $1 million to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) from WEDC aid recipients, who in turn received nearly 60 percent of economic development dollars – $570 million of the $975 million distributed;
  • WEDC economic development dollars are not resulting in promised job creation;
  • WEDC fund recipients include companies engaged in health and safety violations, mass layoffs and conflicts of interest.

Based on updated campaign finance figures, Walker has raked in over $1.2 million for his campaign from individuals associated with businesses receiving WEDC aid and the RGA has also upped their take to in excess of $1.2 million.

The RGA has already spent $2 million this year in Wisconsin for Gov. Walker and has an additional $2.95 million reserved in spending for television beginning September 3. RGA spent $13 million for Walker in 2010 and 2012 in addition to the millions committed and spent so far in 2014.

According to figures earlier termed the “gold standard” for accuracy by Gov. Walker, Wisconsin ranks last in the Midwest on jobs. The most recent Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages produced by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked 10th out of ten neighboring Midwestern states in number of jobs created. Despite making a job creation the central focus of his 2010 campaign and having his economic agenda almost entirely adopted by a lapdog Republican controlled legislature, he has fallen massively short of his promise to create 250,000 new jobs in his term of office.

“Gov. Walker came into office promising 250,000 jobs and saying he had a plan to do it. Instead he’s turned his WEDC into a virtual piggy bank for campaign contributors and taken Wisconsin from one of the best states in the nation on jobs to last in the Midwest.” Ross concluded, “Nothing he or his campaign says changes those facts.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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