Scott Walker’s Record on Jobs & the Economy
Running for office in 2010, Scott Walker’s signature promise was to create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin in his first term. He fell nearly 50% short of that goal, an abysmal failure at the one major promise he made to voters. Additionally, Wisconsin’s economy has lagged behind the rest of the Midwest during the economic recovery, with Wisconsin consistently ranking dead last or near last in key economic and job growth during Walker’s tenure.
To make matters worse, Walker’s flagship economic development agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has been mired by incompetence, cronyism, and corruption. Multiple audits show the agency has broken the law, failed to follow internal policies, and lost track of millions in taxpayer dollars. And recent investigations by media outlets have shown state economic development awards going to Walker campaign donors. A One Wisconsin Now analysis in May of 2014 showed nearly 60% of economic development awards flowed to businesses with a connection to Walker’s donors, either through employees or their management structure.
When it comes to jobs and economic development, Walker’s agenda has been a nearly complete failure.
Time has proven WEDC to be an abject failure at job creation, and, some argue, a symbol of the cronyism, corruption, and incompetence of the Scott Walker administration.
In recent testimony before the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, Gov. Scott Walker’s Department of Revenue (DOR) Secretary Rick Chandler declared that a runaway manufacturing and ag tax giveaway to the wealthy and corporations enacted in the 2011 state budget is helping create jobs. But in response to an open records request by One Wisconsin Now seeking documentation to back up Chandler’s job creation claim the agency replied: “We do not have any such records.”
The day after a new statewide poll showed his approval ratings remain negative, Gov. Scott Walker convened a press conference to make what he touted was an important economic announcement.
Media Reports Walker Plot to Impose ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Gag Order on Board of Troubled Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has amassed an appalling record of cronyism, corruption and incompetence. Instead of seeking reforms to improve it’s performance, a media report reveals Gov. Walker’s WEDC is seeking to impose what amounts to a gag order on members of the Board of Directors at its next meeting.
Job Outsourcing Booster of Gov. Walker’s Wrong for Wisconsin Right to Work Law Putting Company Up For Sale?
The Wisconsin job outsourcing business that hosted Gov. Scott Walker when he signed a wrong for Wisconsin right to work law is now suggesting it may be up for sale to, “enhance shareholder value”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross termed “pathological” the quest for corporate profits at the expense of workers.
State Big Business Lobby Discouraged State Economic Development Agency From Trying to Keep Major Corporation in Wisconsin … And Gov. Walker’s Administration Listened
A media report breaking late this afternoon revealed the state big business lobby, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, told Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) not to reach out to Kraft Heinz in June of 2015. The directive came months before the parent company of Oscar Mayer announced it would shutter its Madison plant and move the corporate headquarters out of Wisconsin, directly costing the state roughly 1,000 jobs.
Gov. Walker, Unable to Dial Phone to Try to Save 1,000 Wisconsin Jobs, Hits Send on Fundraising Solicitation to Pay Off Presidential Campaign Debt
Gov. Scott Walker and his administration failed to make so much as a phone call in advance of Kraft-Heinz announcement the company is shuttering the Madison-based Oscar Mayer operation, leaving 1,000 Wisconsin workers out of jobs. Yet after doing nothing, Walker was able late this week to hit send on a fundraising solicitation to try to pay off the estimated $1 million debt his bloated presidential campaign racked up in a mere 71 days.
The centerpiece of Gov. Scott Walker’s economic agenda, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has been a prime example of his administration’s cronyism, corruption and incompetence throughout its four plus years of existence. Now it is looking for yet another new head after the current CEO announced this week he will be resigning next month. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, WEDC needs more than Walker and the WEDC Board Chair, who also heads the board of the big business lobby the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, tapping a new crony to oversee the operation.
Walker’s dystopian vision will push the threat of economic isolation, military feet on the ground and “steal in the face of our enemies.”
ICYMI: One Wisconsin Institute Report Details Continuing Failures of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Updated research by One Wisconsin Institute analyzes four years of failure by the quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), created by Gov. Scott Walker and supported by state legislative Republicans. The report details ties between WEDC award recipients and Walker campaign donors, as well as businesses whose owners, directors or employees contributed to the campaign of Scott Walker receiving over sixty percent of dollars awarded by the jobs agency.
WALKER RHETORIC: “We more than made up for the jobs lost in the recession”
A report released today by One Wisconsin Institute analyzes four years of failure by the quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), created by Gov. Scott Walker. The report details ties between WEDC award recipients and Walker campaign donors, as well as businesses whose owners, directors or employees contributed to the campaign of Scott Walker receiving over sixty percent of dollars awarded by the jobs agency.
Gov Scott Walker made it only about halfway toward fulfilling his signature 2010 campaign promise — repeated in the 2012 recall — that 250,000 private-sector jobs would be created over four years under his leadership New figures released by the Republican's office on Thursday show about 35,700 private-sector jobs were created in Wisconsin in 2014 But taken together with the previous three years, only about 129,000 private-sector jobs were added during Walker's term, or just over halfway to what was promised
The final jobs numbers from the federal government covering the first term of Gov. Scott Walker released today confirm the utter failure of his administration to deliver on his job creation promise.
Gov. Walker is in the hot seat over revelations that his top aides successfully lobbied for a risky state loan to the business of a major Walker campaign donor through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), chaired by Walker. One Wisconsin Now’s open records request filed a year ago, seeking correspondence between Walker and his staff and WEDC about businesses whose owners and employees made campaign contributions and received state help, might have brought other instances to light but Gov. Walker’s office refused to fulfill the request.
Gov. Scott Walker’s top aides and a powerful lobbyist pressed for a taxpayer-funded loan in 2011 to a financially struggling Milwaukee construction company that lost the state half a million dollars, created no jobs and raised questions about where the money went, a State Journal investigation has found...The push to fund the BCI project came after Minahan gave Walker’s 2010 Republican campaign for governor a last-minute infusion of $10,000 on Election Day — the maximum individual contribution. Jadin said Minahan and Huebsch -- a nonvoting member of the WEDC board by virtue of his role as Administration secretary -- pushed for a $4.3 million WEDC loan, but the agency could justify no more than a $500,000 loan, which Jadin said he considered “fairly risky.”
Gov. Scott Walker has cancelled a planned merger of two economic development agencies after a new audit said Walker's job-creating entity failed to follow statutes or its own policies when making financial awards...Within hours of the audit release, Walker issued a statement calling for that merger to be removed from the state budget along with a merger of two other state agencies. "After hearing concerns from legislators, stakeholders, and the WHEDA and WEDC boards, we asked legislators to remove the proposed agency mergers from the state budget and we asked the bill authors to not move forward with the proposed separate legislation," Walker said.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has come under scrutiny by media nationally and in Iowa recently for a $62 million-plus award of state funds to the retail outlet Kohl's doled out under his watch as chair of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that more transactions by Walker’s WEDC deserve scrutiny, including over $86 million in state economic assistance to businesses that outsourced jobs to foreign countries.
ICYMI: WEDC Funds Have Consistently Gone to Businesses of Gov. Walker’s Political Boosters Since Agency Inception
The synergy between Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and his political fortunes is making headlines again. This time it’s a secret $1.5 million donation to a Walker aligned group from Wisconsin’s richest man before his business snagged $1.8 million in tax credits courtesy of the Walker administration’s WEDC. But One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross pointed to their earlier report, “W is for WEDC,” that found a disproportionate share of WEDC funds went to businesses whose owners and employees made donations to help advance the political aspirations of Gov. Walker as evidence of a pattern of behavior.
He wrote more than $1.5 million in checks to a pro-Walker political advocacy group that pledged to keep its donors secret, three sources directly familiar with the transactions told Yahoo News. Menard’s previously unreported six-figure contributions to the Wisconsin Club for Growth — a group that spent heavily to defend Walker during a bitter 2012 recall election — seem to have paid off for the businessman and his company. In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records.
Among the 10 Midwestern states we’ve checked on previous "dead last" claims, Wisconsin is at the bottom, if not "dead last."
Late yesterday, Gov. Scott Walker dismissed as a spelling error, a gaffe discovered by One Wisconsin Now that went viral following a story in The Capital Times in which he wished a constituent “molotov” instead of “mazel tov.” One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted math is a much bigger challenge for Walker as Wisconsin faces a budget deficit of over $2 billion, a pledge to create 250,000 jobs in his first term remains woefully unfulfilled and 1 million state student loan borrowers continue to wait for relief.
Leading up to the November 4 election, Gov. Scott Walker stated if re-elected he was not interested in pursuing legislation to further restrict the rights of Wisconsin workers. Yet less than one month after he survived a heated re-election bid, a new group with ties to a right-wing, big money cabal that underwrites conservative causes and has supported Gov. Walker, announced it will work to pass legislation to further restrict workplace rights in Wisconsin.
In his election night speech after narrowly being re-elected Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker mentioned “Washington” as much as “Wisconsin”. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted Walker's eleven-minute speech in which he mentioned Wisconsin ten times, Washington nine times and America twelve times was a stunning display that Wisconsin's Governor has already moved on to his next electoral objective.
One Wisconsin Now is using Halloween to debut a new graphic depiction of the horrors of Gov. Scott Walker’s opposition to common sense student loan reforms for hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites. At TheWalkerDead.com, viewers can see numerous nightmare scenarios befalling the student loan borrowers struggling against Scott Walker’s indifference to their economic futures.
While Scott Walker gubernatorial candidate was calling for “transparency in the state contracting process,” Scott Walker Milwaukee County Executive and top aides were secretly funneling confidential information to a political crony to try to help him win a lucrative deal with the county. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross blasted Walker’s actions as a “stunning display of hypocrisy, even for Scott Walker.” Ross also renewed his call for the resignations of other scheme participants Cindy Archer and Jim Villa from their six-figure salary state jobs.
One Wisconsin Now Calls for Central Figures in Attempted Milwaukee County Bid Scheme to Resign State Positions
Central figures in providing inside information and attempting to help Gov. Scott Walker’s longtime campaign treasurer win a lucrative contract with Milwaukee County while Walker was County Executive today hold state jobs with six figure salaries. That needs to change, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross who today called for the resignations of Cindy Archer and Jim Villa.
In a deceptive new ad, the flailing campaign of Gov. Scott Walker is trying to whitewash his disastrous record on student loan debt and higher education. Speaking directly to camera, Walker ignores the fact students are paying $200 million in higher tuition as result of hikes he signed into law. Also unmentioned by Walker is that he’s stood in the way of a first in the nation state plan plan that would allow many of Wisconsin’s more than 800,000 student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.
During an editorial board visit with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, today, Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke reiterated her call for student loan reform, specifically, allowing Wisconsin’s 800,000-plus student loan borrowers the chance to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.
Gov. Scott Walker’s excuse during Friday's debate that Wisconsin doesn’t have a jobs problem, it has a “work problem,” is the latest and most offensive excuse by the flailing governor who promised 250,000 jobs, while putting Wisconsin dead last in the Midwest in job creation under his watch.
Many of the state’s more than 800,000 student loan borrowers will be watching tonight’s gubernatorial debate to see how Gov. Scott Walker and former Trek executive Mary Burke address the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.
Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke told the Associated Press her “first priority” as governor would be passing the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill to lower student debt. Burke’s plan would allow many of Wisconsin’s 800,000-plus student loan borrowers to refinance their loans at lower market rates, like one can with a mortgage, as well as a substantial middle class tax break for payments on student loans.
Step 1: Cut Funding for AODA Programs. Step 2: Impose Mandatory Drug Testing for Unemployment Benefits
After signing into law drastic funding cuts to an Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction (AODA) program targeting youths, Gov. Scott Walker is now proposing mandatory drug testing for Wisconsinites as a condition of receiving unemployment benefits or participating in the FoodShare program. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross denounced the shortsighted and hypocritical actions of Gov. Walker on the issue.
Gov. Walker Refuses to Help Student Loan Borrowers As His WEDC Lets Businesses That Owe Millions to State Off the Hook
Gov. Scott Walker has steadfastly refused to support a common sense state plan to allow students loan refinancing, just like you can a mortgage, helping many of Wisconsin's 800,000 student loan borrowers. Meanwhile, a recent audit of Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) revealed the agency declared as uncollectible millions of dollars in taxpayer funded loans to businesses that were delinquent.
Gov. Scott Walker and his Department of Workforce Development publicly tout over 70,000 job openings as being posted on a state website, jobcenterofwisconsin.com. But according to a Channel 27 News report on One Wisconsin Now’s review of the site, the reality is that Gov. Walker has once again come up far short on a jobs number – over 20,000 fewer jobs in fact, and the site even lists roughly 13,000 openings for jobs outside of the state of Wisconsin.
Pricetag of Student Loan Debt Continues to Rise: Recent Study Shows Housing Industry Loses $83 Billion in Sales Annually
A recent study from a home building industry consulting firm estimates student loan debt is costing the U.S. housing market $83 billion annually in lost home sales. One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Scot Ross noted that the most recent data tracks with an earlier study from his organization that found student loan borrowers and their families were significantly more likely to rent versus own their home.
In his first term in office Gov. Scott Walker signed at least nineteen bills or budget provisions into law that were drawn from corporate bill factory the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). He, along with the GOP legislature, also allowed a mining company that donated $700,000 to write large portions of a bill weakening the state’s laws on mining. Now running for re-election Gov. Walker continues “borrowing” from others, using the same campaign catch phrase as 21 other GOP governors and lifting a controversial portion of his jobs plan from a failed experiment in Florida.
While 150,000 Seniors See Social Security Garnished by Student Loan Debt, Walker Refuses Common Sense Reforms
Dramatic new statistics finding 155,000 Americans over the age of 65 had their social security benefits garnished in 2013 to pay back student loan debt shows the $1.2 trillion and counting student loan debt crisis isn’t just a burden on students and younger people. Yet in Wisconsin, Gov. Walker continues to refuse to support common sense reforms to help borrowers like allowing them to refinance their student loans.
Nearly one million Wisconsinites have student loan debt, part of the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis that ensnares 40 million Americans. But according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, a recent college campus tour undertaken by the increasingly desperate campaign of Gov. Scott Walker earns failing grades for failing to take on the $1.2 trillion student loan debt crisis.
Fast food workers across the country, including in Milwaukee, Madison and Wausau, today engaged in direct actions and rallies for higher wages and the right to bargain for better working conditions. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross applauded the workers effort and noted that Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s opposition to a higher minimum wage and actions like stripping workers of their rights have left the state lagging the Midwest on jobs and wage growth.
Gov. Walker Reacts to Falling Poll Numbers By Accusing Media of ‘Bias,’ ‘Incompetence,’ ‘Being Lazy’
A faltering Gov. Scott Walker took to right wing radio Thursday to deliver a blistering attack against state and national media for his latest troubles, complaining to Hugh Hewitt, “it’s hard to tell in between is it bias or is it incompetence, or is it just being lazy…In many of these cases, it may be all of the above.”
As students across Wisconsin head back to school, it’s Gov. Scott Walker who needs to be educated about the impact of his wrong-headed education policies, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Under Walker and his education policies, Wisconsin has had lagging job growth and rates of wage increases that trail neighboring states, earning him a failing grade.
In a recent TV ad the increasingly desperate campaign of Gov. Walker claims to have eliminated budget deficits. But the release of new tax collection figures could put the current budget crafted by Gov. Walker and the GOP-controlled legislature hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance and balloon a projected shortfall in the next budget to well over $1 billion.
Workplace and Health Care Gender Inequality, Not Jobs, Making a ‘Wisconsin Comeback’ With the Regressive Policies of Gov. Walker
Gov. Scott Walker, who plunged the state to last in the Midwest in jobs on his watch, is touting a “Wisconsin comeback” in his stump speeches and TV ads. As Wisconsin celebrates Women’s Equality Day and the 94th anniversary of passage of the 19th amendment grating women the right to vote, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted the unwelcome “comeback” under Walker of regressive policies that hurt women and their families.
The national ‘PBS NewsHour’ program, as part of its weeklong series “Rethinking College” will feature One Wisconsin Now’s work on the student loan debt crisis in a segment airing Tuesday evening. The piece, entitled “Wisconsin group wants to turn student loan borrowers into activists,” also features U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, U.S. Army Veteran and current UW-Waukesha student Saul Newton and recent UW-Madison graduate Ann DeGarmo.
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.
The latest television ad from the floundering campaign of Gov. Scott Walker purports to feature “real people” who allegedly got their jobs via the trickle-down economic policies of the Walker administration. The ad provides no identifying information about these individuals, and the Walker campaign has refused to provide additional information in response to media inquiries. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, Walker’s broken promise on jobs and his campaign’s track record of using paid actors and outsourced clip art in ads makes questions of about the veracity of the latest ad well founded.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce comments on outsourcing and Wisconsin jobs.
A review of Gov. Scott Walker’s most recent campaign finance report reveals he continues to reap a windfall of campaign donations, nearly $167,000 in just the last six months, from individuals associated with state businesses getting tax breaks, loans and grants through his Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). The latest information comes on the heels of a report from One Wisconsin Now that found Gov. Walker’s WEDC doled out 60 percent of its economic development funds to businesses donating $1 million to Walker’s campaign.
Gov. Scott Walker, who has opposed efforts to allow Wisconsin’s more than 900,000 student loan borrowers the chance to refinance their loans at a lower rate, is instead conducting a photo opportunity today at a predatory for-profit college chain under investigation by multiple attorneys general, as well as the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for deceptive and abusive practices against students.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding a news report in the Wisconsin State Journal that the Gov. Scott Walker's office is redacting names of companies seeking taxpayer funds for the privatized Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
“Gov. Walker is so committed to outsourcing that's he's even outsourcing stock footage jobs overseas,” said Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now.
As Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch continue a statewide election-year tour of Wisconsin's technical colleges, neither has explained why they have increased student loan debt hundreds of millions of dollars, gutted tech college funding by $70 million and opposed common sense reforms that would allow many of the state's nearly 1 million student loan borrowers to refinance their loans, just like you can a mortgage.
Gov. Walker’s Campaign Launches Political Attack on a Successful International Corporation Based in Wisconsin that Provides 1,000 Jobs
In his latest negative television ad, Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign attacks Trek Bicycles - an international company, headquartered in Wisconsin and employing 1,000 state residents. According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, this is just the latest example of the Governor putting his political self-interest before progress on Wisconsin jobs.
Gov. Walker’s WEDC Doubles Down on Sending State Tax Dollars to Businesses Shipping Wisconsin Jobs Overseas
Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) responded to news reports revealing how they sent millions in tax credits to businesses that cut Wisconsin jobs and shipped work overseas not by apologizing, but by declaring they’ll do it again. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross said Walker’s WEDC giving state tax dollars to job outsourcers helps to explain how Wisconsin is last in the Midwest and lagging the nation in jobs, and ripped them for declaring they’ll continue to do it instead of fighting to recover state funds.
Walker Television Attack Ignores Corruption, Cronyism, Incompetence of His Privatized Commerce Department
Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign today announced a new negative television blitz against former Wisconsin Commerce Secretary and business leader Mary Burke. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross ripped career politician Scott Walker for attempting to “swift boat” his opponent while refusing to answer questions raised by a One Wisconsin Now report showing not only is his privatized Commerce Department (WEDC) failing to deliver promised jobs, but that 60 percent of taxpayer-financed aid – a staggering $570 million – went to donors to Walker’s campaign.
A liberal advocacy group reports that nearly 60 percent of the financial assistance money awarded by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has gone to businesses whose owners or employees have donated money to the campaign of Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) or the Republican Governors Association (RGA). WEDC officials do not dispute that statistic, but insist "contributions absolutely play no role in determining which companies receive awards from WEDC." One Wisconsin Now found that 192 donors associated with businesses receiving WEDC grants donated a total of just over $1 million directly to Gov. Walker's campaign and another $1.1 million to the RGA. The RGA is a special interest group that spent $13 million to help get Gov. Walker elected in 2010 and then defeat the recall effort in 2012.
A report released today by One Wisconsin Now analyzing state funds distributed by the quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), created by Gov. Scott Walker, raises serious questions about who is really benefitting. The report found that owners or employees of 30 percent of businesses receiving WEDC assistance contributed to Gov. Walker's campaign or the Republican Governors Association (RGA). Meanwhile these same businesses received almost 60 percent of WEDC economic development funds - $570 million in total.
With a statewide public opinion poll released last week showing Gov. Walker tied with his Democratic opponent in the lead up to the November elections, Walker’s right-wing allies are again taking to the airwaves to boost his sagging electoral fortunes. Media reports quote a spokesperson for the notorious right-wing Koch brothers subsidized Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF), a tax deductible non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, saying the group will spend at least $866,000 on media, including television and radio ads in the coming weeks.
Asking corporate special interests, “how can we love you more?” in closed-door meetings may be paying off with adulation from corporate CEOs for Gov. Walker’s Administration, but for the rest of us the state economy continues to lag the nation and region in economic growth. A recent survey of an elite slice of big business CEOs being touted by Gov. Walker is at odds with the economic reality for the rest of the state.
Gov. Walker is publicizing multiple “forums” across the state where, at his direction, top administration officials talk tax policy changes with big business representatives. At the first stop in Beloit that featured Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, the Secretary of the Department of Revenue and business representatives, Kleefisch order the meeting closed to the public and media. Kleefisch has also refused to release a recording of the proceedings made by a taxpayer funded member of her staff.
It may be thirteen months before he stands for re-election as Wisconsin Governor, but Scott Walker and his special interest allies are already in full panic mode. According to legislative records obtained by One Wisconsin Now, Gov. Walker’s administration scrambled to have a property tax scheme drafted as a bill the same day as he announced it at a hastily called press conference and mere days after a Democratic opponent for the November 2014 election announced her candidacy.
As Gov. Scott Walker and the right wing noise machine shift into overdrive in their efforts to boost sagging opinion of his job performance, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross noted that, try as they might, the fact remains on issue after issue, the Walker administration has been an abysmal failure.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics has released a new round of national job numbers. According to the data, Wisconsin ranks in the bottom third of states and significantly lags the national job growth rate. The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:
To see the recent struggles of the state's jobs programs, take the case of a missing crane, a seemingly untraceable business owner and $83,000 in squandered taxpayer money. When the state lent the money to Milwaukee Iron Works in the fall of 2010, seemingly everything soured — from the state's spotty follow-up on the delinquent loan and the firm's eventual status as a tax scofflaw to a shortchanged pension fund for the company's workers and even a sloppy job of lawmaking by legislators eliminating the state program. Taxpayers were left with bad debt and no collateral: The crane that was supposed to back up their loan can't be found. The case turned up in an ongoing Journal Sentinel review of the state's job programs that encompassed hundreds of records on delinquent loans and matched a database of tax-delinquent companies against firms that have received state jobs incentives such as grants, loans or other awards. The review found seven companies that benefited from nearly $1.3 million worth of taxpayer subsidies — including loans, grants and loan guarantees — and that owe nearly $300,000 in state taxes and other charges, according to a recent count in state records. One business actually owed taxes at the time the state gave it the award, and others, like Milwaukee Iron Works, had growing financial problems that could have been spotted by state officials had they looked deeper into the companies.
A new report by One Wisconsin Now adds a twist to the jaw-dropping shamelessness over at the WEDC.
A review of campaign finance records by One Wisconsin Now has found that Gov. Walker's campaign and the Republican Governors Association (RGA) have raked in over $614,000 in donations from individuals associated with businesses receiving tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Walker serves as chair of the board entrusted with overseeing the operations of the quasi-private WEDC.
A new national report ranks Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker 40th out of 45 governors scored on their job growth records. On Numbers, the research wing of the Business Journals, analyzed private-sector employment levels in each state during the tenure of its current governor, using seasonally adjusted data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figures are through May 2013 and do not include the five governors who took office this year. The report shows Wisconsin adding 58,700 private-sector jobs since Walker took office in January 2011, an annual growth rate of 1.07 percent. But that compares with a growth rate of 2 percent for the other 49 states over that period. If Wisconsin had added private-sector jobs at the same pace as the rest of the country under Walker, the state would have added another 51,200 jobs for a total of 109,900.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. On tap for today, in a rare candid moment, Gov. Walker is caught on video revealing his strategy of “divide and conquer” to billionaire Wisconsin widow and $510,000 contributor Diane Hendricks.
In his twenty years in office, Scott Walker has amassed a truly astounding record of failure. To commemorate the looming anniversary of his first election to office, One Wisconsin Now is highlighting a different and depressing failure of Gov. Walker every day, for twenty days. In today's installment, Gov. Walker's anti-voter record is “highlighted”.
Beginning June 10, One Wisconsin Now will commemorate over 20 days, the failings, scandals and imbroglios of Gov. Scott Walker's 20-years in elected office. Gov. Walker, who was first elected to the State Assembly on June 29, 1993, has spent virtually no time in the private sector and has enjoyed nearly half his life on the taxpayers' dime, including receiving well over $1 million in salary alone, as well as health care benefits for he and his family.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is traveling to Iowa today to address a gathering of Republican Party activists in another of an increasing number out-of-state sojourns as he ponders a bid for national office. Also making the trip is One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, along with copies of the Walker “Resume of Failure.”
In what parallel universe does a scandal-plagued agency that just got dinged for failing to account for the money it’s been spending get more money? That parallel universe would be Scott Walker’s Wisconsin. There’s something flat-out bizarre about the governor's response to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. fiasco...The governor, who chairs the WEDC board, actually wants to give the agency more money BEFORE the mess is cleaned up. That may make sense to Walker. But in the real world, common sense says this: Fix WEDC before you throw any more taxpayer dollars at the failed experiment.
The continuing mismanagement and misuse of public funds at Governor Walker's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) ought to disqualify the agency from any new funding, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. Particularly egregious is a 2013-15 budget proposal giving WEDC $11 million in new taxpayer money to run an advertising campaign.
A blistering audit released Wednesday said Republican Gov. Scott Walker's premier job creation agency repeatedly broke state law in its first year of operation, failed to adequately track money it awarded for economic development projects and sometimes gave money to ineligible recipients...The audit found numerous examples where the agency did not consistently follow the law or existing policies when making awards, and had no policies for determining how to handle delinquent loan amounts. In one example, WEDC executed a $2.5 million contract through a tax credit program that required jobs to be created in order for companies to get the credit. But the contract did not require any jobs be created, the audit said...Employees of the public-private entity also made unexplained purchases of University of Wisconsin football season tickets, alcohol and iTunes gift cards, the audit said. The audit faulted WEDC for not having sufficient policies to administer its $520 million worth of grant, loan and tax credit programs effectively, including some policies required by law. It awarded $80 million in its first year.
“A stinging audit has found that the state's flagship jobs agency repeatedly failed last year to follow basic standards in state law for ensuring the clear and proper use of millions of dollars in taxpayer money, prompting lawmakers of both parties to call for immediate changes. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has faced repeated criticism for poor financial controls since Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers created the quasi-public authority in July 2011 as a replacement for the Department of Commerce. The agency's chief financial officer, Mike Klonsinski, resigned in October when problems came to light. His position remains open - the latest person to take the job resigned after 24 hours to accept a promotion from his old firm.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the Legislative Audit Bureau's findings of serious performance inadequacies at Gov. Walker's Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC):
One Wisconsin Now Calls on Rep. Marklein, ‘CPA Caucus’ to Put Gov. Walker’s WEDC Under the Microscope
Following the “revelation” that the University of Wisconsin System maintains a reserve fund, State Representative and member of the “CPA Caucus” Howard Marklein has vowed to review the finance of more state agencies. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross suggested Marklein and his GOP cohorts ought to start with Gov. Walker's woefully underperforming Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
According to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, time isn’t the only thing Gov. Walker is spending to promote his 2016 Republican Presidential ambitions. Tucked away in Gov. Walker’s 2013-15 budget is a provision allocating nearly $11 million in taxpayer funds for an advertising campaign, overseen by his quasi-private Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).
Gov. Walker’s Nearly $68 Billion Budget Allocates $0.0 For Direct Relief From Trillion Dollar Student Loan Debt Crisis
In his nearly $68 billion state budget proposal, Gov. Walker larders special interests with sweetheart deals and doles out millions in tax breaks for the wealthiest Wisconsinites. But, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross, not one cent is spent to provide direct relief to students or their families being crushed by the trillion-dollar student loan debt crisis.
From appearances at Republican Party events in the Western Iowa media market to health care decisions designed to appease to Tea Party extremists instead of help Wisconsin families, Gov. Scott Walker’s top priorities appear to be his political ambitions. The recent announcement that he intends to spend nearly $11 million on a marketing campaign overseen by his scandal plagued Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is more like a publicly funded, national advertising campaign for himself than a Wisconsin job creation strategy, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross.
Across the country, the economy is slowly but steadily improving. More companies are hiring, consumers are spending again, the stock market is tickling record highs and many Americans say they are feeling more optimistic about the future. But Wisconsin stands somewhat apart from this trend, consistently and stubbornly lagging in job creation and finding itself near the bottom of many measures of economic health...It’s a familiar story across Wisconsin. While fewer businesses are cutting jobs these days, they sure aren’t adding a lot of new employees either. And for those with a job — whether in the private or public sector — the pay raises have been few and far between. So what gives? Some observers point to Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature. They say the drastic spending cuts in the 2011-2013 state budget, just as the economy was beginning to recover from the recession, have actually made things worse. “Wisconsin did absolutely the wrong thing at the wrong time,” says Kenneth Thomas, a political scientist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and author of the popular Middle Class Political Economist blog. “You want to practice austerity when things are going well, not the other way around.”
Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance Blames Gov. Walker’s Epic Jobs Failure on Wisconsin Citizens’ Age and Demeanor
The latest report from conservative front group the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance is more of an apology for Gov. Walker’s epic failure to spur new job creation in Wisconsin than an analysis of the reasons behind Wisconsin’s current rank as 42nd in the nation for job growth, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. The report alleges that it is the fault of Wisconsin’s population for being too old and lacking an entrepreneurial demeanor.
One Wisconsin Now Statements on the Appointment of a New Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the hiring of a new CEO for Gov. Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC):
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on the introduction of new open pit mining legislation:
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on Gov. Walker's silence on his campaign contributor and fundraiser Hank Greenberg suing the federal government over the taxpayer funded bailout of AIG. Greenberg hosted the notorious fundraiser for Walker in his Park Avenue apartment in New York the day nearly one million signatures were filed to recall Gov. Walker.
Another statement came from the activist group One Wisconsin Now executive director Scot Ross, who said after two years of partisan political strife and stagnant economy, Walker’s pledge this week didn’t mean much. “Two years ago we got the same song and dance from Gov. Walker and the Republican legislative majorities, but they put raw politics and power grabs before all else at very step of the way,” Ross said. “Their actions offer precious little reason to believe them this time.”
The organization One Wisconsin Now, which opposes many of Gov. Walker’s policies, was quick to react to the job creation ranking on Tuesday, saying it shows Walker’s job creation efforts are not working. Executive Director Scot Ross said: “Gov. Walker and his policies have, again, proven to be an abysmal failure for Wisconsin.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on the release of U.S. Census data showing Wisconsin under Gov. Walker ranks 42nd of the 50 states for job creation between June 2011 and June 2012:
Walker, GOP Legislature’s Latest Promises of Moderation at Odds With Record of Extreme Partisanship, Failure on Jobs Promise
After two years of unprecedented partisan political strife under their governance, a stagnant economy and record cuts to public education, Gov. Walker and legislative Republicans enter the new legislative session claiming in media reports that they will pursue a moderate political agenda.
One Wisconsin Now Statements Regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s Address to the Republican National Convention
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross made the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s address to the Republican National Convention tonight:
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the 100th birthday of the late corporate propagandist Milton Friedman. Many of the failures of Gov. Scott Walker can be traced to the policies espoused by Friedman, most notably massive tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while attacking public investments and public employees.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements related to the sad news that once again Wisconsin has lost jobs under the failed policies of Gov. Scott Walker. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate rose and the state lost 13,200 jobs in June.
While Gov. Scott Walker refuses to implement health care exchanges in Wisconsin, Minnesota’s progress on offering consumers and businesses the opportunity to leverage their resources to purchase affordable, private health insurance will, according to recent news reports, create 100 new jobs at Waukesha County based Connecture, Inc.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding President Obama’s call for Congress to extend tax breaks for the middle class while allowing those for the wealthiest Americans to expire.
An analysis of campaign finance reports by One Wisconsin Now found Gov. Walker’s record spending in the June 5th recall election was overwhelmingly fueled by large contributions from the wealthy and out-of-state donors.
Gov. Walker’s political appointee in charge of the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) appears to be stonewalling the release of public records related to claims he made about the release of unverified state job numbers.
Questions continue to mount about Gov. Walker’s candor on serious issues, including his involvement in the secret John Doe investigation of corruption and illegal campaigning by close aides and associates and video showing him telling campaign contributors a very different story than the public. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne called on Gov. Walker to address the questions about the integrity of his administration in tonight’s debate.
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne called on Gov. Walker’s campaign to release video to back up their “lucky guess” defense in response to questions about how his campaign was able to produce and run a new television ad citing job information from a state agency the same morning it was publicly released.
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne today announced the filing of public record requests associated with the suspicious timing of a new television ad from Gov. Walker’s campaign, containing previously undisclosed information from an administration jobs report, and denials of consultation between the agency producing the report and the Governor.
Under Gov. Walker, Wisconsin’s economy has tanked, ranking dead last in the nation for job creation and suffering the ignominy of being the only state in the nation with statistically significant job losses over the last year. Meanwhile, Gov. Walker’s cross country cash grab has been a stunning success, netting two-thirds of the $13 million raised from out-of-state contributors, according to One Wisconsin Now’s analysis of his latest campaign finance report filed today.
“Gov. Scott Walker signed four bills relating to women’s reproductive health and pay equality without the usual public fanfare last Thursday, a move that came under fire from Democrats and advocacy groups. Walker signed the four bills into law on Thursday and announced their signing, along with 47 other bills, in a statement released the following day. The first three bills relate to abortions in the state, and the fourth relates to women’s health issues, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau. One piece of legislation repeals Wisconsin’s Healthy Youth Act.”
Supporters of the equal pay enforcement provisions said they had been effective in addressing Wisconsin’s gender pay inequity
“The Equal Pay law wasn’t just about women—it also offered protection from discrimination based on race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors. But it was enacted largely in response to a large gap between men and women’s compensation, one that was worse than average in Wisconsin—in 2009 the state ranked 36th in the country in terms of workplace gender parity...To bring a suit under the law, a plaintiff first had to go through a state-level administrative process to prove discrimination. It was rigorous enough that in the two years the law was in effect, not a single equal-pay lawsuit was filed. Still, the law’s supporters believe it has been effective in spurring businesses to pay women more fairly. Thus by 2010, the state had climbed to 24th in the national gender-parity rankings, with women making 78 percent as much as men, compared to 77 percent nationally. “Since the law was put into place, employers actually took notice and were very conscious of the fact that they had to follow this law or they were at risk of a lawsuit,” Sinicki argues.
Walker Signed Equal Pay Repeal and Abortion Restriction Bills In Private and Released Them on Good Friday
A Wisconsin law that made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court was repealed on Thursday, after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) quietly signed the bill. The 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act was meant to deter employers from discriminating against certain groups by giving workers more avenues via which to press charges. Among other provisions, it allows individuals to plead their cases in the less costly, more accessible state circuit court system, rather than just in federal court.
The Equal Pay Enforcement Act gave victims of wage discrimination the ability to sue in state courts for punitive and compensatory damages. By repealing the law, Walker made it easier for corporations to discriminate because the adverse financial consequences were lessened if they were caught. In addition, filing suit in state courts is often cheaper and easier than going to federal court so victims may be less likely to pursue claims without the state court option.
Big Spending, Corporate Funded Republican Governors Association Returns to Try to Bail Out Gov. Walker
The Virginia based, corporate-funded Republican Governors Association (RGA) announced in a press release today that it has returned to Wisconsin with negative television commercials attacking possible opponents of Gov. Walker in a recall election.
The numbers are in and Wisconsin lost a net of 20,600 nonfarm jobs in 2011 with Scott Walker as Governor and Republicans in control of the state legislature.
One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne made the following statement regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s latest special interest funded campaign ad:
2010 Politifact “Lie of the Year” award winner, GOP pollster Frank Luntz, addressed a gathering of CEOs sponsored by the state’s big business lobby today in Madison. One Wisconsin Now Deputy Director Mike Browne said Luntz will have his work cut out for him trying to boost Gov. Scott Walker’s record of job losses and policies that cut education and health care while doling out tax cuts for the wealthiest and corporations.
Governor Scott Walker failed to tackle Wisconsin’s jobs crisis - posting six straight months of job losses here while nationally jobs are being added - and is now poised to take on “the truth” in his second State of the State address.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements on the latest news that Gov. Scott Walker’s failed economic policies have resulted in six straight months of job loss in Wisconsin, despite job creation happening in states across the nation.
The failed economic agenda of Gov. Scott Walker continues as grim and disturbing news came today from the U.S. Department of Labor that for the week ending December 31, the state of Wisconsin had the second highest number of new unemployment claims of any state in the nation - 10,203 new claims. Michigan with 10,364 new claims, was the only state higher than Wisconsin.
The latest ad in Gov. Scott Walker’s multi-million dollar campaign continues to distort Walker’s record of failure on job creation and deficit reduction, including the false claim that Walker did not raise taxes.
The “business owner” featured in the latest Scott Walker television ad saw his business grow 1,300 percent during the administration of Gov. Jim Doyle, according to a self-professed claim in the Business Times from 2008. The business owner is actually a vice chair at the Milwaukee Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, which donated $400,000 in 2010 to the Republican Governors Association to elect Walker.
Walker, Texas Raider: Gov. Traveling to Lone Star State Corporate Event; More Unlimited Campaign Cash
The awful news this week about nearly 10,000 jobs being lost in Wisconsin has not stopped Gov. Scott Walker from his efforts to crisscross the country and raise unlimited campaign contributions the latest being an announcement he will keynote an event in Texas, hosted by that state's leading corporate-funded public policy outfit.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the latest failure from Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature: a total job loss of 9,700 in October. The news comes after Walker has held two separate so-called “special sessions” on jobs and signed into law $2.3 billion in new tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while gutting public and higher education and health care, as well as stripping 175,000 workers of their rights.
Gov. Scott Walker continues to choose corporate special interest donors over the people of Wisconsin — offering a scheme that would cut health care for 65,000 Wisconsinites to pay off part of his $2.3 billion in new tax breaks for corporations and the rich passed since he took office.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Sen. Mary Lazich’s (R-New Berlin) latest attempt to thwart the recall of Gov. Scott Walker — a never-before considered requirement for officially notarized recall signatures.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the Republican-controlled state legislature’s latest election-rigging schemes planned for a Senate hearing today.
With an ever-climbing state unemployment rate and reasonable pleas for action by the middle class, Gov. Scott Walker is offering what has become his gubernatorial calling card: a special-interest session of more corporate favors and less corporate accountability.
Despite Governor Walker’s message of the importance of paying off he State’s debt, newly created WEDC dropped more than $43,000 to by 74 iPads for all of its staff. Along with the 3g service and WiFi connection the total will amount to $60,000.
Gov. Scott Walker, who gutted funds for public education, the University of Wisconsin and the technical college system by nearly $2 billion, will be greeted by a plane with a special message from One Wisconsin Now as he attends Saturday’s Badgers vs. Nebraska football game. The message: “RecallScottWalker.org _ One WI Now.”
Gov. Scott Walker, facing a steadily-increasing state unemployment rate despite passing $2.3 billion in tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy, has announced his latest scheme: charge the public $50 to attend a state-sponsored “jobs summit.” Walker’s fee will likely restrict public access, particularly the unemployed and those in need of jobs.
WEDC has been the source of some controversy. From its inception, critics worried it would wrestle with the same problems that plagued similar hybrid agencies in other states. In Texas, state leaders have gone after officials with TexasOne for making stock deals that allegedly cross the line into conflicts of interest. A Dallas Morning News investigation found the organization had final say over a fund that awarded $16 million to companies with ties to friends and supporters of Gov. Rick Perry, who is now running for the Republican nomination for president. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. got in trouble last year after awarding $9.1 million in tax credits to a convicted embezzler. And recently, the Indiana Economic Development Corp. was scrutinized for inflating job creation numbers and resisting efforts to open its books to the public. But according to Jadin, there is more than enough oversight in place to make sure his new agency will be accountable. "I can't imagine that Commerce was ever as accountable as we will be," Jadin said.
The public-private hybrid agency officially opened July 1, but there still are no outward signs of its existence. Now, some eight weeks in, WEDC officials are working out the details. They've installed new human resources and payroll software, hired employees and set up customer-relations services. But they are trying to fill four vice president slots and several key director positions.
There is this perception that we just took Commerce and privatized it, said Paul Jadin, Commerce secretary and CEO of WEDC. "The truth is, we are creating a whole new organization and there is a lot that goes into that." The governor signed legislation in February abolishing the Commerce Department and replacing it with WEDC, an agency free of the regulatory duties many felt hampered Commerce. Now, some eight weeks in, WEDC officials are working out the details. They've installed new human resources and payroll software, hired employees and set up customer-relations services. But they are trying to fill four vice president slots and several key director positions. And they're still wrestling with how to brand the agency. Should it go by its acronym and phonetic pronunciation, "weed-ic"? Or should it be "The Corporation"?...WEDC is tasked with one thing: attracting and retaining businesses. The agency was given an $83 million budget, almost twice what Commerce received for economic development. Since July, WEDC has awarded more than $34 million in grants it says have created more than 900 planned jobs. That's not a marked jump in the amount or number of awards from what Commerce disbursed in January through July, but officials say they are laying the groundwork for future success.
Scot Ross of the liberal muckraking group One Wisconsin Now jumped on the latest report. “Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans controlling the Legislature promised us new jobs and they have delivered nothing but new corporate tax breaks and attacks on Wisconsin’s way of life,” he said in a statement. “This latest startling news, that 12,500 private sector jobs were lost in July, is the latest sign that Walker’s scheme of enriching corporate donors with our education and health care tax dollars is a failure.”
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding the latest failure from Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature: 12,500 private sector jobs lost in July and the unemployment rate rising to its highest level in almost a year at 7.8 percent. The news comes after Walker signed into law $2.3 billion in new tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, while gutting public and higher education and health care, as well as stripping 175,000 workers of their rights.
Despite Gov. Scott Walker’s six-month sell-off of Wisconsin state government to corporate special interests at the cost of nearly $2 billion over the next decade, General Electric’s X-ray business just announced it is moving its Waukesha headquarters to Beijing, China. Walker and the Republican Legislature just handed out nearly $2 billion in new corporate tax breaks at the expense of schools, kids, seniors and workers. With this news, will Walker and the Republican Legislature finally admit that corporate tax breaks are a failure?
Wisconsin Senate Republican are expected today to cut $56 million yearly from benefits for newly-unemployed Wisconsin workers just as figures show Wisconsin’s unemployment rate under Gov. Scott Walker has jumped higher than most states in the past two months. This vote comes after it was revealed Gov. Walker spent $500,000 for private legal counsel to the firm where Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus is partner.
Despite Gov. Scott Walker’s six-month sell-off of Wisconsin state government to corporate special interests at the cost of nearly $2 billion over the next decade, General Electric’s X-Ray business just announced it is moving its Waukesha headquarters to Beijing, China.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s planned signing of the 2011-13 Wisconsin state budget on Sunday. Walker’s budget includes tax breaks for corporations and the rich that will cost the state of Wisconsin taxpayers $2.3 billion over the next decade. At the same time, they are raising taxes on the working poor by $70 million, dismantling public education by $1.6 billion and slashing the University of Wisconsin by $250 million.
Today's meeting of the WEDC board marks a new beginning in the relationship between job creators and government, Governor Walker said. "For too long the Department of Commerce was tasked with regulating job creators. This new public-private partnership will focus solely on the development of Wisconsin's economy and job market. Our number one priority is to create an environment that allows the private sector to get 250,000 people back to work by 2015. The WEDC will play an integral role in achieving this goal."
One Wisconsin Institute Report: ‘We’re Not Broke: The Truth About The Wisconsin Budget, Taxes and Governor Walker’s Phony Fiscal Crisis’
A comprehensive analysis authored by the non-partisan One Wisconsin Institute shows that despite claims from Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin is not “broke.” The Institute's research contradicts Gov. Walker's assertion, pointing out Wisconsin's Gross Domestic Product has steadily rose the past twenty years and Wisconsin has plenty of overall wealth - but this wealth has shifted to those at the top of the income ladder, while Wisconsin's tax structure is built around the middle class.
An announcement by Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday that Link Snacks Inc. of Minong, in Washburn County, will receive $75,000 in state tax credits came under fire from a liberal advocacy group because the top executive of the company, and the company, made political donations to the Republican Governors Association. The RGA spent heavily on Walker’s race for governor last year. Walker announced that Link Snacks, a manufacturer of meat snacks, will get economic development tax credits to invest in new equipment. The project will create seven jobs and represents $6.8 million in investments. But Scot Ross, executive director of One Wisconsin Now, said in a statement that “once again, Wisconsin taxpayers are footing Gov. Walker’s handouts to special interest campaign contributors.”
Gov. Scott Walker has announced a $75,000 taxpayer-financed grant to a company, who along with its Chief Executive Officer, donated nearly $50,000 in 2010 to the Republican Governors Association, which spent $5 million to elect Walker governor, according to a figures obtained from the Internal Revenue Service by One Wisconsin Now. Walker announced the taxpayer-financed grant to the company, Jack Links, Tuesday in a press release.
The enforcement of Executive Order #108 was suspended by Governor Walker as of March 2011. This Order was signed by Governor Doyle in 2005 to encourage the employment of apprentices on construction projects for the State of Wisconsin. In this way the state would help create opportunities for younger workers to learn the skills needed for employment in the building and construction trades.
Members of the Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate will be flooded with over 16,000 petitions signed by Wisconsinites united against Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to use the government to take away the rights of workers across Wisconsin.
More Than 5,000 Immediately Respond to Walker Petition Denouncing Governor’s Undemocratic Governmental Takeaway of Rights
MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to use the government to take away the rights of workers across Wisconsin has generated more than 5,000 petition signers in less than one day from all corners of Wisconsin to demand state legislators reject Walker’s undemocratic plan.
Walker Concocts ‘Scoop and Toss’ Borrowing Scheme to Pay for $140 Million in Special Interest Spending
Madison— Republican Gov. Scott Walker plans to pay for $140 million in new special interest spending signed into law in January by extending the state’s long term debt in a “scoop and toss” refinancing scheme that will cost untold tens of millions of dollars in additional debt for Wisconsin.
One Wisconsin Now issued the following statements regarding Gov. Scott Walker’s enactment of the failed Indiana model for privatizing the taxpayer-financed Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
MADISON, Wis. — Despite the state’s $3.3 billion deficit, Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled state legislature have added over $140 million in new special interest spending to that tab. Walker and the Republicans have refused to show the job creation this spending will create.
Gov. Scott Walker’s misguided plan to create a supermajority for tax increases ignores that the taxes targeted have not been increased by the legislature in over 30 years. Similar supermajority measures in California have led to that state’s near economic collapse, a record-setting deficit and draconian cuts for critical public investments.
Insurance companies across the state could see a mass exodus of existing Wisconsin customers if rates do not drop immediately after passage of an insurance lobby-supported bill to reduce the required insurance coverage for state drivers. The insurance lobby has blamed required insurance levels for raising rates, leaving customers to reasonably expect rates to drop when the bill passes as part of Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislative majority’s historic job-free, deficit-hiking “Special Interest Session.”
The Republican plan to give a tax break to high deductible private health savings accounts would increase the deficit $48 million in the next two years, create no jobs and would not increase access to health care. The plan is to be debated today at a joint legislative health committee.
One Wisconsin Now released the following statements regarding Gov.-elect Scott Walker’s plan to put corporate special interests in charge of he taxpayer-financed Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements about Gov.-elect Scott Walker’s regulatory reform plan to reward corporate campaign donors by allowing them to rewrite state regulations.
One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross released the following statements about today’s news regarding the Midwest High Speed Rail Initiative.
One Wisconsin Now delivered the names of over 7,000 Wisconsinites from every corner of the state to the office of Gov.-elect Scott Walker who signed One Wisconsin Now’s “Save the Train” petition demanding Walker drop opposition to the high speed rail project for Wisconsin.
The transition office of Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker appears to be working with right wing radio host Vicki McKenna to manufacture opposition to the Midwest high speed rail project for Wisconsin, according to an email from, McKenna’s corporate account, obtained by One Wisconsin Now.
GOP Save-Face Plan for Walker: ‘Kill Rail to Pay 0.001 Percent for Extending Bush Tax Cuts for Millionaires’
Wisconsin’s Republican U.S. House delegation has given fellow Republican and Gov.-elect Scott Walker a new option in his effort to kill the thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic development high speed rail would bring to Wisconsin: Pay for one thousandth of one percent of the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest top two percent of income earners.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to admit he would support a ban on embryonic stem cell research if elected governor, but Walker told supporters in 2005 he would have signed a bill Gov. Jim Doyle vetoed at the time that was a direct threat to embryonic stem cell research. Walker told his supporters of the ban in the November 10, 2005 “Walker Weekly,” an electronic newsletter during his failed previous bid for governor.
One Wisconsin Now Debuts ‘Moving in the Right Direction: Bringing High Speed Rail to Wisconsin’ Video
The overwhelming benefits of high speed rail set for Wisconsin, including 13,000 new jobs, billions of dollars in benefits and reduced dependence on foreign oil, are the subject of a new One Wisconsin Now video produced by University of Wisconsin-Madison senior William Barnes. The video is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEwgv1fQDSQ.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, as part of his three-page agenda, has called for making “Wisconsin a highly attractive place to start a business by eliminating corporate taxes for the first two years of operation.” Analysis by One Wisconsin Now shows the plan would either be a budget-busting corporate loophole or would apply to few, if any businesses.
In advance of tonight’s first debate between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, One Wisconsin Now offered the following questions for County Executive Walker to answer about his tax cut plan for the rich and big business, his support for cutting children and working families from BadgerCare health coverage and his failed management of Milwaukee County.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s long career of supporting big oil, big banks and big insurance has paid off with enormous contributions for the Republican Governors Association, which has raised $27 million in 2010 alone and has already purchased $1 million in attack ads in Wisconsin. Total spending by the Republican Governors Association to support Walker’s anti-middle class priorities will likely top $2 million this year.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s long record of failed leadership, mismanagement and skewed priorities are featured on a new interactive and multi-media website www.ScottWalkerFailureFiles.com, researched and produced by One Wisconsin Now.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has promised to reveal his plans in the coming days to reduce the state government payroll, but if his Milwaukee County record is any indication of his plans, taxpayers will be socked with higher costs and compromised safety.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to detail how he will pay for his nearly $2 billion in tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit the rich and big business. But he said late last week that wage and benefit cuts for state workers are one way to close the state’s $2 billion-plus projected state deficit. In order to finance both the tax cuts and close the deficit, Walker would need to cut state worker pay and benefits by 42 percent, or slash 29,000 state jobs.
The first television advertisement for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s campaign for governor paid for by the Republican Party of Wisconsin not only is full of distortions and exaggerations, but also ignores the impact of his policies which have been disastrous for Milwaukee, a fact-check conducted by One Wisconsin Now concludes.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s latest campaign ad is riddled with falsehoods, distortions and half-truths about his disastrous record for Milwaukee County, according to a fact check of the ad conducted by One Wisconsin Now.
“In response to Harley’s news, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for governor, claimed that the state’s move to combined reporting for corporate taxation had hurt the company. But Harley officials have said in the past that combined reporting…had nothing to do with its cutbacks. [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 5/3/10]
Contrary to calls for fiscal restraint in his latest television advertisement, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker voted to increase state spending 84 percent as a member of the state Assembly and has proposed 35 percent in increases to county spending since 2002. Walker voted for $200 billion in total state budget spending, which led to a then-record $3 billion state budget deficit.
“One recent dust-up involves Walker's talk of his help in landing GE Healthcare's $85 million headquarters in the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa in 2004. But the former mayor of Wauwatosa said Walker's part in the project is overblown. ‘That's a good piece of revisionist history,’ said Theresa M. Estness, who was mayor of Wauwatosa from 2000 to 2008. The pitch to GE included more than $30 million in public funds, with nearly $28 million coming from Wauwatosa in the form of a grant and a low-interest loan to the developer to help woo GE and its 2,000 employees. ‘The county executive was never at the table negotiating this,’ she said, adding ‘there was never anyone from the county involved when we were negotiating with GE.’”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s criticism related to the Talgo company comes just two weeks after the company owned by a top Walker campaign donor and finance co-chair of his failed 2006 gubernatorial campaign did not receive a contract from the Spanish train maker.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is claiming he will create “250,000 jobs” in Wisconsin, which if done would essentially reduce the unemployment rate to zero. The lowest recorded unemployment rate in recent Wisconsin history is 2.4 percent in 1999.
At Tuesday’s Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbying luncheon Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will likely find support from the corporate lobby for his $2-billion, budget-busting, deficit-doubling plan for tax breaks that mostly benefit corporations and the wealthiest Wisconsinites. What is less likely, is that Walker will explain which drastic cuts he would make to pay for this failed fiscal strategy, according to One Wisconsin Now.
One Wisconsin Now released the following statements from Executive Director Scot Ross on the one-year anniversary of the successful America Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). ARRA has provided $2.76 billion to Wisconsin for job creation, schools, transportation, health care, energy and public safety among other critical needs. Over 44,000 Wisconsin jobs have been created, retained and funded through the Recovery Act funds, which some elected officials, most prominently Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, called for Wisconsin to reject.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s call for Wisconsin to reject federal Recovery Act funds for critical job creation and railway infrastructure needs reflects Walker’s long-time failure on transit issues, which have led to among other things, the nation’s highest transit fees for already-struggling Milwaukee County residents.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has strongly opposed measures to provide more Wisconsin children, pregnant mothers and uninsured adults have affordable health care, at the same time taking more than $120,000 in campaign contributions from the health care industry in just the last six months alone.
County Supervisors Said Walker Failed to Market Financing Aid Available to Boost Economic Development
“Milwaukee County supervisors faulted County Executive Scott Walker on Monday, saying he hadn't developed a plan or designated staff to promote financing aid that could boost local economic development. Two major federal lending programs could be tapped by the county to assist private developers by lowering borrowing costs, but the county has been slow to market the aid, supervisors said. ‘That's the problem -- we don't have the staff and we really don't have a plan,’ despite a push by Walker to raise the profile of county economic development efforts, Supervisor Theo Lipscomb said….Supervisor Lynne De Bruin said it was disconcerting that Walker had not acted more aggressively in marketing the programs.”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker wants to double Wisconsin’s projected $2-billion state budget deficit with a series of tax breaks that mostly benefit corporations and high-income people.
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s recent call for limits on critical BadgerCare health benefits for low-income or displaced workers and repeated criticism of state spending raises concerns he may favor cuts to BadgerCare programs that cover children and expectant mothers.
Wisconsin Republican officials are responding to bipartisan overtures at the state and federal level by Democratic leaders by summarily rejecting efforts to create jobs, invest in infrastructure, reform health insurance and tackle the $5.4 billion deficit.
“Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker came under fire Tuesday for delays in hiring the county’s first engineer to oversee the county’s ‘green’ building projects. Although the position was created in July 2007 and money was set aside for it in this year's budget, the job remains vacant.”
“Milwaukee County's economic development efforts would get a lower profile under County Executive Scott Walker's 2009 budget. The Economic and Community Development Division would disappear, its duties parceled out to other departments. The county would no longer have an economic development director, but a lower-paid associate director of real estate, one rung lower, in a revised county bureaucracy. … County Supervisor Toni Clark said she would oppose Walker's move, calling economic development ‘probably the most important division of county government.’”
“Walker's last two choices to lead the county economic development office, Bob Dennik and Tim Russell, came from his campaign and lacked depth in the development business, Clark said. Dennik left the post this week to become an executive with a Pewaukee construction company. Russell is now Walker's community relations director. ‘Walker chooses folks who don't have -the necessary- experience,’ she said. Dennik came under repeated fire from the board the last two years over disappointing land sales results that put the county budget in a jam.”