A Tale of Two Scotts (or Privatization Simply Doesn’t Work)

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have a lot in common. Both are Republicans. Both put corporate interests before the interests of people. And heck, when I went to google a pic of Rick Scott, I found this:

Rick Scott

The similarities are uncanny I tell yas. But here is where they ARE different:

“Walker is expected this week to sign legislation abolishing the State’s Commerce Department and replacing it with the Wisconsin  Economic Development Corporation, a public-private agency that will market the state to outside companies.

Last week, Scott unveiled plans to do just the opposite: Restore his state’s Department of Commerce, 15 years after it was axed to make way for a public-private hybrid criticized for failing to bring enough business to the state. Scott has said returning the economic development job to the Commerce Department will allow him to better respond to the state’s business needs.”

Apparently, for as much as Wisconsin’s Scott talks about what other states are doing, he’s not taking a hint from Florida’s Scott on privatization of the Commerce Department.

Perhaps Scott Walker should read about other states’ experiences with said privatization plan:

“In Texas, state leaders have gone after officials with TexasOne for making stock deals that cross the line into conflicts of interest. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation got in trouble last year after awarding $9.1 million in tax credits to a convicted embezzler. And recently, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation came under intense scrutiny for inflating job creation numbers and resisting efforts to open its books to the public.”

Here’s what another Scott, Scott Spector from AFT-Wisconsin, had to say about the plan: “You find me one state where this idea has been a rousing success… You can’t do it.”

There you have it, a tale of two (three, I guess) Scotts.

[Wisconsin State Journal]

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Cody currently oversees online communications, web development, and graphic design at One Wisconsin Now & the Institute, having served previously as Deputy Research Director.