MADISON, Wis. — According to state campaign finance records, today’s announcement by Foxconn general contractor M+W Gilbane of subcontractors for their work on the $4.5 billion Wisconsin taxpayer-subsidized project will be lucrative, for donors to Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign.
“Gov. Walker uses our state tax dollars to help the people who donate to his campaigns,” said One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross. “And it looks like Foxconn and their general contractor are using the same playbook, rewarding donors who have made huge campaign donations to Gov. Walker with no-bid contracts.”
An initial review by One Wisconsin Now of the political donations of the owners and their families of businesses revealed today by the Rhode Island based general contractor Gilbane shows they have flooded Gov. Walker’s campaign coffers with at least $359,000.
Gilbane has a checkered ethical history that includes allegations of and settlements for improper bidding practices, pay for play, election law violations and labor law violations.
Ross noted Walker has used taxpayer funds to reward donors in the past. According to research by One Wisconsin Institute, the Walker administration’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) doled out over 60 percent of awards to businesses whose owners and employees donated over $2.1 million to Gov. Walker’s campaigns.
The Foxconn project is the largest state subsidy to a foreign corporation in history. In total, Wisconsin taxpayers could be on the hook for at least $4.5 billion in state and local subsidies, taking funds directly out of important priorities like public schools, highways and public safety. There are no guarantees that Wisconsin tax dollars will go to support Wisconsin jobs and the earliest the deal may pay back the money it has gotten is 2042.