MADISON, Wis. — Media reports, based on a letter released by Gov. Tony Evers, indicate Foxconn has approached the state seeking changes to an agreement reached with former Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature. The news exposes Republican legislative leaders double dealing to try to gain partisan political advantage instead of working to protect state taxpayers, according to One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Analiese Eicher.
“Rep. Robin Vos and Sen. Scott Fitzgerald cut a deal that puts Wisconsin taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars with a corporation with a history of not coming through with promised jobs and investments,” said Eicher. “Instead of working with Gov. Evers to look out for us, they’ve been exposed as misleading the public and playing partisan political games.”
“A top official with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn Technology Group told Gov. Tony Evers and legislative leaders in March that the company wanted changes to the $3 billion contract with the state, the governor said Tuesday.”
The story describes the partisan behavior of Republican state legislative leaders:
“Vos has criticized Evers in recent days for talking about renegotiating the Foxconn deal but hadn’t described his talks with Woo … Like Vos, Fitzgerald has pilloried Evers for wanting to make changes to the Foxconn contract without mentioning his talks with Woo.”
The report notes that when confronted with this new information about Foxconn, Vos’ story changed:
“Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer said Vos told Woo in March he was willing to “provide flexibility” to Foxconn …”
The terms of the deal negotiated between Republicans and the Taiwanese manufacturer in 2017 constituted the largest ever state subsidy for a foreign corporation. Foxconn has since announced it was scaling back their proposed project and missed initial job creation targets. Additional media reports have found much ballyhooed Foxconn building purchases, made in key media markets in the lead-up to Gov. Scott Walker’s unsuccessful 2018 re-election bid, remain largely vacant, with little discernible activity or improvements to the sites.
Eicher concluded, “The willingness of Vos and Fitzgerald to mislead the public to justify taking pot shots at the Governor shows they’re more interested in playing political games than helping the people they were elected to serve.”