MILWAUKEE – According to a new Wisconsin poll conducted by the independent, non-partisan Public Policy Polling, only 34% of Wisconsinites approve of Gov. Scott Walker’s $3 billion hail mary pass to Foxconn. Most see this unsubstantiated corporate giveaway as a flagrant attempt on the part of the Governor to cover up his dismal track record creating good-paying jobs throughout the state and make bold and unsubstantiated claims about economic development in Wisconsin to help him get re-elected.
“Wisconsinites are too smart for this shell game Governor Walker is playing. We’re all enduring his failures on economic development and won’t be fooled by someone trying to buy his way to fulfilling his job creation promises to get himself back into office,” said gubernatorial candidate Andy Gronik. “Scott Walker is trying to get Wisconsin taxpayers to buy into a deal that he couldn’t get financed at a bank if he tried. And, his brainchild for economic development, WEDC, can’t even keep track of the loans they have. It’s crystal clear that Walker’s life as a career politician has left him ill-prepared to successfully negotiate a business deal on behalf of the taxpayers of our state. He needs to be fired.”
Caution by taxpayers is warranted as this is not the first time Gov. Scott Walker has touted a doomed economic development deal just before an election. According to reporting by the Wisconsin State Journal last week, Gov. Scott Walker announced a $20 million award for Kestrel Aircraft, an aviation start-up, which promised to create over 650 jobs and invest more than $50 million in the state. To date, Kestrel Aircraft has defaulted on loan repayments and only created 25 jobs. As the state now plans to take legal action against the company, it serves as a cautionary tale of how putting politics ahead of sound economic development can leave taxpayers on the hook for significant sums down the road.
“Economic development is an urgent and important issue that affects real people in every corner of our state. It’s time to take improving our economy seriously and stop using it just as a political tool,” concluded Gronik. “I know what it takes to create good-paying, family-sustaining jobs and how to create a comprehensive plan for economic growth that supports small, medium, and large businesses statewide. As Governor, the political games will be over, I’ll restore transparency to the governor’s office, and Wisconsin will become a world leader creating jobs in science, technology, manufacturing, and agriculture. It’s who we are.”