Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz cited the ongoing review of a $3 billion incentive package for Foxconn in naming guv candidate and Rep. Dana Wachs to the WEDC Board Tuesday, replacing Rep. Peter Barca, who broke with Dem colleagues to support the deal.
“Foxconn represents the largest tax giveaway by a state to a foreign corporation in our country’s history. Representative Wachs has the legal expertise and statewide perspective to ensure this contract is given the scrutiny it deserves,” said Hintz, who replaced Barca as minority leader not long after the Foxconn vote on the Assembly floor.
In a statement, Barca called Wachs a “thoughtful and insightful legislator” who will make an excellent addition to the board. Barca also said he has proud of his work on the board, including an effort with fellow board member Sen. Tim Carpenter, D-Carpenter, to ensure sufficient time to review the Foxconn contract, which could come up at the Nov. 8 meeting.
“I have served on the WEDC Board since its creation and have fought at every turn for greater transparency, heightened effectiveness, and protections for state taxpayers while providing Wisconsin companies and entrepreneurs the support they need to grow their business operations in our state,” Barca said.
The Kenosha Dem has not been as vocal as Carpenter during the board’s ongoing review of the Foxconn package. Carpenter has told reporters the original proposal included a “nuclear bomb” that would have left taxpayers no avenue to recoup state money if the company leaves the state or goes bankrupt.
State GOP spokesman Alec Zimmerman knocked the appointment, charging Wachs is “all talk and no action” on the Foxconn deal. He pointed to a story in the conservative Washington Free Beacon that Wachs sent an email seeking information on risks of the deal before announcing his opposition.
“Wachs’ appointment to the Board shows that Wisconsin Democrats aren’t serious about helping Wisconsin families and remain more interested in political stunts than delivering results,” Zimmerman said.
The Republican Governors Association also pointed to the story in an email it sent yesterday knocking Wachs, who responded with a tweet that pointed to a recent Public Policy Polling survey that found concerns about the deal with registered voters.
But the Eau Claire Dem didn’t mention Foxconn in a statement saying he looks forward to serving on the WEDC Board.
“Wisconsin has the talent and work ethic needed to succeed in a global economy, but we must learn from past mistakes and ensure that we are responsible stewards of taxpayer money,” Wachs said. “I welcome the opportunity to help WEDC reverse course and create long-term economic growth and good jobs that benefit all Wisconsinites, not just huge corporations.”
Read the Barca statement:
See Wach’s tweet: