‘UpFront’: Roth says K-C deal ‘terrific’ for workers, regional economy

Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, said the lame-duck session bills signed by Gov. Scott Walker on Friday will not prevent a future governor from striking a deal similar to the one Walker reached with Kimberly-Clark last week.

“I think a lot has been overblown in the talking about how Gov. Evers won’t have the ability to do this in the future,” Roth said in an interview that aired Sunday on “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.

Roth said the Legislature previously authorized the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to create up to 30 economic development zones. He said a future governor would be able to exceed that cap, but would have to come to the Joint Committee on Finance for review.

“I don’t think in any way, shape or form it constricts a future governor. I actually think it empowers them to be able to do economic development like we saw the governor unveil last week,” Roth said.

On Thursday, Walker and the WEDC announced a $28 million tax credit deal to keep Kimberly-Clark and nearly 400 jobs at its Fox Crossing facility for at least five years.

Roth said the agreement was a “terrific thing” for K-C workers and the regional economy.

He called Kimberly-Clark an “anchor business in an anchor industry” in Wisconsin, and said the deal also would help more than 200 supply-chain businesses and their employees across the state.

Also on the program, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, said President Trump has been “engaged in criminal activity” and if a sitting president is not able to be indicted, Congress may not have “any choice but to impeach him.”

Moore cited Trump’s connections with Russia, his connections with Saudi Arabia, and the campaign contribution violations that are, in part, sending former Trump lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen to prison.

“This president has been engaged in criminal activity, and it is our constitutional responsibility to do something about it,” she said.

“It is really going to be hard for our colleagues on the other side to continue to ignore this,” she said.

She also said Trump “loves high drama” and seems determined to have a government shutdown in his dispute with Democratic congressional leaders over funding for a southern border wall.

Gousha also asked her about the new, two-week early voting restriction Walker signed into law last week.

“It is clearly a part of the voter suppression strategy of Republicans, and it’s really sad to see someone who was sort of one of the ‘young guns’ sort of persona go out like this,” she said. “I agree with many Republicans that this will hurt, overall hurt (Walker’s) legacy.”

Moore also said Milwaukee is “really in the catbird’s seat” for landing the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

In another segment, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice called former Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s actions regarding Russia and admitted Russian agent Maria Butina “reckless.”

Butina last week pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. CNN reported that she attempted to “infiltrate Republican political circles and influence US relations with Russia” before and after the 2016 presidential election.

Multiple pictures show Clarke associating with Butina, and he took an all-expenses paid trip to Russia in 2015 that she helped arrange.

Bice emailed Butina and got a response from her before she was taken into custody. He said she wrote that Clarke was a “great guy” and “we were lucky to have him.”

See more from the show:
https://www.wisn.com/upfront

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