FRI News Summary: Foxconn says it’s committed to Wisconsin

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Foxconn Says It’s Committed To Wisconsin Jobs Amid Governor’s Skepticism
Manufacturer Reacts To Evers Saying Promised 13K Job Benchmark ‘Unrealistic’ … didn’t mention the 13,000 number in its statement Thursday. … said it remains committed to the deal, while being “open to further consultation, collaboration, and new ideas. … Foxconn’s commitment to job creation in Wisconsin remains long term” and will span the length of the contract and beyond. By AP, WPR

Foxconn’s Deal With WI Should Be Revised, Gov. Evers Says
… “I think at this point in time that would be an unreal expectation when they’re downsizing the footprint of what they’re doing,” Mr. Evers told reporters at his office in Madison on Wednesday. … [rehash Foxconn saga] … Foxconn said at the time that it would hold to its pledge to create 13,000 jobs, telling The New York Times that 25 percent of its Wisconsin employees would be focused on manufacturing. Soon after, following a conversation between Mr. Trump and Terry Gou, Foxconn’s billionaire founder, the company said it still intended to build a plant to produce displays for consumer products. Mr. Gou announced plans on Wednesday to run for Taiwan’s presidency. Mr. Trump has praised his business acumen, calling him “one of the great businessmen of our time.” His company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “The present contract deals with a situation that no longer exists, so it’s our goal to make sure that the taxpayers are protected and environmental standards are protected,” Mr. Evers said. “And we believe we need to take a look at that contract and see if it needs to be downsized as a result.” By Hsu, NEW YORK TIMES

Vos predicts changes to Foxconn contract won’t win approval
Stands by claim company will create 13,000 jobs … Vos on Thursday said, “The only thing that could happen is to make the deal worse for Wisconsin. Why would we ever want that?” Vos said. “Either fewer jobs or fewer investments. It is beyond my level of understanding to think that a governor of Wisconsin is basically rooting for the failure of the largest economic development in our state’s history.” … “I am adamantly opposed to the governor making a one-sided attempt to reopen the contract,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “The state is not in a vulnerable position and if the job growth and investment doesn’t come, the state doesn’t pay.” Excerpts Foxconn statement. Display Supply Chain’s O’Brien said little is known about Foxconn’s plans, “It depends on what you’re making, how you’re making it and how many you’re making,” estimates Gen 6 output of 30,000 displays a month and said employment could be higher if production numbers are higher. Foxconn has not said anything about expected output volume. Industry expert Moel predicted about 2,000 positions total but automated plant could have far fewer. Foxconn has permits for $2M work in EC. Vos dubbed WEDC Board approving changes “very, very, very unlikely … before September … and hopefully after it as well. … He is not doing no harm. He is doing harm,” Vos said. “Because if you are an investor that is thinking about building a hotel or bringing in a supplier to Foxconn, why would you ever consider doing it now that the governor has started saying the project is being undermined?” By Marley and Beck, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL

Priebus to Trump before pivotal Comey meeting: ‘Don’t talk about Russia’
… long-awaited Mueller report has Priebus at the center of such events as the ouster of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, the failed attempt to force then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and the Comey dinner — a major focus of the special counsel’s probe. … “Don’t talk about Russia, whatever you do,” Priebus recalled telling Trump during an interview with investigators in the Mueller probe. … Priebus comes across as someone who is overwhelmed by the number of fires he is forced to try put out. At one point, Priebus told investigators, White House counsel Donald McGahn threatened to quit because Trump was asking him to “do crazy s—,” including firing special counsel Robert Mueller. … “Even though Priebus did not intend to carry out the President’s directive, he told the President he would get Sessions to resign,” the Mueller report says. Trump later backed off his demand. … “Priebus recalled that the President said he had been told his entire life he needed to have a great lawyer, a ‘bulldog,’ and added that Holder had been willing to take a contempt-of-Congress charge for President Obama,” the report says. Highlights passages involving Priebus, Comey dinner, Flynn firing, Russian sanctions, Session resignation letter [shock collar”], learning of Trump Tower Russia meeting from FNC host Hannity. By Spicuzza, Bice and Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

WI Congressional Delegation Split On Mueller Report’s Findings
… Duffy, said the report confirms there was no collusion … Moore [saw “substantial evidence” of obstruction], said the U.S. House Judiciary and Intelligence committees should be able to see a full, unredacted copy. … Pocan said there were at least 10 instances that occurred were the president’s conduct could have been considered potential obstruction. … The American people deserve transparency,” said Steil. “Like many Americans, I am now reading through the details of the released report. … [Kind] will not form an opinion … until he has read through the 448-page report. … Gallagher said he appreciated [AG] Barr making the report available to Congress and the public. … Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin agreed Thursday that Americans aren’t getting the full story … However, Johnson … thinks redactions made to the report about grand jury testimony and classified information are probably appropriate. Baldwin tweeted, “I will thoroughly review what has been released & I believe it will make a strong case for AG Barr revealing … the full Mueller report, the full truth.” Grothman, Sensenbrenner did not respond. By Kaeding, WPR


– WI tagged key state by Trump campaign mgr Manafort in 2016 briefing with Russian … WI and other Midwestern battleground states were discussed during an election briefing … Manafort gave to Konstantin Kilimnik … “That briefing encompassed the campaign’s messaging and its internal polling data,” the [Mueller] report says. “It also included discussion of ‘battleground’ states, which Manafort identified as Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Minnesota.” … Investigators found that some of Trump’s aides engaged in contacts with people linked to the Russian regime as the Kremlin was carrying out a wide-ranging effort to intervene in the election using hacked documents and phony social media campaigns, carried out because the Russian government believed it would benefit from Trump winning the election.

– Looking into Wisconsin’s connections to the Mueller report … Priebus’ name is mentioned more than 200 times in the report. [Comey dinner, Session resignation] … We found only one reference about battleground Wisconsin … included a briefing between Paul Manafort, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, and a Russian political consultant. … [Priebus background] … Priebus is credited with helping navigate Trump’s unpredictable campaign to victory including turning Wisconsin red for the first time in three decades. Fired after 6 months, returned to MB&F.

– Mueller report shows how Trump aides sought to protect him and themselves … Other officials, such as [Priebus, Porter, McFarland], also kept detailed notes about their time in the White House, which helped form Mueller’s account. … president went to Priebus about his request later that day, asking him “did you get it? Are you working on it?” “Even though Priebus did not intend to carry out the president’s directive, he told the president he would get Sessions to resign,” Mueller wrote.

– Mueller report reveals Sean Hannity was the person who informed Reince Priebus about the Trump Tower meeting

– Messina, Priebus Share White House Insider Views With Students: photos, student reaction to April 11 appearance at Hamilton College

– Respectful Dialogue Across Political Lines: highlights of discussion

– Trump [win] Alters Electoral College Debate in States … [turned GOP from popular-voters] … “I used to like the idea of the Popular Vote, but now realize the Electoral College is far better for the U.S.A.,” he tweeted. … As of last year, only 32% of GOP voters supported a national popular vote, down from 54% in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Three-quarters of Democrats, meanwhile, supported a national popular vote. … State legislatures have the constitutional right to choose the method by which electoral votes are distributed, and more than a dozen … want states to sign on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact … with strong support from Democratic lawmakers and governors, 14 states and the District of Columbia have joined the compact, accounting for 181 electoral votes. Gillibrand, O’Rourke proposed abolishing Electoral College.

– Paul Fanlund: In Trump’s America, the left didn’t start the fire

– John Nichols: Barr Has Abandoned the Constitution in Order to Serve Trump, In a shameless press conference, the AG came off as a defense lawyer “making a case for the president.”

– Tony Evers visits UW-Stout Tuesday, touts plans to renovate South Hall dorms

– Nygren’s constituents air concerns … [at] a listening session at the Stephenson Public Library in Marinette

– Proposed 500-Bed Immigrant Detention Center In New Richmond Withdrawn, Virginia-Based [ICA] Pulls Rezoning Application After City Staff Say Project Wouldn’t Be In Harmony With Long-Range Plans

– A question of detention versus sanctuary … city of New Richmond has scheduled a community conversation for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 23 at WITC … Ahead of the April 23 meeting, the city has made ICA’s text amendment, concept plan and certified survey map applications available for review at ICA Applications.

– John La Fave and “The Wire,” Embattled Register of Deeds may have borrowed a scheme from the HBO drama.

– [UW’s] Center for Dairy Research gets [$650K WEDC] grant to create dairy drinks that don’t need refrigeration

– Democratic lawmaker introduces bill to legalize marijuana … Rep. Melissa Sargent … flanked by cannabis advocates in the state Capitol on Thursday … said she has the momentum … “The power of the people is the will of the land,” Sargent said. “I’m not afraid of the mountain that we have to climb here.” … would legalize both medicinal and recreational use of cannabis, following the path of 10 other states that have done so. … Republicans have largely expressed disapproval of anything beyond medical marijuana. … Vos said the debate over marijuana does not belong in the budget debate. Evers has signaled he would be open to full legalization.

– Lawmaker, Advocates Renew Push For Marijuana Legalization In Wisconsin … would spur economic growth and give doctors an alternative to prescribing opioids. … Republican leaders of the state Senate and Assembly have both consistently expressed opposition to full legalization. … Evers has indicated he would be open to full legalization. Sponsor Rep. Sargent: “The palate for legalization of cannabis in the state of Wisconsin is far more popular than probably the ratings for most politicians in this building.” Advocate Lowe touted CBD oil for her diabetic daughter, “If I told a diabetic they could extract insulin from a plant in their backyard, would you prevent them from doing that too?” Wisconsin Justice Initiative’s Johnson referred to cannabis prohibition as “an outdated and regressive policy.” NORML’s Robinson said “the most dangerous thing about cannabis in Wisconsin is that it is illegal.”

– Marijuana advocates trying again for Wisconsin legalization [Bauer of AP]

COURTS ^top^
– New Richmond lawyer [Brose] named to panel that will recommend judges to Evers

– Kickapoo Coffee Changes Name Over Cultural Appropriation Concerns, Company Founders Apologize To US Kickapoo Tribes, Say New Name Will Be Announced Later This Year

– Rock, Walworth counties among Wisconsin’s fastest growing

– Wisconsin’s Unemployment Rate Is Holding Steady, Report Says … At the preliminary figure of 2.9 percent, Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is well under the national average of 3.8 percent. DWD’s Winters comments.

– Farm & Fleet, Generac makes Forbes’ list of top midsize employers

– Superior extends school days a second time: begins 10 mins early, ends 11 mins later, to make up snow/rain days. MN Gov. Walz has forgiven those days, but DPI will not grant waivers

– Some board members kept in the dark … on matters related to three alleged sexual assaults during a school field trip.

– Ryan Joining Faculty of U. Notre Dame

– Ryan to guest lecture at Notre Dame

– Does the fire still Bern? Sanders faces new challenges as he tries to complete his “political revolution”

– Climate change concerns surface in Dane County regional planning survey

– Eau Claire County supervisors set renewable energy goal

– UW-La Crosse student leaders call plastic straw ban early success

– Priceless [JeffCo] mounds are given to the people

– [Baldwin, Sensenbrenner] propose bills to change Ice Age Trail status, open it for federal funds

– Foxconn’s plans for Wisconsin are slow-going: Rick Romell, business reporter for The Milwaukee Journal, joins “The Exchange” to discuss the proposed Foxconn plant in Wisconsin which has seen multiple delays and changes.

– Foxconn responds to Evers plan to renegotiate: large excerpt of Foxconn statement, rehash Evers’ doubt of 13K jobs. [see Editorial]

– Foxconn says it’s committed to its contract with the state … “Foxconn remains committed to our contract with the State of Wisconsin,” the company said in a statement. “While we continue our weekly engagement with the Evers Administration [DOA, WEDC] … we are open to further consultation, collaboration, and new ideas.” Foxconn statement did not mention 13K jobs, but spokesman later confirmed it. Vos on WISN: “I certainly have never had them say, ‘We’re going to only have half the jobs we promised.’ … He is clearly above his pay grade on some of these decisions.” … [renegotiating idea] shows “how naive Governor Evers is” … said it is highly unlikely the WEDC board would approve a change to the contract … even after Evers regains the ability to appoint the agency’s CEO in September. … [said] reopening the contract would deter companies from wanting to strike future deals with the state. … questioned whether Evers has “some sort of a contact with the Democrats who are running for president” to blame Pres. Trump if the project fails. Rehash Display Supply Chain’s O’Brien noting Gen 6 plant is a quarter the size of Gen 10.5, and only costs $2B to build. Baldauff for Evers on Thursday said Evers’ job doubt stemmed only from the smaller plant it now promises, talk of re-negotiation is “a natural outgrowth” of Evers’ conversation with Foxconn.

– Walker calls Foxconn deal ‘iron clad,’ The remarks come after Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said it was not likely Foxconn would bring the promised 13,000 jobs to Wisconsin. 2:48 video includes Evers remark, Walker’s response, “The optimistic view is it’s going to happen. But even if they, say, instead of 13,000, they only did half that, it’s still the biggest economic development project in state history and they only get half the credits.”

– [SEWRPC] Evaluation: Plan for Foxconn area in Racine County ‘will widely protect’ against flooding

– Department Of Corrections Secretary Calls Bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform A Top Priority: Q&A with Carr Addresses Lincoln Hill Youth Prison Closure, Minimum Wage

– Corrections officer charged with providing cocaine to an inmate given time to hire a lawyer

– Key panel backs St. Croix County jail expansion project

– Dodge County Sheriff describes efforts to battle sex trafficking

– Seymour police close part of North Main Street due to ‘active law enforcement incident’: gave no further details

– Search for UW-Madison’s next vice chancellor of research unsuccessful … Three candidates came to campus over late February and early March. … [Maric] did not accept the job offer for personal reasons. … [Pera] did not say whether she received an offer from UW-Madison. 3rd candidate Roy did not respond. UW comm staff no comment, suggested open records. Mooney for search consultant Witt/Kieffer did not respond. UW-Madison will renew its search in the fall. Drinkwater continues as Interim VC.

– Risk averse, Administrative roadblocks set back life-saving research at UW

MEDIA ^top^
– Editor: Job of journalists has always been essential: WaPo managing editor Tracy Grant spoke to UW-EC

– CT Editorial: [retiring] Lynn Danielson made The Cap Times we know and love

– Oshkosh Common Council bans selling e-cigarettes to children, approves fines for teens caught vaping

-Plover urges evacuation along WI River.

– Wisconsin Rapids closes part of State 54 due to flooding

– Jefferson County broadband project picking up big steam

– Former state tourism secretary [Klett] now promoting Lake Geneva area

TRIBES ^top^
– St. Croix Chippewa officials pocketed or misspent at least $1.5 million in casino cash, regulators charge … National Indian Gaming Commission’s Notice of Violation … lists 527 violations of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, NIGC regulations and tribal ordinances. … 74 [payments] totaling $154,173 that went to [tribal chair] Lewis Taylor … from 2014 to 2017 … tribal council member Elmer “Jay” Emery received 94 payments totaling $235,888 during the same period … from 2015 to 2017, the St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake issued 275 payments totaling $562,246 to seven tribal members. … often with the only supporting document being a request for disbursement form with the words ‘travel’ or ‘consulting fees’ scrawled into the comments section,” the notice signed by NIGC Chairman Jonodev O. Chaudhuri states. “Upon further questioning by NIGC investigators, the tribe was unable to produce documentation to support treating the payments as expenses of the gaming operation.” … State and federal officials declined to say whether there were any criminal investigations as a result of the NIGC report. Tribal law experts Dahlstrom and Dilweg comment. Tribe’s atty. Harkins no comment. Lewis Taylor, IGC chair Taylor, tribal law office did not respond.

– Board OKs Xcel project in Riverside Park, smoking ban in all La Crosse parks … Xcel’s project, which is slated to begin in mid-September after Moon Tunes wraps up, will replace a 40-year-old portion of the 69,000-volt transmission line that runs from the La Crosse substation to the Swift Creek substation.

– CUB plots a renaissance, Wisconsin created the country’s first mandated advocacy group for utility customers

– RJT editorial: Evers posturing could scare off investment

– UW-LC prof. AL Gedicks: Wisconsin Could Face a Mining Disaster, Mining company’s proposed [Back 40] tailings dam could cause massive pollution of Lake Michigan.

– MacIver’s Brett Healy: The U.S. can beat China in the 5G arms race — if the private sector leads

– Dave Zweifel: Remembering Jack Westman, a champion of parenthood

– Alan Talaga: Take the money! It’s time for Wisconsin to accept federal dollars to expand Medicaid eligibility

– SBA’s Rob Scott: Booming economy supports Wis. job creation

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