MADISON, Wis. — Five years ago today, Foxconn took advantage of what was considered “the largest government handout to a foreign company ever given in America” and chose to locate a new factory in Wisconsin, which never materialized. Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch’s idea failed to deliver on its promised jobs, tech campus, and factory. Foxconn’s presence in Mt. Pleasant is “little more than an empty shell.”
In this year’s GOP gubernatorial primary, Rebecca Kleefisch is not the only candidate involved in the disastrous project – Tim Michels was as well.
The Michels Corporation was selected to perform a “significant amount of work” on the site preparation for Foxconn’s Mount Pleasant facility, and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, whose board Michels later joined, led the initial lobbying efforts for the Foxconn deal. The company was also awarded more than $90 million in state contracts by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for road work adjacent to the Foxconn site.
It’s no surprise that at an event this summer, Michels told voters that if he’s elected governor, he’s “going to try and put that Foxconn deal back together.”
Governor Tony Evers renegotiated the failed Walker-Kleefisch agreement with Foxconn and clawed back tax breaks, saving taxpayers nearly $3 billion while creating jobs and protecting local investments. The agreement treats Foxconn like any other business and is saving taxpayers $2.77 billion, protecting the hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure investments the state and local communities have already made, and ensuring there’s accountability for Foxconn creating the jobs it has promised.
“Rebecca Kleefisch and Scott Walker negotiated a horrendous deal for Wisconsin taxpayers. Five years later Tim Michels wants to revive this legacy of failure,” said Democratic Party of Wisconsin Rapid Response Director Hannah Menchhoff. “Governor Evers understands the importance of protecting taxpayer dollars and supporting Wisconsin’s economic development.”