Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has had his share of troubles in his first term, but arguably none is as important as his difficulties with job creation.
As a candidate in 2010, Walker was so confident about the strength of his platform that he made a striking prediction: if elected, he’d create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin in his first term. Four years later, he’ll struggle to reach half of his goal. More recently, Walker declared he’d retroactively picked a different target: the creation of 17,000 new businesses. But upon further inspection, he hadn’t reached this goal, either.
There’s certainly room for debate about just how much one official can reasonably be held accountable for statewide economic conditions, but the fact remains that Walker made specific promises he couldn’t keep on voters’ top priority.
And this week, things got just a little worse for the governor.
At least two companies that received money from Gov. Scott Walker’s chief economic development agency later outsourced jobs to foreign countries, WKOW-TV reported Wednesday.One of the companies received a second award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation after the fact, the television station reported.
Yeah, that’s not good.
The point of Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is to use public resources, in the form of tax credits and other financial rewards, to encourage in-state businesses to hire, expand, and develop. What’s wrong with that? In theory, nothing.
But in practice, the governor’s WEDC gave money to businesses – Eaton Corporation and Plexus Corporation – that shipped jobs overseas after receiving state financial support. In other words, the Walker administration rewarded companies for doing the opposite of what the governor wanted.
Making matters slightly worse, the companies that received public support before outsourcing Wisconsin jobs are also campaign contributors to Scott Walker.
How’s this playing out in the Badger State? If this local news report from the NBC affiliate in Madison is any indication, the news isn’t going to do the governor’s re-election effort any favors.