Despite being nowhere near a solution to correct the abysmal failures at Scott Walker’s flagship jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Walker Republicans yesterday voted to give the unaccountable, scandal-plagued agency millions more in taxpayer funds -- including money to spend on a national marketing campaign that coincides with Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.
Democrats in the Assembly and Senate, as well as editorial boards all over the state, called for the Joint Finance Committee to delay any new state funding to WEDC in light of a recent audit, which has drawn national attention, that showed the state’s chief jobs agency has failed to follow state law and properly track millions of dollars in taxpayer funded loans.
Yesterday’s JFC vote allocates millions of dollars in new state budget spending to the troubled agency, including funds for a national marketing campaign that will coincide with Scott Walker’s presidential campaign.
Joint Finance Democrats proposed a motion that would have transferred the funds allocated for Walker’s WEDC marketing campaign into the Wisconsin Technical College System for jobs training programs; it was defeated on a party line vote.
“I thought Scott Walker was against public financing of elections, but I guess that doesn’t count for his own campaign for president,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. “It’s stunning, even by Scott Walker's shameless standards, that he can say with a straight face that this money is being used for anything other than to raise his national profile ahead of the 2016 elections. Wisconsin is ranked 44th in the nation in job creation, dead last in short-term job growth and our chief jobs agency is spending taxpayer money on booze and football tickets – Scott Walker’s WEDC doesn’t have any successes to market. This is a cynical ploy to promote Scott Walker’s presidential campaign using taxpayer money that should be spent on actually creating jobs.”