Scott Walker and his failed flagship jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, will meet today in Wauwatosa for a Board of Directors meeting to discuss “WEDC In the News.”
Attention from the media has rarely been a problem for Walker and WEDC; in fact, they’d probably prefer a little less scrutiny after a series of damaging audits showed WEDC lacked basic accountability measures to track whether jobs were created, admittedly violated state law, and failed to properly track taxpayer-funded loans. The scandal-plagued agency has also faced accusations of bid-rigging and reports that they lost track of more than $56 million in taxpayer-funded loans while at the same time spending the people’s money on things like alcoholic beverages, Badgers tickets, and iTunes gift cards.
Unbelievably, given the unprecedented lack of accountability at WEDC on Scott Walker’s watch, the Wisconsin State Journal is reporting that Walker is rolling back transparency, refusing to disclose information about the companies working with WEDC. Prior to taking office, Walker famously promised that he would run the most transparent administration “in the history of the world.”
Walker can try to hide information, but he wasn’t able to hide the most recent embarrassment for WEDC, aside from Wisconsin’s abysmal 10th out of 10 ranking in the Midwest on job creation. Last week, Sealed Air announced that it will move all 300 Racine- area jobs to a new global headquarters in North Carolina. The new global headquarters for the Fortune 500 company will employ nearly 1,300 people at an average salary of $120,000 and the project is expected to cost $50 million. According to media reports, Wisconsin wasn’t in the final running to land the deal.
“With all the bad press on Scott Walker’s failed flagship jobs agency and its inability to drive our economy under Walker’s mismanagement, WEDC ought to stand for ‘Walker’s Economic Disaster Corporation,’” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Monday. “Instead of trying to deflect accountability yet again, and sweep problems under the rug, Walker needs to accept responsibility for his failed leadership at WEDC.”