May 18, 2015

Scott Walker's Pay-to-Play Scandal Lights Up Corruption

Scott Walker Evades the Nation yesterday
Epic Failure Is Now Full-fledged Scandal

Scott Walker found an inventive way to award political donors when he took office: Take the state Dept. of Commerce, partially privatize it and use the money in a slick pay-to-play scheme, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

Never mind recipients of WEDC largess, Walker's political backers, promptly took the money and shipped jobs overseas (Brown, One Wisconsin Now) while making out like bandits.

As WEDC's Chair, Walker has crowed about WEDC since he took office and he and WEDC officials have taken a series of recent overseas junkets that Walker calls "trade missions."

Scott Walker suggested yesterday this makes him the most qualified candidate for the presidency because of his gubernatorial "leadership," enhanced by the tax payer-financed 'trade missions' from which Walker has divined foreign policy wisdom (CBS Face the Nation (May 17, 2015, via Raw Story)).

WEDC has become another dirty scandal for Walker, and a series of state audits ripped Walker's operation seemingly since its inception in July 2011, forcing Walker to defend WEDC from South Carolina in early May (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal), and then this weekend hurriedly calling for the elimination of all economic development loans without notifying the WEDC Board. (DeFour, Wisconsin State Journal)

WEDC Chairman Walker is head-deep in dirt chronicled in a new series by the Wisconsin State Journal: Dissenting a Bad Idea. (DeFour and Hall), and Company Obtained Loan from WEDC, Unsuccessful Elsewhere (Hall) detailing how Walker cronies fronted for Walker donors to get money from WEDC.

A bill authored by State Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) that would ban companies receiving WEDC money shipping jobs overseas is being blocked by Wisconsin Republicans with no comment from Walker on the bill who avoids questions like Poison Oak in mid-Summer.

Walker has presided over WEDC that has funneled $100s of millions in state grants, loans, bonds and tax credits, many to Walker donors maxed out in political donations to Walker, after which WEDC created arguably a paltry 5,000 jobs as of 2014 after Walker promised 50,000 new jobs (Bottari, The Capital Times).

Scott Walker presents the WEDC disaster and its trade missions as making him fit to lead the country as president because Walker says—in a fast-talking, semi-coherent answer—he has garnered foreign policy insights, in response to this question below from Bob Schieffer of CBS Face the Nation yesterday. Walker's response this morning to the WEDC scandal is here.

Though Walker's response is typically impenetrable, the question now is: Is what Walker and WEDC did legal?

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