Aug 19, 2017

Wisconsin Republicans Move Foxconn Hearing to SE Village of Sturtevant

Boondoggle in Badger State


Madison, Wisconsin — Republicans on the legislature's Joint Committee on Finance have moved a scheduled Aug 22 public hearing on the $3 billion-to-Foxconn bill to the village of Sturtevant, (population 6,970), in southeastern Wisconsin in a continuing effort to hide the unpopular corporate give-away from public scrutiny.

The move is critical to the broader Republican strategy to discourage public participation on the proposed massive give-away to the Taiwanese corporation, Foxconn.

Earlier this month Republicans stacked a previous legislative hearing with supporters, and would not allow public testimony of residents holding anti-Foxconn views until near the end of the hearing. Because of the scale and impact of the unprecedented public subsidy to Foxconn, Republicans need to protect themselves from the population's wishes and concerns about the $3 billion give-away.

"Noone is surprised by what Republicans are doing to quell public participation and voicing of public sentiment," said Jackie Captain, a native of Wisconsin Rapids now living in Dane County, "The Foxconn madness has to be done in the dark because the bill simply cannot stand the scrutiny of the light of day."

Clean water proponents in central and northern Wisconsin want the $3 billion dollar Foxconn subsidy as much as they want to take a trip to Sturtevant.

From the Wisconsin Joint Committee on Finance

JOINT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE

Notice of Public Hearing -- August 22, 2017

The Joint Committee on Finance will hold a public hearing on the following items at the time and location specified below:
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
11:00 AM
SC Johnson iMET Center
Gateway Technical College
2320 Renaissance Boulevard
Sturtevant, WI 53177

August 2017 Special Session Senate Bill 1

Relating to: authorizing the creation of an electronics and information technology manufacturing zone and, in connection with that zone, authorizing certain tax benefits, creating special provisions for tax incremental districts, creating exemptions from wetland and waterway permits and Public Service Commission certificates; making changes to the enterprise zone tax credit program, authorizing limited use of the design-build construction process, authorizing certain counties to issue debt backed by sales and use tax revenue, facilitating a worker training and employment program, making changes to town incorporation procedures, granting contingent highway bonding authority, and making appropriations.


ALBERTA DARLING                        JOHN NYGREN

Senate Chair                                        Assembly Chair

Aug 18, 2017

Wisconsin Assembly Votes for $3 billion to Foxconn, Senate Vote Looms

Madison, Wisconsin — Facing mounting public opposition, the Wisconsin State Assembly voted decisively to give a Taiwanese corporation, Foxconn, some $3 billion in public funds.

Defecting Democratic assembly members voting for the unprecedented legislation include Rep. Peter Barca, (D-Kenosha), a noted corporatist and the minority leader of the Assembly Democrats, widely disdained across the state.

Writes Allen Ruff of Madison on Facebook

Concerned about the repercussions in their home Racine and Kenosha districts and in absolute disregard for mounting criticism and critiques of the Republican-proposed project on numerous levels—economic, fiscal, environmental— these three Democrats, (Reps. Cory Mason of Racine and Peter Barca and Tod Ohnstad of Kenosha), opted for the low road of political expediency. They, perhaps more so than the vile conservatives and piratical free-marketeers touting the panaceas and false promises of this mega-venture, should long be remembered and penalized for their complicity.

No political observer was surprised by the Assembly vote, nor the defections of Reps. Mason, Barca and Ohnstad.

The next step is a hearing in the Joint Committee on Finance next week.

The date, time and place of the hearing to this date on August 18, is being kept from the public to discourage participation.

Democratic members of the legislature speculate the Republicans may move to a secret executive session despite or perhaps because of the magnitude of the legislation.

The Foxconn legislation also faces a vote in the State Senate.

A public rally in opposition to the Fox Con bill is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. today at the state Capitol in Madison.

Aug 17, 2017

Wisconsin Resident Wants Foxconn Referendum

A state that is too broke to repair roads or support public
education somehow has piles of $ for an exploitative Taiwanese
company? (Twitter)
Pictured above is anti-Foxconn sign by the Overpass Light Brigade,
overlooking an unidentified highway in Milwaukee in
mid-August.
Madison, Wisconsin — A Ridgeway, Wisconsin resident is speaking for many in demanding consent and due diligence on the largest swindle in Wisconsin history, a $3 billion give-away to Foxconn.

Republicans led by Donald Trump, Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-Janesville, Wisconsin), say an unprecedented bill must be passed by the state legislature by Sept 30, or Wisconsin misses out.

From a letter from the Wisconsin State Journal:

As a lifelong resident of the once great state of Wisconsin, I would like to have the Foxconn deal put on the ballot as a referendum to the people of this state.

It is our billions of dollars, and we should have the right to decide how we would like that money spent. The referendum should be simple and clearly stated to give the taxpayers and voters the choice.

Penny Koerner, Ridgeway

Wisconsin Republicans know an advisory referendum on the proposed $3 billion give-away would face overwhelming defeat at the polls. So, the chance of a Foxconn referendum coming from the gerrymandered legislature is nil

Aug 16, 2017

Wisconsin Foxconn Costs Exposed: $One Million-plus per Job

Susan Hessel of Wisconsin comments on the Foxconn scam,
(Facebook)
Madison, Wisconsin — If the state of Wisconsin gave you $1 million could you create one job that would last at least 15 years?

That's the question facing Wisconsin in mid-August as state assembly Republicans have taken committee action to move forward Assembly Substitute Amendment 1, a bizarre scheme that would cost tax-payers "up to $1.5 million per job if the company creates and retains 1,000 jobs over a 15-year period," an analysis shows.

Walker and Republicans believe tax-payers have money to burn so Gov. Jobs Failure is happy to spend $3 billion and give it all to one Taiwanese corporation, Foxconn.

"As any fiscal conservative knows, the state simply can’t afford to hand over a $1 million check per job to every CEO in this state. That’s not how our private sector is supposed to work. If the bill doesn’t have stronger accountability provisions to ensure job creation targets are being met, taxpayers could be left subsiding a larger portion of this project than we’re being led to believe," said State Sen. Jennifer Shilling, (D-La Crosse).

As the gargantuan costs of the unprecedented give-away takes hold, many Wisconsinites are echoing the words of Susan Hessel, a small business manager in Dane County. "Shit! I'll create *25* jobs per million dollars. Give the money to me!," (Say No to the Fox Con, Facebook).

The state Assembly's machinations are regarded as less-than-decisive on whether the Foxconn bill passes the legislature.

The state Senate vote will be telling. That vote is expected in late August or early September.

Sen. Shilling's recent comments are reproduced below.

Foxconn tax break could exceed $1 million per job
Under GOP proposal, job costs could skyrocket if company falls short on promises


MADISON – State taxpayers could be on the hook for as much as $1.5 million per job under a newly released substitute amendment proposed by Assembly Republicans. According to the revised bill language, Foxconn could receive tax credits worth up to $1.5 million per job if the company creates and retains 1,000 jobs over a 15 year period. The high cost per job raises serious questions regarding the state’s break-even point as Assembly Republicans attempt to fast-track a vote with little public input.

"Rather than rushing through a $3 billion tax break for a foreign corporation, we need to make sure Wisconsin taxpayers aren’t being taken for a ride," said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). "As any fiscal conservative knows, the state simply can’t afford to hand over a $1 million check per job to every CEO in this state. That’s not how our private sector is supposed to work. If the bill doesn’t have stronger accountability provisions to ensure job creation targets are being met, taxpayers could be left subsiding a larger portion of this project than we’re being led to believe."

According to Substitute Amendment 1 introduced by Assembly Republicans, if Foxconn were to create 1,000 jobs and retain those positions over a 15 year period, the company could receive a check from the state for $1.49 billion – approximately $1.5 million per job created. Given the high volatility in the electronics industry, workforce shortage issues and the company’s stated desire to automate its manufacturing operation, it is unclear how many of the promised jobs will materialize.

Foxconn has a well-documented history of failing to meet promised job creation goals. The Washington Post and numerous media outlets have reported on several major projects in Pennsylvania, Indonesia, India, Vietnam and Brazil that failed to produce the number jobs that were promised. #

A state that is too broke to repair roads or support public education somehow
has piles of $ for an exploitative Taiwanese company? (Twitter)
Pictured above is a highway in Milwaukee in mid-August.

Aug 15, 2017

Wisconsin Organized Labor in Wait-and-See Mode on Foxconn Scam

Wisconsin State AFL-CIO is
registered as neutral lobbying principal
on the Foxxonn legislation,
(August 2017 Special Session
Assembly Bill 1
)
Madison, Wisconsin — As the $3 billion boondoggle sails through the Wisconsin State Assembly on party-line votes, people are starting to tune in ask and, 'where is labor on this?'

Maybe today after Republicans rejected all pro-Wisconsin amendments authored by Democratic legislators in a legislative committee, (Beck, Wisconsin State Journal), the AFL-CIO will come out against the Foxconn bill, (Special Session Assembly Bill 1).

Noone doubts organized labor is against the Fox Con, but waiting while Republicans work to ram through the $3 billion give-away is not wise.