Governor Walker decided to spend billions of taxpayer dollars on a deal no bank would finance, and no board of directors would approve. And, Walker calls himself a “fiscal conservative.” Right!
Walker’s Hail Mary pass to Foxconn is a smokescreen intended to hide his dismal record of economic development over the past seven years. His decision to push nearly $3 billion to Foxconn was done secretly and behind closed doors before the deal was jammed down the throats of the WEDC committee that wasn’t even allowed to see the final contract.
Walker accepted Foxconn’s projections instead of performing a feasibility analysis of his own. He made no attempt to determine if anything Foxconn was claiming it would do could actually be done. Walker misled Wisconsinites into believing that average wages would be in excess of $53,000 when all Foxconn has to pay is $14.42/hour to receive access to $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars. He allowed Foxconn to sidestep environmental regulations, circumvent our legal system, use police power to take private property and give it to a foreign corporation, and provided unfettered access to 7 million gallons of fresh water from Lake Michigan without having the common sense to test the water spewing from other Foxconn plants to determine the nature of the heavy metals that will be released back into our great Lake Michigan. And, do you know what Foxconn pays in fines to Wisconsin if they don’t deliver on their end of the bargain to Wisconsin taxpayers? Nothing! Walker didn’t negotiate on behalf of the people of our state – he climbed over the table to their side and negotiated on behalf of Foxconn. This is one of many reasons why your time is up, Governor Walker!
Originally advertised by Governor Walker as a massive $3 billion deal, the sticker price on Foxconn has now ballooned to $4.5 billion. Foxconn is not contractually guaranteeing how many full-time employees it will hire or for how long. It’s these details that determine how and if Wisconsin taxpayers will ever get their money back. But, this is of no consequence to our governor – he picked his Taiwanese billionaire to be the winner while the rest of our state is declared the loser and desperately waits for the funding needed for roads, schools, and a real jobs plan that creates good-paying, family-sustaining jobs for people throughout Wisconsin.
As a progressive businessman and entrepreneur, Andy spent 35 years helping struggling companies solve problems, so they could access the capital they needed to grow and create more good-paying jobs in Wisconsin and around the world. He performed feasibility analysis to determine if business plans, like this one with Foxconn, made sense. And, when they didn’t (like the Foxconn deal), Andy contributed to finding a plan that would work. Andy’s worked directly with CEO’s and workers on the factory floor, in industries from A to Z, making him uniquely qualified to have meaningful conversations about how we can get our state growing again with jobs that support families throughout Wisconsin.
Andy is uniquely qualified to make this really bad Foxconn deal “less bad.” And, with Wisconsin taxpayers having to pay Foxconn hundreds of millions of dollars each year out of its general fund, a governor who understands manufacturing businesses, like Foxconn, and how to solve complex challenges, will be invaluable to our state.
As Governor, Andy will:
- Work with Foxconn to identify ways to improve the structure of the current deal and/or future agreements with the state so that it works both for the taxpayers of Wisconsin and for Foxconn;
- Hold Foxconn accountable to its obligations to the taxpayers of Wisconsin as set forth in the current contract;
- Closely monitor effluent discharge from the Foxconn plant, prior to municipal treatment, to identify all remaining contaminants and mandate, to the extent possible, that Foxconn effectively treat any remaining contaminants; and determine the full cost related to treating remaining contaminants, if any, prior to discharge into Lake Michigan;
- Mandate, to the extent possible, specific guidelines for the employment of minorities; benefit packages that include comprehensive healthcare and retirement benefits; and participation in the cost of providing and/or constructing the public transportation systems needed to get people throughout the region to work quickly and efficiently.