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Top Wisconsin Reporters Discuss Walker’s Scandal-Plagued WEDC… and it’s not good news for Scott Walker.

Yesterday, some of Wisconsin’s top political journalists discussed the ongoing problems with Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s “JS on Politics” panel hosted by Greg Borowski.

Walker Jobs Trouble YouTube Screenshot

Key excerpts:

Patrick Marley,  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel statehouse reporter:

“WEDC was created in 2011, sort of the flagship of the Governor and Republican legislators as a way to make the state more nimble in job creation, but it’s been plagued by problems and we’re learning more about the deals that were reached in the past. The most recent ones that we’ve learned of or learned the details of include one where a businessman was given a million dollars even though a judge months earlier had said in other deals that he’d worked on had the earmarks of fraud and WEDC knew about that court proceeding and still gave the money. In another case you know they didn’t do the adequate checks that they were supposed to be doing, and you know, problems emerged and then they had to sue the companies to try to get their money back.”

Dan Bice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel “Watchdog” columnist:

“It doesn’t seem like the system as it existed had adequate checks on it. Right now the head of the WEDC board is also the head of WMC, the lobby for the business community. So you have people with dual interests who are supposedly overseeing what is going on there.”

“It’s still [Walker’s] agency even if he’s not on the board. If there’s a major problem there people aren’t going to say now ‘oh well, this isn’t Scott Walker’s agency.’”

“[Walker’s] highly skeptical of government and yet he’s very supportive of business and that’s a dangerous combination when you’re trying to decide what sort of money you should be giving to private corporations.”

James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist:

“[Walker] advanced it, he promoted it, he did all of that stuff so yeah, this falls right into his lap. He needs to figure it out. I think an investigation is needed because this is taxpayer money and it was supposed to be money used to create jobs.”

“Walker’s failed jobs agency is a major blemish on his record, and it shows that Walker is not the manager he says he is. The agency Walker created has been mismanaged from the start and made highly questionable loans with taxpayer money. As one headline said, the WEDC has created more trouble than jobs. Walker has now tried to distance himself from the agency by stepping down as its chairman, and he lied about the extent of mismanagement when asked by reporters. Reformer? Nope.”TJ Helmstetter, DNC Midwest Press Secretary

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