Walker’s WEDC Debacle Needs Aggressive Pursuit for Accountability

By Robert Miranda, Editor, Wisconsin Spanish Journal

June 15, 2015

This past week, newly elected Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairwoman Martha Laning stepped into the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) imbroglio by sending a letter to Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel officially asking that he do his job and release the official WEDC records in order for the public to see firsthand what damage has been done to the wallet of Wisconsin’s taxpayers:
http://webiva-downton.s3.amazonaws.com/477/82/9/3161/6.11.15LetterToSchimel-signed.pdf

The letter by Laning is the first real aggressive action DPW has initiated against Walker, who has enjoyed cupcake responses by DPW in the past few years, for his administration’s destructive policies that have sent Wisconsin into a whirlwind of debt, which Wisconsin’s children and grandchildren will have to pay unless more actions like this continue. 

Laning’s letter follows the demands by Democrats State Representative Peter Barca and State Senator Julie M. Lassa, both members of WEDC board, who acted responsibly to demand WEDC records but have yet to have their demands met. Why? What is Governor Walker hiding?

WEDC, a state corporate welfare agency in Wisconsin created by Scott Walker and supported by Republicans of the Wisconsin State Legislature, has repeatedly been in the news giving corporations loans to support CEOs who clearly should have not received WEDC loans that Wisconsin taxpayers will sooner or later have to pay for. 

Laning is now putting pressure on the Walker administration, and it’s about time. 

Clearly Wisconsin taxpayers are experiencing an injustice if Schimel ignores Laning’s letter and refuses to comply with federal and state laws. 

In addition, why not demand a letter from former Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch stating that, during his tenure as SOA, under no circumstances, was there any malfeasance on his part to provide loans to failing corporations, including “The Building Committee Inc.”

As stated in this article published by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Paul Jadin, the former head of WEDC, said Minahan and then-Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch pushed for a $4.3 million loan, but the agency couldn’t justify more than $500,000 — which Jadin said he considered ‘fairly risky.’”

Paul Jadin it seems would be a likely individual to bring to a legislative committee to further inquire as to whether or not Jadin was directed to provide a WEDC loan to The Building Committee. In fact, Jadin, during such a legislative committee hearing should make it clear as to whether or not he was directed by Governor Walker or Walker’s appointed administrative watch dogs, former SOA Mike Huebsch and his Chief of Staff Keith Giles, to provide any other corporation a WEDC loan under similar nefarious circumstances.

Further, an independent audit should also be requested by the Department of Workforce Development focusing on the number of jobs created and how many have been made permanent.

Finally, former SOA Mike Huebsch should resign from his current post at the Public Service Commission (PSC). His abrupt exile as SOA to the PSC raises an eyebrow of suspicion as to why he was demoted by Walker. Clearly WEDC has more corrupt pieces to the puzzle than what has been reported so far. Having Mike Huebsch continue on as a member of the PSC taints the position he currently holds.  

To be sure, this is Wisconsin! There is no room for Tammany Hall like politricks at our state Capitol. Schimel must do the right thing. He must do his duty and force the release of WEDC public records so that the full facts of what has taken place at WEDC can be known. In doing so, the wheels of justice can turn so that the mistrust and bitterness many of Wisconsin’s taxpayers have for our government can finally be reversed.

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on June 16, 2015

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