Recently Governor Tony Evers announced that he wanted to renegotiate the Foxconn contract because they weren’t going to be able to meet their promise to employ the 13,000 people as originally promised. And of course the GOP Leaders in Madison got all apoplectic (i.e Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald). They accused the governor of trying to undermine the Foxconn project and unilaterally trying to reopen the contract. It didn’t get much meaner…
And now The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel publishes a new article quoting a letter from the governor to the leader of Foxconn reaffirming that Foxconn approached the state to renegotiate the contract. And that Foxconn had notified the Republican leadership if their intent…and that this all happened last month!
A top official with Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn Technology Group told Gov. Tony Evers and legislative leaders in March that the company wanted changes to the $3 billion contract with the state, the governor said Tuesday.
In a Tuesday letter to Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn chairman and CEO Terry Gou, Evers for the first time acknowledged that it is Foxconn that is seeking to modify the state’s contract and not Evers.
Are we having fun yet? And of course the apoplexy in the GOP leadership ranks remains unabated but shifts focus! Sen. Fitzgerald is saying he knows nothing about it…and Rep. Vos is concerned that the governor won’t be able to protect Wisconsin taxpayers. WTF…right?
“I met with Louis Woo for thirty minutes and there was no discussion about opening up the contract for renegotiation, just general discussion about Foxconn’s expansion and growth,” Fitzgerald said in a statement.
Vos spokeswoman Kit Beyer said Vos told Woo in March he was willing to “provide flexibility” to Foxconn as it seeks to create jobs in Wisconsin.
“If Evers wants to change (the Foxconn agreement), the taxpayer protections need to remain,” Vos said in a statement.
So who is lying here? It appears that the GOP has known for nearly a month that Foxconn was looking for changes. Yet they remained silent about that and reaffirmed their talking points from the original 2017 negotiations. And now when the new environment has light thrust upon it, Sen. Fitzgerald plays dumb and Rep. Vos once again disses the governor without fact.
Quite frankly I would let the current contract alone…it obviously isn’t favorable to Foxconn in its current form or they wouldn’t want to rework it. And the GOP is still apparently in love with it, so let the chips fall where they may.
But it really is time to hold Rep. Vos and Sen. Fitzgerald accountable for the gridlock in Madison and their continued animosity toward the new governor.