Just a few weeks ago news broke that the WEDC, Gov. Scott Walker’s “job creation” agency, had awarded millions of taxpayer dollars to companies that outsourced Wisconsin jobs to foreign countries. In response to that bad news, Gov. Walker’s reelection campaign went on the offensive to attack Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Mary Burke for supposedly profiting off outsourcing done by Trek Bicycles, but the news just got worse for Gov. Walker, as a report by Greg Neumann of WKOW has revealed that four more companies that outsourced Wisconsin jobs to foreign countries have received over ten million dollars from WEDC.
Kohl’s Corporation has received $10.8 million of a possible $62.5 million enterprise zone tax credit originally awarded in July 2012 for a project in Waukesha. U.S. Department of Labor records show Kohl’s employees in Milwaukee received Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits on two separate occasions. TAA benefits are only awarded to employees who have lost their jobs because the work was outsourced overseas. In the case of Kohl’s, some of the Wisconsin jobs were sent to India.
Serigraph, a custom graphics company based in West Bend, has received $832,036 in WEDC tax credits for a January 2013 award. TAA records indicate Serigraph shipped production jobs from Wisconsin to Mexico in 2011
Polaris, an Osceola manufacturer and dealer of snowmobiles, ATV’s and motorcycles, has received $940,000 in tax credits from a March 2012 award. TAA records show Polaris shipped production jobs from Wisconsin to Mexico in 2010.
Laserwords, a Madison internet and television sales call-center, has received $47,232 in tax credits and is eligible for up to $375,000 from a December 2013 award. Earlier that year, former Laserwords employees in Wisconsin received TAA benefits after their jobs were shipped overseas.
It’s important to remember that Gov. Walker serves as the Chairman of the WEDC Board of Directors, so it’s not as if he’s only tangentially involved in what goes on at WEDC. As Chairman of the WEDC Board of Directors, Gov. Walker should bear some responsibility for the decisions being made by the very organization he created in order to dissolve the state’s Department of Commerce, but I’m guessing that instead of accepting responsibility, Gov. Walker will just run another attack ad against Mary Burke.