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Gov. Walker Tries To Woo Illinois Businesses To Wisconsin

By Samantha Abernethy in News on Sep 27, 2012 9:05PM


Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is launching a new $500,000 ad campaign targeted at Illinois and Minnesota businesses to woo them to Wisconsin. The campaign called "In Wisconsin" was created by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a semi-private agency created by the state last year. It starts next week in print, online and billboard ads and continues through December.

The campaign is Walker's latest attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to create private sector jobs, and it hasn't been going well. The Tribune writes:

Walker promised both in 2010 during his run for governor and in this summer's recall campaign that he would create 250,000 private sector jobs by 2015, but the state is not on pace to reach that goal.

This isn't the first time Walker has targeted Illinois businesses. In January 2011 he said Illinois tax hikes would be good for Wisconsin. That hasn't worked out the way he planned. A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed Wisconsin lost more private-sector jobs than any other state between March 2011 and March 2012, a total of 23,900. And how did Walker and the WEDC handle that news? The CS Monitor writes:

“There are a lot of other indicators that we see that show the governor’s policies are working,” Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, told the Associated Press. Compared with a year ago, unemployment rates are lower throughout the state except in three counties, Mr. Newson also noted in a statement.

A new report shows Walker and the WEDC mismanaged public sector funding. On Aug. 12, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said two state agencies — the WEDC and the Department of Administration — failed to follow federal law when it issued economic development grants. Walker did not tell the WEDC board, and when they found out Wednesday, Walker defended his decision and said the letter was "routine" and the organization was "raising concerns about a variety of issues as they have for years."

CBS writes:

Walker said if the HUD letter had required specific action by the board, they would be been informed.

Rep. Peter Barca, the Democratic minority leader in the state Assembly, said the problems could have been avoided if Walker and Republicans who controlled the Legislature wouldn't have moved so quickly and created WEDC without a business plan in place.

Watch the new "In Wisconsin" ad and see if it makes you want to move your business from Illinois to Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin from WisconsinEDC on Vimeo.