Monday, March 25, 2013

The Golden Fleecing of Wisconsin

The late Senator William Proxmire was famous for presenting his "Golden Fleece" awards to government agencies guilty of waste fraud and abuse.  The Manitowoc Democratic Party has long held their fundraiser dinner in honor of Proxmire and so it seems entirely natural that this year we decided to reinstate the award.  I was particularly honored to present the first award!

The following are my notes for the presentation.
Golden Fleece traveling trophy
  • Where did the WEDC come from? The Republican legislature is always loath to levy new taxes so taking money out of one pocket and putting it into another has become a fine art!
  • The WEDC has a special herritage within this state and a connection to our fine Wisconsin environment. Under AB-35 WEDC's initial funding was “converted” from the State's RECYCLING FUND and derives its primary funding from THE RECYCLING SURCHARGE which was RENAMED the ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SURCHARGE!
  • Yes, you heard that right! The State's newest quasi private agency was quite literally built on a pile of garbage!
  • We all know that a private entity can never lose money right?
  • creating a private agency to hand out cash to questionable start ups would be a FOOL PROOF plan!
  • Walker appointed as its head former Green Bay Mayor Paul Jadin because who knows more on running a private company than a man with a degree in political science and never held a job in the private sector? These things run themselves, right?
  • Jadin was the obvious choice.
  • After all, all of Walker's other top picks were already facing felony charges.
  • Time for some new blood!
  • Accompishments of Mr. Jadin
  • Offering special tax breaks to Skyward Software of Stevens Point IF Skyward won their bid on school software.
  • Too bad that's illegal huh?
  • Side note: Skyward lost that bid to a Minnesota company and is now threatening to leave the state! How's that for economic development?
  • On being notified that the WEDC had lost track of $8 million in loans Governor Walker called for a full investigation and radical changes!
  • Wait! I thought the WEDC was radical change??????
  • The investigation showed that the number was actually $69 MILLION! (Daoh!)
  • But where one door closes somebody jumps out of a window!
  • In evidence of a true meritocracy Mr. Jadin has now moved on to the Madison Chamber of Commerce economic development organization known as ---- THRIVE!
  • And he landed on his feet!
  • He has gotten a very substantial raise from his state salary of $120,000.
  • OH... those poor people..... :(

  • Having run out of cash the Republicans proposed that the state invest another $200 million in new funds because if a little is good, A LOT is better!
  • That 200 MIL was to be “borrowed” from THE STATE EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT FUND!
  • A ground floor investment opportunity in misplaced loans!
  • With garbage for collateral!
  • Nobody runs out of garbage!
  • Especially not the Republicans!
  • Why.... It could make up for Act 10!
  • Somebody tell Leehman Brothers!
  • Daoh!
  • When asked why the retirement fund – new CEO Reed Hall said “I THINK WE NEED TO RESESABLISH OUR CREDIBILITY...”
  • I guess the Milwaukee County Veterans fund was all tapped out, huh?
  • Daoh!
  • Then..... Republicans planned to continue the agency's environmental legacy by dumpster diving for 40% of the anticipated Penokee mine revenues.
  • Whenever that happens...
  • (yeah sure... right!)
  • However, it seems they decided it would be about as valuable as taking it out into the middle of Lake Superior and dump it there because that idea has been trashed too.
  • With a little luck maybe some day we can just recycle the whole idea.
Time to take out the trash!
Dan Ariens - charter WEDC board member now appointed CEO
Yeah, that'll fix it!  :P

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