Not one, but two, Scott Walker pay-to-play schemes came into focus this weekend, as previously unreleased documents revealed that Walker benefited from $700,000 in campaign cash from out-of-state mining special interests — “certainly an appearance of corruption,” according to a nonpartisan special investigator. News reports also revealed that a company owned by Walker donors was set to receive a $6 million award from Walker’s Economic Disaster Corporation.
Also this weekend in pay-to-play news came a report that Walker’s failed, flagship jobs agency, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), in January approved a $6 million tax credit for Ashley Furniture Industries on the condition that the company only need to retain half of its in-state workforce over the next five years. WEDC has typically required companies receiving taxpayer-funded incentives to create new jobs or at least retain 100 percent of their employees.
About two weeks after the tax credit was approved, the company’s owners gave a total of $20,000 to Walker’s campaign.
“From the news that out-of-state special interests got to buy their own legislation for $700,000 to reports that a company owned by Walker donors can lay off half of its workforce and still receive millions of dollars in taxpayer-funds, we have two more egregious examples of the price put on democracy in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Monday. “Scott Walker’s pay-to-play corruption is at best unethical and at worst completely criminal. And if it isn’t criminal, it should be.”