A lonely Democrat on Foxconn

Unlike the vast majority of Wisconsin Democrats, the writer of Caffeinated Politics is not a partisan idiot and is willing to take on his party when it’s wrong:

The Foxconn development plan would be the largest green-field investment by a foreign-based company in our nation’s history.

With a $10 billion investment by Foxconn which will directly stimulate 13,000 jobs, with a large number of spin-off developments and jobs, means this is the powerhouse proposal Wisconsin needs.  While there are always hurdles and bumps in such planning the attempts by some to sour the good news should be kept in perspective.  There are always naysayers.

So I was not surprised about the negative comments which came from some members in my party.  To hear some of my fellow Democrats snort over the Foxconn deal makes me wonder how hard they want to be in the majority again in this state?  After all, packaging state resources into a powerful program to create jobs over a wide array of communities is the smartest thing to have emerged from our statehouse in a very long time.  And my party needs to get on board this plan and provide hearty support.

The seeming lack of awareness about spending money today for a larger and smarter pay-off in employment and tax revenues tomorrow seems lost on some legislators.  For too long other states were more than willing to make inroads where Wisconsin was hesitant to tread.  That was a damn shame.  And while I have many legitimate complaints about policy moves from Governor Walker I must say his work with this massive plan makes me smile.   This is exactly how state government needs to operate in the world in which we live. …

I genuinely believe this is a plan that will not only create jobs, but lift spirits, and allow for a larger part of the state to also receive benefits from other investments.  For instance, I am heartened to learn the ways UW-Madison is seeking research relationships with Foxconn.  With that in mind, I would love to see this legislature also pass a meaningful venture capital bill to help seed the new ideas and small businesses that can be spun off from the Foxconn deal.  I do not wish to think small anymore when it comes to where we might head economically in our state.

While I am most confident this huge incentive plan can be marshaled to completion, I also know we need to design our incentive package smartly.  I am mighty concerned about the environmental impact that this business could have on our state. For instance, I am not pleased with the  possible discharge of production materials into the wetlands surrounding the company. I understand the need for a company to make profits but respect to our land, air, and water must not be disregarded.  There is no wiggle room for a cheap way out of making sure the environmental regulations of our state are not undermined.

With all the work and effort that Walker and his administration have already undertaken to get the state to this point with Foxconn makes me confident that true safeguards can be guaranteed in regard to environmental issues.   If Walker can achieve those standards with this massive job creation, and revenue producing venture his election in 2018 is all but assured.  This development proposal is that large–both to the state as a whole, and to the Governor’s political future.

There have been many reasons to take rhetorical slaps at Walker, and I have made many over the years at Caffeinated Politics.  But there is a time for politics, and then as I always say, there must be a time to do the work of governing.  So I must decry the tone that some have used about this deal.  I get the fact that at the statehouse partisanship is king, and logic is often left at the parking garage.   But after all that we have been through with employment woes, slack wages, and divisive government the time has come to take a breath, step up, and do the state’s business. 

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