The board overseeing the state’s flagship job-creation agency has quietly approved a $6 million tax credit for Ashley Furniture Industries with a condition allowing the company to eliminate half of its state workforce.

As approved by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board, the award would allow the Arcadia-based global furniture maker to move ahead with a $35 million expansion of its headquarters and keep 1,924 jobs in the state.

But it wouldn’t require Ashley to create any new jobs, instead granting the company license to lay off half of its current 3,848 Wisconsin-based workers in exchange for an enterprise zone tax credit, one of the most valuable and coveted state subsidies.

The board’s decision has not been made public because a contract with the company has not been finalized. But in a statement Friday, in response to questions from the State Journal, Ashley Furniture confirmed it is seeking state subsidies that include terms allowing for job reductions.

The company said it injected $394 million into the Wisconsin economy in 2013, including supporting 610 Wisconsin businesses.

“It is more expensive for Ashley to manufacture in Arcadia than it is to do so closer to its major markets,” the company said. “The loss of Ashley’s contributions to the regional economy of west-central Wisconsin would be catastrophic.”

WEDC spokesman Mark Maley said the agency doesn’t comment on pending or possible WEDC awards.

“Obviously, WEDC is very interested in working with one of the largest employers in northwestern Wisconsin to find ways to help ensure that the company can continue to flourish here in our state,” Maley said. “WEDC is committed to doing whatever it can to work with the company and preserve those jobs.”

Maley declined comment on whether WEDC had provided any other awards conditioned on retaining a percentage of jobs, as opposed to creating jobs.

Madison Region Economic Partnership president Paul Jadin, who was WEDC CEO from 2011 to late 2012, said he was not aware of any awards conditioned on less than 100 percent job retention, “but that doesn’t mean that circumstances such as Ashley has demonstrated wouldn’t warrant such a solution.”

The State Journal reviewed a copy of a WEDC staff memo and minutes of the board’s closed Jan. 30 meeting, where the tax credits were discussed and approved per WEDC policy. The newspaper agreed not to disclose the source of the documents in order to review them.

According to the memo to the WEDC board, which is led by Gov. Scott Walker, the company has indicated “that if the project is not undertaken it will either downsize or close the Arcadia manufacturing plant completely.”

The $6 million would pay for the relocation of Meyers Valley Creek, which flooded downtown Arcadia and the Ashley plant in 2010, allowing for a 480,000-square-foot expansion to reconfigure and change the layout of production lines.

The memo said the company would agree to retain 70 percent of its existing employee positions in 2014, 60 percent in 2015 and 50 percent in 2016-18. If it reduced its workforce by more, the state could reclaim the tax credits under what is known as a “clawback” provision.

“The company is very concerned with the job retention figure due to health care costs for its employees continuing to rise and the option for automation as a solution,” the memo said. “The company also stressed that it is committed to Wisconsin.”

About $1.76 million of the company’s $35 million investment would be for worker training, the memo said.

Walker and the board voted 9-2 with two members absent in favor of awarding the enterprise zone tax credits. The two Democrats on the board, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, of Kenosha, and Sen. Julie Lassa, of Stevens Point, voted no.

Barca, who wished to make clear that he was not the source of the documents provided to the newspaper, declined to comment on what occurred in closed session but commented generally.

Asked whether WEDC should be awarding taxpayer funds in exchange for companies retaining only a percentage of their workforce, he said he has concerns “the goalposts keep getting moved.”

“It troubles me that we’re moving a considerable distance from what the main focus of what your job-creating agency should be — which is the creation of jobs,” Barca said.

Lassa also declined to comment, saying “as a board member it would not be appropriate for me to comment on information shared during a closed session.”

At an event Friday, Walker said he would not comment on the board’s action before an official agreement is reached.

“I, just as previous administrations, want to make sure they (Ashley) are here in Wisconsin and they’re growing,” the governor said. “My guess is a year from now, you’ll see Ashley in the state with a much higher volume of jobs than they have today.”

Paul Radspinner, CEO of Madison-based Flugen and a WEDC board member who supported the Ashley Furniture award, acknowledged it’s “very unusual” for WEDC to approve awards based on retaining a percentage of jobs and that “there would have to be mitigating circumstances” such as the potential impact on a local community.

“If there’s very clear-cut evidence that we can confirm that there’s going to be a huge job loss if we don’t provide assistance … I would certainly look at something like that,” Radspinner said. “But the very last thing we want is a race to the bottom.”

According to the WEDC memo, 56 percent of Ashley employees make less than $10.88 per hour, which is the wage standard WEDC uses when determining if a company is meeting job creation goals. Radspinner said the board was not happy with the wages. But he said the company deserves credit for its health insurance benefits, which the memo said cover 76 percent of an employees’ premiums.

Arcadia Mayor John Kimmel said losing Ashley would have statewide repercussions.

“They’re not going to invest tens of millions in the local economy to do anything other than stay and expand and be part of our community,” Kimmel said.

The $6 million in refundable credits would total more than the eight state awards Ashley Furniture has received since 1988 and two awards to the city of Arcadia. The most recent was a $675,000 award in 2013 for an $8 million expansion of the company’s Whitehall plant, which is expected to create 225 jobs over three years. So far the company has created 79 jobs and has received $256,706 from that tax credit, Maley said.

Enterprise zones are considered the best kind of state financial awards to companies because they can be applied to so many different types of economic activity, such as worker training and capital improvements, and can result in refundable credits, Jadin said.

The state caps the number of enterprise zones at 20, five of which must be in areas with populations under 30,000.

State law requires companies that receive awards conditioned on retaining jobs to make “a significant capital investment in property located in the zone.” The law does not set any limit for the retention percentage.

Arcadia filed an application for the creek project in March 2012 with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The DNR issued a permit in November 2012, but the federal permit was still under review when the city withdrew the application this past March. The city and Ashley are expected to file a new application, said Dan Baumann, DNR west-central director. And the company said it plans to use the $6 million in tax savings to pay the city for the creek project.

The company faced criticism for expanding its headquarters into a wetland in 2005. The project took more than a decade to obtain the required environmental approvals and resulted in the company spending $1 million to build nearby wetlands more than twice the size of the land it developed.

An Ashley Furniture spokeswoman told the State Journal in 2010 that if the permit had not been granted, the company would have moved its headquarters and about 2,000 jobs to another state.

Matthew DeFour covers state government for the Wisconsin State Journal.

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(271) comments

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

Ashley Furniture today (Sat. 8-30) has a full double page ad in the Eau Claire Leader Telegram (maybe other papers too) defending their grants, tax reliefs etc all for the good of Arcadia and Wisconsin! We need them and their jobs today and in the future!
Flooding is a problem there, why is the DNR and Corp of Engineers not fixing the stream as keepers of the waterways? Step to the microphone, Cathy Steppe! Or, was there some other reason for the flooding? Obviously, global warming is not causing it.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

Good question Crow Barr! I doubt if anyone else will be here to respond with an intelligent answer,

Akklia
Akklia

Does Ashley furniture even provide full time jobs with living wages or is it another one of those "we can only employ you for 29.75 hours because you can't afford our employer negotiated healthcare avoidance package anyway" types of companies.

I've never sought a job with them, so I don't know. But I do know, the retail jobs I did look at didn't pay squat and didn't offer any benefits but still treated the employees like naughty children. Needless to say, when my time comes to end my retirement as Stay At Home Parent, I will NOT be looking to retail for a job...I need a living wage...I have my kid's possible college education to save for. In fact I need a family wage. Why? Because my spouse deserves time to be the Stay At Home Parent, also. (I know, I'm crazy, why would ANYONE but a crazy person like me want to stay home and raise my very own family when there are the cheapest daycare options available in order to support underpaid daycare workers while I get fat at my paid job that I hate, instead, because I decided to squeeze out my kids when I had no time to raise them? OMG...my spouse is crazy, too, as my spouse would LOVE to spend some time as Stay At Home Parent to teach our kid to hunt and fish and just be available after school...HAW we are well met, then.) Good lord I digressed again...

196ski
196ski

If that is your wish then you need to modify your mindset.

Nobody owes you or your spouse a "living wage", it is incumbent on you to develop a skill set that you can sell to a potential employer that will garner you the wage you desire.

Bucky01
Bucky01

This is the new America; remember that 'race to the bottom' we were talking about with right to work and tax cuts and the elimination of the minimum wage? This is now a place where a company can say "we're totally committed to Wisconsin" after threatening to leave the state of they didn't get public money and not only that, not even committing to retain half of their work force in 3 years.
But this is, in essence, open for business, where the taxpayers of this state prop up business associates/donors of the Walker campaign. But this is what a bunch of short sighted idealogues voted for and will vote for again. I wish I could say I don't know why, but I do... lack of critical thinking skills, the same skills that common core tries to teach. I wonder why the right is so vehemently opposed to that idea... I'll let you ponder that.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

I can't believe you made the above post and it still hasn't been derided. Hard to displace truth!

dividewiandconquer
dividewiandconquer

Sounds like WI is "open for bidness" and "its working."

snootyelites
snootyelites

This entire Walker Witchhunt is a precisely that. This is the left's McCarthy ERA. Finally it blew up! The journalists are so complicit in this completely censored propaganda.

There not one iota of legal basis for any of these investigations. Bizzare!

Wall Street Journal finally blew this up. Now we know this entire investigation is nothing but bunch of constitutional & civil rights violations coordinated by Milwaukee county prosecutors and GAB. We hear Shane Falk, legal counsel for GAB is leaving. I hope he gets namd in the lawsuit too!

Walker increasingly coming out of this smelling like Roses!

Norwood44
Norwood44

Since we are talking about politics, influence and money I thought many of you might enjoy this read. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304782404577488584031850026

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

If you want to subscribe to WSJ then go to this link. Other wise don't waste your time!

Springdalegeorge
Springdalegeorge

1) We are spending $6 million because a company built on or near wetlands!
2) 56 % of the employees earn less than 10.86 a hour- most of their health care would have been covered under Badgercare under the Doyle plan if the state had accepted the federal money.
There is something very wrong with this picture- seems like we are making some bad decisions and then paying for them with state tax dollars while ignoring other key needs in the state. Basically WEDC is a slush fund to address other state and local decisions

snootyelites
snootyelites

Hyperventilating in Wisconsin http://on.wsj.com/1qdyTPD via @WSJ

TITLE: Hyperventilating in Wisconsin Documents expose the false legal theory used against Scott Walker.

Full Text: President Obama headlined a $25,000 a head Seattle fundraiser in July hosted by former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal for the liberal Senate Majority SuperPac. Perhaps you didn't notice the lack of media outrage. That's the context in which to understand the breathless reporting about court documents showing that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker encouraged donations to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. The horror, the horror!

On Friday the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals responded to a media request and released documents that had been sealed as part of a John Doe probe into Mr. Walker's fund-raising. The court's clerk also bungled and released, for a brief period, some documents that weren't supposed to be unsealed, including donor names and references to bank records. Unless you're a political Bambi, the only news in the documents is further evidence that the prosecutors are operating on an unconstitutional interpretation of campaign-finance law.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker Associated Press
Their view is that it is illegal "coordination" for Mr. Walker to raise money for allied groups like the Wisconsin Club for Growth. But if that's true every politician in the country had better lawyer-up.

Raising money for a political action committee or a party committee or 501(c)(4) is legal and common for politicians. In addition to his soiree at Mr. Sinegal's, President Obama this year has made his Cabinet members available for fundraisers for Priorities USA, a SuperPac founded by two former White House aides to elect Democrats.

In 2011 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote to donors that "I'm writing to introduce you to a group solely devoted to leveling the playing field and protecting the Democratic majority in the Senate: Majority PAC." Should he be prosecuted?

SuperPacs and 501(c)(4)s are barred from turning over the money they raise to candidates. But not even prosecutors are claiming that happened with the Wisconsin Club for Growth. The Club didn't even advertise on behalf of Mr. Walker, devoting its spending to issue ads more relevant to defending GOP state senators who were targeted for defeat in recall elections.

The documents have already been examined by two judges who have ruled against prosecutors Francis Schmitz and John Chisholm. John Doe Judge Gregory Peterson quashed their subpoenas in January, and federal judge Rudolph Randa has issued a preliminary injunction stopping the investigation. Prosecutors are appealing, but it would be nice if the media didn't bury their legal defeats.

Democrats and their media allies are also making much of an April 2011 email written by fundraising consultant Kate Doner noting that Mr. Walker was "encouraging all to invest in the Wisconsin Club for Growth." The Club for Growth, she added, "can accept corporate and personal donations without limitations and no donors disclosure."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes Ms. Doner as a "Walker campaign consultant," implying nefarious illegal coordination. But at the time she wrote the email she was working for the Wisconsin Club for Growth and had a legal right to seek donations. She wasn't hired as a consultant for Friends of Scott Walker until November 2011.

The press corps is also hyperventilating over names released as potential fund-raising targets—such as the Koch brothers, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Donald Trump. There's another shocker: Political groups seek money from rich people who might agree with them. Hide the children.

The real outrage here concerns the damage to the privacy of potential donors who under federal rules for 501(c) groups can keep their names private. Liberals want to require such disclosure so they can embarrass or intimidate donors from exercising their First Amendment rights. The blundering clerk who released the names has thus done Democrats a favor as they attempt to defeat Mr. Walker in November.

These names and email snippets out of context will no doubt appear in TV attack ads from here to November. All of which underscores the abuse of power that has marked this campaign-finance probe from the start.

Wisco_1
Wisco_1

Yawn.

truthzeeker
truthzeeker

Why did you bother to even say "yawn"?

array1
array1

Wisconsin loses $206 million by not fully expanding BadgerCare

Wisconsin taxpayers would have saved $206 million over two years — 73% more than previously estimated — if officials had fully expanded its main health care program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new nonpartisan report shows.

If officials decide to change course and expand the program in the next state budget, state taxpayers would save another $261 million to $315 million through June 2017, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The bureau serves the Legislature and is widely respected by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

In all, the state could have saved more than $500 million over 3 1/2 years, the report shows. That would have allowed Gov. Scott Walker and legislators to put more money toward schools or roads or cut taxes more deeply than they did over the last year.

MadtownGuy
MadtownGuy

Here is a link to an unbiased story on the issue. The $6 million is being donated to the city of Arcadia and there are no plans for layoffs.

http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/Ashley-Furniture-gets-6M-tax-credit-donating-to-city-272512191.html

Readers need to be very careful about double checking stories written by certain reporters. These are more propaganda pieces than anything.

bucky1again
bucky1again

Actually, that is a statement from the company.

MadtownGuy
MadtownGuy

No, Bucy1again it is a story on the website of WEAU which is the NBC TV affiliate in the part of the state that the factory is in. Note the byline is "WEAU 13 News." Please try to get your facts right. Between the article itself and the comments there is already a lot of disinformation.

The companies statement is also included on bottom after the TV stations piece, and they say clearly that they are not reducing their workforce. They Wisconsin State Journal story was written in a way to imply the layoffs are happening when they are not.

bucky1again
bucky1again

No, this is a statement from Ashley. Ashley sent the statement to the station and the station gives a summary of the statement and posts it. This is not an independent piece originating from the station. Not very difficult to surmise. Please keep pace

MadtownGuy
MadtownGuy

Sorry Bucky but I can't ignore the fact that the article appears on the TV stations website, carries their byline, and includes quotes not included in the press release. TV stations don't put every company press release on the front page of their website. It is a story. I'm not sure what you get out of pretending it is something else. Are you disputing something in the WEAU version? Maybe you could take it up with them? I was pointing out that the WSJ article acts like the layoffs are a certainty and isn't very clear about the fact that the money is being donated to the city to keep the downtown from being flooded.

joe
joe

Madtown - thanks for exposing the horrible WSJ reporting.

Norwood44
Norwood44

This thread is so interesting. So many who spread hundreds of millions of political dollars around to gain influence are furious that someone else spread money around to gain influence. Bribery is in the eye of the beholder.

freddiebell
freddiebell

Norwood: Can you honestly say that this thread is as simplistic as you've boiled it down to be here -- essentially about the hypocrisy issue? From where I sit, it's more about people's ability to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. As with the electoral campaign, it's first and foremost about jobs, jobs, and jobs. It is most people's bottom-line reality. The other stuff necessarily is secondary to that.

How about if we all have an honest discussion here about the real world impact of the Walker economic plan, the role of WEDC in it, and if they are the best agents of change and development for our shared economic future? That would be a much more productive line of discourse for us all to have. After a while all this hypocrisy talk becomes just so much pointing fingers at each other, to no useful end. Surely we can, and should, do better than that.

Norwood44
Norwood44

freddie. Fair point. The follow question is, Why are so many folks angry about saving jobs at Ashley? A company that made bipartisn donations, as many companies do. Yes, they had to cut jobs, a sure indication of some problems for a business. But most businesses cut jobs to save the company for the remaining workers. Pretty common. But Walker did it, so it is evil. And the company is evil. As for the DMV...my experiences have been less than great, but perhaps they've improved. And I would welcome a discussion about WEDC. Read jonathan's post on this thread. It spoke to that issue to some extent.

freddiebell
freddiebell

Norwood: You tapped into my bigger-picture point here to a large extent. The comments in this thread are particularly disillusioning -- too much reaction and not enough thought. There are some good observations out there, but it would take a lot of boiling down to get to the essence of them and weed out all of the useless finger-pointing.

I can only speak for myself here. My initial reaction was anger. But I made a point of reading all of the comments first before posting. Some of them -- including what joe wrote, which I took exception to for tone and lack of sensitivity but not necessarily for factualness -- gave me cause to rethink my initial opinions, such that I purposely have avoided pointing my own finger specifically at Walker, WEDC, or anyone else. It is a complicated issue that deserves more than just a gut-feel reaction, partisan or otherwise. I'm not saying that I'm a role model here. But I do wish others were more willing to put emotion aside and think first before drawing swords, especially those people here who usually are better at doing so.

Norwood44
Norwood44

freddie. Another point. The farther north from Madison you go, the greater the issue of private sector unemployment or underemployment. Private sector workers are still suffering. The manufacturing diaspora has killed small towns all over Wisconsin. But you would never know it if you read these message boards. And a note re my DMV remark. Workers take pride in their work. To suggest that the output of their labor is substandard is every bit as insulting as the DMV remark was. At least to my mind.

Comment deleted.
Norwood44
Norwood44

Trots. You take on my post is wrong. I find the money in politics wrong on every front and agree with you on the remedy. It is the hypocrisy that I was decrying. Cash for influence is cash for influence regardless of the source.

Comment deleted.
freddiebell
freddiebell

"I could go on but my point is that everyone should not be thinking along strictly Partisan lines anymore if you want things to get better. They won't. Read history. We are declining at a rapid pace as a Nation and will crash and burn without extreme measures to fix the cancer that is now in place."

Bingo. We have a winner in this thread, and with the last sentence in particular. We collectively have become more interested in our chosen side winning than in working together and getting along. Evidently divide and conquer works. As long as we continue to prefer attacking each other to finding shared solutions via compromise, this is the result that we will get. We are our own worst enemy.

Flynn09
Flynn09

What a bunch of hypocrits on the right. If you are in favor of this then you must have been in favor of the governments help for GM and Chrysler. We have a free market system. If they can't make it without government help then screw them. I wasn't in favor of GM, I'm not in favor of this and I wasn't when Doyle helped Mercury Marine. The goal is one business at a time won't pay any taxes. Wisconsin's GDP is at 1.7%, worst in Midwest. Wages went down .46% in Wisconsin in 2013. Job creation last in the Midwest. Wisconsin's overall economy is rated 39th in the nation.

notakers
notakers

Between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, personal income in Wisconsin grew 3.3%, the highest in the midwest. Tested by politifact and found to be true.

BRS
BRS

notaker I am glad that you have faith in PolitiFacts non-partisan findings and believe that they are true facts . Then you must also agree with them when they voted " Scott Walker most dishonest governor in the country " right ? Or do you only use them as reference when you agree with what they say ?

array1
array1

Pretty easy assumption that notaker will not reply

Comment deleted.
Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

Youse Lefties sure get bunged up when your hero Uncle Georgie's deep dark past is illuminated.

I will say I completely understand Lefty's slobbering attraction, he's brushed a few crumbs off his exploitative table AND been a sociopath for 7 decades.

That makes him eligible for gosh darn secular Sainthood in Lefty's book!

The Gotch

Comment deleted.
truthzeeker
truthzeeker

What does Soros have to do with Walker's penchant for taking money under the table?

LABOR
LABOR

Want the real scoop - http://jakehasablog.blogspot.com/2014/08/ashley-furniture-and-wedc-two.html

LABOR
LABOR

WEDC is Walker's personal conduit for handing out billions to his supporters.

196ski
196ski

Billions?
Link?

gman
gman

Suspected that from day one .I actually sent and email to the State Journal telling them to follow the money from WEDC course they didn't instead we get tons of Stills and Rickert and their opinions see journalism costs money opinions hell you don't even have to know anything to give that .

gman
gman

Question who sits on the board for wedc and for Ashley? how abut some journalism?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Labor. A tax credit is not handing out billions. Also, Ashley gave $18,500 to Jim Doyle. Didn't hear you complaint then. Also, given that your name is "labor" do you have any sympathy at all for the workers whose jobs may be saved by the tax credit? Or is it only public sector workers that garner your sympathy?

Comment deleted.
Wisco_1
Wisco_1

I hope you get out in the sun once in a while. Don't forget to use the washroom when required and please floss before you brush.

array1
array1

All that talk from walker about requiring companies receiving these grants to create jobs was just pure BS, again. Man, that guy will say anything.

Comment deleted.
aprilshowers
aprilshowers

What next from you? Hillary killed Vince Foster?
You have passed over the line into shrill insanity.

joe
joe

I realize the govt workers have been isolated in a bubble for the last 20 years, so let me catch you up. Wages have not been keeping up with inflation, or CPI or whatever the govt uses to give baseline raises, for 20 years in the private sector. There was this thing called NAFTA and WTO that decimated manufacturing because people in third world countries people work for less, have fewer benefits and there are few regulations. Also, southern states, who despise costly unions, attracted manufacturing with incentives and no costly unions. Wisconsin was on the negative side of both those issues and still is so jobs will continue to go south unless intervention occurs.

Intervention happened here. 1600 jobs were saved in exchange for giving the equivalent of no property taxes on a $35 mil investment for 10 years.

Pretty small price to pay for 1600 jobs and the economy driven by those jobs.

From a purely business sense. Ashley could have done better going to China or mexico, but thankfully they are sticking it out here.

196ski
196ski

Well said Joe.

bucky1again
bucky1again

I see you WMC boys are propagandizing late tonight. Make sure to get some rest.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bucky. Are you angry that workers other than you got government help?

bucky1again
bucky1again

Norwood, I know WMC and/or the other shady RW fund groups pay you by the post to deflect and diffuse, but you could, at minimum, remember past conversations between us. Remember?....I'm an employER.

This is about companies that do not plan for their future or downturns, while profiting greatly in the interim and then expect taxpayers to bail them out during harder times. That's a failed business model and there are many more startups and well established businesses with far greater employment potential to seed than to reward a company laying off half it's workforce and getting paid to do so, while the executives continue to live well off with no real stake in the game. If this were an individual, all heck would be raised from the other side of the aisle, and rightfully so. Rewarding this behavior encourages too much more of it, plain and simple.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bucky. Your assumptions about me are incorrect. I voted for Obama and will vote for Burke. But I see gov as a battle between the 1 percent wealthy and the 7% organized and funded public unions. Neither do much for me and my company. You can make all the cheesy accusations you want but I don't see trying to retain manufacturing jobs in the state as a bad idea unworthy of a tax credit.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Agreed.

freddiebell
freddiebell

196ski: I'd agree with you here -- if I thought having a fat wallet trumps having a measurable heart and soul at the end of the day.

I do not.

And if I thought joe's analysis, partisan as he usually is here, were as simple as he makes it out to be, the last and final word on a complicated economic and personal issue.

It is not.

array1
array1

If this is such a good thing why did the republicans try to keep it secret? You'd think they'd be trumpetting this news. More points for Burke.

joe
joe

Array - unfortunately, many people don't have the knowledge or experience to understand it is a good thing. It is true leadership to do what is best for the state even though many will demonize it.

joe
joe

If Burke is against this, she will only be digging a hole.

Wisco_1
Wisco_1

"Intervention happened here", its a GM bailout Wisconsin style. Our reborn populist Governor saves the day. I do agree with you that the cost structure for the manufacturing sector is way out of whack. They need to get some differentiation on the product side to command the high wages. Stop building crap like that Ashley Furniture. Focus on the high end.

Stuck In The Middle With You
Stuck In The Middle With You

Every shopping experience I ever had at Ashley furniture, I walked in, looked around, found nothing worth buying and left.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Every experience I have had at the DMV has been a nightmare. So there's that.

freddiebell
freddiebell

Norwood: Every single one? Over how many years? I highly doubt that. I have to call you out on this one. Most DMV workers are good, honest, conscientious people who do what they can with the limited resources at their disposal -- just like most other state workers. But you know that.

You might not agree with SITMWY's opinion. But it is not personal about their employees. If you are talking about DMV here, you are talking primarily about their work force. That is personal. Let's not let our passions on these issues get in the way of an honest discussion. There's too much of that going on here already. The level of snarkiness in this particular comments section is disillusioning, and from some people who normally are better than that.

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@SITMWY;

"Every shopping experience I ever had at Ashley furniture, I walked in, looked around, found nothing worth buying and left."

Kinda hard to "lift" furniture, isn't it.

Pity they've failed to secure the one thing that any business desires; the coveted, many splendored @SITMWY endorsement, a veritable guarantor of riches, profitability, respect and acclaim beyond one's wildest dreams.

They now have but the choice between two options; hara–kiri or seppuku.

The Gotch

Norwood44
Norwood44

Joe. Spot on. What we see on these threads is anger from people who don't like it when someone else gets government money, but are happy when they get it.

freddiebell
freddiebell

No, not really. Most people here aren't looking for something for nothing. They are looking for a level playing field and honesty from both their government and the business entities they are supposed to work with, with our shared best interests at heart.

Different people have different ways of expressing that. We do ourselves a disservice by labeling people as users and takers simply because they have a different opinion on sensitive issues that impact the ability to live a productive life, and with a sense of fair play about it. Reasonable people can agree to disagree about it without resorting to insults and goading others to make a bad discussion even worse.

You are better than this, Norwood. I know it. You do too. Don't encourage people like joe and his "I realize the govt workers have been isolated in a bubble for the last 20 years, so let me catch you up" snarkiness. They are a cancer on productive discourse here. Instead let's call for an end to the divisiveness and useless hostility.

freddiebell
freddiebell

"Pretty small price to pay for 1600 jobs and the economy driven by those jobs."

Why don't you look in the eye those 2,000 or so people who will lose their jobs, as well as their family members who will be impacted? It's no "small price" to them. They aren't statistics. They are human beings -- just like you, with the same life goals and aspirations that you have. But it's not your problem, right? So it must be no big deal.

Your economic perspective is open to debate. I'm sure it's not as simple as you make it out to be. But there is room for discussion there. Your insensitivity is another matter altogether. I'm quite glad you are not a member of my family.

joe
joe

Freddie- what do you propose? Confiscate the business and make it govt run? Give them $20 million? Now that a poster has revealed the story was baiting us and there are no plans for layoffs, this is a hypothetical situation, but I would still like to hear your suggestions. Thousands of jobs moved out of the state due to difficult economics and foreign pressures cannot be ignored either. It isn't 1950 anymore.

freddiebell
freddiebell

joe: First I propose that we stop demonizing people who haven't done anything wrong. Why attack government workers? What's your point, other than to give vent to your own anger and personal prejudices? How does that solve problems, as opposed to creating still more? What did they -- and I, being one of them as a state employee -- do to you personally?

I don't claim to know better than anyone else what the best course of action is. There is a reason why I do not take these matters up for a living. But the common sense side of me says that here, as elsewhere, there has to be a willingness to meet in the middle and in good faith, such that everyone gives a little but also gets something in return. Workers, union or otherwise, need to be flexible and recognize changing economic realities where they occur. But companies have a responsibility also, to not hold a metaphorical gun to the heads of their workers and the state, saying "gimme what we want or we'll leave." I don't find that acceptable behavior for a business, in the name of maximizing profit, any more than I accept it from sports franchises that say, "Build us a big, new, ultramodern stadium, at taxpayer expense, or we'll bolt to City X." The company should make a binding commitment to its community, stick it out, and not play people and governments against each other for its own gain in a nobody-wins scenario in the end.

I don't know why you harbor so much hostility toward government. It's okay in the abstract. You are entitled to your opinion. But you cross a line when you write off the people who work there as lesser individuals -- economically, intellectually, or otherwise. Their core wants and needs are the same as yours. Like you (I assume), they are fundamentally honest and work hard and fairly for their compensation. Let's not lose sight of that, especially if you don't like them attacking business interests for the same reasons in reverse.

joe
joe

Freddie - I have no problem with govt workers. I have a problem with the politics and inefficiencies and special interests that makes govts inefficient in most of what they do. No problem with the employees.

At some point, a company will downturn and have to change. At that point the company can approach the state and negotiate or just leave if there are no options. The sector has to be understood as well. Is it worth taking a little less tax money to allow 1600 people to keep their jobs? I would say yes. Polaris laid off over 500 employers up north a few years ago and shut the plant. A more friendly business climate may have saved those jobs. But if people want to play politics instead of save jobs, so be it, but it is too bad.

billy56470
billy56470

and if YOU were one of those 1600 that lost there job... what would you say then.. " For the good of the state I will head to the welfare line" Or would it be " I believe in the rich get richer and the poor....... well sucks to be them"

timbo
timbo

What, no quote from BurkenBarca?

Wisco_1
Wisco_1

He did make a good point that there is some mission creep going on a WEDC.

Sheriff Buford T Justice
Sheriff Buford T Justice

Snooty- Walker said Obummer didn't matter for Scotty's job creation. Scotty said he had a plan that the pres couldn't interfere with in Wi. But, I guess u don't remember that.

Sheriff Buford T Justice
Sheriff Buford T Justice

Snooty- your worried about how the Gvt controls you? Gas prices, oil prices, just to name a couple. Sorry I got off topic but, you started it.

Sheriff Buford T Justice
Sheriff Buford T Justice

I could use a measly 500,00.00. That would pay off all of our debts and we would spend a LOT more in the state and pay more taxes to boot. Come on Scott. Help us out! AND, we'll pay it back just as fast as Kestrel.

Umgwana
Umgwana

Ok. I'm puzzled. The country's official position is we won't negotiate with terrorists. Yet every day we negotiate with companies who act as terrorists.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

Umgwana,
"The country's official position is we won't negotiate with terrorists. Yet every day we negotiate with companies who act as terrorists."

"...act like terrorists"? What a stinky pile of rubbish. People who use those kinds of comparisons are completely immersed in ideological garbage and present intellectually dishonest arguments and are rather blind to any truths outside their ideology.

All people like you want to do is start arguments in these threads; well bucko, you've got one now. You, sir (I use that word loosely), have obviously never seen any terrorists face up close and personal; I have, they lost, I won. Your comparison of companies to terrorists or terrorism is clueless utter nonsense.

196ski
196ski

Sadly, the GAO said that Obama did break the law when he traded 5 terrorists for Bergdall.

As for the rest, the comparison between tax breaks for corporations and terrorists is insulting.

Comment deleted.
jenzut
jenzut

Takes a low information voter to know one!

snootyelites
snootyelites

You got government workers running a massive campaign machinary for Mary Burke with misinformation while the partisan GAB is sleeping at the switch!

Reminds you of the quote by President Reagan: IF YOU DON'T CONTROL GOVERNMENT; GOVERNMENT WILL CONTROL YOU!

Government workers have only one job - Assist the wealth creators jump through regulatory loop or get out of way! If that's not happening shrink the government at all levels. This is the new model of governance - DEMOCRAT, REPUBLICAN, Dog catcher doesn't matter.

Reply
Reply

Keep in mind, snoot, this wasn't the decision of run-of-the-mill grunts in cubicles shuffling around mountains of bureaucratic paperwork all day.

Decisions like this come from positions of higher authority ... like appointed agency heads and administrators.

This is exactly why I contend all agency heads and admins should be civil-service positions held accountable to us ... the people of the State. Agencies should not be headed by gubernatorial appointees as favors from whichever party happens to be n the gov's chair at any given time.

Every time we get a new gov, we also get a new batch of agency leaders. That is a huge part of the administrative top-heaviness problems every governor has perpetuated, and that every one yet to come will perpetuate unless dramatic structural changes actually occur.

BRS
BRS

Snooty , you are the true definition of a hypocrite . You complain about Mary's misinformation when your god Scott Walker is incapable of telling the truth . Every time he opens his mouth nothing but lies spew out . Even though I know how much you hate facts , the fact is your god Scott Walker was voted "most dishonest governor in the country" by PolitiFact . You're really on a roll tonight Snooty , reading all your comments tonight it sounds like you're ready to blow a gasket , calm down before you have a stroke.

gman
gman

It was Ronald Reagan whom was responsible for the economy principle we live under -trickledown( tax cuts to the rich and corporate entities will create jobs and income , responsible for many of the movements pushed by the neocons that took us to war and finally the lasse 'faire economy that says their is a difference between the rich and the poor in income ,courts and in the country as a whole .He also helped thru his head of office of management and budget David Stockens plan to get republicans to push for unpaid wars and tax cuts in hope to wipe out the social saftey net. Yet it all failed when they could not sucure the cuts in social costs and ended up just bancrupting America .

array1
array1

No no not gov workers snoot. Bicyclists!

sriver
sriver

Kind of an amusing picture with the article there since they build their factory in a floodplan and wetland with special exception to the DNR rules. That's OK, taxpayers will pay for the cleanup. It's OK! they mitigated filling in the wetlands by creating wetlands somewhere else! Just not where their flooding warehouse is.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Yeah. And someone lit a cement state office building on fire and it will cost taxpayers 15 million to fix it. No prob.

hankdog
hankdog

nor:

What is the connection between the two issues? Intentionally filling a filling a floodplain wetland (hence making flooding potential greater) for personal gain as opposed to a fire in a GEF building ? Please explain.

snootyelites
snootyelites

All politicians promise job creation! The problem is Mary Burke, Jim Doyle & Obama had massive net job loss.

Scott Walker on the other hand has lowest unemployment since 2010 and and he created half the jobs he promised. The reason he could not reach the goal was because of OBAMA REGULATIONS, EPA, OBAMACARE, NAZI SYMPATHIZER SOROS, INVESTIGATIONS, GAB/MIlwaukee county DEMOCRAT DA & THE SOCIALISTS.

jenzut
jenzut

Godwin's Law.....know what that is?

gorman
gorman

you forgot Benghazi

BRS
BRS

Snooty This massive job loss didn't have any to do with YOUR president GW destroying the economy , did it ? If you'd dig in to the facts , which I know you hate , you would find that Wisconsin had one of the lowest percentage in job losses in the country at the beginning of the great recession . The reason for the low unemployment rate is because the people that run out of benefits or people the get fed up looking for a one of the 250,000 jobs , NOT , that Waker created give up looking , they are no longer counted . It's amazing how you think every problem in the world is caused by us democrats . Tell me Snooty , is it comforting be part of such a perfect breed of people , the Republican Party . The party that cares so much for those less fortunate than them. As long as I get what I want , screw the rest of the people , right ? Have you ever thought about taking an anger management class . It might help you deal with people that don't agree without flipping out .

joe
joe

$700,000 a year in additional property taxes from a $35 mil addition. $1.6 mil in state income taxes paid by 1600 employees. That doesn't include income tax paid by the company or the property taxes the employees pay or the welfare assistance payments that will be averted. I would say a $600,000 tax break over 10 years is still a better deal than losing all the jobs if they move out of state like so many companies have in the last 20 years.

Finally someone is doing something about it.

Comment deleted.
BRS
BRS

And how thousands and thousands of good paying jobs did that save ? Probably paid three to four times as much as what Ashley pays . Do you remember that GW bush started the bailouts called tarp?

LABOR
LABOR

No taker - you are a disgusting individual

notakers
notakers

I would call you stupid but I don't think you would get it.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Labor. My that was a witty remark.

Delilah_Jones
Delilah_Jones

Suddenly Trek, not Mary Burke, moving jobs to China and Germany to survive doesn't look so bad, I think Scooter's commercials are history. How much did Trek get to do that?

notakers
notakers

Well, how much did Trek give to Doyle and the Democrats?

Comment deleted.
snowdog71
snowdog71

There we go, they can't defend so they bitch about Obama and Doyle, trying to deflect. Happily they fool no one except themselves.

snootyelites
snootyelites

Ok the Stare of Wisconsin consistently spends in excess of $4 BILLION EVERY YEAR IN WELFARE! Apparently many socialists have no problems with that. Few bucks to private companies to generate JOBS we are talking downright criminal conspiracies and high crimes! My New Holsteins can produce better manure than that!

Jim Doyle got $18,000. Walker gets $2000 more - THE SKY IS FALLING!

It actually reminds of a quote about socialism which people keep advocating here!

"THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COMMUNISM AND SOCIALISM, EXCEPT IN THE MEANS OF ACHIEVING THE SAME ULTIMATE END: COMMUNISM PROPOSES TO ENSLAVE MEN BY FORCE, SOCIALISM - BY VOTE. IT IS MERELY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MURDER AND SUICIDE."

azlefty
azlefty

You do realize that this will allow them to CUT 1900 JOBS?
Reading Comprehension, how does it work?

notakers
notakers

The alternative is that Wisconsin will lose all of them. According to an earlier post, the $35 million may be an attempt to bring in updated automation which will result in higher paying jobs. Are we opposed to that?

BRS
BRS

No not at all , it would be nice to see something other then minimum wage jobs created . I worked in a machine shop for over 34 years , we had over 100 CNC machines and about 75 manual machines . It only took Two programmers and three maintenance men to take care of them . When they couldn't fix them they called in someone from Chicago .So my guess is a very , very small number of people will benefit .

Norwood44
Norwood44

az. Companies cut jobs to survive. It's a sad reality. Another example would be WEAC who cut 40% of their office positions after the recall failed. You have to deal with economic reality. Even WEAC. Interestingly, didn't hear much protest when that occurred.

BRS
BRS

Snooty , do you have a problem helping people in need like Walmart , McDonald employees that the corporations they work for make billions but pay them peanuts .Do you like making up for their low wages in the form of food stamps , but I am sure you are against raising the minimum wage . How about people that lost their jobs and can't find one of those 250,000 that Walker's created ( LMAO ) . Or do you just like giving out corporate welfare to companies like Ashley that had 3.3 billion in revenue or GE $8 billion dollar profit , $0 paid in taxes , $3 billion tax credit for the following year . Didn't Russia subsidize their industry , What about China , What happened to free enterprise ? Can you give some facts about what $18,000 Doyle got ?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Snooty. Yeah. I found that to be the most interesting note in the article. The Ashley folks were bipartisan donors, which many companies are. No one screaming about the Doyle donation.

Pa Hambone
Pa Hambone

Say! I jes thought a somethin else! Look here you libruls. Theres only two kinda people in this world the takers and the makers. One thing I figured out is that librul types and union bosses is mostly takers cause all they want is hand outs from people especially them union bosses what is always telling people "pay your union dues or you cant work here!". That aint fair! Specially not to self made business men like that feller what been posting here so much about how unfair unions is an exposin the truth about unions givin librul democrats campaign money. Leastwise Scott Walker put an end to that kind a campaign donation and now he is balancin things out by gettin donations from fine folks in the business world what knows that a Republican Christian like Scott Walker gonna give something back.

That is why I have got so much admiration for that poster here who exposes unions for givin money to librul democrat politicians. Best part is that this feller is a what you call entrapenure! He saw Scott Walker sayin "Wisconsin is open for business" and now that feller done created his own business as a writer and he probly is being a maker and making money right here on this web sight. Much as I'd like to be a writer I know I cant on account a I aint much of a speller an dont yet know all the truth about jes how conivin them libruls is. But I do admire a man what knows how to be a business man an how to make money postin hundreds of times to one thread and get paid for it. Yes sir! Maybe he is too modest to take credit for gettin paid an all, you know not wantin to brag. But any man who writes as much as this feller does on this thread, and takes a stand full a courage and bravery against unions, why he oughta take credit for gettin paid the heck with what them libruls think about him makin a livin that way! Leastways he aint begin for handouts or payin union dues!

BRS
BRS

Good one Ham Hock .I'd never guess who you're taking about . LMAO

Pa Hambone
Pa Hambone

This here story proves it again! Scott Walker aint jes the most smartest governor in the whole USA he is the most Christian Governor too! Look here, aint he bein a good Samaritan to Ashley furniture in there time of need? That poor company got flooded near out a business. But they aint no quitters no sir! Ashley Furniture knows it is true that governments job is to give folks a helping hand when they is down and out. Why this is jes the same as helping folks when they is unemployed or with givin folks food stamps when they aint got no cigarrettes, much less money to buy baby food!

What Scott Walker is doin here is jes plain old Christian Compassion. And the Lord loves a Cheerful giver because now the owners at Ashley is given back! Yes sir, they done give back $20000 thousand dollars right to Scott Walkers campaign fund. See when you are a man like Scott Walker and help folks out with their business like with WEDC then them businesses is mighty thankful and give some a that money right back! Halleujah praise the Lord!

notakers
notakers

Yikes, two in a row!

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

Don't be alarmed notakers, you have stated before that you don't read them anyways!

Not paid to read, just push the party b.s.!

notakers
notakers

I am flattered that you read me. I will have to ask Scott for a raise.

Bootman
Bootman

Great Job Walker!

WISCONSIN -
Can we PLEASE not vote this guy into office again.

He's been a complete failure in everything he's done.

Thanks!

Roundtable
Roundtable

The conservatives on here today just don't seem to understand that union donations are reportable.Whereas, WEDC is a dozen or so business owners giving away our tax dollars to businesses that donated to their CEO's election campaign.It's lost millions in the recnt past according to media reports and their own reporting system.This corporate welfare can end this November.

wolfinthethroneroom
wolfinthethroneroom

Any voter that is (conservative) against unions should be ashamed. Unions are NOT the problem. Rich conservatives are the problem. I recommend that all "anti-union" entities not participate in our upcoming National Holiday - LABOR DAY. If you hate unions, go to work or volunteer somewhere. Let me have MY labor-worker's holiday! My Workers Union created it for the AMERICAN employee and their Family. -- That is considered Patriotism!!!

notakers
notakers

My experience has been that the teachers union protected child molesting and incompetent teachers before Act10. Thank you Scott Walker.

jenzut
jenzut

My experience is that the sexual predators are Republicans who appeared at Walkers State of the State address...FACT.

wolfinthethroneroom
wolfinthethroneroom

My experience is that the teacher's Union actually communicates with the community, the school board, parents, and administrators to form logical negotiations to BENEFIT STUDENTS!
Conservatives have a very difficult time with letting public schools function to their full potential because they cannot find a way to cash in on the system.

BRS
BRS

Wow , two thumbs up to Jenzut , good memory . Come on Notakers , I can't hardly wait for your come back . Cat got your tongue .

notakers
notakers

The money the unions give to One Wisconsin Now and other liberal front groups are not reportable.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Both parties use dark money.

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Quit griping, people. This is exactly what you voted for.

This program accomplishes exactly what Scott Walker set out for it to do: Move money from Wisconsin taxpayers to the campaign donor class.

There is no secondary motive. Even if Scott Walker knew how to create Wisconsin jobs, and he clearly does not, he has no interest in doing so.

As our record indicates, our recovery is lagging behind the rest of America and the rest of the Midwest. If Scott Walker had done absolutely nothing, we would be tens or hundreds of thousands of jobs ahead of where we are.

But, so what? Scott Walker's friends are already spending millions of dollars to tell Wisconsinites that being last in the Midwest is somehow a major accomplishment.

And, sadly, there is a very real possibility that we will be doomed to going Backward for an other four years.

array1
array1

Let's not forget through all this that the conservatives have some pretty damning accusations against Burke............ Such as thier claim that she missed a school board meeting.

Bootman
Bootman

Lets not forget her involvement in a successful business. Oh, and she actually finished college!

Can you imagine an actual college graduate running the state.

Who would have thunk

notakers
notakers

Yes, the best college education her daddy could buy. can we see her transcripts?

notakers
notakers

Yes, and she missed about ten years of work on her resume.

Acapitalidea
Acapitalidea

Everywhere you look, and especially where you don't look, Slick Scotty has underhanded deals going."There was a crooked man and...."

array1
array1

No wonder the conservatives hate news.

Nav
Nav

array1,

Conservative do not hate ALL news. They just hate the truth!

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Nav/Nav1;

"Conservative do not hate ALL news. They just hate the truth!"

Do they hate truth like:

"Republicans voted to end Medicare."

"I remember landing under sniper fire."

"If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."

"I did not have sexual relations with that woman."

"My NY girlfriend was a 'composite."'

That's the kind of truth I hate!

The Gotch

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Oh, and 'Benghazi!!!'.

You're slipping, Gotch. Nothing about Teddy Kennedy? It's like you aren't even trying any more.

I can understand. It has to be tiring trying to prop up this empty suit of a governor.

That's why you have to resort to taking shots at random Fox bubble talking point targets.

wolfinthethroneroom
wolfinthethroneroom

How about the truth that Walker has divided the people of Wisconsin like never before -- the TRUTH is he is a terrible leader AND a poor role model. (and not a decent human).

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@jimatmadison (below);

"You're slipping, Gotch. Nothing about Teddy Kennedy?"

Nothing about Mary Jo Kopechne either; your point?

"It's like you aren't even trying any more."

That has to change because you're the last person I'd want to disappoint.

"It has to be tiring trying to prop up this empty suit of a governor."

Curious; you're a smart guy who will mercifully remind me should I ever forget.

You ever seen me post any praise to any politician other than the late, great Gaylord Nelson or my former Alder Thuy Pham-Remmele?

If so, please provide a link.

Otherwise, go polish off the "Si' Se Puede" bumper sticker on your EcoBox.

The Gotch

sriver
sriver

The truth has a liberal bias so conservatives eschew it.

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Facts have a libel bias.

That's why Fox doesn't 'believe in' them.

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Blasted autofill. Facts have a 'liberal' bias.

StuLevitan
StuLevitan

Surprise, surprise! Just two weeks after Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) “quietly” approved a $6 million tax break for Ashley Furniture, the company’s owner, chairman and their two spouses each made $5,000 contributions for a total of $20,000 to Walker’s campaign, according to campaign finance reports reviewed by One Wisconsin Now.

Nav
Nav

StuLevitan,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. When Governor Walker says he is pro-business he is, effect, saying he is anti worker. We have confirmed that.

This Governor is a stooge of the rich. It is no wonder they love him. Unfortunately, we also have a lot of "wanna be rich" people (DREAMERS) who think the Republicans will help them get there.

sriver
sriver

Cut Walker some slack! $20000 for a 6000000 payout is actually a really good deal. Don't let me hear you say that The Governor isn't paying out! Pay to play, Wisconsin is open for business. You donate to Walker you reap the taxpayer money!

GForceSaints
GForceSaints

Here's a question...Ashley actually employs a lot of Mexican workers. They go down and actively recruit them, from what I understand. How many of the retained jobs will stay with people who are from the area, and how many of the "guest workers" will they keep? Has anyone done a look-see into this?

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Who are you asking?

You don't think the Walker administration has even an ounce of interest in whether that money results in even one Wisconsin job, do you?

This is a money-shifting scheme. That's all.

Nav
Nav

@bucky1again,

Norwood44, it seems to many, is simply INCAPABLE of discussing most issue without dragging in the Unions in some manner. He will do it even when the article has nothing to do with the unions or when no one else has said anything about the unions.

The funny thing is that he then has the gall to accuse me of doing what HE does on a regular basis. I mostly discuss unions when there might be an article about them but, as I have said many times, Norwood44 has a BAD case of Unionitis. If he is in fact a business owner, I hope workers there start forming a union soon!

Norwood44
Norwood44

nav. read the thread. the issue of political donations is discussed.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Nav, it seems, is incapable of looking at any issue except through her prism of entitlement. Walker can do no good with anything in Nav's eyes, and many of the other posters here. Walker messed with the old union model and they will make him pay, either via recall, the courts, or the polling booth. But reality is more nuanced than Nav's dream world. A good case could be made that Walker's administration and the next election is absolutely all about the unions. Nav. Read the NYT or WAPO...ACT 10 is mentioned first in all the stories. Unions remain the issue. You would rescind ACT 10 in a blink if you could. But Mary Burke is smart enough to know that is a losing proposition. Nav isn't.

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

Just love the straw man argument that "unions" are just like "rich corporations"

So... if both are evil... why do Republicans still want to give them corporate welfare?

Let's see... a Corporation is an entity that has no real people owning it lability wise and it's whole purpose an existence is to make a profit for it's stock holders (a large group of investors) by any means it can, including donating to politician to further their agenda.... fewer regulations and taxes.

A Union is an entity that is formed by working people for working people to benefit working people by having a more powerful voice at the bargaining table with a corporation.
Does a union make a profit? No
Does a union donate to politicians... only with the permission of the individual can a portion of union dues by used for political donations, and these dues must be collected and kept separate from the regular union dues.
Why do unions donate to politicians? to further workers rights, for a living wage, and for safe working conditions.

Really Norwood44.... corporations are just like unions?

This is why Republicans will lose on November 4th

Norwood44
Norwood44

How do public unions help non government workers? As their ranks grew, the number of working poor has grown. The ranks of private sector unions have dwindled.
A public worker Union is an entity that is formed by government workers to benefit public workers by having a more powerful voice at the bargaining table with the citizens the serve.
Do public union officials make a money? Yes. In the form of dues. 24 million in 2008.
Do public union members pay their dues voluntarily? No. They don't.
When given the choice more than 30% have opted out.
Do public union members decide who to donate political funds to? No.
Unions are like big corporations because they are big and have money and they both use that money to buy political influence. Influence that does not benefit 92% of the public. It benefits only them.

Norwood44
Norwood44

wis taxpayer. Just curious. Are there any people who work for companies?
Do these workers do better when their company does better? Realizes profits?
Creates job security? Do their profit sharing plans grow? In some cases, their stock options? Of course they do. The economic health of the majority of Americans is influenced by the companies they work for, not public unions. Public unions are an expense to citizens. We pay with our taxes for the services provided by publc unions. We have a right to determine how much we want to pay, and how we want our services performed. Deal with it.

gorman
gorman

@ Norwood, below
"How do public unions help non government workers?" I don't think that point was made. As public workers are indeed "working people," what is your point?

"As their ranks grew, the number of working poor has grown. The ranks of private sector unions have dwindled." Make the case that there is a direct correlation. The atmosphere got warmer too. Is private sector union growth a result of that? I think they call that false equivalency. .

"A public worker Union is an entity that is formed by government workers to benefit public workers by having a more powerful voice at the bargaining table with the citizens the (sic) serve." That generally is the premise of a union. Can you make the case that there never was a need for public sector unions?

"Do public union officials make a (sic) money? Yes. In the form of dues. 24 million in 2008." That wasn't the question. Public unions do not make a "profit."

"Do public union members pay their dues voluntarily? No. They don't.
When given the choice more than 30% have opted out." So the 70% who do are somehow brainwashed. A little economics here as WEAC seems to be the demon plaguing you' A teacher just had her take home pay cut about 10% or more. "Let's see, pay the rent or pay the Association dues. What should I do?" Divide and conquer, much?

"Do public union members decide who to donate political funds to? No.
Unions are like big corporations because they are big and have money and they both use that money to buy political influence. Influence that does not benefit 92% of the public. It benefits only them." You didn't address the fact that dues spent for political activity can be returned to the individual if the individual member wishes for that to happen. The individual does have a choice. Why are you holding public unions to a higher standard (does not benefit 92% of the public) than any other entity in the state? Is it because it has "public" in its name? Is Ashley benefiting 92% of the state? Is the mining company benefiting 92% of the state?

'The economic health of the majority of Americans is influenced by the companies they work for, not public unions. Public unions are an expense to citizens. We pay with our taxes for the services provided by publc (sic)unions. We have a right to determine how much we want to pay, and how we want our services performed. Deal with it."

Interesting. Are you saying that Educators and those who maintain a functioning government, whether at the local level or the state, have no impact or no effect on the economic health of the State or even the overall well-being of the State? Public workers or unions as you say are just an expense? No dude, you pay taxes for the services of public WORKERS, who provide a service in exchange for reasonable compensation, public WORKERS who are for the most part degreed individuals. Make the case that they have been "overpaid." At the local level, your school board, elected by YOU, make the decisions on compensation and how the job is performed. Oh wait, WEAC "fixes" all the local elections with their political contributions. At the local level, your city council or county board does the same thing. Is your county board bought and paid for too by public unions? You just seem PO'ed because your local governing bodies just aren't listening to you. Who da thunk it?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Gorman below. It is often stated on these boards that somehow government union members are brothers and sisters in arms with private sector working folk. But the data indicates that in the last four decades, as the size and political power of public unions increased, the opposite happened for private sector working people. Public unions haven't helped private sector working folks at all. Haven't closed the wealth gap. Haven't help keep jobs in America. Haven't done squat for the minimum wage workers. It's a cheesy charade. Your like have traded on the sweat equity of coal miners and Pullman workers of another era to protect your jobs. It's the opposite of progressive. And it's hypocritical in the extreme. And that is why you keep losing elections.

gorman
gorman

Norwood below-- nice try at deflection. Spew all the misinformation you can, refuse to acknowledge your misstatements and false comparisons, refuse to back up your falsehoods, and I suppose your hope that no one notices? Good grief!
" It is often stated on these boards that somehow government union members are brothers and sisters in arms with private sector working folk." It is you, and only you, that takes from this that public sector unions therefore have the responsibility to cure ALL the economic ills in America. And just how would they do that? (crickets ) Unions usually support other unions as a matter of course. If you think someone else is being treated unfairly, is your response, Gee Dude, sucks to be you." Is "protecting one's job" such a bad thing? Are we as a nation better off that Walmart workers don't have a union?

Somehow your rants against WEAC are indicative of a bigger problem you have with education here. I know you were never a teacher as you seem to know so little about it. Spending two years in the fifth grade doen't make you an expert.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Gorman. I stand by remarks. I didn't make unions responsible for all our nation's ills. Not even close. I just observed that you can't claim to be the friend of the working man when you aren't, and the data proves it. And if you think the public unions haven't been wrapping themselves in the cloak of blue collar laborers, you haven't been paying attention. And all of us know plenty about education. We have sat in classes for years. Had teachers for years. Great ones, Good ones. Average ones and losers. There is no big secret. A final note. You should do something about your anger. If you

Norwood44
Norwood44

gorman. below. re your question about citizen input on public worker contracts, that is what the recall was about and the answer was pretty emphatic, don't you think? Walker tapped into some voter frustration. Instead of insulting people at every turn, you should really ask the question, "Why do citizens feel this way about us and our work?" It would be the smart thing to do. Especially for a teacher.

gorman
gorman

Norwood, you say you stand by your remarks but make no effort to prove their veracity or what little effort you do make has no relation to the claim made. Those you can not defend, and there are a lot, you conveniently ignore. Anger, nah, I get more PO'd on the golf course. What I do not respect are the lies, obfuscation, and lack of facts you so glibly spew. BTW, I'm retired so I have no skin in this game, other than that of a citizen of this state seeing "divide and conquer" at work. Hope you're proud of your effort in this.

AllAmerican11B
AllAmerican11B

I find this kind of interesting, Nav/Nav1 chastises others for not talking about the topic and yet reading his comments in this thread all he is doing is chastising others and not actually talking about the topic himself. Personally I don't care one bit if Nav/Nav1 chooses to discuss the words of other bloggers, I just find it really interesting that when others talk about Nav/Nav1's words they are chastised by him for not talking about the issues.

Here are some of Nav/Nav1's own words regarding others discussing his words;

"I am not the issue on these boards that needs to be discussed. I do not know what our Conservative friends think they gain by attacking me but more power to them."

"Our Conservative friends relish discussing personalities while avoiding the real issues"

"I comment on the articles and that will continue whether someone likes it or not, is annoyed with my posts or not."

"There is no obligation on any one's part to read my or any one else's posts"

A couple more Nav/Nav1 quotes seem appropriate to repeat here...

Hey Nav/Nav1; "He's expressing his deeply held opinion!"

Nav/Nav1's own words, "[Nav/Nav1's] inordinate and continuous obsession making anti [Walker/Conservative/Republican] rants on this site is noticed by all, and my guess is most simply ignore him now."

Yes, those are all Nav/Nav1's words with the exception of things that are inside the [ ]'s. Nav/Nav1 truly doesn't have a moral leg to stand on when it comes to talking about being on topic; pick any Krauthammer thread and see just how much Nav/Nav1 is off topic on the issues.

Anyone else see the blatant double standard?

Norwood44
Norwood44

As pete and hogz said on another thread, it's the hypocrisy that is so troubling. As if Nav and the hardline Dems feel that they and their union patrons somehow occupy a moral high ground.

BRS
BRS

Nav , Couldn't agree with you more about comments you made about Norwood44 . There was nothing mentioned in the article about unions , Ashley is non-union so besides his never ending hatred of unions , they have nothing to do with this article . I think he either was rejected by a union or is jealous of the benefits they get and fought for . His constant rant about WEAC donations , at least we know where the money is coming from instead of the dark money that's funneled through Wisconsin Club for Growth like Walker's . He should check out www.glassdoor/reviews/ashley-furniture to see what kind of business Walker is giving his tax dollars to . As far as paid commenters ,I usually rolls my eyes when I see that mentioned but you might have a point . When I started typing this comment he had 36 of the 108 comments . He blindly defends Walker no matter what he does . How can anyone defend him giving money to a company with the agreement they can lay off 1900 people and threaten to leave the state if they don't get their money . The company I worked for paid for new CNC machines they bought themselves ,they didn't try to blackmail the state and tell them they'd close if they didn't give them money . It's bad enough he gave millions to two companies ,one twice , that received grants to create jobs and then laid people , but to agree letting Ashley as part of grant contract is unbelievable . Who is going to pay their unemployment ? But I suppose when Scotty saw Ashley's executives flashing $20,000 in his face he couldn't help himself , his greed for money and power is never ending . So Nav you might be right , and maybe it being Sunday it's double time , oops that's right , he's nonunion so it's straight time at minimum wage .

Norwood44
Norwood44

BRS. You're funny. Tally Nav's posts vs mine over time. I am a piker compared to Nav. As for the unions...it is the political story of this state and out time, and has been for four years. To think otherwise is foolish. As for being rejected by a union..nope. Just worked with them and some of the union leaders. Hence my position.

array1
array1

Thanks for the correction Norwood. All this time I thought republican mandated voter ids and forced ultrasounds for women was the political news of the state.

BRS
BRS

Northwood44 Thanks for the complement . I am sorry to say that people like I and I think Nav , have a hard time understanding why you and or anyone else would defend a deal like this . Give a company $6,000,000 with an agreement to allow them to lay off 1900 people after getting $20,000 campaign donation from them . If the democrats did this there would be steam coming out of your ears . Walker calls it all legitimate , I call it a bribe , what a sorry mess Wisconsin politics have turned into . We the taxpayers aren't only be out $6,000,000 for the grant but unemployment for 1,900 people. If you would go to the web site I mentioned and see how the employees feel about working there , it wouldn't be a great lose if Ashley closed .I myself think it's a bluff . Instead of Walker giving them $6,000,000 to reroute the stream why doesn't he just let them fill it in like he's letting Gogebic ? You'd be good with that ,wouldn't you ? Sorry , but this deal stinks .

Norwood44
Norwood44

BRS. The unions throw money around for political influence. Hundreds of millions in the last few decades. The entire political system is awash with cash for influence to both parties. This entire thread is an exercise is situational ethics. The unions would be more than happy if that six million went to them. No one would make a squeak. But let money go to someone else and the sky is falling. A joke. The unions play the long game. They will do what they can to drive Walker from office, and if Burke isn't to their liking, they will do the same to her. The long play by the unions is to rescind ACT 10. It's blatantly obvious.

Nav
Nav

Thanks BRS.

If there is one thing the Conservatives have gotten very good at, it is deflection, (usually by attacking others), creating confusion, running away facts, running away from the record of their leaders, or just talking badly about the opposition party. This not my "opinion". This is for public display for people to see on this thread.

You are right in that Norwood is the staunchest defender of the Governor although won't defend him outright but very subtly thinking he can fool people into believing he is some "objective" observer on these threads. Objective is the last thing he is.

notakers
notakers

Burke's Trek is non union and sends jobs to China. That must anger you union people. Norwood leave dark side.

BRS
BRS

No , it doesn't anger me , but it makes me feel sorry for the people that lost their jobs . Unfortunately outsourcing is a fact of life in today's manufacturing world . At least Trek kept 1000 good paying jobs to make their high end bikes here . Some how it doesn't make sense to give a company $6,000,000 in corporate welfare with the agreement they can lay off 1,900 people .But then I wasn't the one to get the $20,000 kickback .

notakers
notakers

BRS, you have got to get out a bit. Just about every level of government is cutting deals to either attract or keep businesses. It would be nice if this state provided an attractive business climate but since we are the sixth worst in the nation in taxes, businesses don't have the incentive to stay or come. Talk to members of your city council or county boards and you will find that they are always cutting some silly deal to keep these people happy.

Ford
Ford

Use the $6 million to create jobs for the people Ashley is letting go instead.

jimatmadison
jimatmadison

Why?

They won't contribute to Walker and the Tea Partiers.

That's all this money does. Buys campaign contributions.

joe
joe

I would be interested in hearing how you would do that. Seriously.

sriver
sriver

Wow! Cut Walker some slack. He did not know! He wasn't there! He never talked to those people that he appointed. He didn't know that he appointed them. If anything happened he was out of state and can prove it. He had NO idea! He never went in, just collected the free salary! He didn't know that they didn't even write down who they gave the money to on a piece of paper. He didn't know that they didn't make them pay back loans. He didn't know that money was being used to send jobs to China. He didn't know that the problems were not fixed. He didn't know that they paid to have a company cut jobs. He didn't know that they gave ZERO to companies that actually WERE creating jobs. He didn't know OK, so stop asking! Stop attacking Walker! He's Chairman of the board, not like he is supposed to do anything, so stop it! It's all legitimate!

Ford
Ford

If it cost to much to produce in Arcadia , why did the state allow them to even build t
here from day one? Their average pay is way higher than stated. their using base pay figures.people that work the production lines make up to 20 dollars an hour. I think if we keep building for them we will have an area for an in door race track.
Their turnover rate on employees should be a factor in this decision, their turnover rate is extremely high because of they way employees are treated. If there is a holiday in a week, you know your working overtime cause it is straight pay for them. There is no such thing as 40 hour weeks there, at the last minute they make it mandatory to work weekends, their greedy.

joe
joe

I bet they don't allow texting, either. Such barbarians.

NotBeingPaid
NotBeingPaid

This must be more of Walker's "laser like" focus on jobs. Pew pew!

Perhaps Walker should turn those lasers off... they only seem to be making things worse when compared to 36 other states.

Nav
Nav

Norwood44,

We have no way of verifying who you will vote for, and it really does not matter. All we know is that you ARE an apologist for the Governor, and fellow posters see it and call you out for that. I have always believed that to be true.

Your say that you do not like the hypocrisy of the Left, and want them to criticize their party as well.

What does have to do with the Governor's race? Why is that so important to you? Why cannot you criticize the governor for a number of policy failures and leave it at that. WHY do you have to try to attack those who are associated with the Democratic party?

There is a LOT more than the railway the Governor can be criticized for, and you know it.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Uh no. Read my posts on the rail decision and other posts. Use your intellect.

Norwood44
Norwood44

And we have no way of knowing if you are a paid union troll.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Nav. My view on politics is not simplistic .Your's is. You need absolutes because thinking is hard work.

geo_
geo_

Combined, State and Municipal employees along with teachers contributed far more than Ashley furniture to the state economy, yet Walker took money from them, exactly how much did Ashley Furniture contribute to Walker's campaign.

skp
skp

Over $10,500 by January from just the immediate family and who knows how much since January........... and Walker as chair of the WEDC has paid them back. And, you pick up the tab in your next tax bill for the $6,000,000 Ashley got .That's the Walker way.

Norwood44
Norwood44

skp. so you object to union political donations? Right? Or is it your contention that that cash is clean?

geo_
geo_

Union donations represent thousands of workers, the Ashley Furniture donations represent 4 individuals. Democracy is a form of representative government, Oligarchy is a form of repressive, majestic government, which system do you want?

Ford
Ford

Remember your paycheck is tax dollars also.

Norwood44
Norwood44

geo. myopic argument. how about this? Who paid more taxes in the city and county where Ashland Furniture operates? And then extrapolate. Who pays more taxes statewide, private sector workers who comprise over 90% of the working population, or gov workers who number less than ten percent. Run that math and get back to us.

jonathan
jonathan

Ashley contributes nearly $400 million yearly to the Wisconsin economy. It's business supports not only its own employees but those of hundreds of supplier business around the state. It must compete with foreign companies in Asia and Europe with the former providing very low pay ($2 per hour just like Trek in China) and the latter with significant automation advantages. To survive, Ashley's choices are to either sharply lower pay or invest in automation which will, over time possibly reduce their workforce. But if they are able to automate they will continue to grow and while some of the lower skill jobs may be lost, higher paying and higher skilled jobs will be created. And, if these jobs will be both in Arcadia but also in the supplier companies.
This WEDC grant simply reflects reality of a business that must automate or fail.
All of the critics choose to simply be political and refuse to do any critical thinking.
The WEDC action is looking forward to timely provide such assistance as may better insure the future of this fine Wisconsin-based company that will assist it in staying competitive and in continuing to be a mainstay economic driver for Western and Northern Wisconsin.
The WEDC Board made up of some three dozen solid Wisconsin citizens all voted (except for two politicians) to keep and grow Ashley in our state..

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Who are these "solid Wisconsin citizens"? Average working class people, or Walker appointed business people who benefit from hard working tax payers dollars getting funneled into their pockets?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill. I was referring to workers who make furniture as part of the manufacturing economy of our state. Tax incentives are not by their nature, crooked. Unless you are a socialist and think all businesses should be state owned. But a quick look at Eastern Europe or China might disavow you of that notion.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Um Bill. They are people who make furniture for purchase. It's in the article.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bingo Jonathan. If you read the comments in this thread you begin to understand why public unions have had their butts handed to them. These comments are a great example of public union special interest malice laid bare for all to see. They think that the only jobs that matter are THEIR jobs. Wisconsin has been hemorrhaging manufacturing jobs for decades. Here is a smart move to retain a manufacturer in a part of our state that desperately needs jobs. But the radical unionists, who pretend to be the working man's hero, are more than happy to sacrifice the jobs of average working folks if it means getting their sweetheart contracts back. Fortunately those days are gone for good. As they should be.

Eddie_Leavitt
Eddie_Leavitt

Growing? They're being given taxpayer money to "only" cut their workforce by up to 1,000 people THIS YEAR, and 1.900 within 2 years.

Maybe Ashley's CEO should spend less time throwing tens of thousands of dollars at politicians and spend more time concentrating on a better product and paying employees more than $10.88 an hour. Just a thought.

Notice that these TeaBagging owners are always the ones that claim they can't make it without some sort of taxpayer giveaway and other government help? And instead of race to the bottom, why aren't they asking Cong. Kind and Duffy as well as Sens Baldwin and Johnson to raise tariffs on overseas manufacturers, to improve things for both their company AND their workers?

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Looks like you might have the same fuzzy math Walker uses to count jobs and the Wisconsin DNR uses to count deer. I see 15 people on the Board: businessmen, legislators, bankers, and lawyers. Perfect mix of folks to be handing out my hard working tax dollars to businesses. I am sure they have my best interest at heart. LOL

Scott Walker, Chair
Governor
State of Wisconsin

Dan Ariens, Vice Chair
President and CEO
Ariens Company

Scott Klug, Treasurer
Managing Director of Public Affairs
Foley and Lardner

Lisa Mauer, Secretary
Senior Vice President
BlackHawk Industrial

Rep. Peter Barca
64th Assembly District

Raymond Dreger
CEO/President
Seeds and Stuff Market Inc.

Nancy Hernandez
President and Founder
Abrazo Multicultural Marketing & Communication

Corey Hoze
Senior Vice President
Associated Banc-Corp.

Sen. Julie Lassa
24th Senate District

Sen. Joe Leibham
9th Senate District

Paul Radspinner
President and CEO
FluGen Inc.

Rep. Mary Williams
87th Assembly District

C. Thomas Sylke
Of Counsel
K&L Gates, LLP

Mike Huebsch (Non-voting)
Secretary
Department of Administration

Richard Chandler (Non-voting)
Secretary
Department of Revenue

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill. 92% of us work in the private sector. We like jobs. We like businesses that grow and make a profit. We like to compete. It means more opportunity for us, our families and our communities. It means a raise or a promotion. It lets us buy stuff. Send our kids to college. Go on vacations. And it means we can pay taxes to support unhappy people like you. Our jobs even let us buy a nice computer and refute your BS on message boards like this one. It's a damn near perfect model. Now, go back to being angry and huffy and entitled.The rest of us have work to do.

Harvey
Harvey

Thank you very much for the Econ101 course. I work in the private sector too. I have my own company which has been in business for over 25 years, has a presence in 4 states and does business in 15 countries. I have employees who work for me. But being an employee and not an owner you evidently don't understand companies, like mine, don't operate for YOUR benefit or the common good. The operate for me and at my pleasure. Whether you take the money I give you for your contributions and buy stuff, send your kids to college, go on vacations, by nice computers or pay taxes is irrelevant to me. That philosophy works for me and evidently for my well paid employees too since only 1 has left the company in the last 25 years and that was to start a company of his own which supports mine. Bye.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Harvey. I am an owner. With a very similar model as yours. High retention rate. Good benefits. Profit sharing. So what's the problem?

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Harvey (below);

That's some kinda work load!

To what do you attribute most of your success, your "Mary Kay" or your "Tupperware" parties?

The Gotch

Norwood44
Norwood44

Good for you Harvey.

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Is there any tally on how much Scott Walker's created Wisconsin Economic Disaster Company has spent or lost track of? It seems like they have given away a ton of my tax payer dollars. I am just not seeing that big of return in the way of jobs.It is looking more and more like another Walker hair brain idea that doesn't work. Maybe we should have kept our Department of Commerce.

geo_
geo_

Ashley imports all of it's "wood furniture from Asia, only upholstered furniture is made here. So they are competing with themselves? I can here the ignorant righties if TREK got such a deal

skp
skp

please understand that Mr. Walker heads and participates in the WEDC because it is a great source of money. The owners of Ashely have given Walker OVER $10,500 and he has given them the green light to FIRE 30% of their employees in 2014.And, now he wants you to vote for him? And, where are Walkers promised 200, 000 new jobs? Only 110,000 SHORT in 4 years worth of trying. And still his ads will conceal these tragic losses.

Norwood44
Norwood44

skp. Did WEAC ever give money to politicians? Does it still? Do you object to that as well?
The hypocrisy of these posts is astounding.

Harvey
Harvey

"Wisconsin is open for business."

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

"Moving Wisconsin Forward"- Scott Walker Slogan
Can the average Wisconsinite afford this clown Walker for another 4 years?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill. So are we to understand that you think the state government should do nothing and let Ashland move elsewhere? Is that your position?

Harvey
Harvey

So we are to understand that you have no problem with WEDC giving them a 6 million dollar tax break? Is that your position?

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Nowood- Here is where I am at. Walker can and has passed a lot of laws and policy with the help of his fellow Republican Lemmings in the legislature. No one can stop him, he has been in total control for nearly 4 years. While the rest of the country has been recovering we are still skimming the bottom. To me that is proof positive his way does not work. One of his lame actions was to get rid of the Department of Commerce and create this great new public private corporation that was supposed to help Walker fulfill his failed job promise of 250,000 jobs. We are not even close to that. Earlier in the month it was found out that at least 25 companies that received Walker WEDC money have outsourced jobs. Isn't this a race to the bottom? The only way a company can make it in Wisconsin is if they are subsidized by the State? Are we going to turn into a corporate welfare State? What do you propose? Should we load up wheel barrows full of cash every time a company cries wolf? I thought you republican types were for getting government out of the way and government picking the winners and losers.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Harvey. Yes. That is my position.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Harvey...you don't happen to own a furniture biz do you? Is that why you are so flummoxed?

Harvey
Harvey

Anybody know how much money Ashley Furniture contributed to Walker for each of the 1900 people who lost their jobs.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Anyone know how much WEAC has donated to unions in the last three decades?

Norwood44
Norwood44

correction...the cause or public unions.

Harvey
Harvey

Deflection.

Benghazi!!!!!

Norwood44
Norwood44

Not deflection. The issue you raised was political donations. If you object to the WEAC donations as well, then it's all cool.

Harvey
Harvey

Losing 1900 jobs will not help Walker achieve his 250,000 job creation pledge.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Unless of course ALL the jobs at Ashland went to Alabama or Mexico.

bucky1again
bucky1again

How much are you paid to be the apologist for Walker?????

Norwood44
Norwood44

Nothing. I am going to vote for Burke. I just don't like hypocrisy and this thread is filthy with it. I also work in the private sector. So I like my job. I like profits. I like competing. You should try it sometime. It's fun.

Harvey
Harvey

How could this 13 word thread possibly be filled with hypocrisy when it is simply stating a fact?

bucky1again
bucky1again

Sure you are Norwood ;). I compete just fine, thank you very much. I run my own company and don't need to kiss and get paybacks for doing so. You should try and strive for that.

Norwood44
Norwood44

bucky. then we are kindred souls. Don't need to kiss or payback anyone to do my work successfully. And I'm not an apoligist for Walker. He blew the train decision. He didn't replace the old union model with a new one. He has hung himself out to dry on his jobs promise. I don't apologize for him at all. But the hypocrisy on these boards from Walker haters deserves to be called out. That was my intent. A special interest is a special interest...doesn't matter if it's biz donors to Walker or union donors to Dems. Cash for influence is cash for influence.

bucky1again
bucky1again

Norwood, we're no kindred souls.

This discussion isn't about unions or WEAC.

This is about companies that do not plan for their future or downturns, while profiting greatly in the interim and then expect taxpayers to bail them out during harder times. That's a failed business model and there are many more startups and well established businesses with greater employment potential to seed than to reward a company laying off half it's workforce and getting paid to do so, while the executives continue to live well off with no real stake in the game. If this were an individual, all heck would be raised from the other side of the aisle, and rightfully so. Rewarding this behavior encourages too much more of it, plain and simple.

So no, we are no kindred souls.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Harvey. So its OK if Ashland leaves the state? You're good with that?

Eddie_Leavitt
Eddie_Leavitt

And now, here's the rest of the story. Walker appeared at an Ashley furniture "expansion event" 5 months ago, where employees were forced to hear Walker and Ashley's CEO give propaganda about how Scotty's policies were "working".

http://lacrossetribune.com/news/local/walker-touts-ashley-expansion-job-creation/article_4a7e85ab-3de8-53d1-9ea7-f09901946d5d.html

This may shock you, but Ashley's CEO is also a major Walker backer. And with DuFour's article here, we now know what the other part of the deal was.

WEDC= corrupt to the core. I bet you could find a lot more quid pro quo in that group if this paper would go after it.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Eddie. This may shock you but WEAC was, and is, a huge supporter of Dem candidates. Are you appalled by that as well? Or is Dem money clean and holy and a precious gift from the heavens, and a donation from Ashley is evil and awful? Tell us how you differentiate special interest money that is good from special interest money that is bad.

Harvey
Harvey

Deflection.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Harvey. Not at all. The inference was influence peddling.

sriver
sriver

The WEDC. Scott Walker, chairman of the board.

idunoe
idunoe

In my reading of this article, Ashley is getting a double whammy on their business plan. First there will be an increased number of jobs, the construction crews, the manufacturers providing the automated machinery, robots, etc., to improve the productivity of the plant. That must be what Walker is saying will increase the volume of jobs in a year as an expansion of this size will be a year long project. Then as the new equipment is brought on line and proofed, the lay offs can begin. I certainly hope that Ashley doesn't think it can pick up qualified automation repair people for $10.88 an hour. But only having to hire one for 5-8 people laid off, maybe they will offer $20 an hour. Currently, a qualified automation repairer gets $30-$40 an hour plus benefits. That is even in remote WI locations, like I do. Ashley's biggest problem is that they have answered every expansion up until now has been throw more people at it, avoiding automated savings. Now, they are probably running out of people to hire so they have to go kicking and screaming into the 20th century. And yes, I know it is the 21st. Unfortunately I'm for this grant, even knowing that they will receive another $25 M or more in taxpayer funding to retrain their workers at a local Tech School, And yes, we will be paying more for the safety net programs for these laid off people for years to come. I'll expect that we'll pay about a $100M over 10 years for that.

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Is this $6 million dollar corporate welfare check a one time giveaway, or will Walker be giving Ashley this entitlement for a bunch of years or forever?

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill, Wisconsin has been losing manufacturing jobs for decades. Why do you oppose helping keep that business in Wisconsin? Do you have any empathy for the workers whose jobs are retained at Ashland? There are states all over the south, and countries all over the world, wooing companies like Ashley. You hate Walker because he messed with your job. But it's OK if other peoples jobs get eliminated? I thought public unions were the friend of the working man? Well, working people work at Ashland and they need jobs. Or perhaps it's your position that only public union jobs matter. And no one else's.

bucky1again
bucky1again

Paid Walker staff, you need not interject. We, the public, are talking amongst ourselves and are fed up!!!

Norwood44
Norwood44

bucky. read my posts. I am no Walker fan. If you read these boards you would know. But don't let your ignorance stand in the way of your accusations. If you need to see all issues in absolute terms then your comments make sense. To people who don't think.

samster
samster

10 buck an hour jobs are right where Walker wants you to be. I wonder what the ALEC number is?

Crow Barr
Crow Barr

But, for YOU, nine ninety-nine!

notakers
notakers

Burke wants a $10.10 minimum.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Sam. 10 bucks an hour is above the current minimum wage. The unemployment numbers in the northern part of the state are usually higher than south. But you make all your own furniture because you hate Corporate America...so this probably doesn't involve you.

Cornelius_Gotchberg
Cornelius_Gotchberg

@Norwood44;

"The unemployment numbers in the northern part of the state are usually higher than south."

Usually?

The bottom four counties for highest unemployment are Forest, Ashland, Iron, & Menominee.

http://worknet.wisconsin.gov/worknet_info/maps/pdf/uRatesCo.pdf

Far below the U.S. & state of WI averages for per capita/median household incomes are Iron (64), Forest (67), Florence (69), Ashland (71), & Menominee (72).

There may be a barely perceptible economic blip in Iron & Ashland (WI) & Gogebic (MI) counties starting next weekend.

Myself & the lovely and long suffering Mrs. Gotch will spend ~ 11 days injecting a little monetary transfusion up dere.

Mostly in the form of 30 packs & Joe's Pasty Shop purchases.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/joes-pasty-shop-ironwood

The Gotch

Norwood44
Norwood44

You are right Gotch. All the Madison gov workers have little concern for poor working stiffs up north. Thanks for the facts.

Norwood44
Norwood44

If the loan helped keep the company in state and competitive in it's business category, it would seem like a good idea. Gotta think Ashley is in a tough spot with off-shore or southern state competitors. The northern part of the state is really struggling. Any help they get is a good idea. As for reducing their work force, sometimes you have to do that to be competitive.
Look at WEAC. They reduced their workforce by 40% after ACT 10. Change or die.

Beingbucky
Beingbucky

It is depressing to read about the Walker-led WEDC and its ineptitude. What is more depressing is to turn to the "Most Read" tab and see that WSJ readers are more interested in football and massage parlors than improving our government. We get what we deserve--corruption, destruction of education and plummeting wages because voters are so shortsighted, selfish and lazy.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Being Bucky. Wisconsin's racial achievement gap grew during the Doyle administration. Public education has been broken for a long time for poor people. But you think it's broken only when you are made uncomfortable. We get it.

lorem ipsom
lorem ipsom

So they have access to $35 million for a new headquarters but they can't find the money to ensure no job loss? Horse droppings...six months and those jobs will be gone.

geo_
geo_

A few years ago special legislation allowed Ashley furniture to fill in a wetland for the expansion of their plant. Now a special contract from our own "jobs creation" agency allowing my tax dollars to be used for the layoff of hard working Wisconsinites. More of my tax dollars will go to providing, unemployment, job-training and maybe even SNAP funds for these workers laid off due to the failed Wisconsin GOP policies. The only thing working under Walker is the up-ward redistribution of wealth.

notakers
notakers

Again, the headline is misleading. It makes it seem that Ashley is getting the $6 million credit to cut 2,000 jobs. Read further and we find out that in exchange for remaining in Acadia with half its work force and doing a $35 million expansion, the company will get a $6 million tax credit. I am sure with the $35 million expansion, Ashley is planning to expand in the long run but this paper is only interested in drumming up votes for Burke.

jenzut
jenzut

Paranoia strikes deep! The WSJ is notoriously Conservative and has backed Scott Walker twice already.

notakers
notakers

Who did DeFour vote for?

denbar1948
denbar1948

Why is that your business?

notakers
notakers

Den, it is called a rhetorical question.

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

. "I am sure with the $35 million expansion, Ashley is planning to expand in the long run" You are correct, they are expanding in other states and countries to get closer to where the furniture is being purchased. I think you are dead wrong if you are claiming they will expand in Wisconsin in the future. The company boasts that in 2013 they pumped nearly $400 million into the local economy. Once half the jobs are gone so is half the money into the local economy. Couple that with all the money the Walker's lame policies have sucked out of average people's pocket books. Who can afford the luxury of new furniture? But, I suppose you could be right. They Ashley furniture could get away from furniture and start selling Walker for President 2016 commemorative kool aide glasses(plastic of course, not the real glass ones), Walker's next book entitled "IF YOU CAN'T BEAT 'EM, CHEAT 'EM", and "Welcome to Wississippi" to replace all the old outdated highway signs across the State

MarinerMom
MarinerMom

Wississippi - never heard that one before. Too bad it's right on point.


notakers
notakers

The $35 million is for in state expansion. Where did you read out of state?

Norwood44
Norwood44

notakers. Don't confuse Bill with facts. It only makes him angry. And he doesn't care about jobs for anyone but himself. His little world got rocked and he is very angry. Let's just slip slowly out of the room and let him get some quiet time.

digger
digger

“I, just as previous administrations, want to make sure they (Ashley) are here in Wisconsin and they’re growing,” the governor said. “My guess is a year from now, you’ll see Ashley in the state with a much higher volume of jobs than they have today.”

Someone should have our "Gov" read the details and notice the job losses rather than the "higher volume"!

ginrummy
ginrummy

@snowdog: Apparently you're upset you didn't get the weekend off.

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Quit your complaining people. You got your $13 tax credit. Wasn't that enough? You are lucky our Governor Walker was kind enough to give you that. These type of people getting these large kickbacks are millionaire/billionaires. If you want the be shown that type of love you will need to step up and start funneling some real, untraceable money through our fiscally responsible governor's wildly successful campaign coffers. That is the way it works now. Get over it and quit dreaming about the way Wisconsin used to be.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill. WEAC was the largest special interest in Wisconsin for decades. Were their donations kick backs? Hypocrisy at its worst.

denbar1948
denbar1948

Please stay on topic. This concerns Ashlry snd no one else.

Harvey
Harvey

When you can't argue the facts - deflect.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Denbar. The topic is campaign donations. Are you unable to follow that thinking?

bucky1again
bucky1again

No, Bill is correct. Go back to your Walker training class.

Norwood44
Norwood44

bucky. So the largest special interest in Wisconsin history, WEAC, is all good? But private sector donors are all bad? Is that your premise? How do you determine good political payola from bad? It would be great if you could enlighten us. Oh, and I'm voting for Burke. But if lockstep thinking is what you need to feel comfortable and appropriately angry, I'm not your huckleberry. (cinematic reference)

snowdog71
snowdog71

Where are all the paid in and out-of-state shills defending this and then deflecting to any and everything related to Obama? Sleeping late this morning?

Anyone ever been to Ashley furniture? My wife and I looked at their stuff years ago when we were redecorating and quickly dismissed their furniture as even worse than the cheap crap they sell at Dollar General. Let them drown, their furniture is sub-par.

Media-man
Media-man

I bet the morale among the Ashley employees is at an all time high.

coulee1
coulee1

I think it's funny/telling that the WEDC guy - Mark Maley - refers to it as "northwest" Wisconsin. Since when is Arcadia in the NW?

Wis_taxpayer
Wis_taxpayer

It's working!

Vitriol
Vitriol

So I guess if you are a business owner, all you have to do is threaten shutting down your company and Walker and the WEDC will cut you a check as well as granting you tax breaks? I am appalled that people still go to bat and back Walker. This is a company that is paying employees less than $10.88 per hour. If they close is there a loss??

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

I looked up the Walker campaign contributions that came from Ashley. Well, at least the legal, recorded ones, the secretly funneled dark money ones from Walker's criminal scheme do not show up on there. 16 contributions for a total of $11,800. You would think that a company of 4,000 people Walker might have gotten a few $25 donations from some of the $10/hour wage slaves that work there . Either they are not big fans of Walker, or maybe they don't get paid enough to be able to afford giving a donation. Another thing I see is that the donations quit in 2012, the same year Walker started to be investigated for campaign corruption. Interesting coincidence?

http://www.wisdc.org/index.php?from=--&to=--&filter=+Search+&name=walker&employer=Ashley+Furniture+Industries&module=wisdc.websiteforms&cmd=searchadvanced&p=1

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill...while you are looking up political donations...google WEAC. The hypocrisy of the hard left is jaw dropping. Both parties grab money like street walkers.

bill jorgensen
bill jorgensen

Norwood- I get it. That is exactly the reason we need to get rid of these campaign donations. Yes, on both sides of the aisle.

Norwood44
Norwood44

Bill. I am in total agreement with you on that point.

Shafer
Shafer

According to the WEDC memo, 56 percent of Ashley employees make less than $10.88 per hour,

Is there really anything left to say ??? ATTA Boy Scotty Koch

ginrummy
ginrummy

This is just insane. Let them take all their jobs out of WI. We don't need them. While we're at it, let's get rid of this Koch brothers. Their jobs are not wanted here either. We have plenty of people working who are more than glad to pay higher taxes to support the people who don't have a job.

mzd
mzd

The Mary Burke ads keep writing themselves.

CW Griswold
CW Griswold

This is like bizarro world stuff! A company wants a stream moved...ya got it! Wants money to expand....ya got it! Wants to use the money to cut jobs....ya got it! If Scooters opponents don't pick up on this, then they don't WANT to win. Btw why did the dens have nothing to say about the meeting , not even in general 'what if scenario' terms, yet Walker talks directly about it naming the company and predicting added jobs! And gets away with it, a free advertisement and the pious Dems sit by the sideline.

legalizeit
legalizeit

Because the Dems are equally stupid silly.
Former Pres Clinton has gotta be laughing his azz off at the Dem clowns crying about wages and have such a partisan fever they can't remember that HE (Clinton) championed NAFTA with VP head cheerleader Gore running around the country singing it's praises. ( while using over $11,000 a month of electricity at his mansion and blabbering non-sense about his love of the environment ... Is there going to be a Prius Limo anytime soon? )

AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS ?
Bush gets elected and signed it into law ... but unlike Clinton and Gore - Bush wasn't smart enough to laugh his way to the bank or realize how this would gut the middle class further. Not to mention help the rich get richer and ... yeah, you know the rest.

Theo
Theo

What are the odds Ashley gives money to the Republican party through the WI Club for Growth? That would explain why the right is so adamant that the John Doe probe be shut down and all evidence be destroyed.

The quid pro quo government of Walker is being exposed just in time. Is anyone paying attention?

jenzut
jenzut

Bring back the Dept. of Commerce and get rid of the Governor-run WEDC. We can't afford not to to this! WEDC hasn't made a good decision in 4 years with Walker at the helm.

Polkadot
Polkadot

Not good.

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