Walker Denies Political Link Between Campaign Fundraising, WEDC Grants

Advocacy Group Reports That Walker Campaign Has Raised More Than $1M From Companies That Received WEDC Grants

Gov. Scott Walker. Photo: Gateway Technical College (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Gov. Scott Walker says there’s nothing wrong with his re-election campaign receiving cash from companies that get state economic development help.

The liberal group One Wisconsin Now says Walker’s campaign has received more than $1 million dollars from companies helped by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), and that 60 percent of WEDC’s funds have gone to those firms.

Walker said the criticism is political, and that WEDC’s assistance to the private sector is based on performance.

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“The company is able to show that they can create more jobs, retain jobs in the state, and make capital investments,” said Walker. “There’s a process by which they get assistance. It’s objective.”

Scott Ross of One Wisconsin Now said the Walker administration has a lot of clout at WEDC.

“These funds are controlled at the whim of what the governor wants,” said Ross. “We see these funds going to campaign contributors of his who have not met job performance standards and also who have outsourced our jobs overseas.”

WEDC Board member and state Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca said most of the financial help from WEDC never comes before the bipartisan board. He said if WEDC was granting funds based on likely campaign donations to the governor, then that would be illegal.