WI Gov Scott Walker Tries to Take Credit For Jobs Created by Dem Predecessor

In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a trailer hitch manufacturing company is offering 125 new jobs thanks to transportation funds allotted by the Obama stimulus program -- and Governor Scott Walker is taking credit for it. Problem is, the notoriously fed-funds-shy union-buster has nothing to do with the job creation -- the funds were accepted by his Democratic predecessor, Governor Jim Doyle. In a move that Forbes calls 'political plagiarism,'Walker released a statement claiming that 'This project directly creates 125 new jobs and indirectly creates 129 jobs, resulting in $12.6million in annual wages right here in Wisconsin. By providing these funds, we are bringing quality jobs to Wisconsin while improving road access to Curt Manufacturing’s expanded facility.'

Walker is a vocal and constant critic of the Obama stimulus -- and notoriously turned down rail funds that would have provided Wisconsin workers with thousands of jobs -- yet he leapt on the opportunity to make himself look good in the press. But his opportunism was so blatant, even the trailer hitch company had to speak out. Forbes:

So confusing was the dog and pony show Walker created to take credit for someone else’s work, the media actually found themselves confused. Was Walker announcing 125 jobs in addition to the 125 the media knew the Doyle Administration had already created?

“That’s unfortunately not accurate,” said Jim McKissick, the spokesman for Curt Manufacturing.

When the Governor’s office handled the matter in its typically disingenuous way (pretending there was nothing to see here), Commerce Secretary Paul Jardin stepped into the breach and made the effort to explain it away by blaming the confusion on Curt Manufacturing.

Generally, the press releases or press conferences are tied around when the company wants to do something,” Jadin said. “Obviously, they want to do it with a governor present. That’s probably what occurred here.

That, or Walker was trying to make himself look good to a hostile constituency. According to the Curt Tamborino, president of Curt Manufacturing,  “Walker’s office had called and said they wanted to do this final presentation with a press release in front of the media.”


AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at April 27, 2011, 5:02am

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