CONTACT: Senator Fred Risser

First I want to give the Wisconsin State Journal and more specifically Matt DeFour credit for obtaining through open records requests information which is very troubling when it comes to Economic Development in the Madison area — an area which Representative Chris Taylor and I represent in the State Legislature (and which Senator Mark Miller next door represents many of the 1,000 employees who are losing their jobs).

The information obtained in the form of emailed communication with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce — a pro-business lobby organization — indicates that WEDC (Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation), Governor Walker's so-called job creation and retention agency apparently screwed up again.

This time WEDC dropped the ball by not looking into options available before they let other states lure away Kraft/Heinz and the Oscar Mayer plant and 1,000 jobs from the Madison area.

The information (e-mails) obtained by the State Journal is clear — WEDC knew months in advance of the potential Kraft/Oscar Mayer closing — that efforts to lure the Kraft/Heinz cheese processing facility in Beaver Dam away from the state were being conducted by the states of New York, California and Iowa. 

While Oscar Mayer is not specifically mentioned it appears clear that the relationship is there and the end result speaks for itself.

WEDC has failed again — the Governor's job agency has proved to be incompetent in job retention especially in this case. Its failure has resulted in the loss of 1,000 jobs to the Madison area.

Nancy Kaplan


Retired Professor of Human-Computer Interaction, news junky, progressive