If the Democrats take control of the governor’s mansion in 2018, the Foxconn development in Mt. Pleasant, WI, will be stopped, according to two Republican state legislators. The jobs and economic development deal is being undermined by Democratic rhetoric on the campaign trail.
That was the message of a joint statement from Senator Dan Feyen, Chair of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Commerce and Local Government, and Representative Adam Neylon, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy, on Tuesday.
“Democrats running for governor are actively undermining a transformational investment that will create tens of thousands of jobs right here in Wisconsin,” the statement from Feyen and Neylon said.
Under the deal with Foxconn, Wisconsin will give the company up to $3 billion in economic incentives provided they meet employment and investment targets. The Foxconn facility will eventually employ 13,000 workers earning on average $53,875 plus benefits. The new Foxconn facility will bring 22,000 “indirect and induced jobs” to the state. In addition, the construction of the new Foxconn facility will mean 10,000 construction jobs as well as 6,000 indirect jobs.
Republicans pointed to a report in the Washington Free Beacon that gubernatorial candidate state Rep. Dana Wachs (D-La Crosse) only asked one question about the risks of the Foxconn deal in an email before deciding to oppose it. Despite his opposition and his lack of interest in the merits of the project, Wachs was placed on the WEDC Board of Directors where he voted against the contract as well.
In the release, Republicans also said that the Foxconn deal was the reason for the resignation of state Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) as Assembly Minority Leader, because he did not oppose the Foxconn legislation.
The statement from Feyen and Neylon also accused Democrats of the intentional sabotage of Wisconsin’s economy for partisan gain.
“Over the past several years, Wisconsin Democrats have made partisan hypocrisy a core part of their platform but this is an entirely new and reckless level,” Feyen and Neylon said in their statement. “Democrats are so desperate to score a few cheap political points that they are willing to put hard working families at risk by creating a chilling effect on investment and job creation. Governor Walker and Republican legislators are leading, enacting bold reforms to make Wisconsin a place where companies will invest while Democrats campaign to sabotage the Wisconsin comeback.”
In an interview on Tuesday, Neylon explained his concern about the Democrats’ sabotaging the deal. “If elected, then I would be nervous they would potentially try to undo some of the negotiations and some of the policies put in place on the Foxconn deal,” Neylon said.
But it isn’t just the Foxconn deal that has Neylon concerned.
“I think there is real danger they would turn Wisconsin backwards on a lot of things, not just Foxconn,” Neylon said. “But on some of the other positive economic reforms we’ve enacted if one of these Democrats that are running is elected.”
“I think just the message that their sending is that they’re very anti-business,” Neylon said.
Neylon also said the Democrats anti-business rhetoric does not match their rhetoric about creating good jobs to support families.
“I don’t know if they’re trying to play to their base, or just trying to score cheap political points,” Neylon said. “But I think that they’ve actively been trying to undermine these investments that will create thousands of new family-supporting careers that is exactly the same talking point that many of them are running on.”
“I think that there is an element of Walker-derangement syndrome in all of this,” Neylon said. “The fact that Governor Walker was at the head of this deal, that Democrats, especially Democrats that are running against him, are just going to oppose it even if it helps supports a lot of the people that they’re going to try to get to vote for them.”