February 10, 2016

Bipartisanship needed to create jobs

Wisconsin Secretary of State Doug La Follette is asking everyone, including his own party, to stop bashing the state’s job creation agency. He acknowledges the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation got off to a “very rocky start,” but says it’s imperative to put partisan politics aside and give WEDC a chance.

“The point now is, let’s move ahead in a positive way and stop picking on people.” La Follette emphasizes WEDC’s new CEO Reed Hall is a competent administrator, “not a political hack,” and it’s time to let him do his job. “Let’s back off, both Democrats and republicans, and give him time to maybe do something positive.”

La Follette believes everyone, regardless of political affiliation, wants to help make sure jobs are available for those seeking employment. He says “Wisconsin is not doing well.” Anyone can point fingers and Monday morning quarterback. “Perhaps when all is said and done, more will have been said than done.” Now it’s time to move forward and strengthen Wisconsin’s economy.

“I think the governor’s leadership has not been as great as it could be; he’s done a few things that have irritated people and given Wisconsin kind of a black eye in some people’s opinion.” La Follette says there are many factors to consider, “But now the point is let’s see what we can do to get Wisconsin working again,” he says, “It doesn’t do any good to keep on criticizing.”

WEDC was recently the focus of a highly critical audit by the Legislative Audit Bureau. La Follette says it was worth doing, but “Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither the WEDC.”

Someone other than the governor should head the board, someone nonpolitical, La Follette says, much like the Government Accountability Board — an independent elections board.

Last week three state senators — all Democrats — have requested a criminal investigation into the agency.

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