Scandal Doesn’t Stop Flow of Corporate Welfare

In this update: 1. Convict’s company gets more state help as criminal probe widens 2. Blog gets picked up as newspaper column Scandal Doesn’t Stop Flow of Corporate Welfare

Email date: 9/27/11

In this update:
1. Convict’s company gets more state help as criminal probe widens
2. Blog gets picked up as newspaper column

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Convict’s company gets more state help as criminal probe widens
Not many noticed, but Governor Scott Walker’s administration just steered more state subsidies to a railroad company whose CEO was convicted of illegal campaign donations and money laundering in July. It also was revealed recently that a lobbyist for the company was one of three people granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony in the growing Walker probe.

The $7 million in new state help for Wisconsin & Southern Railroad comes on the heels of nearly $14 million in state grants to the company the governor announced back in April, coincidentally on the same day CEO William Gardner was criminally charged.

The Democracy Campaign first flagged Gardner for what appeared to be illegal campaign contributions back in April 2010, and the Gardner donations became one of the subjects of a conversation with an FBI agent in January.

The federal investigation not only focuses on Gardner and his company but also a top Walker aide, Cindy Archer, whose home was recently raided by the FBI. Archer was back in the news over the weekend when a sham interview came to light that was seemingly done to cover up for the fact that the hiring process for a state job was rigged in Archer’s favor.

A new dimension to the criminal probe also surfaced with news that the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office is looking into possible voter bribery.

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Blog gets picked up as newspaper column
Our latest Big Money Blog about the off-the-charts spending in this summer’s recall elections was published as a guest commentary late last week by The Capital Times and on Sunday by the La Crosse Tribune. Our analysis of recall election spending also caught the eye of New Yorker magazine.