June 23 , 2015
Owners and executives from 10 of 24 companies that received more than $124 million in state grants, tax credits and loans without a formal review by the Walker administration contributed more than $104,000 to Republican Gov. Scott Walker since January 2010.
The state aid to the companies was provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC) between July 2011 and June 2013. Walker created the economic development and jobs-creation agency after he was elected governor in 2010. WEDC has been criticized in numerous state audits and media reports since it was created for failing to properly award, document and track millions of dollars in state aid to businesses.
The companies that received the state awards and the total individual contributions from their owners and executives to Walker between January 2010 and December 2014 were:
County Materials Corp., $51,000. This is a Marathon company that produces landscaping materials and received a $750,000 state award in April 2013;
KCS International, $22,175. This is a luxury boat maker in Oconto that received an $820,000 state award in April 2013;
Building Committee Inc., $10,000. This was a Milwaukee construction company that received a $500,000 state loan in September 2011;
Kohl’s Department Stores, $7,718. This Menomonee Falls-based retail chain received $62.5 million in tax credits in July 2012;
Milwaukee Electric Tool, $5,200. This Milwaukee tool maker received a $2 million state award in September 2012;
Baptista’s Bakery, $5,175. This is a Franklin snack foods maker that received a $2.26 million state award in February 2012;
Ruud Lighting, $1,500. This is a Racine lighting products manufacturer that received $4 million in state awards in November 2011;
Plexus Corp., $840. This Neenah electronics manufacturer received a $15 million state award in June 2012;
Spectrum Brands, $400. This Middleton battery maker received a $4 million state award in November 2011;
Blue7 Solutions, $120. This is a Milwaukee technology services company that received $3.75 million in state awards in December 2012.