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Madison mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Paul Soglin on Tuesday decried Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to save 600 Wisconsin jobs as “primitive economics” that “is undermining every honest business in this state.”

Walker on Monday offered a tax incentive to keep two Kimberly-Clark factories open in Neenah and Fox Crossing based on the same deal the state offered Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to build a $10 billion factory in Racine County, a deal that will cost more than $200,000 per job.

Soglin said the money the state is spending on Foxconn would be better spent on regional business accelerators, food hubs to boost local agriculture and broadband Internet expansion.

“When you’ve got a state government that’s been asleep for six or seven years, suddenly they’re confronted with these challenges of building an economy and unfortunately in some instances it’s too late,” Soglin said. “What we’re seeing here is an effort to buy our way out of the problem.”

Madison has some experience with losing a major manufacturing employer — Kraft Heinz announced it was closing the city’s century-old Oscar Mayer plant in 2015. But Soglin noted a year after the factory closed, the city’s unemployment rate is still low at 2.3 percent, which he credited to efforts to diversify the city’s economy going back to the 1970s.

Soglin blasted Walker and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. in 2016 for not doing more to reach out to Kraft Heinz to save the Oscar Mayer plant. On Tuesday Soglin said he wouldn’t have offered $200,000 per job to save Oscar Mayer, and that an incentive of $6,000 to $10,000 per job was more reasonable.

“If some business in Madison comes to us and says we want $100,000, $150,000, $200,000, which is now the bar that’s been set by the state government … we are simply going to have to tell them ‘no mas,’ ” Soglin said, using the Spanish words for ‘no more.’ “We will not be a party to a state government that is persistent in mortgaging future generations.”

Soglin defended addressing a prominent campaign issue from the pulpit of his City Hall office.

“I’m not going to be silenced as the mayor of this community by his trashing Madison or myself,” Soglin said. “And I’m certainly, when he undermines our economy, going to speak up.”

A Walker campaign spokesman referred comment to the state Republican Party.

“While Governor Walker has implemented concrete reforms that have resulted in substantial job growth, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has nothing serious to offer and once again demonstrates that he is wildly out of touch with the rest of Wisconsin,” GOP spokesman Alec Zimmerman said.

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(6) comments

hrpufnstuf

Yea, I tried to burn down the capitol but the darn marble wouldn't ignite.

mocha1

Reading liberal comments on this and other articles makes it clear they do not understand Wisconsin or America. They live in a liberal echo chamber unwilling to look outside of their liberal idea bubble. Just because liberals make the most noise with their protests and riots does not mean they are the majority. Walker was elected, re-elected and then re-elected again. All the while we had liberals trying to burn down the capital, liberal lawmakers protesting by hiding out of state and if you listened to liberal media, 110% of voters in Wisconsin hated Walker. Liberals are no different on the national scene. Liberals still cannot understand How Trump was elected when they were told by the liberal media that he had a 2% of winning. Libs, try looking at the big picture, get outside of your liberal bubble. Listen to alternative points of view. Counselors are standing by to help you transition into reality.

hrpufnstuf

I'm glad Walker is throwing away everyone's tax dollars. You idiots all get what you vote for. HA HA Wisconsin!

johnnybragatti

Kinda ,sorta ,in a way of what one would expect ,
from one of the very worst Governors, in the United States,
with little or no education and experience ONLY in getting elected,
in rigged contests with super dark Kochsacker money,
and pretty dull,unknowing Wisconsin voters.
Millenials ,who are leaving in droves for Colorado and Texas....
are the smart ones (bless their hearts).!!!

canman

Twiddle Dee verses Twiddle Dumb

mocha1

Soglin would much prefer liberal democrat economics, shut the evil corporation down, put all the workers on welfare and make them democrat voters living the good life on the taxpayers dime.

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