I wrote last week that it appears to me the daily newspaper is on a daily crusade to throw mud at the prospect of Foxconn coming to SE WI.
Ernst-Ulrich Franzen, the Journal Sentinel’s associate editorial page editor, just about concedes he’s confused.
Could be a good deal. Then again, it not be Franzen writes.
In his mind he’s not all confused on this point: The state has to do a much better job when it comes to public persuasion. His evidence:
A Business Journal poll showed 79% of respondents thought it was a bad deal, as of Monday afternoon. Letters to the editor that the Journal Sentinel has been receiving overwhelmingly are negative, sometimes in language too angry for us to print. And a healthy number of those who responded to an online question we posed last week said the state was handing out too much money in what some readers called “corporate welfare.”
Thank goodness Franzen had the good sense to write his next sentence.
None of this is science.
After lawmakers finished grilling members of the Walker administration over the details of a proposed incentive package to bring Foxconn Technology Group to Wisconsin, the mood in Thursday’s public hearing audibly changed.
While their questions were still tough, members of the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy took on a decidedly different tone as they listened to leaders of local government and higher education describe why they thought the deal would be good for Wisconsin and its taxpayers.
Those few hours may represent a turning point in the debate over whether Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, should get $3 billion in public incentives over 15 years in exchange for a $10-billion investment, 13,000 direct jobs and a supply chain likely to employ twice as many workers.
… the mood changed when lawmakers heard testimony from leaders of the University of Wisconsin System, Marquette University, the state’s Technical College System and bipartisan local leaders from Kenosha and Racine counties.
There will still be skeptics, but lawmakers on hand Thursday heard how Wisconsin assembled a team approach to bring the Foxconn opportunity to this point. It’s a team that appears poised to finish the job.
That sounds crystal clear to me.