Thanks to Daniel Bice in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for this one. Last week, on another one of his visits to businesses around the State of Wisconsin to promote himself, Scott Walker visited Curt Manufacturing to announce the creation of 125 new jobs at the plant. Curt Manufacturing had been awarded a transportation grant to support their manufacture of trailer hitches. Walker announced the jobs in a press release:
"This project directly creates 125 new jobs and indirectly creates 129 jobs, resulting in $12.6 million in annual wages right here in Wisconsin," Walker said in a news release. "By providing these funds, we are bringing quality jobs to Wisconsin while improving road access to Curt Manufacturing's expanded facility."
However, back in December, outgoing Governor Jim Doyle had also announced the creation of new jobs at Curt Manufacturing, thanks to tax breaks and stimulus money. 125 jobs, to be exact.
The MJS journalist was curious enough to question the company spokesman, Jim McKissick about the jobs. Were there now 250 new jobs, the 125 that had been announced while Doyle was still Governor, and another 125 created by Walker's "Open for Business" policies?
"Does that mean Curt is hiring 250 new people as a result of its expansion project?
"That's unfortunately not accurate," said Jim McKissick, spokesman for the company.
The firm is constructing a 150,000-square-foot warehousing and logistics building next to its existing 165,000-square-foot plant. As a result, Curt has committed to adding 125 positions by 2014."
The Curt Company spokesman actually credited both Doyle and Walker for the jobs creation, apparently ignoring his company's clear and well-publicized plan to create the 125 new jobs back in 2010, before Scott Walker was even sworn into office.
Governor Walker's press release did not mention the fact that the jobs creation was, in fact, attributable to Democratic Governor Doyle's reign. But more than that, he intentionally tried to take credit for the jobs. While the announcement about the new jobs had been released back in December 2010 under Doyle, there was not a Governor attended press conference/photo opportunity scheduled at the same time. There was simply a press release generated by the Doyle administration. So why a press conference now?
The grant was just finalized recently, even though it had been applied for and approved under Doyle. Walker's Commerce Secretary Paul Jadin tried to explain the press conference by noting that "it's the company's call as to when something is announced publicly." Jadin went on to state:
"Generally, the press releases or press conferences are tied around when the company wants to do something," Jadin said. "Obviously, they want to do it with a governor present. That's probably what occurred here."
Not according to Curt Company President Curt Tamborino. Tamborino told the MJS that his company hadn't planned a press conference - Governor Walker's office had proposed the idea. "'Walker's office had called and said they wanted to do this final presentation with a press release in front of the media,' Tambornino said Friday."
Truth, accuracy, and facts have not stood in Governor Walker's way so far, so it does not surprise me to see him trying to take credit for jobs created under his predecessor.