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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Go-to Guy for Corporate Moochers

Scott Walker gives corporations the goldmine while students get shafted.

Scott Walker's Money Mess
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says he should be America’s next president because he’s a proven budget whacker. And yes, by golly, he’s dressed down teachers, slashed funding for higher education, busted unions, and gone after welfare recipients.

He’s the Koch brothers’ favorite because he’s tough on government moochers — unless, of course, you’re a corporate moocher. If a corporation wants public money, then Walker’s your go-to guy in Wisconsin.

Wesley Edens could vouch for the governor’s willingness to bestow public favors on big men with big money.

Edens is a New York City hedge fund gazillionaire who bought the Milwaukee Bucks pro basketball team last year. Showing the usual ethical perversity that afflicts “private-enterprise” sports owners, this flim-flamming carpetbagger immediately demanded a $250 million subsidy from Wisconsin and Milwaukee taxpayers to build a sparkling new sports palace for him.

Walker made it his exquisite pleasure to ramrod the deal through his Republican legislature, and he schmoozed secretly with Democratic officials of Milwaukee County to get them on board.

Edens did his part by doling out ownership shares of his basketball team to prominent Republicans — including Jon Hammes, a developer who just happens to be co-chairman of the national finance committee for Walker’s presidential run.

Sure enough, in mid-August, the beady-eyed governor signed this $250 million giveaway of public money into law. Compounding his sleaziness is the fact that, only one month earlier, Walker had slashed $250 million from the budget of the University of Wisconsin.

So, if you’re keeping score: Corporations get the goldmine, and students get the shaft.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower