Mount Pleasant is Served With It’s First Foxconn Related Legal Challenge While Forced Evictions Are Rushed and Cruel

From Racine County Eye:

Mount Pleasant neighbors sue over eminent domain

Seven Mount Pleasant property owners have sued the village in federal court over how it is handling property acquisitions for Foxconn Technology Group.

The landowners who filed the lawsuit own property located within the footprint where Foxconn wants to build an LCD manufacturing facility. Expected to generate 10,000 construction jobs and 3,000 permanent positions, the $10 billion project is the largest economic investment in the state and one of the largest in U.S. history.

The property owners’ attorney Erik Olsen, of Eminent Domain Services LLC, filed the complaint in the federal court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The lawsuit, filed Monday, names the village and Village President David DeGroot as defendants.

Further, the complaint alleges that the Village of Mount Pleasant is: The case shows “violations of the Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to equal protection, private property, and due process,” the complaint states.

  • acquiring the property owners’ land for “the benefit of a private corporation,”
  • that the state has passed legislation allowing the project to skirt environmental impact studies and wetland permitting requirements,
  • that village staff treated landowners differently by offering different purchase prices –  some up to 10 times the value of their property – and
  • it is acquiring property for a non-public purpose.

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According to Eminent Domain Services:

You never considered selling your property–now you are suddenly faced with trying to navigate the uncertain waters of eminent domain law to ensure you are fairly compensated. However, this is easier said than done. We can help you through this unfamiliar process and make sure you are treated fairly.

Make sure you receive
“Just Compensation”

Your property is being taken from you. It is property that you own, make monthly mortgage payments, pay property tax on and even cut the grass! Now, all of a sudden, the government or a for-profit utility company knocks on your door and tells you they are going to take all or some of the land. Many would agree that this doesn’t seem fair.  However, this is the power of eminent domain.

While the prospect of eminent domain may seem daunting at first, you have a inherent Constitutional Right ​to receive “just compensation.” In fact, you have many rights under both state and federal law. Many times, however, you must take action to ensure that your rights are respected. Government and utility companies continue to stretch its use of eminent domain.

Make sure your rights are protected

The government, such as the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and utility companies, such as American Transmission Company or ATC are very very well versed and experienced in eminent domain law. Their agents travel all over the state taking property from Wisconsin landowners. They are very good at this and frequently acquire property for less than fair market value.

Eminent Domain Services LLC are Wisconsin lawyers dedicated to defending Wisconsin landowner rights against the government and utility companies. Just as the government or utility company is well versed in eminent domain law–you need someone on your side to represent your interests.

​We only represent property owners and do not do any work for government agencies, utility companies or other organizations who utilize the power of eminent domain. We are committed to helping Wisconsin property owners and ensure that they are treated fairly.

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There are 7 Plaintiffs who are suing The Village of Mount Pleasant and David DeGroot in both his individual and official capacity.

The entire Complaint can be viewed by clicking on the link to the PDF Viewer: Jensen Complaint Main

According to the Complaint:

Of great concern to Residents should be the complete lack of potentially willful ignorance by the WI DNR of the future pollution problems and environmental degradation which will likely result from Foxconn:

In addition to the pollution and degradation of the environment by Foxconn, offers for purchase were based upon faulty logic and reasoning:

As for the Defendants, The Village of Mount Pleasant, and David DeGroot, they are alleged to have acted under the color of state law:

For the readers information – “Acting Under the Color of Law” is defined as:

Color of law” refers to an appearance of legal power to act that may operate in violation of law. For example, if a Village President acts with the “color of law” authority to take property by Eminent Domain,  the taking, if it is made without due regard for it’s ultimate use, may actually be in violation of law.

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As the Village of Mount Pleasant and David DeGroot were being sued,land buying operatives for Foxconn were demanding that Tenants be given short notice and thrown out of their homes within 30 days!

From the Journal Sentinel:

Renters face eviction with minimum notice, then Foxconn, after inquiry, offers more time

After landlords started proceedings to evict four Sturtevant families on minimum notice to pave the way for land purchases by Foxconn Technology Group, the company took action to give the families more time to move following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inquiry about the situation.

Instead of the 28 days the tenants originally were granted in hand-delivered notices they received Thursday afternoon from two landlords — one of whom said he acted at Foxconn’s direction — the company said it will try to let the renters stay for at least 90 days.

Four families — two with school-age children and one with an adult woman and her 79-year-old mother on fixed incomes — rent houses on the land. Tenants said late last week that they were surprised and dismayed to be handed letters telling them they had to clear out by Jan. 31.

“I feel like I’m living in a nightmare right now,” Jennifer Le Viseur, who said she has rented her house on Braun Road for nearly 13 years, said on Friday. “… Like I’ve been slapped in the face.”

Also upset was Veronica Roussett, who lives nearby with her husband and their two daughters, who are 7 and 8 years old.

 “We felt like the notice was just sprung on us and we weren’t given any type of option … it just seems so unfair,” Roussett said Friday.

But after a reporter asked a Foxconn spokeswoman about the matter, Louis Woo, top assistant to company chairman Terry Gou, said by email that Foxconn will work to give the tenants at least 90 days to find new homes and to move.

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Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

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More Cracks Appear In the MTP Foxconn Plan As Milwaukee County Demands an Investigation and Reopens Old Battle Lines

Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

Will Milwaukeeans Pay for Foxconn Power?

Yes, according to ATC spokesperson. Ald. Robert Bauman wants city to investigate issue.

The $4.1 billion Foxconn deal is reactivating old battle lines.

At the center of Republican opposition to the Milwaukee Streetcar project was the notion that if utilities like We Energies had to pay to relocate their equipment in Milwaukee that would result in their suburban customers paying for the project. That belief led to a controversial case before the state’s Public Service Commission and ultimately a streetcar-specific change in state law. The city ended up having to pay all the relocation costs, a move that added over $15 million to the final price of the streetcar.

Now Alderman Robert Bauman is drawing attention to the potential that the same thing is happening in reverse with Foxconn in Racine County. Milwaukee customers are slated to be on the hook for paying for utility work to connect Foxconn’s 1,200-acre campus to the electric grid.

American Transmission Company, a private utility partially owned by We Energies parent WEC Energy Group, is proposing a $140 million project, including a substation and high voltage power lines to serve the proposed Foxconn campus. According to ATC that campus, which is planned to include up to 20 million square feet of buildings on the south side of Highway 11 in Racine County, would consume more than six times the energy used by the next largest factory in Wisconsin.

The cost for the ATC project would be paid by Wisconsin ratepayers. “The typical residential customer would pay pennies per year over the life of the project,” ATC spokeswoman Alissa Braatz told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In an email to other city officials Bauman states “Ironically, we are building three substations for the streetcar that we are paying for, not all rate payers (not to mention the $15M in utility relocation costs we are paying for as well). I also know that many real estate developers have had to pay exorbitant costs for electric utility modifications to serve their developments, not rate payers.”

Bauman is sponsoring a communication file that requests the Department of Public Works and City Attorney’s office to report on “public works projects occurring outside of the limits of the City that may involve absorption of utility construction or relocation costs by We Energies rate payers residing in the city of Milwaukee.”

ATC must receive authorization from the Public Service Commission to move forward with the project. The city could object to the proposal, similar to what MacIver Institute President Brett Healy did in 2011 regarding the streetcar.

In 2014, Bauman introduced a file that would grant the City Attorney and Department of Public Works the discretion to object to “municipal public works projects in the We Energies service area that will involve absorption of utility relocation costs by We Energies.” That file directly cites the PSC’s ruling on the streetcar project as the reason for the authorization.

That file is still being held in committee. Bauman intends to bring it forward with the communication file.

The next meeting of the Public Works Committee, which Bauman chairs, is scheduled for January 4th.

The utility measure isn’t the only iron Bauman has in the fire regarding Foxconn. Earlier this month the alderman launched an investigation into the feasibility of building a satellite city for Milwaukee residents that will work for Foxconn. The Foxconn campus, which could employ up to 13,000 people, is proposed for a site over 25 miles from downtown Milwaukee. Bauman has stated his preference is for a robust transit system to connect the campus to Milwaukee, but short of that the city might need to invest in affordable housing near the campus.

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While the Journal Times reports:

Alderman: Milwaukee shouldn’t have to fund Foxconn-related projects

MILWAUKEE — A Milwaukee alderman expects the City Council to object to having its ratepayers share in the cost of $140 million in new electrical transmission line infrastructure needed to serve the planned Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing campus in Mount Pleasant.

And Alderman Robert Bauman believes that Milwaukee will prevail.

American Transmission Co. is seeking approval from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for new electric transmission line infrastructure. It includes the new Mount Pleasant substation south of Braun Road along the east side of County Trunk Highway H and Braun Road to provide electrical service for the Foxconn campus.

ATC says the impact on a typical residential electric bill will be shared among approximately 5 million customers over a 40-year period. Company spokeswoman Alyssa Braatz said the project will cost ratepayers “pennies per month, pennies per year.”

ATC will submit an application to the PSC in February and is requesting a decision by August.

On Thursday morning, the Milwaukee city attorney briefed the city Public Works Committee, of which Bauman is chairman, about whether the city could plausibly object to sharing in the cost of ATC’s Foxconn-related projects.

The city attorney said Milwaukee does have standing to object, Bauman said. He added, “That’s probably what we’re going to do.”

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

Foxconn CEO Terry Gou Plays Maharashtra, India Government Officials For Fools – Is Scott Walker and Wisconsin Next?

From the Indian Express:

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: May 8, 2016 2:31 am

Make in Maharashtra: Foxconn’s $5 billion investment plan in state runs into delay

Prior to its much larger unit at Talegaon in western Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, was to start a mobile phones production facility in Navi Mumbai by March or April.

Even as the state government is fervently working towards converting its multi-crore agreements signed to further its ‘Make in Maharashtra’ mission to actual investments, one of the state’s largest investment proposals, a $5 billion deal with Foxconn, has run into delays.

Prior to its much larger unit at Talegaon in western Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer, was to start a mobile phones production facility in Navi Mumbai by March or April. However, due to certain internal issues, the Taiwan-based company has now postponed its plans to mid-2016.

State Industries Minister Subhash Desai told The Sunday Express, “The company is having some issues with some of its clients. Representatives from the firm have said they plan to start production by June.”

Foxconn, the tradename for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has leased two industrial sheds at Turbhe, in a deal facilitated by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). The plots, leased for a five-year period, have a capacity of about 2 lakh sqft.

A senior official from the state industries department said, “The company will manufacture mobile phones of InFocus from the Navi Mumbai unit, and later has plans to make laptops as well.” InFocus, a US-based corporation, has a tie-up with Foxconn to jointly develop consumer electronics such as mobile phones, tablets and LED television sets.

A spokesperson from the Foxconn Technology Group said, “As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on market rumours or speculation. However, we can confirm that a pilot site in Maharashtra will begin manufacturing cellphones in mid-2016. Our significant plans in India are being finalised and will be rolled out in phases over the next five years.”

Separately, the MIDC is in the process of acquiring land, about 1,500 acres, at Talegaon for the company, which counts Apple, BlackBerry, Motorola and Xiami as some of its customers, to set up a larger manufacturing unit.

Some senior officials from the state government and the MIDC are, however, a bit jittery about Foxconn’s promised investment, which is touted to be one of the largest FDI projects in the country in recent times.

A senior official said, “The company is not communicating its overall plans in the state to us properly, which makes us a bit concerned. They should interact with the Maharashtra government more clearly.”

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WHOA!  WAIT! The above story is now 2 years old – published on May 8, 2016 2:31 am !

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Nearly two years later:

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: November 14, 2017 5:22 am

Foxconn project stuck, minister says firm has stopped communicating

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis speak to Velha village through video conference as a part of Digital Maharashtra along with Industrial Minister, Subhash Desai, Education Minister, Vinod Tawde, Prakash Mehta at Shanmukhanand Auditorium in Mumbai on Sunday. Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar. 02.10.2016. Mumbai.

Industries Minister Subhash Desai said Monday there had been no progress on the proposed investments from Taiwanese giant Foxconn. He said communication between the state and the company had been at a standstill.
“Geopolitical situations and the strained relationship between India and China may have affected prospects. The firm has stopped communicating with us about the project,” Desai said.

It has been over 26 months since the company first signed an agreement to invest USD 5 billion in the state in what was then touted as the largest FDI project in the country and the Devendra Fadnavis government’s major achievement.

The company has been for the last two years scouting for locations in Pune, Konkan as well as areas around Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust for its plant, which will manufacture components for mobile phones. The state government through MIDC is to help in procurement of the land. However, there has not been much headway on identification of the potential location or site, which had fuelled speculation on whether the company would go ahead with its plans.

Foxconn has revenues of close to $134 billion and caters to leading companies as a contract electronics manufacturer. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had earlier said the tension between India and China had caused a minor blip in the project. He had also stated that the company had raised some issues with the Centre, which were being addressed, and that he was hopeful of the company’s investment in India.

Desai, meanwhile, defended Maharashtra’s status as an investment destination and said the perception that the state was losing out on investments to other states was wrong. “Most of the statistics being shown to state that Maharashtra is losing out as an industrial destination are deduced through the Industrial Entrepreneurs Memorandum.

These are submitted in two stages once while signing of MoUs and other when production actually begins. The filling of these IEMs is voluntary. There have been various instances when companies after taking approvals of mega project offer letters have not filed IEM. So to deduce that these IEM filings give true picture of total investment is wrong,” he said.

As per the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, Desai claimed, Maharashtra had seen an investment of Rs 9122 cr till September 2017, which was the highest in the country.

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Only 3 years earlier – in 2015 –

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: September 25, 2015 2:08 am

Foxconn scouts for land in state, industrial shed in Navi Mumbai

The terms of the investment and any incentives that are to be given to the company are still under discussion,” the official said.

Having committed to invest $5 billion in Maharashtra, Foxconn, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, has started the groundwork for what is touted to be one of the biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects in the country in recent times.

Besides land for a large manufacturing facility in Western Maharashtra, Foxconn is also scouting for an industrial shed in Navi Mumbai for ancillary operations and is gearing up for the functioning of its corporate office at the World Trade Centre in Cuffe Parade.

The Taiwan-based company has sent a request to the state government to help the firm identify a suitable plot in Navi Mumbai and facilitate the transaction.

“They have raised a request for a readymade industrial shed on an urgent basis. We don’t know what purpose the company needs it for, but we are addressing their requirement,” said state industries minister Subhash Desai.

A senior official in the state industries department said the company was specifically looking for an industrial shed somewhere in Navi Mumbai of 50,000-60,000 sqm (12-15 acres) for assembly.

“This will mostly be a private plot, but the government will facilitate the process of identification and purchase for them,” he said. The state government has already committed 1,500 acres to the company, which counts smartphone makers such as Apple, BlackBerry, Motorola and Xiaomi as its customers.

“We have identified the land to be allotted at Talegaon and Khopoli and are in the process of closing negotiations for land acquisition at certain places.

The terms of the investment and any incentives that are to be given to the company are still under discussion,” the official said.

Meanwhile, Foxconn, the trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd, has set up a corporate office on the 32nd floor, occupying almost the entire floor, in the World Trade Centre building, which also houses the principal office of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).

A senior MIDC official said the corporate office of the company would start functioning from October 1. “Besides, the company wants to wait for its plan of disclosure on the Maharashtra plant,” he added.

Foxconn had, last month, signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government for an investment of $5 billion over five years in a new manufacturing facility in the state that the chief minister said could create employment for about 50,000 people.

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Yep.

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Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

 

Crony Capitalism & Foxconn: The Most Expensive Taxpayer-Funded Jobs Program In History

The costs for Taxpayers only continues to increase while the proposed Foxconn manufacturing facility has not yet materialized.

No doubt, WI Governor Scott Walker continues to make history!

OOPS! That sort of talk is strictly verboten.

The new history is forcing WI Taxpayers to fund one of the most expensive and potentially unconstitutional and destructive jobs programs  in the entire World!

 

Wisconsin & Foxconn: The Most Expensive Taxpayer-Funded Jobs Program In History

By Allan Golombek
December 26, 2017

The people of Wisconsin gave Taiwan-based Foxconn a billion-dollar gift for Christmas, on top of $3 billion they had already promised the company. So far, they haven’t even received a thank-you card – just the promise of the most expensive taxpayer-funded jobs in history.

This summer, Wisconsin politicians announced they had lured a new Foxconn LCD flat panel plant to southeast Wisconsin with a $3 billion incentive package, in return for a $10 billion investment from the company. But, like many government giveaways to the corporate sector, the bill to taxpayers has gotten even bigger. The Wisconsin Economic Development Agency agreed to a significant reduction in Foxconn’s commitment, down to $9 billion. This was after the state legislature okayed the deal without nailing down the details.

The state legislative bureau estimated it would take 25 years – until 2043 – until the Wisconsin government received enough in additional tax revenues to match the initial $3 billion investment. At $4 billion-plus, the break-even point will recede even further into the future.

But Wisconsinites aren’t the only ones who will pay the tab. At between $250,000 and $1 million per job, the Foxconn deal will raise the entry stakes for every jurisdiction seeking to attract new investments – or perhaps even just to retain them. Just like the value of your home is determined by how much the house down the street sold for, the going rate for government giveaways to companies is based partly on how much other governments have demonstrated a willingness to pay.

The steep price Wisconsin has committed to paying to host Foxconn will ripple across other states and municipalities. In 2015 alone, state and local business incentives came to $45 billion, including tax credits, property tax abatements, investment tax credits, R&D tax credits and customized job training, according to the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. And the cost has been going up; business incentives have more than tripled since 1990.

And the Wisconsin state government is not even sure what the full price is yet – or how many jobs they will actually be getting for it. The village and county where the plant is to be located have chipped in another $764 million in tax incentives. The state has also agreed to spend over $400 on new roads and road widenings and improvements to facilitate the plant. (Although some of these transportation improvements were anticipated eventually.)

Local residents don’t just get to pay for the boondoggle through their taxes; they can also expect to pay increased electricity rates. American Transmission Company has announced it will spend $140 million to build a new substation to provide electric power to Foxconn, with the cost to be charged to electricity customers in southeast Wisconsin.

How many jobs will the deal actually create? The notion of 13,000 jobs is actually a goal, not a guarantee. The legislative bureau acknowledged that some estimates place the probable payroll as low as 3,000. The agency tasked with holding Foxconn accountable has a history of failing to verify job-creation claims and rewarding companies that fall short of quotas, according to state audits. How long will the jobs actually last? Foxconn has launched an extensive commitment to automation and robotics, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs in China with the introduction of specially-designed “Foxbots” – with the stated goal of eliminating almost their entire global workforce.

Moreover, how many of the jobs will actually go to residents of Wisconsin – the people paying for the party? The legislative bureau had estimated that about 10 percent of Foxconn workers would be residents of nearby Illinois. But a preliminary analysis commissioned by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation estimated as many as half of the construction workers and Foxconn workforce could come from outside the state.

The most ironic aspect of the deal is that the biggest shortage the state’s economy faces is not jobs, but the people with the skills needed to perform them. “We need bodies,” Gov. Scott Walker has admitted. Actually, they need skilled people. So much so that Walker has pledged to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign to help attract residents from out of state to work for Foxconn. The state will spend $20 million on worker training over two years to ensure a pipeline of workers for Foxconn – and for small businesses that lose employees to the massive plant.

Rather than investing in people, too many governments are giving money to corporations in the pursuit of jobs that may not last long and may never return the investment. Wisconsin is setting the pace right now with its multi-billion dollar giveaway to Foxconn. Maybe it is time for governments to kick the habit. Sometimes, just saying ‘no’ could be a viable strategy.

Allan Golombek is a Senior Director at the White House Writers Group.

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From Urban Milwaukee & Murphy’s Law:

Bruce Murphy

Foxconn Subsidy Now Exceeds $4 Billion

Government subsidy keeps increasing while Foxconn’s required investment has declined.

When the state deal with Taiwanese company Foxconn was first announced, the numbers were bold and clear: the company would get $3 billion in subsidies from the state and in turn would build a $10 billion plant and create 13,000 jobs.

That stood not just as the largest subsidy in state history, but the largest government subsidy to a foreign company in American history.

But the giveaway has continued to grow, while Foxconn’s required investment has shrunk. After legislation was passed approving the deal without determining the specifics, the Wisconsin Economic Development Agency hammered out the details that dropped Foxconn’s required investment in its new plant to just $9 billion. The Journal Sentinel has reported this, yet its stories keep referring to the $10 billion plant.

Meanwhile the Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County agreed to give Foxconn $764 million in tax incentives. The measure also commits the state to paying 40 percent of local governments’ expenses for the plant “if ever called upon to do so.”

The state will also spend $30 million on a new two-mile road east of I-94 to be called “Wisconn Valley Way,” and aimed at easing traffic congestion near Foxconn’s plant.

And last week we learned the Walker administration will also siphon $134 million from the state transportation fund to widen and improve several local roads near the future Foxconn factory, as a report by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau disclosed. The Department of Transportation didn’t give the fiscal bureau an exact estimate for the local Foxconn roadwork when it was requested, but the bureau found the information “referenced in a grant application for $246.2 million in federal funds for the nearby I-94 project,” the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

Those roads include County KR, Braun Rd. and state Highway 11, according to Kevin Muhs, Deputy Director of the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. The local roads will be turned into state highways so state transportation can be used on them.

The Foxconn development has also pushed the state to spend $252 million to expand I-94 from six to eight lanes from College Ave. in Milwaukee County south to Highway 142 in Kenosha County. While it was anticipated this would eventually be done, it was far from guaranteed, given huge shortfalls in the transportation fund and delays in other projects. What is certain is that the I-94 widening and $134 million in local road improvements by the state will lead to longer delays or cancellations of other projects in the state.

The state has also applied for $240 million federal grant to help pay for the I-94 widening.

Gov. Walker has also pledged to spend $6.8 million on an ad campaign to help attract out-of-state residents for Foxconn. “We need bodies,” he confessed. The Fiscal Bureau had estimated that about 10 percent of Foxconn workers will be Illinois residents, but a preliminary analysis commissioned by Walker’s Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. estimated as many as half of the construction workers and Foxconn workforce could come from other states, primarily Illinois, as the State Journal reported.

Meanwhile American Transmission Company has announced it will build a new substation to provide electric power to Foxconn at a cost of $140 million, which will then be charged to the 5 million customers of We Energies in southeast Wisconsin. The project “essentially would ask the public to contribute still more to Foxconn through higher electric rates,” the Journal Sentinel reported.

Foxconn has also been exempted from environmental regulations, and some experts believe this will cause pollution that might eventually require remediation paid for by taxpayers. And Foxconn’s newest demand is for its plant to be treated as a foreign trade zone, which could reduce its customs duties and cut the company’s costs. Odds are, it’s not the last demand the company will make.

Ald. Bob Bauman tallied the total costs for taxpayers in a speech before a Common Council committee and concluded it would cost $4.5 billion. That might be a tad high, unless you believe the I-94 widening would have never happened. But even without it, the total cost is nearly $4.1 billion, to get a $ 9 billion plant. That’s astounding: a cost of $1,774 per household in Wisconsin.

Back when the subsidy was $3 billion the Fiscal Bureau estimated it would take till 2043 or later for taxpayer to recoup all the money being spent, and even that was based on “speculative” figures on spinoff jobs, it noted. At $4.1 billion it’s safe to say it will take until 2050 to recoup those costs.

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A Video About Unsustainable Systems, Growth, Technology, The Market & Governments.

 

The Unconstitutional Foxconn Special Legislation Is Merely a Lawsuit Waiting to Happen

Special Edition Holiday Post: h/t A Better Mount Pleasant

Attorney Rick Eisenberg discusses his lawsuit against the city of Eau Claire, an action the attorney general’s office says could imperil Foxconn.

From WILL

Voters With Facts v. Eau Claire

Type of Case: TIF Districts

Court: Eau Claire County Circuit Court, Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Case Number: 15-CV-175, 15-AP-1858

Filed On: March 12, 2015

Current Status: Pending before the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Eau Claire is using TIF districts to hand millions of dollars to a private developer in order to build a new performing arts center and other buildings in its historic downtown district. TIF districts have become the favorite tool of crony capitalists to pay off well-connected business owners while making it “look” like taxes aren’t being spent. TIF districts were created by the legislature to permit cities to deal with truly run-down dumps by permitting those cities to borrow against the growth in tax revenue that development of such blighted areas would bring. But cities are first supposed to make sure that (1) the area is truly blighted, and (2) development wouldn’t happen in the area without the TIF district.

In Eau Claire, neither of those two things happened – the government officials merely reached those conclusions without actually seeing any evidence that they were true. On behalf of Voters With Facts, a group opposed to the project, and dozens of local property taxpayers, we sued to challenge two TIF districts.

The circuit court dismissed our case, concluding that the plaintiffs lacked standing (despite case law stretching back a hundred years permitting taxpayers to challenge the unlawful expenditure of tax dollars) and that it would be improper for a court to “second guess” a city’s decision to create a TIF district.

We appealed, and the appellate court partially reversed.  The court agreed that the plaintiffs lacked standing, under a different theory than that used by the circuit court – that the plaintiffs were wrong on the merits and therefore lacked standing.  However, the court also concluded that our alternative claim for certiorari review could survive.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court granted a petition to hear the case, which will be scheduled for oral argument in the first half of 2018.

 More and more it appears that the only thing MTP President David DeGroot will be flushing down that bright new shiny sewer will be taxpayers  dollars!

From The JT:

DeGroot: Highway V gang has bad attitude

MTP President David DeGroot says: “Let’s  flush the Highway V-gang and their crappy attitudes down the shiny new sewer heading their way”.

David DeGroot, speaking as Trustee (now Village President)

Mount Pleasant

OK – Dave…..

But what happens when everyone doesn’t feel like letting you steal their property, give it to a foreign Corporation – and force them to pay for the privilege of you stealing their property by “special” unconstitutional legislation?

It’s time to end the madness.

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.

At least it is only Taxpayer Money – and debt – which is endless – according to the Politicians who rule Wisconsin.

Talking Racine Dissects the Fuzzy Math Behind the $765 Million Dollars Mt Pleasant and Racine County are Borrowing for the Foxconn Development

Talking Racine episode 48, discusses the $765 Million dollars Mt Pleasant and Racine County are borrowing to extend services to the proposed Foxconn development. They break it down:

To make matters even worse, is what is being hidden from the WI Taxpayers who are providing the financing and backstopping of the Foxconn project.

From Milwaukee Business News:

Contract gives Foxconn chance at 3,000 job cushion to avoid clawbacks

Could leave employment well below targets without repayment

A Letter From The Indian Workers of the International Metalworkers Federation to Foxconn CEO Terry Gou

Concerned Residents of Mount Pleasant and Racine County need to be aware of how horrible Foxconn treats it’s workers in India before they allow the same conditions to set back the freedoms and rights that Workers in Wisconsin have already fought for, won, and enjoy:

Defying police attacks, Foxconn workers in India continue strike

Thousands of workers are continuing their walkout at a factory owned by Taiwan-based Foxconn corporation in Sriperumbudur, in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu despite violent attacks by police. On September 24, police forces broke up an occupation of the plant by workers, brutally beating dozens and detaining 1,200 workers for a whole day before releasing them in the evening.

            Striking workers at Foxconn plant in Sriperumbudur, India

This was the second occupation in Sriperumbudur broken up by police in recent months. In June, police attacked and arrested 300 workers conducting a sit-down strike at the Korean-owned Hyundai automobile plant in the city.

Foxconn Corporation, which has 920,000 employees worldwide, recently gained international notoriety for the brutal conditions inside its factories after 10 workers at its Chinese plant in Shenzen committed suicide. (See, “Foxconn suicides highlight China’s sweatshop conditions”)

With 7,000 workers Foxconn India is the third largest industrial employer in Tamil Nadu after Hyundai and Nokia. Workers at the factory began an occupation—a form of struggle widely practiced in India—on September 21. They demanded that management negotiate a pay increase and extend recognition to their trade union Thozilalar Sangam (FITS).

Mass arrests, Locking up of Foxconn Workers and FITS Union Leaders, Illegal Suspensions, Repression of Indian Workers

Dear Mr. Gou,

On behalf of 25 million metalworkers represented by the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF) with strength in more than 100 countries, I write to convey our outrage at the locking up of Foxconn India employees and their trade union leaders at Vellore Central Jail after the Indian employees asked Foxconn for their legal rights. We call on you to ensure:

–        that the complaints behind these charges are dropped and to ensure the immediate release of Foxconn India Thozhilalar Sangam (hereafter, FITS Union) honorary president A. Soundararajan, Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Kanchipuram District Secretary E. Muthu Kumar and the ten other FITS union leaders;

–        that all the Indian Foxconn workers victimized by suspension or paycuts for participating in union activities be immediately reinstated at their jobs with full back pay; and

–        that Foxconn immediately enter good faith negotiations with the FITS union to resolve these issues and ongoing problems stemming from working and employment conditions at the Foxconn plant in Nokia SEZ of Tamil Nadu, India.

In our view, the recognition and pay issues raised by Foxconn’s Indian employees need not have escalated to hunger strike, sit-in strike and mass arrest if the management had not turned a deaf ear to the workers’ written requests of August 24, 2010 and September 6, 2010 that Foxconn India management recognize the FITS Union—which had already gained legal status as a trade union of the Foxconn employees under the Indian law with registration number 504-KPM—and for Foxconn to begin wage talks with FITS Union.

Foxconn India management’s clear lack of willingness to negotiate with FITS Union, and management’s sudden September 21 announcement of its intention to conclude wage negotiations with another group (the Foxconn India Thozhilarlar Munnetra Sangam FITMS union, hereafter FITMS) forced these Foxconn employees to opt for 1500-person mass hunger strike and sit-in as of 12 am on September 22, 2010. Only then, on September 22, and in the presence of officials of the Tamil Nadu government and other witnesses, did the Foxconn India management agree to begin talks with the FITS union, scheduling the first round of negotiations for September 27, 2010. The government authorities categorically advised the Foxconn management not to engage in any actions that might victimize workers.

Trusting the company to uphold its commitment before the employees and the government in good faith, the Indian Foxconn employees of FITS Union stopped the sit-in hunger strike.

For these reasons, Foxconn’s posting notice the very next day (September 23) that it would dock 8-days of wages from the workers who participated in the peaceful sit-in and the company’s claim that it had just concluded an agreement with FITMS and thus could not bargain with FITS as publicly promised the day before is treated as a betrayal by the local community. This is why the Foxconn workers continue to demand negotiations and why the local labor authority asked Foxconn on October 1 to provide a written response to the FITS demands.

This failure of the Foxconn India management to respond to conciliation initiatives with dialogue and the sheer betrayal of their publicly-made commitments gave the Foxconn India employees no choice but to resume the sit-in on September 24, 2010 calling for negotiations or even for a fairly administered ballot to demonstrate FITS is the union representing the overwhelming majority of Foxconn India employees.

Having undermined efforts to establish working relationships by the above behaviour, the Foxconn management then turned to brute repression of the workers by having 1500 striking workers including women workers brutally dragged out, detained illegally by police until 8 pm–in some cases, giving rise to incidents where Foxconn women workers report being harassed and physically abused.

We remind you that on 22 September, 27 September, 30 September and 1 October, Tamil Nadu government authorities instructed Foxconn India not to victimize its Indian workers since punishing workers for exercising labor rights is illegal. Despite the categorical, unambiguous guidance of the Tamil Nadu labor authorities with explicit reference that it would be illegal for the company to continue with suspension of 23 trade union activists, Foxconn India appears intent on openly flouting the Indian government authorities and the law in order to deny fundamental human rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining to its employees in India.

Less than a month ago, you stood before the Chinese press to make the claim, “Foxconn is not a sweatshop.” Yet, unlike your loose allegation that Foxconn management style was unrelated to the string of suicides in your facilities, the sequence of events in India and illegal suspensions taken by Foxconn to bully Indian workers into submission are direct acts taken by Foxconn management in flagrant disregard of local labor authorities with tight causality. Denying your employees the freedom of association, even locking up the Foxconn workers and their union leaders for exercising labor rights are in our view egregious rights violations characteristic of a sweatshop.

We urge you to take immediate action to address the rapidly worsening situation in Tamil Nadu Foxconn. I have today also written to the government authorities in Tamil Nadu and to the CEO of Nokia to advise them of the situation and to seek their assistance in redressing the abuses of workers’ rights at Foxconn.

Sincerely,

Jyrki Raina
IMF General Secretary

Standing up for the Rights of Wisconsin Workers and Property Owners is going to require a Community Effort!

Please join Cindy and I is JUST SAYING NO to allowing Governor Scott Walker, Representatives Robin Vos,  Cory Mason & MTP President David DeGroot to violate the Wisconsin Constitution (and their Oath of Office) by granting special rights to Corporate interests, stealing people’s property, destroying multi-generational Farms alongside an entire long established Community, loosening environmental protections, permitting heavy metals water pollution, instituting slave labor wages, providing taxpayer subsidies to multi-billionaire Corporations, and politician overreach.