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Barrett shows he’s the big cheese; Walker brings the whine

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on February 17, 2010

Today, (Hero) Mayor Tom Barrett showed why he is obviously the best choice to be our next governor.

In his State of the City speech, he, along with fellow members of Milwaukee 7, announced that the Spanish company Ingeteam will be building a plant in Menominee Valley, which will create 270 jobs for us while they build wind-turbine generators. Of course, this is just the most recent of successes that Barrett has had in bringing jobs to the city:

Barrett worked the announcement into his speech’s theme of job creation, which has been a continuing focus of his mayoral campaigns and his current campaign as a Democratic candidate for governor. He typically delivers the annual address at a site that illustrates city economic development efforts – including Manpower, which relocated its international headquarters from Glendale to a new $78 million building just north of downtown Milwaukee in 2007, with the aid of a city tax incremental financing district.

Not only does Barrett bring in the jobs, but he does it by showing he is a real leader by bringing in lots of people and groups to get these feats done:

The seven-county economic development organization was short on high-profile announcements until recently, leading to questions about its effectiveness. But in the past few months, the M-7 scored with the November announcement that Republic Airways would double its Milwaukee-area workforce, adding 800 maintenance and call center jobs, after its purchase of Midwest Airlines, and the January announcement that C&D Technologies Inc. would add 150 Milwaukee jobs after landing a $19 million U.S. Army contract.In his speech, Barrett pointed to the Republic and C&D expansions and played up the role of the M-7, saying the group’s founders had to overcome “parochial distrust and a bit of partisan angst” to establish “a new model for job creation in the region.”

[Greater Milwaukee Committee President Julia] Taylor called the Ingeteam announcement “a pretty big home run for Milwaukee,” and added, “It shows what we can do when we put on the regional muscle.”

Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said the M-7 coordinates city, state and private-sector development efforts, adding, “Five years ago, there was no entity called M-7, and my experience was that we wouldn’t have likely won a deal like this without that collaboration.”

Even N.E.W. North got into the act. The economic development consortium for northeastern Wisconsin has been marketing that region as a center for the wind power industry, and state and M-7 representatives used the N.E.W. North directory of Wisconsin wind power component suppliers to help convince Ingeteam that Milwaukee would be a viable location for the company’s plant, N.E.W. North spokesman Josh Morby said.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, who often goes around bragging about creating higher unemployment rates, had a little tantrum regarding the news:

While I will give Walker the point that these jobs were driven by the job creation tax credit, he is not being quite completely honest about things.

The job creation tax credit being used is part of the stimulus package. The same stimulus that Walker has repeatedly said was not working and would not work.

In these rough economic times, the choice for governor couldn’t be any clearer. On one hand, you have Tom Barrett who has consistently used every tool and reached out to every corner to help bring jobs here. On the other hand, you have Scott Walker who brags about putting thousands of people on unemployment, and refuses all and any help in improving Milwaukee County.


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