A two-story series by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the state's welfare programs for business echoed findings in a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign report released in March 2005 and an August 2006 state audit.
All three reviews found the state's business welfare programs hand out millions of dollars a year in cheap loans, grants and tax breaks, but don't know if many of the companies are meeting job creation and other economic development goals. In other cases, the state waives some of the goals and requirements when it hands out the money.
The WDC report explored the level of state welfare to businesses that made campaign contributions. Those who made contributions got substantially higher state aid than those who did not.
Three investigations by three different organizations in three different years all find these programs give away millions in state tax dollars to wealthy corporations that kept the cash, but not their promises.