Walker questions land purchase prompted by Burke in 2006

By Kris Schuller | kris.schuller@wearegreenbay.com

Published 07/08 2014 08:46PM

Updated 07/08 2014 09:08PM

WISCONSIN (WFRV)  Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke were trading jabs Tuesday.  Concerning a political ad put out by the governor, accusing Burke of wasting millions in taxpayer dollars in a land deal that has yet to produce any jobs.

Tuesday, Burke was campaigning on a farm in Mazomanie. While there, the former Trek Bicycle executive responded to the just released ad that attacks her record while serving as state commerce secretary under then Governor Jim Doyle.

Specifically, the ad accuses Burke of encouraging the state to spend $12.5 million on a vacant lot in Kenosha County, to lure drug maker - Abbott Laboratories - to Wisconsin. Yet eight years later - the property still sits vacant.

"It was a great opportunity for the state," said Burke. "You don't often have a chance to get a Fortune 500 company to locate a corporate headquarters in Wisconsin and Abbott bought more than 400 acres of land in anticipation of a possible long-term development and we were happy to support that."

Meanwhile Gov. Walker defended the ad that questions Burke's record and her decision-making. After touring a factory south of Madison - he had this to say.

"It was one of those where, at the time, there was even issues raised about the fact, that that particular company had not made any announcements of making jobs as a part of that," said Walker. "In fact no plans were they announcing in terms of developing that site, and in fact not long before that, they had laid off workers in two different waves out there."

 Burke said Tuesday the state was trying to lure a major employer to Wisconsin and taxpayers were protected under provisions in the agreement.             

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