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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, June 22, 2006

McIlheran Watch: RedPrairie BullCrap

(McIlheran blog readers, see update below.)

Wednesday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial page features the twice-weekly befouling that is Patrick McIlheran's column. This week, it's about the anti-tax conservative outrage du jour:
John Jazwiec, boss of Waukesha's Red-Prairie, is the latest to say so, spectacularly, by warning that his star software company might leave.

This could be a bluff. But maybe not: Want to bet the state's future on it?

High taxes are the "5,000-pound elephant in the room" for businesses, Jazwiec told Journal Sentinel reporter Kathleen Gallagher last week. There are the taxes on businesses. There's his sense that no one in politics is listening. And the state's high-tax reputation makes it harder to recruit talent. [. . .]

If this state and region want to keep the culture we have, our leaders need to stop excusing their expenses and start offering taxpayers a better deal.
Xoff gives us a more complete picture. RedPrairie is a successful (if obscure) software company built in Wisconsin by Wisconsin workers. It is now owned by a California consortium, which installed Jazwiec--also from California--as its CEO. As it turns out, Jazwiec has a long history of calling Wisconsin (which built his company into a success) a "socialist state" and jokes about the "hammer and sickle" on our flag.

And now, this California boy with California bosses is threatening (and not for the first time) to leave. Any guesses he might take the company to . . . California?

Seems like Wisconsin's conservatives ought to be mad at Jazwiec, for his wanting to undo the success of a Wisconsin company built on Wisconsin labor and Wisconsin smarts. Nothing against the great state of California (except, of course, their theft of our dairy dominance), but this isn't high taxes driving a company out; this is poaching.

Update, 6/23: P-Mac takes offense at my use of the word "obscure," above. Three points: One, be honest--had you heard of RedPrairie before this? Do you use their software? Two, I have not tried, as P-Mac asserts ("doubters chimed in: It’s only 200 jobs at an 'obscure' company," he writes, badly paraphrasing what I wrote)to minimize the loss the company would mean to the local economy. Three, P-Mac does not address the substance of my post; I guess he figures that giving his readers an inaccurate impression of what I said is enough.

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