In which the Journal Times offers a potentially enlightening story
about the millions being spent on consultants and attorneys for the
Foxconn development and then seeks only the comment of one of the
contractors who justifies his existence and wages.
This is why the Journal Times building in downtown Racine is for sale.
Claude Lois’ career was as an auto parts store owner. He was a
part-time mayor of Burlington for two terms and made the acquaintance
of attorney Alan Marcuvitz (another Foxconn jackpot winner) executing
eminent domain actions for development in Burlington.
Lois parlayed this experience into a TID for a golf course development
deal in Illinois. Lois and his friends bankrupted the TID and the
federal government actually shut down the bank who egregiously loaned
them the money, costing taxpayers nearly $60 million. That’s how badly
they messed it up.
After Lois and friends tanked the Illinois TID, he was appointed to a
mid-level job at the Department of Revenue by Scott Walker and served
there for a couple of years before he hit the big time with Foxconn.
In the announcement for Lois’ hire, Dave DeGroot cited his
“extraordinary track record of success” in fostering economic
development. Right. We imagine the people of Sharrad, Illinois would
There are potentially a dozen or so project managers globally who have
the experience and knowledge to handle a project as big and
complicated as the Foxconn development was proposed to be, the Village
hired a former auto parts store owner and part time mayor of a small
Wisconsin town with a track record bankrupting a TID in Illinois -
which is still recovering from the mess they made.
Lois and Marcuvitz bullied and coerced two dozen property owners in
eminent domain actions which were never brought before the Village
Board for approval, making it absolutely clear that the contractors
were always running the show. Pitt Bros have been bragging around town
they’ve made over $145 million on the options for the land we gave to
Meanwhile, in order for Foxconn to be on track to make the 13,000 jobs
they promised us they will have needed to hire 2080 people last year -
it looks as though they aren’t going to even make the minimum 512.
These numbers and goals are written into the contract, Claude Lois
knows that. But as long as he’s getting paid, who cares?