UPDATE: Outsourcing war blows up in race for Governor - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Outsourcing war blows up in race for Governor

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A war is blowing up in Wisconsin's race for Governor, as incumbent Scott Walker (R) and challenger Mary Burke (D) try to make the other look sympathetic to companies that outsource Wisconsin jobs.

The Walker campaign launched a new ad Wednesday attacking Burke's record on outsourcing during her time as a Trek Bicycle executive.

In a release about the ad, Friends of Scott Walker Spokesperson Tom Evenson writes: "How can the voters trust someone like Mary Burke to help them create jobs when her own company shipped Wisconsin jobs overseas?"

But a few short hours later, Gov. Walker's top economic official defended the practice of outsourcing.

"We are in a global marketplace and some companies, to be successful financially, need to outsource," said Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation CEO Reed Hall.

Hall was responding to questions about a 27 News story from last week, which showed at least two companies that received tax credits from WEDC later outsourced Wisconsin jobs to foreign countries.

A 27 News investigation uncovered that both the Eaton Corporation and Plexus Corporation received financial awards from WEDC, only to later lay off workers whose jobs were taken by employees at the companies' foreign facilities.

"I'm sorry that they temporarily had to outsource some jobs, but I think ultimately over the long-term its gonna be a great win for Wisconsin with both these companies," said Hall.

Speaking frankly about the practice in general, Hall says outsourcing is a reality of times we live in.

"I don't think anyone wants to do that, but its a part of what happens in the State of Wisconsin and every other state in the nation," said Hall. 

Burke slammed the Governor last week in response to our story about the WEDC by saying, as Governor, she would insist every state financial award given out would protect against the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs.

Gov. Walker's campaign called Burke a hypocrite and continues to hammer Burke for her outsourcing of jobs at Trek.

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MADISON (WKOW) -- On the same day Gov. Scott Walker's campaign released an ad painting Mary Burke as millionaire who outsources jobs to China, his top economic official said some companies need to outsource jobs in order to make money.

The Governor's ad and those comments come exactly one week after 27 News reported that two companies that received tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) outsourced jobs to other countries.

Making his first on-camera comments about that story in Beloit Wednesday morning, WEDC Chief Executive Officer Reed Hall defended the decision to continue offering financial incentives to both Eaton Corp. and Plexus Corp.

"We have to understand, we are in a global marketplace and there's some companies to be successful financially, need to outsource," said Hall.  "I don't think anyone wants to do that, but its a part of what happens in the State of Wisconsin and every other state in the nation."

Both sides in the race have accused the other of being hypocritical on the issue of outsourcing.

Gov. Walker's campaign has been hammering Burke, the Democratic candidate for Governor, for months over the fact that Trek Bicycle outsourced jobs to China while she worked as an executive there.

Burke slammed the Governor last week in response to our story about the WEDC by saying, as Governor, she would insist every state financial award given out would protect against the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann will have more on this story on 27 News at 5 and 6.
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