No quid pro quo
Regarding Ruth Conniff's claim of a quid pro quo on the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's economic development awards and campaign contributions ("Cash to Cronies," 7/19/2013): Contributions to existing or prospective political candidates play no role in WEDC's financial assistance decisions, which are driven by the applicants' commitments to business development and job creation in Wisconsin.
Tom Thieding, Corporate communications manager, WEDC
Ruth Conniff's article on the Walker administration and how it has rewarded his donors with our tax dollars should be required reading for all Wisconsin citizens. It's very sad. What is ironic is that we have the Wisconsin State Journal, right here in Madison, with lots of writers, and we don't get these facts. Every Scott Walker story they write is as if Scott himself wrote it and mailed it to them. They don't question. They don't investigate. The WSJ has become nothing but a mouthpiece for this administration. It makes you wonder: Are they corrupt or just lazy?
Tim Melin, Verona
A great humanitarian
In reading the article about Mr. Koua Vang ("Thanks, But No Thanks," Madison.gov, 719/2012), who will continue to offer a place to camp to homeless people, despite some steep fines, I would suggest that instead of fining him, we offer him the Humanitarian-Empathy Award of the Year.
The downtown elite
In response to Jennifer Uphoff Gray's recent letter ("Overture Myth, 7/19/13"): Yes, Overture and other arts organizations and events generate revenue. But that revenue does not benefit all citizens of Madison or Dane County alike. Most residents, even downtown, are not sharing in this prosperity. (See, e.g., the article on page 5 of the same issue, "The Building Boom Is Back.")
So while Overture et al. may certainly be quality-of-life assets for some, they are "economic drivers" only for the well off. For the rest of us -- the majority -- the only economic driver is that we'll be driven out of downtown as downtown's economy continues to favor the affluent and ignore the rest of us. And that was the point of my original letter ("Whose State Street?" 6/28/13). I work in Dane County and spend my money in Madison, but I don't see current trends in Madison "embracing" my class, or even recognizing our existence.