Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Barrett Campaign Blasts Walker Over Jobs

The Barrett Campaign forwarded this dart aimed with good reason at Scott Walker today.

I think it shows Walker vulnerable on the jobs issue and reveals Walker's need to find fault with the high-speed rail investment being made in Milwaukee by Talgo, the Spanish train maker locating a production facility here. As a tactic, I think it's pretty self-destructive, but as long as Walker wants to go after the Talgo train investment, I'm only to happy to promote the other side.

Wrote Ryan Alexander at the Barrett Campaign: "Scott Walker held a bogus press conference with his 2006 Co-Finance Chair, Fred Luber (also Super Steel Founder) to attack Tom Barrett's record of bringing jobs to Milwaukee.

"Below is a statement from Barrett for Wisconsin Communications Director Phil Walzak:

"That's a lot of blarney from Scott Walker, even for St. Patrick's Day. Much like his exposed brown bag charade, the list of contradictions is amazing.

Scott is upset his big campaign donor didn't get the contract, yet he didn't lift a finger to help Super Steel; he says he supports the M7 regional economic growth effort, yet trashes one of its great successes; Scott says he's for jobs, yet attacks the Talgo investment that will create hundreds of jobs in Wisconsin. This grandstanding just shows Scott Walker is a politician that Wisconsin families can't trust."

Here are some additional background points on Talgo, Super Steel, and Fred Luber:
  • Fred Luber is a $2,500 donor to Scott Walker's campaign and in 2006 he was Walker's Co-Finance Chair:
  • Fred Luber is also a key architect of a sweeping plan to build the political infrastructure to elect Republicans at all levels of government in Wisconsin. Key Walker operative Michael Grebe is also a part of this movement (
  • If Walker had his way, Super Steel would STILL be in receivership and Talgo would be putting hundreds of jobs in Oregon or Illinois, NOT Wisconsin.

Super Steel and Talgo:

  • On 3/2/02 Super Steel was quoted in the MJS as saying that it will remain in business after the Talgo deal and "substantially all jobs" remain in place.
  • According to Super Steel president Jim Schmelzer, the receivership is, "is part of a strategic business effort to reposition the company for new growth and success as the United States emerges from the current economic downturn." (MJS 3,2,02) (
  • Furthermore, Super Steel spokesman Evan Zeppos even stated the Biz Times on 3/4/02 that Super Steel's decision to file for receivership was not related to the Talgo announcement that it will build an assembly plant at the Tower Automotive site rather than at Super Steel, "One contract would not have reversed the economic impact we’ve been facing at Super Steel" ("No one contract or one assignment could have changed the difficult and very, very problematic situation that Super Steel has faced in the last couple of years because of the economic worldwide meltdown.")
  • The state put out an RFI and Talgo was the only company to respond. No other interest was shown in the RFI and Super Steel did not respond to the RFI.
  • Talgo's decision to take the lead instead of using Super Steel could very well mean more jobs for Wisconsin: "Much of the speculation about the plant site had focused on Super Steel Products Corp., on Milwaukee's northwest side. But Super Steel President Jim Schmelzer said his company was notified Monday morning that Talgo had decided not to contract with Super Steel to build the trains…it may indicate that Talgo has decided to go beyond its original plan to use the new plant for final assembly of components manufactured largely in Spain, Bauman said. That would fit with Oregon's announcement that its trains would use largely American-built parts."
  • Talgo made a decision based on its own economic analysis, and Super Steel wasn't best positioned to make the best product (Super Steel produces a different type of rail car that is not compatible with the high-speed rail lines being planned for Wisconsin or other parts of the country (Oregon).

Scott Walker's real jobs plan is to stand with his big donors and smear Tom Barrett's job creation successes. Can't hide the fact that Walker has none.

Please contact me at with any questions.


William said...

Yeah Walker's "attack" here is baffling for anyone who's taken the 5 seconds to follow the Talgo/Super Steel news cycle in the last few weeks. And anyone paying attention to just who is co-signing this statement can see that it's so transparently pathetic. Sadly, it's not about reaching the informed voters at this point, but yeesh...

Anonymous said...

These are some good hits, but this issue is even riper. Barrett needs to take this critique and overtly connect it to a broader theme, like Doyle did in '06 w/ Green is too extreme. And the theme is obvious -- Scott Walker is an incessant self-promoter who will say anything to further his political career. This not only benefits from having numerous cases in point -- his penchant for managing Milwaukee County via the press, his unwillingness to commit to his work w/ the county, this instance w/ Talgo, etc. -- but it also highlights Barrett's strength as a committed, consensus-builder who isn't afraid to put himself on the line to do what's right (quite litterally).