Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Campaigns And Trains - - And GOP Double-Talk; Killing An Industry Is Not Job-Creation

Scott Walker and Mark Neumann, seeking votes from the same conservative suburban electorate, are one-upping each other with attacks on the Amtrak extension from Milwaukee to Madison - - a component in a modern rail link from Chicago to the Twin Cities.

Yet both of these men claim to be job-creators.

The train expansion will link Wisconsin cities and their economies to their bigger counterparts in Illinois and Minnesota.

The Spanish train manufacturer Talgo is building an assembly plant in the Menomonee Valley to produce train equipment for the national high-speed Amtrak expansion, with all the spin off employment needed for a national manufacturer available for Milwaukee and regional sub-contractors, plus the law firms, accountants, banks, public relations businesses and the like.

So this is how Walker and Neumann want to position themselves on the job-creation issue?

Closing off and shutting down a new, growing national business in Milwaukee?

And directing the train expansion money to a neighbouring state, or to another region?

Get serious, gentlemen: Just because there is a primary campaign underway does not mean you can get away with flat-out double-talk and counter-productive policy proposals.


jpk said...

I totally agree with the hyprocrisy of Walker and how it misleads people about the benefits of rail.

At the same time, Dems need to do a better job promoting exactly how the line is economically beneficial.

Who cares what Walker says. The Barrett campaign needs to focus on how many jobs rail creates, not how Walker's a stupid politician.

enoughalready said...

Walker and Johnson may believe what they say, or they may just be following the polls. (Ditto, global warming.) Personally, I am looking for enlightened leadership, not ignorance and pandering.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous commentators that the Democrats, particularly Mayor Barrett, need to aggressively defend and promote the high speed rail project as jobs creation and cleaner, faster transportation. It could start with a nostalgic ad about the days when passenger trains ran everywhere in the country, but now the trains are coming back to serve all the people.

James Rowen said...

I agree that jobs and business connections offered by high-speed rail should be at the core of the political push for high-speed rail.

Along with the entire notion of offering choices; then let the customer choose.

The nostalgia angle is tricky. We want people to look forward.

Anonymous said...

So why was Barrett hiding when Sec. LaHood was here with Doyle saying the train is coming whether we like it or not?

As the particulars of the Milwaukee-Madison train becomes more well known through out the rest of the state - watch Barrett run away from this issue even more.

The only thing out-staters hate more than Madison, is Milwaukee - or vice-versa.

jpk said...

Just watched Walker's ad and gotta admit that (despite his policy morphing yet again) maybe using the Mad-Milw train allocation for LOCAL roads wouldn't be the end of the world.

LOCAL infrastructure is the backbone of the WI economy. It ain't rail nor is it freeways.

Of course, I still don't trust Walker on transportation b/c his formal policy seems to fluctuate so much.

What does he really want? Does he want to send the $ back? Use it for local roads? Express buses? Expanded freeways? Zoo interchange? What!?