Friday, February 25, 2011

I'll Reprint One Of My Favorite Scott Walker Stories Below

The posting excerpt - - about how Scott Walker could be in favor of a rail project, but with right-wing media to be served, against it, too, is taken from this posting last year - -

I attended a meeting with [my then-boss, Milwaukee Mayor John] Norquist about commuter rail with all six regional elected leaders from here to the Illinois border.

In attendance were the Mayors of Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha, along with their County Executive counterparts.

I remember that the meeting was held in the office of the Racine County Executive, and was very cordial.

All agreed to support the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter train plan - -  the KRM - - but no one, if asked, was allowed to say that Walker was even at the meeting.

This was not surprising.

Through the years that Walker and Norquists' terms overlapped, word was always coming back from people working on transit - - other than buses - - that you always needed to be careful not to paint Walker into a corner as even remotely pro-rail because he'd come out swinging to mollify his talk radio supporters.

So when the Journal Sentinel called to report on the executives' KRM meeting, and the question was about attendance and who supported or said what, and specifically about Walker - - I paused, tried to figure out how to respond, and said you'll have to call Walker's office about that.


My point is that Walker does not see urban or high-speed rail (if he's for Amtrak, well, fine, and who knows where he is on the KRM?) as vehicles to move people through congested areas, or stimulate investment along the corridors or at stations, or to employ people or offer transportation choices here or in a large regional economy...

To Walker and talk radio, trains are political vehicles only...


Steve Branca said...

Jim, I remember another meeting, also private, that you and I attended on that subject, and the follow up was very different than the tone of the meeting participants. It was a private meeting at a location I can't disclose and can't say who was there and who said what, but the upshot was the same.

enoughalready said...

If the polls had shown majority support for high-speed rail, no doubt Walker would have been for it. His goal was to get elected. To Walker and his national GOP backers, I imagine redistricting trumps just about everything.