State Rep. Dale Kooyenga, (R-Brookfield), is channeling an earlier legislator from his area - - former party leader and State Rep. Scott Jensen - - and other Waukesha County pols - - who loved telling Milwaukee residents what kind of transit they can have while stifling the economy.
Jensen used referendum threats and budget language (approved by then-Gov. Tommy Thompson) to help sink light rail, and Kooyenga, in a Capitol completely controlled by one party - - his - - has decided to legislatively kill Milwaukee's long-planned downtown trolley.
This is what suburban GOP politicians do - - stick it to Milwaukee; Scott Walker killed both the new Madison-Milwaukee rail line, plus train manufacturing jobs in a low-income Milwaukee neighborhood - - costing jobs in the city and throughout the rail corridor.
Saturday afternoon update: A Journal Sentinel editorial writer criticizes Kooyenga, though I think Kooyenga's actions defeat the lede:
Normally a pretty level-headed, thoughtful and even conscientious legislator, Rep. Dale Kooyenga last week gave more ammunition to those who feel that state GOP legislators hate Milwaukee and rail in any form.Anti-Milwaukee animus plays well in Waukesha County, and in other suburban communities, where bashing the city is money in the bank and votes at the ballot box come election time.
Rather than let a proposed streetcar project for downtown Milwaukee - approved by the Common Council - go through the normal approval process, the Brookfield Republican promised to introduce a bill aimed at killing it.
Meanwhile...billions in Wisconsin for new 'freeway' lanes and splendid contracts for the politically-immersed road-building lobby.