Good for the National Governors Association for picking Milwaukee as its 2013 convention site.
Sorry, however, about the lack of a light rail or other train service to get Governors, staffers, media and other conferees from the Milwaukee airport to the Wisconsin Center, like more up-to-date and even smaller US cities (like St. Louis) routinely provide.
Yes, it would have been a cheaper ride than a cab, but now you're here and you already have learned the first lesson of Wisconsin transportation and community planning [Sic]:
No New Trains.
You are in a rail-free zone.
Republican policy-makers in Wisconsin have something of a phobia about trains, even though once-upon-a-time Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson was a big rail booster (of sorts), ran the Amtrak board and even had a locomotive named after himself.
But Republicans, including Thompson when Walker was a lieutenant in the State Legislature, blocked light rail across Milwaukee through all sorts of procedural machinations because right-wing talk radio thinks it's a plot to take cars away from people and, worse, route scary strangers into peaceful suburban subdivisions.
Walker is also the one who said "No" to a constructing a federally-funded Amtrak extension across southeastern Wisconsin to Madison, and to a Milwaukee train construction and maintenance factory, too.
Which is one of the reasons Wisconsin is something of a new-jobs-free zone, too.
But, it's still great that the conference is here, because, by its very scheduling something impossible happened:
Governor Walker was lured back home off the 2016 presidential primary campaign trail and even right into the heart of the Big City.
Walker is from the tonier, and heavily-Republican Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa.
So he never really felt comfortable actually in the city where there are all kinds of undesirables, particularly Democrats who voted against him in droves in his 2011 recall election and are responsible for his 30% approval rating here right now.
In fact, Walker had gone out to the even-tonier and more-Republican community of Oconomowoc Lake in deeply-red Waukesha County during that campaign and told voters he didn't want Wisconsin to become another Milwaukee.
Maybe some of you attending the conference can point out to Walker some of the things you find appealing about the city- - if you can get out of the meetings for a self-guided tour.
Some suggestions: the spectacular and ornate downtown Library just a few blocks to your West, for example, or the Calatrava addition to the art museum on the Lake, or the historic City Hall near other great structures, like the Pabst Theater complex along the riverwalk to your East.
Oh - - sorry, also, about the lack of a downtown trolley system here.
The city which Walker didn't want the state to emulate has been trying to build that system during the last few years - - with the startup money on hand - - after the more extensive light rail system got blocked by partisan and anti-urban politicking years back.
But that same resistance is still around, and Walker played a pivotal role in obstructing the new trolleys when he was Milwaukee County Executive. As are his allies as we speak, both on elected bodies and in right-wing advocacy efforts funded by key Walker donors.
Walker has said he hopes someday that everyone here will own a car, though something like 30% of Milwaukee families in a city of 600,000 live without access to one, or the means to buy, maintain and insure it, so it was something of a pipe dream or a talking point gone totally bad.
But if everyone did, think of the expanded talk radio audience that could tune in as more people sat in more highway congestion. And for Walker and the road-builders, a great opportunity to do more business.
Anyway - - I know that most of the conference big-shots will have limos or vans to take them here and there, and some nice side trips are planned for them, but if anyone wants to see the city up close, like I said - - just lace up your walking shoes.
Just don't get too caught up in any group singing on Water Street. In some parts of the state, Walker's troopers would bust you for that.
Cross-posted at Purple Wisconsin.