Monday, September 15, 2014

WI GOP now loves 'stick-it-to-Milwaukee' big government

More evidence that Wisconsin Republicans used to be the party of local controls - - 'Get Madison out of our business!' - - but now that they run all three branches of state government they love that big government power.

*  The latest example.  An order from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission - - with a 2-1 right wing majority appointed by Wrong-Way Walker - - micro-managing how many miles of new pipe the City of Milwaukee must replace annually.

Overseeing the PSC's order is a Jeff Stone a former GOP state legislator from a Milwaukee suburb who was rejected in a 2011 run for Milwaukee County Executive on the strength of City of Milwaukee votes for the eventual winner, Chris Abele, because Stone was seen as a clone of outgoing Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.

* Not to mention the wonderfully-enlarged salaries and pension calculations that come with big government appointments and enjoyed by conservative Walker loyalists across the state government at taxpayer expense.

*  This is same 2-1 PSC majority that bought the argument of Bradley Foundation-supported attorneys and barred the City of Milwaukee from billing WE Energy customers for any share of the costs of moving utility lines if and when a downtown electric trolley system is built.

So the PSC dictated from its Madison perch a kill order for a Milwaukee transportation and development project.

Of course, We Energy would be the supplier of electricity for the trolley system, thus making money for shareholders already benefiting from the company's monopoly status and service territory.

Ditto for electricity sales to the new condos, apartments and businesses that a streetcar will spur along the route - - as it has in cities like Minneapoils-St. Paul that added what Milwaukee cannot build because of ideological and anti-urban politics:
The success of the Blue Line has also helped spur development along the line. At the north end, housing and office projects are planned or underway in the North Loop and near Target Field. Directly adjacent to the Nicollet Mall Station, a 26-story apartment building is being built — the first high-rise in Minneapolis in 30 years. Plans to add offices, green space and apartments near the site of the new Vikings Stadium are taking shape as well. 
East of the 38th Street Station, a 180-unit apartment building, Longfellow Station, is nearing completion. And in Bloomington, plans for a 50-acre transit-oriented development around the Bloomington Central Station are taking shape as the Mall of America continues to expand.
Note that when We Energy lines have to be moved for the widening of a highway - - like the big stanchions along the freeway system which often need relocation  - - that cost is rolled into the project budget and absorbed by the taxpayers.

*  Then you have multiple one-size-fits-all changes to ID, voting hours and absentee ballot availability laid down by Republicans in the State Legislature to put the squeeze on local voting officials in Milwaukee. Walker's southern counterparts will no doubt approve.

* And, yes, there is widespread and destructive Republican disregard for local controls out-state, too.

The 'best' examples of the worst GOP-led big-government-at-all-cost schemes are aimed at letting sand mining companies have their way with local land use and water conservation plans, as well as the closing off of Northern Wisconsin forest land in advance of wrecking an entire watershed for a politically-connected Florida mining firm.

And it's no coincidence that the interests being served first by Walker & Co. are major GOP donor partners, like WE Energy or GTac.

Regardless of their chamber of commerce rhetoric, no one loves big government more than a CEO with legislators and governors and phony regulators at their beck-and-call.

Voters and local officials statewide are being manipulated, but with its big Democratic turnout, sticking it to Milwaukee this way is the GOP's major aim.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Walker controls everything in this state either by corruption or by connection even down to if you are disadvantaged and need help you must shame yourself first by peeing in a cup because he says so! The man is despicable as he looks down on all of us with that stupid smirk and his air of righteousness. I sure hope what goes around comes around as he's in need of some attitude adjustment.