Sunday, July 3, 2016

Modern Amtrak service, jobs Walker threw away, in one image

[Updated from 7/2/16] Remember the proposed federally-funded Midwest regional fast Amtrak line connecting Milwaukee to Madison and beyond which Scott Walker threw away (along with years of construction, train assembly and other spin-off jobs) because a) the cities were too Democratic, b) he needed to deny outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle any legacy, c) the road-builder/fossil-fuel complex which backed him preferred highway-building and, most importantly, d) he needed to establish, at any cost, his anti-Obama reputation, nationally?

Update: Even though that partisan and political anti-rail FUBAR eventually cost Wisconsin about $50 million in court-ordered-breach-of-contract settlement penalties for trains assembled here but which were not allowed to serve a Wisconsin market?

Do also you remember there was even talk that the new station which would help restore long denied service to Madison at Monona Terrace just below the state office complex along Wilson St. might be named after Doyle, given that he had negotiated receipt of the funding from the Obama administration as well as train set purchases for assembly in a new facility strategically-located in a low-income neighborhood, too?

Within this long post which details Walker and the ideological GOP right's destruction of a modern rail industry in Wisconsin are these key paragraphs which sum up the rail wreckage - - from light rail, to Amtrak, though the Milwaukee streetcar seems to have escaped several rightist derailment efforts - - which are already part of Scott Walker's jobs-fail legacy:

In January, Governor Doyle announced Wisconsin will receive $823 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to build high-speed rail service to connect its centers of commerce and create thousands of jobs....

The project is estimated to create thousands of jobs in Wisconsin in fields like construction, engineering, design and supply. 
 July 29, 2010: 

LaHood, Doyle say there's no derailing high-speed rail line 

About a month later, from the Scott Walker gubernatorial campaign "No Train" Website, Walker pledges to kill the initiative: 
Dear President Obama: 
Last month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood...declared that: "High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin," and "there's no stopping it." 
I am drawing a line in the sand Mr. President: No matter how much money you and Governor Doyle try to spend before the end of the year, I will put a stop to this boondoggle the day I take office.
*  Six days after the Nov. 2, 2010 gubernatorial election, won by Walker, from the AP:
Jim Doyle, Wisconsin's outgoing Democratic governor, told The Associated Press that although he thinks a high-speed rail line to connect Milwaukee with Madison is a good idea, he feels obligated to leave the project's future up to Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker.

Minutes after Doyle made his comments, Walker said he remains opposed to the $810 million project.

"My position remains the same," Walker said. "I don't see anything that would change my mind."
Rather than reprise the entire text, let me offer you one new image which represents a surviving piece of what was lost:


Anonymous said...

Remember, Scott Walker threw it away with the help of the local railroad which taxpayers continue to subsidize, Wisconsin & Southern (WSOR) which criminally laundered more than $70,000 to Walker to kill this investment in high speed rail.

And how did criminal and Walker BFF make-out after this crime which should have immediately terminated all of the leases to run on state-owned railroad tracks?

HE MADE MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SELLING RAILROAD TO THE KOCH BROTHER'S BFF WATCO, the largest transportation holding company in the world which has Koch Industries as their largest customer!

Oh, people didn't know that WSOR runs almost exclusively on state-owned railroad tracks that taxpayers pay to maintain for WSOR on-demand?

Many, you gotta love Wisconsin politics and the journalism (or lack there-of) that makes this all possible...

Anonymous said...

Your last point is the key. Without the media propaganda that blankets Wisconsin, there would be no divide-and-conquer Governor nor would his cronies control the state.

The reason Walker failed on the national stage is that, while there are plenty of right-wing propaganda outlets and media hacks, they don't need to fall in line with Scott Walker to do the teabaggin' thing. Take away the massive media propaganda, and Walker is a fool.

The rest of America saw this and it is only the propaganda, lead by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and then cast across the state, amplified as "news", that let's Walker rise to successively higher offices in the Badger State.

We are stuck with Walker for years, because the media environment has not changed and is still dominated by right-wing shills. There may not be, proportionally, less right-wing propaganda at the national level, but they are not all in-bed with Scott Walker like they are in Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

Well, it is probably a good thing to defund passenger rail if they have to share the tracks with those rail bomb oil trains running over rusty 110 year old bridges that are about to fall down. It will be bad enough when one of those goes BOOOM! in Milwaukee or 'Tosa, but even worse if it blows up a high speed train too.

Richard Nixon said...