Friday, November 9, 2018

About contracts in WI; don't let GOP sidetrack the history

We know that Walker and his legislative henchmen are plotting against Tony Evers and the voters.

But before GOP leaders dislocate any fingers wringing their hands over the sanctity of the Foxconn agreement, let's remember a few things about Team Walker and its approach to keeping one's word.

*  Walker bragged about having turned back $810 in pledged federal funds which were already being spent on rail bridge upgrades to begin the return of Haiwatha line passenger service from Milwaukee to Madison to a midwest network to the Twin Cities to the Pacific Northwest on the historic Empire Builder run.

* The full federal grant was to upgrade existing rail, build new trains, and construct and operate an equipment assembly and maintenance plant in Milwaukee, all to kick-start and boosting a Wisconsin-based rail industry which would provide service and jobs for decades, perhaps generations.

Contracts were signed, but we came to learn that a deal wasn't really a deal if Walker and the GOP-run legislature decided to deal themselves out.

*  So there was this:

State kills maintenance contract with Talgo
State officials have canceled a $116 million maintenance contract with a Spanish-owned train manufacturer, escalating a political and legal dispute over two brand-new trains that already have cost the state $71.8 million.
*  Eventually, a settlement cost the state about $50 million because, as the train maker's lawyer put it:
"The state signed contracts with Talgo and then absolutely walked away from that," [Atty. Lester] Pines said.
*   Thus the trains were build, came and went, like this:
Oregon launches made-and-banned-in-Milwaukee trains
Made in Wisconsin, banned in Wisconsin -- but welcomed to Oregon - - while two other train sets sit in storage in Milwaukee, moth-balled by the ideologues. 
And a year later, this about that mothballed second set of trains: 
Wisconsin's high-speed trains ready to Michigan
Meanwhile, the two high-speed Talgo train sets originally built for high-speed rail service to connect Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago have finally found a home — in Michigan. The trains are part of improvements that are expected to shave two hours off the current Detroit-Chicago run. 
*  All put into context recently:
Alderman: Walker shows selective memory with Foxconn comments
Bauman: Governor had no problem canceling contract with international train maker
*  And a final thought: I don't know what's going to happen with the Foxconn deal, but I know we should pay attention to our history. 

*  And also to the news today that the state is facing a $2 billion funding shortfall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Breaking Foxconn news:

Now Foxconn ia letting it be known, via Scott Walker's BFF Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that they certainly WILL import workers. This after MJS carried Walker's water immediately before the election that Foxconn WOULD NOT import any workers.

I have to link to jsonline, as it is really just a republican propaganda tool; but if you have been following this story, you have already seen the amazing flip-flops and disingenuous reporting. Now that Walker is on his way out, guess they don't mind telling the facts on this:

Foxconn will need engineers from Asia at Wisconsin factory, consultants say

No one should be surprised that MJS tried to make us believe the lies about Foxconn generating jobs for Wisconsin citizens and taxpayers. What is astounding, even by the low standards of MJS, is that fact-checking and accurately reporting on this issue was easy. It did not suit the agenda of MJS to get this story straight before the election and now they need to condition people to accept the truth.

NOTE: I had to bleach my brain after viewing this story at that site.