Monday, December 17, 2018

Add to Walker's 'legacy' a Jan. 7th Amtrak special denied

While Walker is busy rewriting the story behind his fall, there is this:

Sure would have been fun for Milwaukeeans to ride a banner-festooned Amtrak train to Madison on January 7th and avoid another long drive through the State Scotthole Grid to get there. 

Where, after a short walk from the State Capitol Amtrak station, celebrants could watch Milwaukee-born Mandela Barnes take the oath of office as Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor and first African-American citizen to hold that office.
Mandela Barnes Headshot.jpg
But you cannot take that ride, or any Amtrak transportation between Madison and Milwaukee, because Scott Walker blocked that line's construction though the federal funds were in hand.

Because for Walker campaigning in 2010, it was more important to undermine President Obama's Amtrak vision, deny outgoing Democratic Governor Jim Doyle a win, and send a message for the next eight years that Walker would diss and disconnect the state's two biggest cities from each other and rail-based development which did not suit the GOP road-builder/special-interest complex.

Much of that history is here, and is also included in this posting.
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

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