Republicans Killed Hundreds of Jobs and Stole Nearly $1 Billion from Milwaukee’s Central City

by Windtalker –

high speed rail chicago milwaukee

I’m writing this in response to Donald Trump’s speech to the exurban, white crowd in West Bend, Wisconsin, yesterday about the problems in Milwaukee’s largely black central city. Scott Walker sat there like a lump. That’s because he is a lump when it comes to creating jobs in Milwaukee. To wit…

Several years ago, Milwaukee had a fantastic plan to: 1) create hundreds of jobs in the central city; 2) create thousands of jobs across the state; 3) build a high-tech factory in the central city that could attract other businesses;  and 4) build part of a high-speed rail system that would connect Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and Minneapolis/St. Paul. Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle and area business leaders applied for and received a federal grant for over $800 to carry out the project. It was a very big deal!

With help from the City of Milwaukee, the Talgo Corporation began renovating/building its facilities in  a poor neighborhood that needed a big boost. They began building trains. People like me were excited about being able to take a high-speed train to Chicago instead of crawling there through heavy traffic and road construction. It was great! Win, win, win, win for everybody!

Then Scott Walker was elected governor. He stopped the project because…who the hell knows. He said something about the trains not meeting certain “standards,” but never said what they were and never gave Talgo a chance to fix it. And the state would be required to pay some annual amount to keep it operational once it was built. Small price to pay for a project that could anchor a rebirth in a part of Milwaukee that really needed it.

And then he sent the $800 million grant back to Washington.

Let me say that again: in a state with crumbling infrastructure and not enough money to fix it, Scott Walker gave back an $800 million grant for high-speed rail.

Talgo shut down its operations. The state and the city had already invested $42 million in infrastructure updates and other incentives, money that ended up being thrown down the drain. Then Talgo sued the state for $66 million for breach of contract and to recover expenditures it had already made. In the end, Talgo got nearly $10 million from the state and got to keep the two trains they had already built.

This was exactly the kind of project that everyone says is needed in Milwaukee. The Democrats actually tried to do it. The Republicans killed it.

So when ANY Republicans, especially Drumpf, start babbling about how THEY can “fix” Milwaukee, do not — I repeat, do not — trust them. Republicans cannot be trusted to do anything for Milwaukee that doesn’t earn a profit for the “right” people, whether it’s high-speed rail or public education.

Lying liars and the lies they tell…AARGH!

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos