Will Scott Walker “Raid” Transportation Fund to Kill High-Speed Rail?

Scott Walker says he can’t imagine anything that would convince him to change his mind and that he still plans to kill the high-speed rail project.

So if one takes him at his word, why hasn’t anyone asked him where he’s going to get the $100 million it will cost to cancel the project? Perhaps some enterprising reporter should ask him? Psssst….We’re looking at mostly at you, Journal Sentinel reporters Patrick Marley and Larry Sandler. (In case you missed the news, multiple news outlets reported this week that  $100 million has either already been spent on the project or cannot be canceled and must be repaid if the project is killed).

Scott Walker has promised not to raid the transportation fund. How would talk radio view breaking one campaign promise to keep another? If killing high-speed rail is involved, that’s OK, right? (And yes, AP’s Scott Bauer even uses the word “promise” in his headline, here).

We all know that if the money isn’t spent here, it will go to fund a rail project in other states. But Walker continues his fantasy anyway of insisting that the money could be redirected to be used on roadwork. No way, both Republicans like Tom Petri and Democrats say, as predicted earlier.

So with that money going to create jobs in other states, where does Walker get the $100 million he needs to kill the project? As explained recently, borrowing could more than double the cost. But loaning the money from the transportation fund, or taking the money outright from the transportation fund, might make more sense for Walker.

How would raiding the transportation fund to support job creation in other states, for high-speed rail no less, play on Milwaukee talk radio? And how would it play with all those road builders who contributed to Walker’s campaign?

It should be an interesting few months.

And if this all sounds like a stretch, just remember that it’s not like Scott walker has been caught raiding segregated funds before. Oh wait….


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6 thoughts on “Will Scott Walker “Raid” Transportation Fund to Kill High-Speed Rail?

    1. I’m not exactly sure what that means, but I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Walker or Republicans in the Assembly or Senate will raid the transportation fund as much as necessary, despite their campaign rhetoric to the contrary.

  1. Wait, failed or not, how is using money for a transporation purpose from the transporation fund considered a raid? Would you have also considered it a raid to fund the train year after year from that fund? Blame Walker all you want, but it is Doyle who got us in this mess. And the federal government for shoving something down our throat that we do not want or need.

    1. Speak for yourself. Walker did not win the election by that much, and it certainly was not based on *only* this issue. I think most business owners in this state wanted high-speed rail, and certainly did not feel they were having it “forced down their throats”. Far from it; most thinking people, EVEN CONSERVATIVES, are aware of the necessity of mass transportation, and OUR need as a State, to be at the center of it, in order to be a part of the new economy.
      I am ashamed that we are being left behind for a “principle” that just does not apply in this case. We should have applied that money to the high-speed rail and gratefully created jobs for our people. Revenue would have paid for the costs, and all other arguments be damned. JOBS matter, or so our new governor claimed.
      Finally, “forgotmyscreenname”, raiding the transportation fund for the railroad IS a raid on the roads, and you certainly know what people are implying by that. We would have had this $100 million for our ROADS that Mr. Walker was soooo concerned about during the campaign had he just gone ahead and done the responsible thing and been a part of moving our State forward with high-speed rail and GOOD PAYING JOBS. Now we will have $100 million LESS for roads. But that’s never bothered Scott Walker before; just look at this past track record:

  2. “And the federal government for shoving something down our throat that we do not want or need”

    Just a reminder. There was no shoving.

    Wisconsin APPLIED for the taxpayer money in a competitive process in which several dozen states participated but only a handful were awarded funds for construction. The quality of the WISDOT proposal that made the rail grant a reality was possible because the state had been preparing for the opportunity for more than a decade. Who started laying the ground work? Governor Tommy Thompson.

    Need depends, among other things, on your age, how much fuel costs in 2015, where you need to go, and whether your time is valuable enough to waste driving a vehicle on government run roads when you could be on a modern train resting or using mobile technology to be productive. And not just between Madison and Milwaukee, but Chicago and Madison, and eventually Minneapolis to Milwaikee. If you are thinking of creating a retail business in the cores of many of these towns you need to have the foot traffic that passenger rail will generate.

    1. “whether your time is valuable enough to waste driving a vehicle”

      As opposed to wasting my time driving my vehicle to the train depot, waiting for the train to arrive, riding the train that goes aprox. same speed as car, beind dropped off at arrival depot to wait for a cab or bus to arrive to take me to my real destination.

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