Skip to main content

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (or as Charles P. Pierce refers to him - "the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin") back in 2010 refused $810 million in federal money to upgrade Madison-Milwaukee-Chicago passenger train service, calling it a boondoggle. Never mind the jobs it would have created or all the other benefits; never mind the industry it would have brought to the state; never mind that our country's rail system is crying out for investment. Walker joined other Republican governors in refusing to invest in passenger rail in their states.

      Well, seems like Walker's crusade to save money just keeps getting more expensive. Hotline #836 from the National Association of Railroad Passengers reports Talgo has filed a $65.9 million dollar claim against the state. As Hotline #836 notes:

Wisconsin had been awarded $810 million to extend passenger rail service from Milwaukee to Madison, with an eventual goal of extending west to Minneapolis. The state contracted with Talgo to provide two additional train sets.  As part of that deal, Talgo agreed to invest millions in setting up a manufacturing plant in Milwaukee and a permanent, in-state maintenance base.

When Walker killed the train, the federal money was redistributed to other states, the maintenance base was abandoned, and the plans for the manufacturing plant greatly reduced.  In all, hundreds of construction and manufacturing jobs were lost.

Talgo Inc.’s $65.9 million claim breaks down to $23.5 million in lost business, $18.6 million in unpaid invoices (plus interest), $10.5 million in damages stemming from state officials "continually defaming" the company’s reputation, and $9.8 million in foregone maintenance work.  Wisconsin has already paid $40 million to Talgo.  Regardless of whether or not the state pays, it will not take ownership of the train sets because it breached the purchasing contract by refusing to accept delivery when Talgo informed the WI DOT the trains were completed, per the their contractual agreement.
emphasis added

When Paul Krugman talks about The Mutilated Economy, Walker is one of the leading slack-jawed morons standing there with a goofy grin on his face, holding a knife still dripping blood…

p.s. One More Thing from Hotline #836: In an added wrinkle, the manufacturing company is claiming that the state must immediately repay $70 million to the bond holders it borrowed from to finance the trains it never took possession of.  Wisconsin had planned to pay the sum back, but over the course of many years.

Originally posted to xaxnar on Fri Nov 08, 2013 at 06:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site