Sunday, November 22, 2009

Walker Keeps Driving Down a Shameless Road

It doesn't take long to discover that Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is more than willing to use slippery rhetoric to position himself on all sides of any given issue. It has gotten to the point where you can simply fill in the blank on issues that he has been both for and against. Clearly, he will say and do anything to get a vote and win an election, no matter how shameless. The latest chapter in this tragic tale was just written the other day, when he tried to score political points by launching attacks over emergency repairs that are needed at the Zoo Interchange.

Walker was given undeserved headlines for making baseless accusations regarding the order with which the state has prioritized repairs for our busiest freeway systems. Walker alleges that this is an example of politics that "got in the way of good policy". Not only is this a breathtaking example of pot/kettle syndrome but even Walker admits in the story to having zero evidence to back the wild claim.

Responding to the wild Walker claims, Department of Transportation officials confirm that the priority list was based on a number of very objective pieces of information.

The pavement on the freeway was scheduled to be replaced in 2006-'10, and the corridor served as a major route for trucks and tourists, according to the DOT.

Plus, environmental work done in the north-south corridor in the '90s gave planners a head start in the engineering necessary to move the project from concept to construction. The work could begin in 2009, immediately after the Marquette job was finished.

By comparison, the environmental assessments and engineering necessary for the Zoo Interchange reconstruction put the earliest start date for that project in 2012. That would have left a two- to three-year gap, with no work done on the long-range freeway rebuild.

As in most cases, the wild Walker rhetoric does not match up with reality. In fact reality plus a quick history lesson fully exposes Slippery Scott's rhetoric on this particular issue. In 2007 State Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi released cost estimates and plans regarding the reconstructing of I-94 south of Milwaukee. Those plans included changes to the previous construction schedule on our highest priority projects. While Scott Walker is trying to score shameless political points on this issue right now, he was singing an entirely different tune in 2007 when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the following:

Busalacchi found support for his plan from Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and area legislators who regard the north-south corridor as a vital pathway for commerce and a link to the dollars available in the Chicago marketplace.

So what has changed since 2007 besides Scott Walker's position on yet another issue? Who are we supposed to believe, the Scott Walker of 2007 that endorsed the plan or the current one that is trying to glom on to any perceived controversy just to score cheap political points? If you want to hear an even newer version of Scott Walker on this issue, just wait for him to answer questions by voters that most frequently use southern I-94. I wonder what he will tell them when they ask why he no longer feels that their area is the number one priority?

The one road that I wish would finally crumble apart is the totally shameless one that Scott Walker keeps traveling down in his endless campaign for higher office.


Anonymous said...

The “support” Walker showed for the I-94 expansion was in deference to money spent on further wasted mass transit and green projects, not on the time line of which project goes first.

The fact the Doyle stripped (vetoed) allocated money for the engineering of the zoo interchange from the 2005 budget; a political decision, and surprisingly backed by Mayor Barrett who said the bridges would be just fine until 2020 turns out to be a choice that will cost Wisconsinites millions. Yeah Tom, he will make great decisions too if elected just like Doyle the “highway fund raider” has done for years.

Cory Liebmann said...

it is very simple. walker DID support the plan which DID include the schedule that he is now complaining about (try actually reading the linked story).

your comment is nothing more than a wild right wing conspiracy theory. as such, it tries to connect all kinds of dots for which you have no objective support (even walker admits this).

the priority list was made back in 2002 and there are a whole host of objective reasons given for it. maybe that is why walker was for it.... before he was against it.

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy? How is Doyle's veto of funding for this project a conspiracy?

Nothing in your linked story show a time line support from might want to read it yourself.

Cory Liebmann said...

it is a conspiracy theory because you are not just talking about a single veto, you are trying to build an entire imaginary plot around that veto. problem is the dot priority list was already planned long before it. even walker admits that he has no proof for these wild allegations.

the story says:
"The plan Busalacchi provided includes changes in the construction schedule for the project. Work would start on the Mitchell Interchange in 2009, with the reconstruction there to be completed by 2012, in time for work to start on the Zoo Interchange on the west side of the county."

If Walker really cared about the Zoo Interchange going first why would he endorse this in 2007 and say ZERO about his alleged desire for the Zoo Interchange going first? show me the quote of him making that case before now.

Anonymous said...

Yes and the story never states he supported the time line...but nice try.

The veto is a matter of public record, try looking it up. Btw, Mayor Barrett issued a statement after the veto supporting Doyle's choice to rescind the funding.

Mike Poe said...

"In their view, the 35 miles of concrete and asphalt, at nearly 50 years old, has deteriorated beyond repair, and projected congestion will hamper the transport of products into and through the state. Without the reconstruction and expansion, accident rates will continue to increase, they say".

Why couldn't they determine the Zoo Interchange was in far worse shape? Its more traveled and has more bridges and ramps. Just dumb decision making to me.

Cory Liebmann said...

apparently they already had a jump start on the south i-94 project, when they didn't have the same on the zoo interchange.

i also wonder if Walker's stated support of the project helped them make the decision. after all, Walker regarded "the north-south corridor as a vital pathway for commerce and a link to the dollars available in the Chicago marketplace."

Anonymous said...

"it is a conspiracy theory because you are not just talking about a single veto"
Wrong. I am talking of a single veto. A veto that stripped allocated money (~30 million) from the budget and the Mayor of Milwaukee agreed with Doyle's veto.

As far as my providing a quote for walker saying he felt strongly about the zoo exchange; I will be glad to as soon as you provide a quote that backs your wonderment of walkers support causing the I94 project be performed first.

Cory Liebmann said...

and you are trying to attribute all sorts of motivations to that veto that do not exist and for which you have no proof (even walker admits that). like i said, conspiracy theory.

besides, even if there was no veto, it still wouldn't have fixed the problems in time so it is really a mute point.

i just gave you a link to a story that clearly states that walker supported the south i-94 project in 2007. you have given nothing to show that he has ever protested the order of these projects before now.