Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MMAC is M.I.A. - Day 6

We are approaching a full week since work stopped on the high speed rail project. At least 300 people have been laid off and thousands of future jobs are in danger. Important development connected to the project is also in peril and we have one large company that is considering leaving the state. All of this in such a short time and still we have heard nothing from the elite groups that claim to represent business, commerce and development in Wisconsin. I'm not surprised that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) hasn't taken a stand since they have been little more than the sugar-daddy arm of the Republican Party for years (not that this issue should even be a partisan one in the first place). But as I have stated previously, I am bitterly disappointed at the inaction of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC). They have been totally missing in action as Metro Milwaukee stands to lose businesses, jobs, and development.

There are quite a few things that MMAC could learn from several other business groups that are actually defending the interests of their members. Here are just two examples:

Downtown Madison, Inc. represents over 500 member businesses and they are taking a strong stand for jobs, development and commerce. They sent a letter to Scott Walker laying out the very sound business reasons to keep these jobs and continue with this federal investment in Wisconsin. Not only have they sent this letter but they have taken their stand for jobs publicly.

The Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce also sent a letter to Walker expressing their strong support for the rail-based jobs and development project. In their letter they state that a full 85% of their members support high speed rail and the planned depot in Watertown. They lay out yet another great case for the project. Among other strong points they comment that "scrapping the high-speed rail project would be an extremely poor decision and stymie economic development in Watertown and the surrounding area."

Since I last blogged on MMAC being MIA on this important issue, some have suggested that they are losing their influence. Others have suggested they are too scared of their own shadow to defend the interests of their own members. Still others point to their increasing partisanship via the channelling of $400,000 to benefit the campaign of Scott Walker. Whatever the real reason, their silence on such a critical issue is deafening. Who will take a stand for Milwaukee business interests, jobs and development? Because MMAC seems content with being M.I.A. when it matters the most.

1 comment:

Last Second Media Inc. said...

Is Scott Walker stupid, racist or in the pocket of a paving company?

The cancellation of the train from Madison to Milwaukee he claims would cost $7.5 million in annual deficit. Yet, backing out at this time will cost $100 million. If you think about it, the hotel tax revenues for added tourism would pay for the so-called operating deficit.

Does not make any sense, when the USDOT is clear that Wisconsin cannot use train funds for road projects.

So is Walker under pressure to restrict travel to Madison by lower income and African Americans?

Or is he under pressure by campaign contributors from oil, auto and paving interests?

Without a clear idea of who and what is driving his decision making, the numbers just don't add up!