Ever since the work on high speed rail was halted in Wisconsin, I have been openly wondering why groups that allege to represent Wisconsin business have been largely silent. I have specifically named the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC). I have repeatedly wondered why they have been content to stand mute while Milwaukee businesses, development and jobs are at risk. Earlier this week at least one of those Milwaukee businesses started asking the same questions.
Milwaukee(for now)train manufacturer Talgo asked MMAC to get off the sidelines on the high speed rail issue. Talgo is asking MMAC to take an actual position on the jobs and development that the project was already bringing to the area (not to mention the potential). It is good to see at least one business taking a stand for itself. They have been left with no choice as groups like MMAC have ignored their own stated goals and mission statements.
The only thing that I can take away from this entire episode is that just being a Wisconsin business is simply not enough. Heck, it apparently isn't even enough if you are a member of a large business group. When it is most important and your business hangs in the balance, apparently groups like MMAC operate purly from a "haves and have-nots" list for Wisconsin business. I guess I shouldn't be so surprised given the fact that MMAC funneled nearly $400,000 to benefit Scott Walker's campaign. He also operates from a very similar list. He says that Wisconsin is "open for business" but apparently not if you are a train manufacturer, an engineering & design firm, an interested developer, or an area supplier.
Other Wisconsin businesses should take note. Are you on the "haves" or the "have-nots" list in Wisconsin? If you even remotely think that it could be the latter, then you might as well prepare to fight for and represent yourself.