Saturday, January 15, 2011

Walker Again Picks Winners and Losers in Business

When Scott Walker killed the high speed rail project, he essentially hand picked which businesses would be the winners and losers in Wisconsin. Road builders and other major donors to his campaign would get a blank (state) check and new and emerging businesses that don't fit Walker's backward model would be blocked. As I have said before, Scott Walker has clearly operated from a haves and have-nots list when it comes to making the state "open for business".

Walker is showing us yet another chapter in this most unfortunate approach. Even though he bemoaned state regulations he is now pushing his own regulations that will cost both jobs and investment. This is becoming a theme for businesses that he has apparently blacklisted. This new example involves his proposed regulations related to wind turbine siting. National observers have already said that if his sweeping regulations are enacted they will be some of the most extreme in the nation. One commented that "You're adding a new regulatory barrier and putting a 'closed for business' sign on Wisconsin for wind development."

It is estimated that Walker's government regulation of this emerging industry puts at least $500 million in wind turbine investment at risk. It is also concerning how such hostility toward a specific industry will negatively impact the new turbine factories in both Manitowoc and Milwaukee. Will this Walker position have the same chilling effect on these businesses as his position on high speed rail had on Talgo, its suppliers and its employees? In that unfortunate example we found out that Walker is perfectly willing to sacrifice certain businesses for the special interests of a few of his well connected donors. It appears that we can now add to Walker's "have-nots" list some of the following businesses:

  • TowerTech in Manitowoc
  • Ingeteam in Milwaukee
  • WPPI Energy in Sun Prairie
  • Organic Valley Cooperative and Gunderson Lutheran near La Crosse
  • WE Energies
  • Construction contractors like Wondra Construction in Dodge County

If we have learned anything from Walker's high speed rail debacle, we will not count on any of the elite business organizations to lift a finger to defend these businesses. Like Walker, these organizations pretend to oppose government regulation and interference but that only applies if you are an inside member of the politically connected club. Once again Walker and his major boosters in business want to use government to pick the winners and losers. That is hardly a "conservative" approach and it seems much closer to the kind of crony capitalism that some of us feared Walker would bring with him to Madison.


rgrischk said...


My name is Rachel, and I am part of a team trying to raise awareness about the harmful "tort reform" legislation being pushed forward in Wisconsin. Tomorrow on our Facebook page we will be releasing our new informational video including exclusive testimonies from those with family members who have been victims of irresponsible manufacturers and nursing homes.

Please visit our Facebook site, and consider posting our video to your blog to help inform the citizens of Wisconsin about the harmful legislation that is about to be passed.

Our Facebook page is called: Stand Up For Your Rights Wisconsin:

Our video will be available starting at 9 am tomorrow morning (January 21, 2011)

Thank You!

Anonymous said...

Rachel...what law firm are you affiliated with?