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.