With rail on the mind as Joint Finance meets today to discuss establishing a high-speed rail line between Madison and Milwaukee, this seems to be an appropriate time to point out that Scott Walker received a $10,000 contribution from a railroad chief who happens to be a very visible advocate for using Recovery Act dollars for freight rail development to stimulate the economy.
From the Wisconsin State Journal:
There’s been much talk about passenger rail lately. But Bill Gardner is trying to get people to talk about freight rail, too.
The president and CEO of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad has spent the past year speaking to federal and state elected officials and community leaders about his plan to spur economic growth if federal stimulus dollars are earmarked for freight rail improvements. Gardner proposes that with $90 million, three sections of state-owned track could be repaired.
“We heard (President Barack) Obama was ready to do some shovel-ready projects,” Gardner said. “We can have this thing up and running in less than 90 days. We’re ready to go to fix a state-owned property.”
And from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Walker received the maximum $10,000 contribution from five individuals, including’¦ William E. Gardner, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin & Southern Railroad in Milwaukee.
Walker has been back-tracking and re-tracking and back-tracking again his initial declaration that he’d refuse federal Recovery Act money. Now it appears as though Walker himself is willing to get stimulated even by those who have known all along that the Recovery Act is good for Wisconsin.