MADISON, Wis. — Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s criticism related to the Talgo company comes just two weeks after the company owned by a top Walker campaign donor and finance co-chair of his failed 2006 gubernatorial campaign did not receive a contract from the Spanish train maker.
Walker’s criticism, in which he also leveled charges at Gov. Jim Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, comes immediately after Super Steel, owned by mega-Republican donor Fred Luber, was told it would not receive a Talgo contract. Luber and his wife have given more than $150,000 to Republican campaigns in the last 20 years, including over $13,000 to Walker alone. [Federal Election Commission; Wisconsin Campaign Finance Information System; Wisconsin Democracy Campaign]
“For Scott Walker, it’s not about creating jobs in Milwaukee, but looking out for his biggest campaign donors,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “First, Walker wants to bankrupt the state’s treasury for tax cuts for corporations and the richest households, and now he’s trashing potential job creation in Milwaukee because his former campaign co-chair didn’t get a contract.”
Super Steel’s owner Fred Luber, is also the Chair of the pro-laissez faire capitalism outfit, the MacIver Institute. Both Walker and Luber’s MacIver Institute have been staunch opponents of the federal Recovery Act, which provided the $810 million in funding that in part helped the Talgo train-making in Milwaukee to become a reality.
Walker opposed the Recovery Act, going so far as to pen an op-ed for the ultra-conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page defending his opposition in February 2009. Wisconsin has already had nearly $3 billion allocated by the Recovery Act for job creation, health care, education, infrastructure and budget support. Over 44,000 Wisconsin jobs have been funded, saved and created by the Recovery Act.
“This is the worst in politics by Scott Walker,” said Ross. “That Scott Walker is willing to pause his gubernatorial campaign to argue for a longtime donor shows the premium Walker places on campaign cash.”
Walker’s most recent contribution from Luber and his spouse, as part of the more than $13,000 donated to Walker, was a $2,500 contribution in September 2009.