Prayer will take place inside and outside of Monona Terrace in Madison Monday morning. Inside will be a prayer breakfast in honor of the inauguration of Scott Walker as Wisconsin governor. Outside will be a prayer rally in protest of the actions Walker has already taken to scuttle thousands of anticipated jobs in the state.
The rally and other protest activities during Monday’s inauguration will give residents a chance to show the state and the world their anger and concern over the incoming governor’s cancellation of a federally financed, $810 million, 110 miles-an-hour rail line between Madison and Milwaukee.
The rally will take place at 9 a.m. Monday. No passenger train connects Wisconsin’s two biggest cities, so Milwaukeeans who want to participate can board busses at 6:30 a.m. in a parking lot at 27th and Hopkins Sts. MICAH (Milwaukee Innercity Congregations Allied for Hope) has details. (For background, see my earlier post, "Rail backers to 'crash' Wis. governor's inaugural.")
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Business community paralyzed
Would Milwaukee’s business community have stood silently by had a Democratic governor-elect chased a manufacturing company out of town and rejected hundreds of millions in free economic development money, killing a project that (1) had already hired dozens of construction workers and would eventually have hired hundreds more, (2) would have created dozens of permanent jobs directly and hundreds indirectly and (3) would have linked the state’s two top economic engines by fast passenger rail? I think not.
The business community’s silence in Walker’s case, I submit, betrays its bias in favor of Republicans. That bias made it too paralyzed to head off a Republican-engineered economic fiasco.
In announcing it would move its manufacturing operation out of Milwaukee in light of the state’s anti-rail climate, train-maker Talgo expressed disappointment about that silence, which, the firm said, stood in contrast with the encouragement it got from business leaders to come to Milwaukee in the first place.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce blames its non-action on a poll that found its members evenly split on the merits of high-speed rail between Milwaukee and Madison.
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Other states cheer Walker
“California's high-speed rail system is slowly coming together, thanks to a commitment to 21st-century progress and political games over federal funding by the Republican governors of Ohio and Wisconsin.” Fresno Bee.
“Thanks a billion, cheeseheads.” Los Angeles Times.
“California is not too proud to take leftovers.” The Orange County Register.
“U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla), welcomed Thursday the news that Florida is getting ‘an early Christmas present.’” News Chief (Winter Haven, Fla.).
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Let them eat donated goods
Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle donated proceeds from his inauguration – $233,000 in 2003, $323,000 in 2007 – to the state's Boys & Girls Clubs. Walker plans to split the proceeds between the state Republican Party and his own campaign chest. He is, however, asking inaugural guests to bring canned goods for the Hunger Task Force. Not a bad idea. Given Walker’s job-killing propensities, hunger may well rise during his governorship.