The Wisconsin State Journal thought Scott Walker was just playing politics when he made opposing the high speed rail project the main focus of his campaign. So the paper endorsed the conservative candidate. Now that he won, they’re actually surprised he intends to follow through on his campaign promise.
Here’s the bizarre midterm editorial capper:
Not only is it amazingly naive of the State Journal’s editorial board’s brain trust to assume this hot campaign issue was just talk, but you’ve got to ask how the newspaper could have missed the Republican anger over the project. Here’s the editorial from the online only, liberal Capital Times:
In another surreal editorial comment by the Wisconsin State Journal: Gov.-elect Scott Walker pledged to create new jobs in Wisconsin. We're disappointed that the first people being hired for extra work are local attorneys to dream up legal arguments for stopping the high-speed train from Milwaukee to Madison.
Walker should be looking for ways to gracefully veer from his campaign pledge and accept that it would be unwise - silly, really - for Wisconsin to reject nearly $1 billion in federal funds.
We endorsed Walker, a Republican, over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett because we thought the Milwaukee County executive was better suited to tackle the black hole that has become the state budget - something the train project barely affects. Walker also was more convincing in his call for a friendlier business climate.
We knew Walker would at least make a show of trying to stop the rail line. What we didn't expect was outgoing Gov. Jim Doyle to halt it for him.
Developing a high-speed rail system is essential to Wisconsin's economic future. Failure to do so will leave the state behind as the national transportation infrastructure of the 21st century is developed.
Gov.-elect Scott Walker knows this … Unfortunately, Walker has chosen to play politics rather than lead … he now says he will use legal and political gimmicks to stop the $810 million Milwaukee-to-Madison passenger rail project. If he succeeds,
Wisconsin will not enjoy the benefits of a national passenger rail system, which will be central to the economic future not just of the Midwest but the nation.
To opt out of the project would be like Wisconsin opting out of the
interstate highway system in the 1950s.
It is a case of putting politics ahead of planning and common sense. And it will have severe consequences for job creation and growth in this state.