Thursday, October 11, 2018

Democrats forcing Wisconsin Republicans to run on issues they've hated, ignored.

It's jaw-dropping, but not surprising, to see every Republican candidate touting their desire to bring rural broadband to all areas of the state. But they've done near nothing the last eight years of their supermajority to make that happen. They even turned back federal money to speed up the process.

Here's just one example: Republican Howard Marklein pretending he cares about rural broadband, preexisting conditions, and deteriorating roads...ah, no!:



We've seen how the "free market" works in Wisconsin, especially when it comes to rural broadband. Makes you wonder how Republicans can keep telling the same old lies about the wonders of the private sector:
Without government assistance, broadband providers say, they couldn't afford to extend the service to sparsely populated areas because there aren't enough customers to justify the cost.
The easily congested and not-so-fast wireless rural system now being installed has frustrated those who were told this was the solution. Funny how electric and telephone wires found their way into remote rural areas, huh?  It proves it can be done...why not today? But Walker Republicans didn't care until Democrats chose to run on this stuff:
Feb. 18, 2011: One of the governor’s first acts back in 2012 was to turn away nearly $23 million in grant funding that would have allowed the state to expand fiber optic broadband networks to 82 schools and 385 library facilities. We lost 150 full-time jobs that could have been created by this project.
"The state taxpayers would have been on the hook for the entire amount if the state could not meet the grant's precise requirements," Mike Huebsch said in a memo to school and library associations. "This is simply not an acceptable risk." 
The most recent state budget contains only $6 million spread over four years for broadband deployment.  
Imagine this from Scott Walker: Yet Minnesota's Democratic Governor took his billion dollar budget surpluses to expand broadband:
The Minnesota Office of Broadband Development has already managed $30 million in broadband investment in that state since it launched in January 2014. The legislature recently approved a $10 million annual investment in broadband expansion, and Gov. Dayton has proposed investing $100 million of the state’s nearly $2 billion budget surplus in bringing broadband to rural communities.