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Walker to U.S. transportation secretary: Use high-speed rail money for infrastructure

DANE, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov.-elect Scott Walker says he remains opposed to a high-speed train line between Madison and Milwaukee and there’s nothing U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood can tell him that would change his mind.

Walker said Tuesday that when he talks with LaHood he will stress that the money designated for rail projects under the federal stimulus would be better used repairing roads and bridges both in Wisconsin and around the country.

LaHood told Walker in a letter Monday that the $810 million coming to Wisconsin for a new line between Madison and Milwaukee could not be redirected for roads.

Walker says him rejecting the project would send a strong message to the federal government that it needs to redirect the rail money for roads.



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  1. Dear Governor Elect Walker,

    Don’t you know, all the appropriations have already been made? To rechannel these funds, or stop the spending of this money anywhere, or for anything else would take an Act of Congress. Oh wait …never mind, the voters just spoke loud and clear, in an historic, unprecedented land-slide victory to set in place a new congress to fight just this sort of gi-normous government excessive spending. ….Stay tuned….

    …January is coming.

  2. Perhaps T.E.A. didn’t notice that we have a divided government–the U.S. Senate has a Democratic majority.

    On the House side, I suspect that there are some enlightened Republicans from New York, Illinois, Michigan and California who would rather let their states have a chance at the $810M, rather than let Walker spend it on highways. Even Rep. Petri has said that it’s unlikely Walker could get the funds diverted.

  3. What’s that?…Divided government you say…Ummm wait, slow down, I’m trying to grasp this, So there’s two…sides…Wow! You’re right…I had no idea! Thanks for pointing that out Rolf. That is very helpful to me. Learned something new today!

    Look, all I ask for is some realization, and understanding from the train supporters of where this money comes from. Yes, I acknowledge, the idea of a shiny new train, ‘given’ to us is certainly appealing. And I would also like a shiny new boat. Everyone is lining up for all this government grant money and seems to think it just falls like manna from heaven to provide us with all our needs.
    This attitude that if we don’t take this ‘free money’ someone else will, is very destructive to the nation as a whole. We’re seeing it’s consequences unfold with massive bailout government spending that has not helped the economy, or created jobs to anyones satisfaction. This attitude has to be reined in, and soon. People, collectively, nation-wide must begin to understand that this money does not come without strings, or without impacting each and every citizen.

    Obviously you think me ignorant on matters of government, and that’s fine, I can live with that, but I know and understand two things very well:
    1 – Government cannot give to anyone what they first must take away from everyone.
    2 – If your house needs a new roof, you don’t go and buy a shiny new boat instead.

  4. What was said above still doesn’t change the fact that another state will get the money. If the Fed was giving out extra highway money no one would be complaining and acting like their hair was on fire.

    I hate the idea of seeing the entire nation having a interlinked high-speed rail system and Wisconsin not being a part of it. Also, people treating this as though it is a commuter train only is:

    A. Dishonest
    B. Ignorant

    People will ride the train in droves from Minneapolis to Chicago when it is complete.

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