Thursday, July 1, 2010

Observations Regarding The Bucyrus Affair

One of the big evolving stories in the news recently involved the endangered jobs at Bucyrus. Fortunately for the employees of Bucyrus, it appears that an agreement of sorts had been worked out overnight which would allow the contract to go through. Unfortunately, but understandably, the solution appears to be rather disappointing to many environmentalists.

Several politicians, most notably Tom Barrett, have been busy making phone calls and writing letters and arguing for the deal to be allowed. They have been putting pressure on President Obama and the U.S. Export-Import Bank to work things out.

One politician chose a different route.

Scott Walker didn't lift a finger to help influence whether these jobs were preserved or not, but chose to use it for political posturing by putting an ad in the Racine Journal-Times, which he then cc'ed to his favorite free publicist, Charlie Sykes. (Since this was clearly a campaign ad, and the Journal Broadcasting Co. owns Sykes' blogsite, that would mean they either have to charge him, or Walker has to claim it as an in-kind contribution. But that is a whole other can of worms that can be opened at a later time and in a different place.)

Even more telling that Walker was treating this as more of a political point than actually being worried about jobs, he sent out a campaign email asking for donations, apparently to run more grandstanding ads in local papers.

We know this is true, since my good friend, Jay Bullock, received one. Jay properly took umbrage with Walker's mailer, which unashamedly claimed that "Scott won't sacrifice your job to score political points..." Jay goes on to make a list of some of the tens of thousands of jobs that have been lost, all directly related to actions Walker took for the sake of political points, either by laying off county workers directly, or taking actions like cutting transit routes.

Adding to Jay's list, I would also point out the political stunt done by Walker in which he actually sent out 180 lay off notices last fall, only to rescind them a day later. I can personally tell you that this shook up many people, some of whom have been with the county for decades yet received a notice. But Walker really pushed things beyond the pale when he went on a radio show in Madison the next week and was joking about the whole thing.

But this is just another good example of Walker's management style, which he apparently lifted from "The Wizard of Oz." Oh, sure, he can raise the volume and bring about quite a clamor, but when one actually peels back the curtain, you see just a little man that has never has done anything positive or of substance for the people he is supposed to be leading.

AFTERTHOUGHT: Why were the conservatives, including Walker, calling for the U.S. Import Export Bank to change it's position? Since this is a government run and backed bank, doesn't that equate to socialism? Another question: Why did the parties involved not go to a big bank, like Citibank or similar entity, to guarantee the loan? After all, weren't they just supported with the TARP monies?


  1. It is as usual, econmically baseless, politically correct, only for those lifelong elected careerists hoping to collect a tax funded pension, and why on earth would it need so much attention. Wisconsin is arguing over technology that has no future, job loss is inevitable as nuclear becomes center stage within 18 months. Wisconsin needs to look forward politically & economically. Coal fired plants will be a minority in 15 years. Why is'nt that being argued, debated & prepared for?

  2. I'm not going to take the time to register an account to leave a message here but this is a very interesting issue. The terms of the Export Import bank investment require the development of "green energy" ... last I checked, Coal was not "green" in any respects. Just as the people of Caledonia Wisconsin with the contaminated wells across the street from the Elm Road Generation Station have found out.

    and seriously folks, $600 MM to provide power for approximately 85,000 homes in a nation of over 1 Billion people?