Democrats are accusing Scott Walker of grandstanding on behalf of a donor and being a hypocrite because he voted as a lawmaker from Wauwatosa to create the no-bid statute in the 1997 state budget.
That comes after the GOP gubernatorial candidate and Milwaukee County executive accused Democratic rival Tom Barrett and and outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of deliberately steering the manufacture of train cars by Talgo of Spain to a city-owned site, while snubbing Milwaukee’s Super Steel Products Corp. that had been bidding on the contract.
Super Steel chairman Fred Luber, a Walker backer and longtime GOP donor, and Super Steel president Jim Schmelzer said Wednesday they were blindsided by Talgo’s decision to manufacture the cars itself using an abandoned Tower Automotive plant in Milwaukee’s languishing west side industrial hub.
"We have not only the physical facilities, we have the talent," Luber said.
However, Jeff Fleming, a spokesman for Milwaukee’s City Development Office, said Talgo had long ago ruled out the Super Steel site, and a state Department of Transportation official says Talgo is one of only two companies that manufactures tilting rail cars that would allow the trains to run at intermediate high speeds without expensive rail bed upgrades.
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