Veteran Milwaukee scribe and editor Dom Noth has done a masterful job explaining what’s down the line for state taxpayers after an ideologically-driven Scott Walker broke a manufacturing and maintenance contract with Talgo, a Spanish train maker which had set up shop in Milwaukee.
Walker got props from right-wing talk radio for the move, but they won’t be paying the freight to repair the resulting damage to Wisconsin’s bottom-line:
…[Talgo] CEO Antonio Perez raised a crucial point in 2012 that lingers in international business conferences to this day, saying: “I don’t see how any company in the future would choose to do business with a state when the state has shown that it cannot be trusted to honor contracts that it has signed.”
Talgo’s shrewd and aggressive attorney, Lester Pines, put it succinctly in a September 25 interview: “Talgo has been treated better by totalitarian governments than it has by Walker.”
Taxpayers have not yet absorbed the full weight of the lawsuit’s costs, despite the state having already spent $50 million on trains, and owing some $15 million more. The likely outcome is that [Spanish train maker] Talgo will own the trains and still expect more money, and the state won’t benefit at all because it reneged on the contract to buy, test and maintain the trains.
I will definitely add Noth’s work to a Wisconsin rail politics and finance piece I’d posted a few months ago.