Pocan disses Doyle, but approves trains

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“The most telling aspect of the story is the Democrats’ refusal to comment. Especially when we’re talking about Madison-area Democrats, many of whom pride themselves on pushing for higher ethics standards and open, accessible government. You know Mark Pocan doesn’t like defending a governor who’s inviting comparisons to George W.”

That’s what I wrote earlier today, before this came out:

Rep. Mark Pocan scolded the DOT and Doyle administration from not informing the JFC about the agreement to purchase trains from Spanish company Talgo until a month before the panel had to act on the purchase.

Pocan pointedly asked DOT general counsel Bob Jambois when the agreement was signed by Secretary Frank Busalacchi. Jambois said a letter of intent was signed on May 11.

Pocan said the JFC members didn’t hear about the deal until July 17, the day Gov. Doyle held a press conference to tout the purchase from Talgo.

“As a co-equal branch of government we should have been informed earlier than just a little over two weeks ago about this,” Pocan said.

We’re still far enough away from the election for Democrats to criticize their commander without supplying the opposition with too much ammunition, however, it’s still a gutsy move by Pocan. Just look at the comments Republicans made. Robin Vos, who despite being insane, apparently represents a constituency, called Doyle’s deal “a sham,” saying Doyle only bought the Spanish trains because the Spanish government had paid for his trip to Spain.

Nevertheless, the trains were approved by the Joint Finance Committee on a party-line vote. The committee did withhold $500,000 from the $48 million – perhaps a symbolic protest?

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