CONLEY COMMENTARY – What if its not really about replacing lead pipes? | WSAU News/Talk 550 AM · 99.9 FM

CONLEY COMMENTARY (WSAU) – Here's a fair question about Wausau's plan to replace 8,000 lead water pipes: Why Wausau? Why are leaders in Stevens Point, Marshfield and Wisconsin Rapids so fortunate not to address lead water pipes in their communities?

Maybe it's because Wausau Mayor Katie Rosenberg has a higher political ladder than the leaders of these other cities. Some liberal dreamers see her one day as a senator or congresswoman. So she was invited to an interview at the White House. This is no insult to the mayors of other cities in our area, but none of them seem to be rising above their current positions.

And a few months later, the White House sent a political expert, Tom Perez, to Wausau for a photo op with the mayor. No worries! We have a public-private partnership with a company called Community Infrastructure Partners. They receive federal subsidies for the work – there are no costs for the city or the homeowners. A free lunch for Wausau!

Only now have we discovered that the leaders of Community Infrastructure Partners operated as a different company several years ago. This company was called Corvias. And Corvias accepted federal grants to set up student housing and military housing. The work was bad. What actually happened was that Corvias received huge amounts of federal subsidies. And surprisingly, their corporate leadership teams are all big donors to Democratic candidates and causes. So it wasn't really about renovating the living space. It was a transfer of funds…federal dollars converted into Democratic campaign funds.

This is exactly what is happening with lead pipes in Wausau. Sheboygan and Milwaukee will also be lead pipe removal cities.

I asked in these comments why we also replace lead sewer pipes that carry away used water? There is no risk of people ingesting the water once it ends up in the toilet or drain. But it increases the cost of the work. So…more funding for Community Infrastructure Partners…and more money to support Democratic causes.

So what will happen now that this lead replacement project is exposed? Everything has to stop. An ordinance requiring the removal of lead pipes should be presented. Remember: If this is so urgent, why is only Wausau so excited about this matter? And the contract with Community Infrastructure Partners should be canceled. Their management has a poor track record.

That brings us to the more important question for our mayor. Mayor Katie, did you know that Community Infrastructure Partners is a Democratic donor funnel? For example, are any of the companies involved in the campaign to remove lead pipes donors to you? Or were you kept in the dark to play the role of a useful idiot?

Chris Conley

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