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Aug 1, 201411:49 AMVan Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

Goyke all aboard MAD-CHI train service

(page 1 of 2)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

When you’re a lawmaker turned lobbyist, it helps to have a passion for the things you lobby for. Gary Goyke has a passion for trains.

While the prospective Madison-to-Chicago train service has many advocates, Goyke, 67, might well be the driving force behind it. He recently invited fellow travelers to get a sneak preview of the service as part of an Iowa Pacific excursion ride to Prairie du Chien, and I’d say he created a few rail romantics.

Madison-to-Chicago service can’t happen fast enough for Goyke, who is accustomed to long odds. A Democrat, his state Senate district was located in the heart of a mostly Republican area, but he was elected twice before launching an unsuccessful bid for Congress.

With his train campaign, there are more obstacles to overcome — the precise route and local approvals, the site of the Madison train station, the price point of fares — but they don’t appear quite as insurmountable as winning elections in GOP-occupied territory.

In any event, this fight represents a departure for Goyke, who usually finds himself making the case in his old legislative haunts. “This is the first time I’ve ever lobbied at the local level,” he noted.

Yet if the late Tip O’Neill is to be believed, all politics is local. So while Goyke was already a lobbyist for All Aboard Wisconsin, he was sought out by the Alliance for Madison’s Future, a group focused on economic development in downtown Madison and known for its opposition to a publicly funded hotel as part of the proposed Judge Doyle Square development.


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