Before even moving into the governor’s seat in Wisconsin and turning his state into a battlefield over unions’ rights, Scott Walker campaigned on rejecting $810 million in federal funds for a high-speed rail line that would have connected Milwaukee to Madison.

He got his wish: The U.S. Department of Transportation gladly took back the funds before he was even sworn in and reallocated the money to other states that were more jazzed up about new train lines.

He was not alone in stomping all over rail money -- Gov. Rick Scott in Florida also rejected a grant for a train that would have connected Orlando to Tampa, freeing up more than $2 billion for other states to apply for by April 4.

And which states are applying for these funds? New Jersey, Missouri, New York, California -- and, oh wait, Wisconsin.

Walker is seeking at least $150 million for new facilities and a new train set for Amtrak’s Hiawatha line, which runs between Milwaukee and Chicago.

The irony of the situation cannot be overstated. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the two train sets, eight locomotives and maintenance base that Walker is asking for would have been covered by the original $810 million. Walker did not just quietly reject the original dollars, either -- he called it a boondoggle and even had a website dedicated to the issue. (It's also ironic because other Republicans claim that Amtrak is what's wrong with rail service in America.)

"This is not inconsistent with the position I took in the past," he told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

He said that he always supported the Hiawatha line, which has a robust ridership with nearly 70,000 passengers a month, up 78 percent from a decade ago. Walker says that the upgrades will shave the travel time from 90 minutes to an hour and increase ticket revenue.

The debate over trains is not whether Americans like riding the rails: Rather, it's about whether government should invest in new, modern train lines. What was once a waste of the state’s money is now seen as a solid investment by Walker. He argues that the difference between the two situations is that the current service is a proven line, while the extension of service to Madison was a huge gamble in a time of limited funds. And yet, the wild popularity of the line, which will likely continue to grow as gas prices creep back up, shows that there is strong regional interest in rail. So he has the political will to start his governorship with a battle royale over collective bargaining, but expanding an already popular service is entirely too risky?

Wisconsin is likely already losing jobs because of Walker’s earlier decision, as Spanish train maker Talgo has indicated it will take its factory to a state where there is more robust support for locomotives. In the future it will only run a maintenance facility, which the state has already committed to, according to the Journal-Sentinel.

The question now is whether Wisconsin will have to cough up all of the dough to keep the maintenance facility -- which is higher than the estimated annual cost of upkeep on the new train line, according to the Journal-Sentinel  -- or whether the federal government will overlook Walker’s slap in the face and hand back the money.

Surely the other states are hoping that Walker gets what he asked for the first time around: nothing.