Using A Red Herring To Beat A Dead Horse: Water Politics In Ohio And New Berlin's 28th State Senate District
With apologies to all my English teachers and professors, here is the question in a political context:
Can you use a red herring to beat a dead horse?
Maybe some Waukesha County politicians and business leaders can answer it, since that is exactly what they are doing regarding the Great Lakes Compact.
Though property-rights-obsessed Ohio legislators have made it a centerpiece of their objections to the Great Lakes Compact - - and State Sen. Mary Lazich R-New Berlin) has ideologically bought into the thinking - - the Department of Natural Resources has already dismissed in writing one of the objectors' concerns as irrelevant in Wisconsin:
That the Compact could lead to a mistaken over-extension of the historic, constitutional Public Trust Doctrine, which says that water management in Wisconsin must occur in the public interest.
"Irrelevant," was the term used by a senior DNR water expert to describe the Ohio concerns that had been, and continue to be, forwarded to the study committee as meritorious by Lazich.
Throwing up the Public Trust Doctrine, and anachronistic notions of sovereignity that sound like the platform of long-ago-buried Dixiecrats, are the kinds of superficial and exclusionist thinking and politicking that could kill a regional effort among eight states and two Canadian provinces to help the Great Lakes.
The legislative study committee has been stalled for a year by these kinds of objections, tactics that some Waukesha County politicians and their pals in the Waukesha Chamber of Commerce and the Metropolitan Builders Association think are in their interest.
As this blog as pointed out innumerable times, the longer the delay in approving and implementing the Compact, the more likely that tougher federal standards against diversions of Lake Michigan water to Waukesha County will remain in place - - a self-defeating strategy for sure, and, more importantly, an approach that evades stewardship responsibilities shared by Wisconsin for the health of the Great Lakes.