I've posted several items on this blog going back to last year - - one example here - - about the counter-productive alliance between legislators in Wisconsin and Ohio whose obstruction of the pending Great Lakes Compact could sink this crucial, eight-state water management agreement.
Counter-productive because without the Compact - - seven years in the making - - applications for Great Lakes water by certain communities like New Berlin cannot move forward.
And counter-productive because the Compact's demise would be bad for the health of the Great Lakes and the entire region's economy and future, too.
State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin) is the self-described leader of Wisconsin's Compact opponents: you can listen to her 26-minute Senate Floor tirade about the evils of Great Lakes cooperative water conservation.
Yet New Berlin is the community whose Great Lakes water access is now the most in peril.
More about that and the contradiction caused by Sen. Lazich's obstructionism and Ohio alliance in a moment - - though you gotta ask yourself: who would want such possible damage from your hometown and across much of the continent on your resume?There's fresh media coverage in Ohio of Lazich's major Buckeye cohort, State Sen. Tim Grendell, here, including accounts of Grendell's temperment and racial insensitivity.
I had earlier linked to a separate newspaper story from a while back that reprised Grendell's demeaning remarks to an African-American legislative colleague.
Both Lazich and Grendell are pushing for such basic changes in the Compact - - even though four states have already adopted it - - that trying to reopen the years of multi-state negotiations that produced it would lead to the agreement's demise.
That ploy has also been endorsed by other Wisconsin politicians and business organizations, including the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.
Just as the Wisconsin State Senate and Ohio's lower house have already overwhelmingly approved strong Compact bills, it's important that both legislatures complete that positive, pro-Compact approval process.
It will help preserve the Great Lakes and soundly put these reactionary little cabals in their proper places - - at the fringe, where they can't do more damage.
It's important for Wisconsinites to understand just how radical and reckless that Grendell has been.
And Wisconsin legislators like Lazich - - more analysis and her own words here - - who have touted Grendell's 'approach' to the Compact should explain why they have thrown their prestige and Wisconsin's reputation his way.
New Berlin residents need to know that the longer Lazich plays political games with Ohio politicos over the Compact, the more likely it is that her home city will not win the Lake Michigan water diversion it has applied for, and that exemptions in the Compact specifically help enable.
Without the Compact, New Berlin finds itself blocked from Lake Michigan by a much tougher federal statute.
And if somehow Lazich and Grendell prevailed, thus voiding the Compact approvals already produced in New York, Illinois, Minnesota and Indiana, the anger in those states would surely lead to their blocking future water diversion applications coming from Wisconsin and Ohio communities.
Do residents of New Berlin, Waukesha and other cities in the region want to pay that price?