Legislators will vote today to override Democratic Governor Jim Doyle's veto of a bill that would return the appointment of the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources to the DNR board.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
The change in the selection method was engineered during the Tommy Thompson administration so Tommy could wield direct political control over the agency, and Doyle had earlier pledged to support the selection process reversal if he became Governor.
After becoming Governor, Doyle changed his mind - - and chief executives usually do not surrender political powers without a fight.
Returning the appointment to the board would give the Governor indirect control over the selection because Governors appoint DNR board members.
Environmental and conservation groups, having pressed for the change with bi-partisan and independents' suppport, lay out their case, here.
Getting two-thirds of the legislature to vote to override is a steep hill to climb: Democrats, with majorities in both houses, will still be loathe to slap the Governor with a rare override despite much unhappiness with how the Governor has managed the DNR.
I predict a close vote, with the override failing.
Regardless of the outcome, the split between Doyle and those pushing the appointment-change bill is evidence of a deep division between the Governor and many of his natural constituents over political style, resource management and development policy.