Monday, October 31, 2011

Senate Recalls Have Helped Stop One Republican Power Grab

Photo of Senator Schultz
Democrats winning two seats in this summer's Senate recall elections pushed the GOP margin to a razor-thin 17-16, and that has allowed one ethically-centered GOP senator - - Richland Center's Dale Schultz  (top left)- - to stick a fork in one of New Berlin Republican State Sen. Mary Lazich's partisan, power-mad schemes to more easily embed Republican legislative majorities by manipulating redistricting and election calendars.

Photo of Senator Lazich
So the recalls mattered - - which is why Lazich (bottom left) is also trying to burden petitioners with new, notarization requirements as they gather signatures beginning later this week to recall Gov. Scott Walker - - another move that will backfire by adding motivation to organizers dedicated to ousting him.

And to fuel the planning for more Senate recalls in 2012, and other focused campaigns down the road against Republican obstructionists, until Lazich, her cohort and their reactionary agendas - - from Voter ID to environmental giveaways to eliminating collective bargaining - - are driven back in the minority.

This may well produce the title on whatever news stories sum up her career - - "She Helped Recall Scott Walker" - - and add to a legacy heightened by a national shout-out on The Colbert Report for proposing, in the wake of Gov. Walker's revealing and politically damaging phone call with a prankster, that such calls be criminalized.

Reports Say Fuel Spilled Into Lake Michigan In Oak Creek Bluff Collapse

What is described as a football field-size debris mass, including vehicles, fell into Lake Michigan today at a utility site in Oak Creek, just south of Milwaukee.

Dan Bice's Disclosures About Cain's Campaign Financing Go National

Great story and distribution.

Modest Proposal To Honor The Job Creators: Sell Naming Rights For 2012 Ballots

Wisconsin Republicans who are rushing to deregulate state waters for private uses, or are even busier rigging the upcoming elections to save Scott Walker from a recall, could go all the way to corporatizing Wisconsin by selling naming rights for the 2012 elections.

Either straight-out corporate sponsorship at the top of the ballot- - like Road-Builders For Tolls, 2012,  or Mine The Penokee Range, Now.

Or smaller spaces auctioned off on the ballot for corporate logos, NASCAR style, next to candidates' names. Who wants Tar Sands? CAPCO (that one looks reserved)?

The Legislature could authorize a statewide election contest for the ballot title, with entry fees collected by the Government Accountability Board for a budget offset.

My suggestions: GOP Stealathon 2012, or Year of the Electoral Chokehold.

Wisconsin Republicans AGAIN Want Quick Rule/Law Changes To Preserve Their Majorities

In case you missed it:

(originally posted, Saturday, 10/29, 10:30 p.m.) Wisconsin Republican legislators continue to manipulate the electoral process into an un-American, one-sided game where the playing field is permanently tilted because they have the power to make, undo and change the rules to ensure they win.

Did they swap their oath to obey the law and protect the State Constitution for a secret handshake with Scott Walker and a pledge of allegiance to Americans for Prosperity?

Imagine that the Cardinals or Yankees got to adjust the rules in the eighth inning, at will, to give themselves four strikes to make an out, or to score a double as a three-run homer.

How often can these serial cheaters reporting to Scott Walker and the Fitzgeralds be allowed to rig the system? What happened to Scott Walker, Eagle Scout?

[Update: They're at it again]

Consider their machinations just this year, framing 2012 as its Year of the Stealathon:

*  They ran phony slates of Democrats in the Senate recall elections to confuse the electorate and game the calender for scheduling and fund-raising advantages.

*  They are moving to add burdensome notarization requirements to help make Scott Walker's recall more difficult - - even though Walker benefited from a traditional, unfettered, Constitutionally-guaranteed recall system in 2002 to become Milwaukee County Executive prior to his successful run for Governor last year.

*  Now the Republicanss are rushing forward with a plan by New Berlin Senator Mary Lazich - - no surprise there - - to undo part of a just-passed GOP-crafted redistricting plan because they see a fresher way to adjust election schedules, again in their favor, to hang on to a one-vote Senate majority.

Some months ago, I wrote that no one likes a cheater in politics, and I believe the GOP will get what's coming to it when these manipulations - - and don't forget the exclusionary goals of the Voter ID law take effect next year, too - - help the Recall Walker Movement gets its signatures:

Partisan politics is one thing, but repeated twisting of the rules, the legislative process and the essential need for fair play in a just society to cement office-holding by the group that happens to be in office - - and also with Walker being elected by just 52% of the voters who turned out - - should backfire, and is, the polling suggests.

DNR Staffers: I'd Be Honored To Post Your Halloween Office Bash Photos

What a coincidence - - real talk about the ramifications of Wisconsin's idiotic new gun law is scheduled to take place at the DNR office in Milwaukee on the same day the honchos are promoting Halloween candy and "Costume challenge!" at the Central DNR Office in Madison and throughout our new, chamber of commerce-styled resource management agency:

his message is sent to all DNR Central Office staff, Darwin Road staff, and Regional Directors:
Come and join us for our 1st annual Halloween Progressive Potluck  
How does it work?
Staff on each floor will be designated a food type to bring....Everyone will need to go floor to floor to get a balanced meal (unless you are in the mood for only dessert and you can just stay on 7th floor…)
And Costume Challenge!
Central Office has challenged the Regions to a costumer competition. We are asking each bureau and office to take a picture of their staff in costume and forward it to Laurel Steffes. Pictures will be included in the next e-digest. 
Who will show up work in Madison DNR headquarters wearing a Ronald Reagan mask, or in sporty cowboy-or-girl get-up, including open carry six-shooters?

I can't wait to see what character Secretary Stepp decides to style.

Feel free to send me your cell phone pix. The blog's email is

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Paul Ryan's Moment Is Over; Pass The Cold Tea, Please

Occupy Wall Street changed the national conversation, the President is emboldened, so it no longer pays to be a Wall Street sycophant.

Congressmen sharing $350 bottles of wine at fancy DC watering holes with freshly-discredited investment sharpies are back to being mere self-interested political simpletons - - always in campaign mode, with their hands out, - - not the puffed-up big thinkers and policy-making genius reformers with fake political personas they seem to have inhabited just a few Tea Party meetings ago.

The Washington Post takes note:

The president has a long way to go, and he is pursuing a strategy now that he resisted for a long time. But it ought to encourage him that Paul Ryan is terribly upset. Telling the truth about inequality is politically wise, and morally necessary.
Nothing is forever in politics, or for very long. Scott Walker, et al, take note.

Lake Property Owners Want More Scrutiny Of Walker's Water De-Regulation Push

A very reasonable request, from a very reasonable organization, about an unreasonable process and a completely unconscionable giveaway of public resources:

October 28, 2011
Wisconsin Lakes Demands Public Information Sessions and Additional Public Hearings on the 37-page Deregulation Bill
Six Priority Items Identified for Removal

This past Wednesday, the overwhelming majority of attendees of a public hearing either spoke or registered against Special Session Bill AB/SB 24, which would vastly change the regulatory process and rules protecting water and other resources in Wisconsin. 

While only 17 people registered in favor of the bill, 175 registered against the legislation at the nearly 9 hour hearing before the Assembly and Senate Natural Resources Committees. Wisconsin Lakes’ lobbyist John Keckhaver attended on our behalf, and spoke against the bill.

From the testimony of individuals and the questions of the legislators, it is clear that everyone is still striving to understand the impact of the bill's many provisions and their intersection with other laws and court decisions related to water and habitat protections, the public trust doctrine, mining, transportation and other areas of resource protection.

It is completely unreasonable to expect residents of this state to have digested the bill's complexities in a week. 

Our members, and all Wisconsin citizens, deserve to know what is in this sweeping legislation, and they should be afforded accessible and reasonable access to provide input and to participate in our democratic process.

To that end, Wisconsin Lakes is calling for public information sessions and additional public hearings around the state, to provide adequate time for everyone to understand the bill’s provisions, how they relate to current laws and regulations, and to allow citizens to “Speak for Lakes.”  

We encourage you to contact your legislators, the chairs of the two committees, and the Governor, to demand a more open process and additional time for public understanding and involvement.

How to get involved:
Contact the chairs of the committees as well as both of your legislators and the Governor:
- Contact Senator Neil Kedzie:
(800) 578-1457
Room 313 South – State Capitol / PO Box 7882
Madison WI 53707

- Contact Representative Jeffrey Mursau (R-Crivitz)
(608) 266-3780
Room 18 North, State Capitol / PO Box 8953
Madison WI 53708

- Find Your Own Legislator at
- Contact Governor Walker:
(608) 266-1212
Office of Governor Scott Walker
115 East Capitol
Madison WI 53702

Wisconsin Lakes will continue to analyze the bill and report our findings to you, but we have identified six areas of special concern. We are calling for the following immediate changes to the legislation:

1)  Remove default permitting from the bill. Developing a strategy for permit timelines that includes incentives and consequences has some merit, but any repercussions for missing deadlines should be directed toward Department staff, not our water resources.  We recommend that rather than using legislation to set staff expectations, the DNR be given the chance to establish internal controls and employee incentives and/or consequences more in keeping with the goal of becoming an Enterprise Agency. By doing so, the Department becomes nimble, responsive and accountable while water resources are protected for citizens now and in the future.

2)  Remove the provision allowing fill within bulkhead lines (artificial shoreline designations set by municipalities out from the actual shore). We have not seen scientific data or analysis of the extent of the impact this would have on our water resources and near shore habitat, and therefore cannot support this provision of the bill.  If such evidence exists, then informational sessions are important so citizens can be fully educated. Because a bulkhead line extends into the water beyond the natural shoreline, our concern is that fill would be placed in the water on lake beds which, according to the state Constitution, are held in trust (and should therefore be protected) for all Wisconsin citizens. A hasty change in legislation without adequate scientific examination of the potential impact is not a level of protection we can support.

3) Remove the provisions allowing for removal of lake bed and vegetation for placement and access to piers. As above, scientific evidence examining the impact of such activity has been unavailable and we must err on the side of protecting water held in the public trust. Additionally, the bill fails to require permits for lake bed removal, making it impossible to track impacts over time.

4)  Remove the provision allowing for a general permit for removal of nuisance plant and animal material. We strongly recommend that removal of nuisance plant and animal materials always be done under an individual permit due to the uniqueness of each situation, the volume of material targeted for removal, and the need to assess the potential for environmental harm.

5)  Retain the bill's establishment of an Internet based public notice system, but not reject the existing requirement for newspaper notice. The bill makes the public notice requirement optional as to which format - newspaper or Internet - is used by DNR, but many citizens in Wisconsin do not have adequate Internet access and will likely not have it for some time.  Allowing instances of public notice to be solely Internet-based would effectively remove citizens from the siting, permitting, public comment and public hearing processes, and the "either/or" nature of this bill would lead to even greater confusion as to where to watch for such notices in any given situation.

6)  Remove the pier, wharf and boathouse sections from the bill. Current law on these issues is the result of recent comprehensive processes that involved considerable public input. The compromises and solutions that came from this collaborative work should be given time to be implemented.

To learn more about this issue:
- Read Wisconsin Lakes’ talking points memo at
- Read Wisconsin Lakes’ 10/27 press release at
- Read Wisconsin Lakes’ 10/25 press release at
- Read the bill itself at
Interested in more lake news and supporting statewide lake work?

Policy updates and other special messages are sent to Wisconsin Lakes individual members and individuals associated with member lake groups.
All of our advocacy, public policy, and legislative work is funded by membership dues and donations. We rely on your generosity to keep our advocacy and policy work alive.
If you are receiving this message as a forward, please consider joining or donating to Wisconsin Lakes. Your contributions make our work possible.

Get Ready For Donald Trump, Front-Runner 2.0

With Cain and Perry fading, some are saying Newt (Great-Uncle Philanderer) Gingrich is on-deck.


And then the line-up turns over (no, Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul remain on the bench), which means Donald Trump is back heading off.

Then Bachmann...then...

Public Relating To GOP Candidates Like Reality TV Characters

President Barack Obama's wisecrack the other night about his GOP presidential rivals being "voted off the island" - - a reference to the reality show "Survivor" and its method for whittling down contestants - - was deeper than you'd first think.

Americans flock to the oxymoronic "reality" TV programs, where contestants compete for prizes, and in some cases viewers "vote" electronically, as if their relationship to the show were as a real electorate.

How else to explain some of the traction and appeal in the genuinely real electoral process by conservative candidates who have been on their own 'reality' programs - - Trump, Palin - - or in media that blurs the lines between information and entertainment - - Cain, Huckabee, Gingrich, Santorum - - the latter three having had Fox 'News' programs.

Candidates that entertain, but do not educate, are a perfect match for viewers who then think they are participating in something real, on "reality TV," by "voting."

The electorate and much of the political process has been driven by TV since the Kennedy-Nixon debates, and the dominance of the 30-second spot, and we've already had one actor - - Ronald Reagan - - make the jump all the way from Hollywood to the White House.

But this year, the repetitive, debate-laden Republican primary process has been a made-for-TV production, and some of the sponsoring networks' productions and teasers have been all about show business and barely about issues.

For my money, "Godfather" (see, right there, another media reference) pizza and pitchman Herman Cain is the most effective of this season's 'reality' candidates:

He's had a radio talk show, has mastered commercial advertising's essential superficiality - - 9-9-9 - - and, intentionally or not, comes across like the lead in a sit-com, "Herman and Friends," and not the front-runner in a an authentic campaign for President of The United States and Most Powerful Nation On Earth.

Because this year, TV-addicted voter/viewers in the GOP base seem to want nothing more.

He just might get his act picked up for another 13 weeks.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Will The Legislature Deal With "Constituent Rage" Before Or After The Fact?

If you are going to invite guns into state and other public buildings, why not make threatening or harming a public official with that precious concealed or open-carry "freedom" weapon an enhanced felony?

What Was Most-Read At This Blog last Week

Among the top five: three related to Scott Walker's transfer of Wisconsin public resources to the private sector, one about the reactionary State Senator from New Berlin, and one posting from five weeks about capital punishment.

I think that capital punishment item must be posted somewhere else, but I can't track it. The Internet!

Oct 21, 2011 

Oct 25, 2011 

Oct 24, 2011
Sep 21, 2011

Oct 22, 2011

I Always Figured Waukesha Wanted To Keep Its Deep Wells, And Now...

Talk about a moving target, as I have been saying for years:

Waukesha tells the DNR and the Journal Sentinel retaining some of its purportedly costly and antiquated and inadequate deep wells is possible, as a cheaper, back-up supply.

In May, 2009, I wrote:

Is Waukesha pledging to cap its existing deep wells, should it get permission to bring in Lake Michigan water? I don't think so.

Why not?
Because it wants to retain the capacity to fuel development, with the current wells as back-up.
Bingo,- - a "cheaper" back-up supply (the newspaper headline's writer's word) for some of the City's needs, and perhaps - - my speculation - - as capacity for growth, since Waukesha wants to supply some or all of Delafield, Genesee and the Town of Waukesha, as it expands its service territory by 80%, geographically.

Map, here.

And isn't the City opening the door to a conclusion that it does have less-costly alternatives to the Lake Michigan-only supply - - or at least to a portion of it - - thereby undercutting an application based on the Great Lakes Compact's 'no other reasonable alternative' standard?

I see policy-making based on wanting to have one's cake and eating it, too - - or at least a big piece.

And validating Mayor Jeff Scrima's position that a future water source can be created with a combination of local sources.

Also - - abandoning its deep wells also would mean writing off an investment in the wells and water treatment equipment.

Governmental agencies simply do not like shutting down and giving up infrastructure, and if some existing wells are retained, the water utility staff could make an easier case to its Commission that the equipment would be have to retained, maintained and upgraded, too.

Out in the heart of small-governland land, big has its advocates and place, too.

A Glock In The Pocket Solves Nothing

We've got high unemployment, decayed infrastructure, and a huge percentage of kids who do not finish high school - - and this is what the Republican Wisconsin Governor and Legislature, in the middle of their charade also known as The Special Session On Jobs, are telling us through their pandering to the NRA is their true Political Priority #1:

Most state buildings get OK for guns

Carrying concealed weapons allowed; open carry debated

Friday, October 28, 2011

Flat Tax? In Wisconsin, Corporations Already Enjoy A Flat-Line Tax

The Institute for Wisconsin's Future, a watchdog group that documents how the rich get richer while the rest of us pay the bills, has a fresh list of Wisconsin businesses with household names (like Kimberly-Clark) that pretty much pay nothing in state income taxes.

Businesses in "broke state" Wisconsin enjoy tax exemptions on everything from computers to manufacturing equipment, and Gov. Walker added more breaks to aid big donors as soon as he got his hands on the keys to the office.

9-9-9? In Wisconsin, major businesses have been enjoying 0's for a long time.

Mary Lazich Becomes Cathy Stepp Parody - - A Pre-Halloween Drama

When we last encountered New Berlin's Republican Senator and Legislative Puppet (Scott Fitzgerald, Puppeteer) Mary Lazich she was busy getting bigger trucks on the road with fewer rules, and also getting abstinence-only taught in the public schools.

Before that, it was her trying to criminalize prank calls, and, well - - you can read it all here.

Lazich is the GOP's go-to-she'll-say-anything legislator because everyone else in her Tea-soaked, fringe-focused caucus has more self-awareness and a stronger sense of shame, which tells you all you need to know about how tone deaf and isolated one legislator can become. Photo of Senator Lazich

But now she's outdoing herself, trying to quickly change the rules and laws at the 11-th hour that govern recall petition drives - - the process that, unfettered by the restrictions Lazich now proposes,  enabled now-Gov. Scott Walker to oust Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament in 2002 - - by hamstringing petition circulators with new, cumbersome notarization requirements.

It's a blatant effort to monkey-wrench the process, to rig it and help save Walker from a recall election - - an insider's use of legislative power to change the rules to gain advantage.

Change the rules to benefit one party.

Hmmm...where I have heard that before?

Oh - -- it was in a very public complaint about such tactics, made against Democrats by one Cathy Stepp, a former Republican State Senator, former state co-chair for Rudy Giuliani, ex-home builder and now Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources and in-house Halloween Party planner.

(Hint: On Monday at the DNR's Central Offices in Madison, desserts are on the seventh floor.)

Anyway, here's what Stepp had to say in a blog rant a few years ago before Walker gave her positions as  $125,000-a-year departmental secretary and chief agency costume judge, and the spelling, punctuation and capitalization are all Stepp's:

Just another example of the democrats game plan: Change the Rules to Fit the Players.

Shout it with me, now: HYPOCRISY, THY NAME IS DEMOCRAT."
From Cathy Stepp's lips to Mary Lazich's behavior.

Those tricksters!

Wisconsin Republicans Fear The Blowback

All these transparent power grabs by Wisconsin Republicans - - Voter ID registration and balloting restrictions, redistricting absurd legislative boundaries and even keeping 300,000 State Senate voters from a contest in 2012, and now Mary Lazich's last-ditch plan to hamstring recall petition circulators with notarization rules to help Walker save his hide - - indicate that Republicans still remember Politics' First Rule:

Nothing is Forever.

They know that the agenda they are shoving through the Legislature because they have the edge right now - - from the attack on collective bargaining to the hand-over of the environment to private interests to wacky and unpopular gun carry permissions - - will all provoke a strong counter-response in recall and regular election cycles.

Changing the rules to preserve one-sided governance may provide an advantage in the short run, but in the longer term guarantees a fall.

Remember the failure of their fake Democratic candidates entered in the Senate recall elections, a tactic to both confuse voters and delay the elections with costly and unneeded primaries. They still lost two seats, real Dems - - none.

In a democracy, you can keep people down and manipulate the system for only so long before "hoist by your own petard" turns into a political epitaph.

And Republican majorities in power will be swept aside, an outcome made even more certain by their efforts, without shame or a second thought, to rig the electoral system,

After some inevitable and irreparable tipping point, the fresh powers Republicans have transferred to the Governor for Walker's use and special-interests' gain  - - greater authority over the former Department of Commerce, probable new 'chamber of commerce-style' management and program powers over a revamped Department of Natural Resources, and top-down rule-making micro-managing all state agencies - - will be exercised by Democratic Governors, too.

Prepare for the whirlwind, short-sighted Grand Old Party.

Legislature, Governor Ignoring Pollution-Increase/Wetlands'-Loss History

As Wisconsin rushes to ease mining in watersheds, and remove restrictions on building into and disturbing waterways, riverbanks and shorelines, remember that when government allows private interests to have their way with public resources and waters, bad outcomes continue unabated.

Let's look at some examples, beginning with oil and pipelines:

As crude oil continued to pour out of control into the Gulf of Mexico yesterday, questions were being asked over the relationship between BP and regulators in Washington amid allegations that the company was allowed to drill the deepwater well without filing plans for how it would cope with a blow-out like the one now in hand.

"My understanding is that everything was in its proper place," the US Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, said during a tour of booming operations on the Gulf Coast. But an investigation by the Associated Press and other media outlets seemed to show that, after lobbying by BP, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) within the Interior Department relaxed the rules so that the company could dodge filing a proper blow-out contingency plan.
Too far away, too dramatic for you?

Well, how about this?
Wisconsin ’s special natural places and sustainable future are being threatened by...Enbridge Energy Company, Inc...which operates the world's longest crude oil and liquids pipeline system [and] is proposing to build two 321-mile long pipelines. 
The proposed pipelines would cut diagonally across Wisconsin, from Superior to Delavan, crossing 242 rivers and streams and 74 miles of wetlands. 
Construction activities are expected to disturb 1,265 acres of wetland, including 262 acres of wooded wetland, and clear cut 1,930 acres of upland forest...and may set the stage for continued construction in the future. 
By the end of the project...the 3,900-acre pipeline site could cause up to 117,090 tons of sediment (roughly 14,600 dump trucks) to erode from the pipeline construction site into our state’s waters...

Once operating, Enbridge pipeline exposes pristine areas to the threat of a crude oil spill. Enbridge pipelines spilled roughly 252,000 gallons of crude oil in Cohassett, MN in 2002, and more than 3.3 million gallons of crude oil into the Canadian environment since 1990. 
Wisconsin has experienced at least seven spills from Enbridge pipelines since 1999. 

On November 27, 2007, DNR concluded that the project will be insignificant and issued environmental permits without the completion of a full Environmental Impact Statement.
A cavalier, trust-the-industry regulatory approach - -  "environmental permits without the completion of a full Environmental Impact Statement" - - presages the inevitable just a few years later:
Past Enbridge issues at heart of spill
Updated: Thursday, 29 Jul 2010, 10:36 PM EDT

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - A Canadian company whose pipeline leaked hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into a Michigan river has experienced leaks, an explosion and dozens of regulatory violations in the past decade throughout the Great Lakes region and elsewhere in the U.S...
In 2007, two spills released about 200,000 gallons of crude in northern Wisconsin as Enbridge was expanding a 320-mile pipeline. 
Then there is mining.

And though we are told that the Penokee taconite (iron ore) mine Walker wants to dig into the Lake Superior watershed in Northerm Wisconsin, near Ashland - - maps here - - , with arbitrarily short reviews, can be operated by Gogebic Taconite (GATC) safely, look at the track record:
Nine taconite mines and related production and transport facilities in Minnesota and Michigan (seven in MN, two in MI) account for nearly all U.S. iron ore production...[and] dozens of air and water quality violations resulting in more than $790,000 in fines, plus cleanup orders and stipulations costing another $9.1 million...
A Minnesota DNR report in 2003 found that taconite mining is the 2nd largest source of mercury emissions after coal power plants. The study also reported that no suitable technology has been found to curtail taconite mercury emissions...
Transporting taconite ore causes pollution too. One example is the Duluth Missabe and Iron Range Railway in Minnesota which has been cited for multiple violations of hazardous waste restrictions and air quality and fined $138,770 for violations occurring in 2005 and 2009. 
If existing taconite mining cannot be counted on for examples of safe mining, what about GTAC’s track record?  
GTAC itself has never mined taconite before but GTAC’s owners- the Cline Group- operate coal mines in Illinois. Cline has been cited 25 times for violating water quality standards at 4 mines including 19 times at the Deer Run Mine which opened only 3 years ago.
Need more convincing? Consider Wisconsin's disappearing wetlands, forests and grasslands:
Federal data shows that Wisconsin has lost more than 46% of its wetlands between 1780 and 1980.
And a Green Bay-based non-profit has published these findings from the pre-Walker DNR:
According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, important habitat types are disappearing. For example:
* Grasslands - Wisconsin has only .5% (13,000 acres) of its original grassland ecosystem remaining in a relatively intact condition, but much of this remnant acreage has been degraded to some degree.
* Oak Savannas - Intact examples of oak savanna vegetation are now so rare that less than 500 acres are listed in the Natural Heritage Inventory as having a plant assemblage similar to the original oak savanna. This is less than 0.01% of the original 5.5 million acres.
* Oak and Pine Barrens - Less than 1% of the pre-settlement oak and pine barren habitat remains.
* Shorelands - Degradation of near-shore and shoreline wildlife habitat is increasing with the pace of development, particularly in northern Wisconsin where, since 1960, two thirds of the larger lakes have been developed, the number of home sites has doubled, and the annual number of permits for sea wall construction has tripled. The DNR now reviews and processes over 10,000 permits for piers, near shore ponds, and structures each year.
* Wetlands - More than 50% of Wisconsin's original wetlands have been lost. On the lower Bay of Green Bay, more than 90% of the wetlands are gone.
These all are the cumulative, predictable effects of corporate palliatives, runaway sprawl, toothless regulation, and historical denial - - and it will lead to more land and water losses and permanent conservation heartbreak if Wisconsin's legislature approves Gov. Walker's partisan, political agenda.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Democrats Should Stop Negotiating With Themselves

The Party of "No" knows only one word.

Frank Lasee Baffled By Legislative Process, Governing

This isn't the first time that Republican State Sen. Lasee, (De Pere) appears legislatively-challenged.

Wind gives him trouble.

As do gun-free schools.

Not to mention deaf kids.

So how would be handle all that stuff US Senators have to deal with? Do we need a matched pair with Ron Johnson?

Milwaukee's Major Green Progress - - Nicely Catalogued

This is how cities can work.

What's required: Leadership.

Guns In The Capitol: Wisconsin GOP Legislators, Governor Have Had A Breakdown

(updated from yesterday) Nothing but heartache is going to come of this.

And the officials from Scott Walker on down who are catering to the NRA and listening to paranoid voices in their own heads to justify bringing guns into the Madison Capitol building public viewing galleries, and on to the chambers' floors, have turned themselves into cartoonish caricatures of leaders.

So carrying in a Glock will be OK, even encouraged, but bringing in a sign or a camera will get you arrested.

Bangkok Under Water - - As Predicted. Climate Change Again Validated - - But Undercovered

Historic flooding is heading for the capital of Thailand. Climate change is again validated in print, data and reality.

Remember this story about climate change and predicted flooding and this mind-boggling chart, on which Bangkok appears.

After The Mining And Water Bills, All That's Left Is That Corporatized DNR Scheme

The fate of Wisconsin's open spaces and clean waters is coming into view, spurred by Gov. Walker's fear of the recall, and the picture is darkening by the hour.

First there was the Voter ID Bill to slow registrations and obstruct turnout in cities and on campuses - - Democratic strongholds - - all to help cement a GOP long-term majority and to make recalling Walker more difficult.

Then the blatantly partisan legislative redistricting - - done so sloppily despite big payouts to drafting attorneys - - but, again, driven by fear of recalls - - that a Federal judicial panel seems poised to toss it because it disenfranchises next year 300,000 State Senate voters.

But facing a recall movement poised to begin in just a few days, Walker is now trying to ramrod through a compliant legislature sweeping bills to turn the environment over to private interests, allowing for incursions into protected waters, pollution of streams, rivers and lakes - - and especially carving up state law to carve an open pit iron ore mine in the Penokee Range near tribal lands in the Lake Superior Watershed.

Walker needs everything done at warp speed on behalf of his corporate backers because he could be out of office by the spring.

Some leaders' conservation agendas are governed by fears of damage to the environment.

Walker's is driven by fears of losing his job and failure to deliver the goods to the people who helped push him to his 52% win.

His environmental plans, actions, goals and direction are now 100% political, so look for him to follow through quickly to revamp of the Department of Natural Resources, by Executive Order, into the business-led "Chamber of Commerce"-type agency - - his words - - he said he wanted current secretary and former home-builder Cathy Stepp to run.

A so-called charter DNR could evade many hiring and procedural processes governing the workings of other state, taxpayer-financed agencies, further shutting the public out of decision-making that governs the control and integrity of public land, water and clean air resources.

Then Wisconsin will not be open for business. The state and its natural resources will be run for and taken over by business and the boardroom doors will shut you out.

Walker To Senate: Get Me Fast-Tracked Mining Law Before I Am Recalled

Walker knows he is a short-timer, so has to deliver to his corporate puppet-masters, and fast.

That's what's behind the one-and-out hearing yesterday on major changes to waterway access and management, too.

Can You Believe It? Walker Gets Another "False" PolitiFact Rating

(originally posted 2:43 p.m., Wednesday, now updated) Is this bad staff work - - a major statistical flub designed to underscore amid justify his cutbacks to the UW-System - -  or just plain Walker arrogance?

Does Walker care that his PolitiFact statements have been rated 24 of 36 times in some way false  - - or worse?

And only eight are half-true or better!

Remember, we're talking about the Governor here, not John Lovitz's Saturday Night Live character.

Update, Thursday, 10/27, 1:25 a.m. 

In fact, Walker has not received a "True" or "Mostly True" rating since May 8th. 

In the ten reviews since, Walker has garnered only Half Trues, Mostly False, False, Pants on Fire, and Full Flop - - which is some kind of losing battle with the whole truth (or even "mostly").

The scorecard since May 8th:

May 8,  2011 TRUE...And then

Jun 24, 2011 HALF TRUE
Jul 3,    2011 FALSE
Jul 7,    2011 FULL FLOP
Jul 10,  2011 FALSE
Jul 18,  2011 FALSE
Sep 4,    2011 PANTS ON FIRE
Sep 16,  2011 MOSTLY FALSE
Sep 22,  2011 PANTS ON FIRE
Oct 13,  2011 HALF TRUE
Oct 26,  2011 FALSE 

Here's a link and more information about all his ratings, and the inescapable pattern:

All of Walker's statements by ruling

The Movement's Signature Move: Recall Training Efforts Surface

Scott Walker is not going to have a cakewalk from November-to-January, it seems.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Another Transportation Job For Frank Busalacchi. In Milwaukee?

Gretchen Schuldt says it all.

County Executive Chris Abele’s appointment of former State Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi to head up the county’s transportation division is an unnecessary insult to Milwaukee, given Busalacchi’s unending efforts to make Milwaukee just another throughway for people driving home to the exurbs.

Bike Racks On Buses Reduce Traffic Congestion, Air Pollution

What's not to like?

For Your Bookmarks: Statewide Conservation Group Creates Mining Web Page

As the Legislature lays the groundwork to fast-track the iron ore strip mine in Northern Wisconsin, the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has created a dedicated mining page on the issue.

We'll need all the resources we can get.

No Debate About It: Perry Says Debating Was A Mistake

Or how about a bigger miscalculation:, thinking you are Presidential material?

I mean...thinking on your feet, explaining yourself, fielding questions, offering or proving you have positions on issues  - - that's is really hard work. Do the people really deserve that from a candidate?

Isn't everything like the way it is in Texas, where there's a part-time Legislature and plenty of free time to hang out with oil execs, raise quick campaign cash (he's sitting on $17 million), jog while armed and shoot coyotes?

Campaigning, and what, preparing? Nope.

Former Environmentalist Turns His Back On Conservation

Neal Kedzie's retreat shows how far degraded is the GOP.

League Of Conservation Voters Is Reporting Live From Ruinous Waterways Bill Hearing

Via Twitter. Well done:

Conservation Voters
Senator Larson asks Al Shea how shifting the burden of proof to citizens - instead of permit applicants - is "good customer service."

Shills Pick Odd Time To Launch Pro-Walker 'It's Working' Website

The 1% spends pocket change on a recall-anticipatory 'It's Working' website touting Walker's budget (psst: it's really thanking him for the tax breaks) the same day a state agency announces job losses in the manufacturing heartland, and a few days after another state agency said Walker's 250,000-new-jobs pledge was unattainable.

The website's diversionary tactics will fool no one - - people can spot propaganda this transparent - -  and suggest weakness and fear as the Walker recall looms.

Wisconsin Assembly Passes 100 Proof Jobs Bill

By expanding the hours that liquor can be sold in the state that already leads the nation in drunk driving, binge drinking and other unhealthy indicators, The State Assembly has its bloodshot eye on the ball and is creating jobs in these fields:

EMT/First responders

Emergency room personnel

Long-term care facility staffing

AODA counseling

Funeral home worker
Auto body repair shops
Alcohol sales outlets
One Wisconsin organization aimed at healthy lifestyles has more information:

For more information contact: Paul Krupski, Health First Wisconsin; 608.443.436
Assembly Passes Bill to Increase Hours of Alcohol Sales Sales to begin at 6:00 AM

Madison, Wis.―October 25, 2011―On Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Assembly passed AB 63, which would legalize alcohol sales earlier in the day, for more hours per day.

“We are one step closer to increasing the availability and access to alcohol in the state,” said Maureen Busalacchi, Executive Director of Health First Wisconsin. “We are disappointed that the Assembly has neglected to consider the impact of this bill on public health and safety of Wisconsin residents. It’s a hefty price to pay for ‘convenience.’”

In Wisconsin, Class A alcohol licenses are issued to establishments such as gas stations and liquor stores, which allow for the retail sale of alcohol for consumption off premise. Currently, a Class A licensee is allowed to sell beer from 8am till midnight and liquor from 8am till 9pm. AB 63 would change the time retailers can begin selling alcohol to 6am.

“Already we are the #1 binge drinking state in the country. This change reinforces an unhealthy attitude toward drinking and enables alcohol abuse and binge drinking,” said Busalacchi. “There’s really no reason for people to buy beer before breakfast.”

It’s common sense that increased availability equals increased drinking. Research shows that increased alcohol availability and drinking leads to increased OWIs, risky sexual behaviors, and violence. “We need solutions to Wisconsin’s alcohol problems that create safer and healthier communities and neighborhoods,” said Busalacchi.

Health First Wisconsin and its partners pledge to fight passage of AB 63 in the Wisconsin State Senate.

Flawed Investment Scheme Resurfaces In Legislature. Hmmm...

I'm sure the fact that Assembly Republican Leader Jeff Fitzgerald's support for this taxpayer-financed, bad-track-record flushing of taxpayer millions favoring out-of-state financial managers has nothing to do with his US Senate campaign's needs.

The proposal authors - - all Republicans - - say they don't want to exclude any companies from the plan, including CAPCO's.

Let's remember that corporations are people, too, and you don't want any of these firms to feel like they aren't being picked for the softball team.

Tommy's DC Cash Bash Has Waukesha Water Connection

Waukesha's Water Utility, which is seeking massive federal aid to build its water diversion infrastructure if its bid for Lake Michigan water gets approved, has a lobbyist at the firm BGR that is  sponsoring a big DC fundraiser for Tommy's Senate bid, on November 3, according to US Senate records:

LOBBYING REPORT Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 (Section 5)    -
Organization/Lobbying Firm:
Barbour Griffith & Rogers, LLC d/b/a BGR Holding, 601 Thirteenth Street, NW,  Eleventh Floor South, Washington, DC, 20005...    

DANIEL R. MURPHY, (202) 333-4936,
Client Name, Water Utility, City of Waukesha
Just for the record.

When A Monster Truck Buries You In Its Wake, Thank Mary Lazich

Bigger, heavier trucks, fewer permits and pesky rules - - Mary Lazich is the trucking lobby's new driver.

There's no stopping her.

More, here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Imminent Recall Against Walker Spurring Water Privatization Measure

The recall effort kicking off in early November is the only reason to rush this through, as I see it.

So the organizing against the bill is fast and furious, with only one hearing scheduled, and that's tomorrow, at 11 a.m., Room 417-N State Capitol.

I look to the conservation, hunting, fishing and outdoor tourism constituencies, along with diverse rural residents. to raise an alarm against mining operations, developers, and pier-builders in and near waters historically held in trust in Wisconsin for the public or by Native American tribes - - an alarm that will be heard and respected by Republican legislators.

Future Headlines: GOP Legislators Want Pick Of Laws To Follow; Then Judges

Or maybe "GOP Legislators Want Cases Heard By Donors."

That's where we're headed.

Legal Expert Explains Depth Of Walker's Bill To Undo State's Water Law

Water rights and policy expert Attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin lays why Senate Bill 24 will undermine Wisconsin's long tradition of public access to state waterways and the historic supremacy of management of these resources as public resources, held in trust, and in perpetuity - - or so we thought.

The one and only hearing on this legal outrage takes place at 11 a.m. Wednesday in room 417-N, State Capitol:

Contact:   Jodi Habush Sinykin
                 Midwest Environmental Advocates
                 (414) 507-0004

SS/AB 24 Runs Afoul of the Wisconsin Public Trust Doctrine

Midwest Environmental Advocates, a public interest law firm representing Wisconsin’s citizens and conservation community on matters of environmental importance, will testify at tomorrow’s legislative hearing in strong opposition to SS/AB 24, focusing on the bill’s legally indefensible position vis-à-vis Wisconsin’s public trust doctrine.

With its origins firmly based in Article IX of the Wisconsin state constitution, the public trust doctrine upholds the fundamental tenet that the State holds navigable waters in trust for the public into perpetuity.

Over the years, Wisconsin courts have interpreted this “public trust duty” to require the state not only to promote navigation but also to protect and preserve state waters for fishing, hunting, recreation, and scenic beauty.

As recently as this past July, our Wisconsin Supreme Court clearly affirmed, in a 7-0 unanimous decision in Lake Beulah Management District v. DNR, the importance of a “vigorous enforcement of the public trust doctrine” to protect our valuable water resources.

The Supreme Court explained that, “in furtherance of the state’s affirmative obligations as trustee,” the legislature has delegated substantial authority over water matters to the DNR, whose “role in the protection of state waters is clearly dominant.”  As such, any legislative proposal affecting navigable waters and the DNR’s management thereof must comport with the public trust doctrine.

SS/AB 24, however, quite clearly fails in this regard.

Instead, the bill enables automatic approval of certain applications, notably, high capacity well applications, if the DNR fails to complete its review within a time period to be established by rule.  Yet, the bill sets forth no parameters for this time period—it could come to pass that approvals would be automatically granted after a mere 20 days or even 10. 

To make matters worse, to obtain an extension, DNR has only 14 days from the date of receiving the high capacity well application to identify what information might be missing from it and to notify the applicant, in writing, of the specific information necessary to complete the application. 

The real-life absurdity of this charge is highlighted by yet another provision in this section, which prohibits the DNR from including as a reason for disapproval the fact that it had insufficient time to complete its review of the application. 

These provisions are directly at odds with Wisconsin case law which dictates that the DNR has a duty, not a choice, under the public trust doctrine “to consider whether a proposed high capacity well may harm waters of the state.”

Comparable automatic approval provisions and limits on permit review and public participation are repeated throughout SSAB 24.  These provisions do more than impose unrealistic fact-finding burdens on the DNR.  They do more than reward bad actors who will be encouraged to game the system by withholding information or submitting purposefully incomplete applications. 

These prescriptive timeframes for review and public input plainly hinder the DNR’s ability to acquire the information and to complete the analysis needed to evaluate potential impacts to public trust waters.  On this basis, SS/AB 24, as it currently stands, runs afoul of the public trust doctrine and is unlikely to survive legal, constitutional challenge.

Climate Change Skeptic Runs The Numbers, Changes Position

Not that the politicians and talk show hosts who  deny the realities of climate change will come around, but they might get a little nervous knowing that a skeptic they used to quote is singing a different scientific tune now after crunching the data himself.

Rick Perry - - Cut-Up, And All-Around Fool

On the same day he introduces his flat tax (flat-earth?) to protect the rich - - called "a disaster" in a Fox News opinion piece - -  Perry says he and Donald Trump are just having fun poking Pres. Obama about his citizenship. Sound like a President to you?

"You know, Donald [Trump] has got to have some fun. It’s fun to poke him a little bit and say, 'Hey, let’s see your grades and your birth certificate.' I don’t have a clue about where the president — and what this birth certificate says. But it’s also a great distraction. I’m not distracted by it," Perry told CNBC.
 Little wonder he had now fallen to 6% in polls.

Collapse Of Walker's 250,000 Jobs' Pledge Still An Undercovered Story

It's barely made a ripple statewide, with little or no editorial outrage, even concern.

Ho. hum.

Is this because people knew all along it was BS, because they have been desensitized by Walker's mounting list of vetted, false statements, or are overloaded with political news and are politically-exhausted?

Has Walker so devalued the Office of Governor and tainted the process - - from dropping the bomb on state workers to nuking the environment - - that editorial boards can't find their voices and declare that the Emperor wars no clothes?

Baffles me, since, yes, you could say 'it's just a projection,' but isn't the proper response: "YIPES!," as the sources of the expose were about as straight-forward and apolitical as you can get:

Walker's Department of Revenue, with reporting by the AP:

An economic forecast by Gov. Scott Walker's own administration predicts that Wisconsin will fall far short of adding the 250,000 new private-sector jobs by 2015 that the governor promised as a key part of his successful election campaign.

The Department of Revenue report released Friday predicts that by 2014, the state will have added only 136,000 jobs in the private sector compared with 2010. The job growth estimate was down 43,000 from the department's previous report released in June.

Walker promised while he was campaigning that the state would add 250,000 jobs during his four years in office... But like the national economy, growth has been sluggish in Wisconsin this year and job growth is not track to meet Walker's pledge.

Through September, the state had added just 29,300 jobs since Walker took over in January. At that pace, there would be roughly 156,000 new jobs in the state by 2015
Walker's pledge was the centerpiece of his campaign, and rated the top of the Journal Sentinel's editorial endorsement:
Scott Walker has said repeatedly during his campaign for governor that he will develop strategies to create 250,000 new jobs during his first term.
It's a big promise - one that has been derided by his critics. But for the sake of Wisconsin, Walker had better be right.
Or consider the headline on the Wisconsin State Journal's endorsement editorial:

Our endorsement: Scott Walker best for jobs in race for governor

And now?

How To Erase 224 Years Of Public Access To Wisconsin Waters? Hold One Hearing

And call it a jobs plan, diverting attention from your own State Department of Revenue's finding that your 250,000 new jobs' pledge - - centerpiece of a 2010 campaign for Governor you won with 52% of the vote and a false claim that the other guy had a "radical environmental agenda" - - would fall flat by something like half.

That's how Scott Walker has been driving the privatization juggernaut in Wisconsin for close to a year, assisted by his Fitzgerald footmen on behalf of ultra-conservative, special interest lobbies and donors, with historic environmental protections on the chopping block and about to be sacrificed.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, at 11:00 a.m. there will be a single hearing on Senate Bill 24 in Room 417 North,  State Capitol - - and that's it.

This is how deeply Walker & Co. have diminished and devalued both the substance of public policy in Wisconsin, and the process that creates or protects it.

Team Walker: "Well, we had a hearing..."

One hearing. Can you say, "pro-forma?" Can you spell c-h-a-r-a-d-e?


A vote to approve could come in both houses within two weeks, followed by the automatic signature of Governor 52% - - and after that, The Public Trust Doctrine, keystone to preventing the filling of waterways and clearing of shorelines and riverbanks, could be severely weakened.

Thus setting the stage for mining, pier-building and other privately-operated, physically-degrading uses of lakes, rivers and streams that would limit public access and enjoyment  - - a right guaranteed to Wisconsinites, in perpetuity - - or so we thought - - since 1787.

Also weakened: future citizen hearing rights and participation, or DNR permit reviews, so waterway filling or incursions would take place faster, with shortened scientific reviews, thus allowing alteration of waterways or their banks - - even in waters deemed sensitive or valuable - - before anyone could get a handle on the ramifications.

And this is supposedly a jobs bill.

Ask the people whose livelihoods depend on Wisconsin's outdoors tourism sector what they think of parking lots, haphazardly-sited buildings, mining tailing piles or private power boat piers pushed into parks, preserves, marshes, stream banks and wetlands?

First It Was Teachers, Then Transit Users, Urban Voters, Medicaid Patients And Now Conservationists

Another constituency - - people who like to hunt, fish and hike - - gets the Scott Walker shove and shiv, and fights back.

And you wonder why the recall movement will begin in just days?

Wisconsin has been captured by narrow interests who have made personal or partisan priorities - - money and power - - into a state agenda.

Jobs Coming To Menomonee Valley Despite Walker's Dismissal Of Other Jobs There

Another Spanish firm is locating manufacturing jobs in the Menomonee Valley - - a testament to the grassroots effort there by the Valley partners under both Mayors John Norquist and Tom Barrett and despite actions by fake job-creator Gov. Scott Walker to diminish production and longer-term growth in the Valley at high-speed train assembler Talgo and wind turbine-manufacturer Ingeteam.

Tom Daykin has the details.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Rick Perry Trumps Trump

Becoming a Birther 2.0 is no way to revive a doomed campaign. No wonder he is Bachmannesque in the polls.

"Sportsmen [Later For You, Women] For Walker," Check Your Governor Now

I wonder if their bargain with Walker - -  "Our state needs a commitment to accessibility of land and waterways for sportsmen and women of all ages to hunt, fish and trap" - - meant filling wetlands, and building into sensitive streams and lakes as he is proposing in a fake jobs bill?

I think these conservationists have it right.

Thanks to an alert blog-commenter who had been perusing Walker's campaign website.

Talk About Job Creation: Walker Appoints 3rd Workforce Secretary in 9 Months

What's the deal? Maybe there's a hostile work environment seeping out of the Governor's office?

Walker Trying To Get Around Killing Wind Energy Jobs, But...

His legislative friend and ally State Sen. Frank Lasee, (R-De Pere), wants to hold up all work until the wind stops blowing, basically.

You see, Lasee is considering a run for the US Senate, and needs some windmills against which to tilt, quixotically.

Wisconsin Environmental Groups Organizing To Fight "Pollution Over People" Bill

Organizations are gearing up to fight the "Pollution Over People" bill - - Scott Walker's plan to rollback 224 years of public access to Wisconsin waters.

Said the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation in a Sunday statement:

“Whether you are a hunter, angler or trapper, Wisconsin’s lakes and streams are critically important habitat for the fish and wildlife that are the backbone for hunting, fishing and trapping in Wisconsin,” stated Chuck Matyska (Cecil), President of the Federation. “Allowing these lakes and streams to be damaged is contrary to the interest of every sportsman and woman in this state.”
“The Legislature is working hard to increase the recruitment and retention of young hunters, anglers and trappers in Wisconsin, but without quality fish and wildlife habitat, the important heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping will be lost forever,” indicated Betty Borchert, Chair of the Federation’s Environment Committee. “Ultimately, the loss of this habitat will hurt the economy and in fact cost Wisconsin jobs.
The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is hosting a briefing for media Tuesday on the bill prior to a quickly-scheduled Legislative hearing in Madison on the plan:
When: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.

Where: State Capitol, 300 SE

Anne Sayers, Program Director, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Institute, (608) 208-1129, (608) 658-0186 cell,
And the River Alliance of Wisconsin makes the case, below:

Polluters Playground: The Push for Mining Undercuts Water Protections Statewide

A few weeks ago we put out the warning that a couple of Governor Walker's "Back to Work Wisconsin" Special Session bills were mining bills in disguise.  Despite denials coming out of the Capitol, we were right.  They're even worse than we expected -- Special Session bills SB 24 and AB 24 to "reform" protections for navigable waters is a real doozy.  In other words, to grease the skids for mining in northern Wisconsin, the bill's sponsors are willing to sacrifice water and land all across the state.
This is why, no matter where you live or how you feel about mining in northern Wisconsin, you should tell your lawmakers to oppose these bills. 

An overarching theme in the bill is rubber-stamping permits on impossibly short timelines for the following activities.  (We also note how these activities maybe, just maybe, have something to do with mining.)
  • Taking water out the ground and from rivers (Taconite mining uses lots of water.)
  • Building dams (Hmmmm, could that be for mine tailings ponds?)
  • Building next to, and on the banks of, navigable waters (Hauling mine waste will need a lot of new roads crossing lots of trout streams.)
  • Grading (aka digging for ore?) within close proximity of rivers. 
SB/AB 24 is also chock full of special favors for developers who haven't been able to get their way in the past few years.  If you recall the Green Bay wetland debacle from last spring, where a developer got a state law passed just for him, well, here we go again:
  • Need to fill in a lakebed so your condo project can extend out into the water?  Have at it. 
  • Been itching to make your pier so big you can dock all six of your boats?  Your wait is almost over. 
  • Perturbed you have to get a permit to put a pier over a place fish use to spawn  No more pesky permit for you.
The public hearing for these bills is Wednesday, October 26 at 11:00 a.m. in Room 417 North of the Capitol.  This will be a joint hearing of the both the Assembly and Senate committees on natural resources, which means it will be the only hearing on a bill that will wreak havoc on our waterways across the state.  

SB/AB 24 is such a blatant special interest bill it's shameful, and you need to tell your legislators how you feel.  If you can't make it to the Capitol, call them and tell them loud and clear before Wednesday. 

Or join us at the hearing - the more the merrier.
Bottom line: These groups have it right.

This one, wrong.