Friday, November 6, 2009

Gov. Doyle Should Sign The DNR Appointing Power Reform Bill

I hope that Gov. Jim Doyle signs the bill approved by both houses of the legislature that will return the selection of the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources to the DNR board.

When Doyle sought the Governor's office he had pledged to sign such a bill because the appointing power had come to the Governor through a power grab by former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Furthermore, Governors appoint the DNR's board members, so there is some gubernatorial influence that would remain - - though the position would no longer be a cabinet-level political appointment.

Which is fine.

Signing the bill would honor the years of grassroots work by conservation groups and environmentalists to re-empower the DNR board and remove some of the politics that swirl around
DNR regulatory activities.

Declining to sign the bill would be a slap at constituents who, by-and-large, have supported Doyle in his campaigns for Attorney General and Governor and have done all the basic letter-writing, legislator-contacting and direct organizing that is supposed to make a democracy work.

Let's hope that the bill is signed, the issue is closed out, and everyone can move forward.


Matt said...

No. We have too much unaccountable government.

Do you honestly think that a board that is unelected and appointing a very powerful position in state government does not open the floodgates for blatant abuse of private property rights? If you buy this, I have some Florida swampland to sell you. Either make the DNR Secretary position a fully elected one (in the mold of the Attorney General, SecState, or Treasurer) or appointed by one (DOC, DOT, DOA, etc.), or make the board like a School Board.

If they have this much latitude over the expenditure of taxpayer money, it should be accountable. If we go your way, tyranny by committee.

Anonymous said...

If the Board does get the power to appoint the Secretary, I'm waiting for the outcray when WMC, Club for Growth, All Children Matter along with Clean WI and Seirra Club begin lobbying them to pick the "best" candidate for Sec.

My bet is that outside groups will spend over $500K to "elect" a Sec.

I imagine we will see smear campaigns to disqualify candidates. We'll see hunters and fishermen fight tooth and nail with environmentalists and businesses to get the candidate that they want.

Be careful what you ask for.