Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Road To Sprawlville, Chapter 45: It's Stepped-Up To A Statewide Route Now

In this. the 45th chapter of our continuing blog series, "The Road to Sprawlville," I offer a tip about an upcoming change in service and function at the Scott Walker era Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources beginning January 3rd:

Maps directing sprawl developers and their road-building allies to once-off-limits wetlands, woodlands and other open spaces, along with handbooks containing streamlined 'rule-making' procedures with fewer pesky 'regulations' will soon be available at the Department of Natural Resources, formerly a natural resource protection agency with an historic public mission.

Coincidentally, the DNR's website is undergoing some reconstruction - - seriously - - so look for the new publications and guidelines online, too.

I'm told that a new division of sprawl inducement may be created, though it is not clear if it will be an arm of the new Commerce Department, or inserted at WisDOT.

So many choices!

What's this all about?

Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel reported today:

"[DNR Secretary designee Cathy] Stepp also said Matt Moroney, an attorney and former executive director of the Metropolitan Builders of Greater Milwaukee, will be the deputy secretary. The No. 3 post of executive assistant is going to state Rep. Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford)."
Moroney is an engaging free market bulldog; you may remember that as a member of a state working group on the Great Lakes Compact, he joined forces with outspoken Compact opponent State Sen. Mary Lazich, (R-New Berlin), in an unsuccessful effort to weaken the Compact. Scroll to the end of this posting, then click on his name and read the pdf that comes up.

More detail, here.

Gunderson is there to mollify the state's hunters: a former sporting goods and gun store owner, he once said he'd eat a deer infected with chronic wasting disease if he dressed and processed it himself.

And Stepp is about as partisan and anti-DNR as they come; she'll have a savvy pro-growth attorney and outdoorsman to help tag team Walker's de-regulation agenda.

This is like putting senior managers at Goldmann Sachs in charge of Wall Street reform.

Or coal company execs in charge of Clean Air Act enforcement.


Anonymous said...

Talk about your axis of evil! At least their triangulated intelligence is not too great.

John said...

"This is like putting senior managers at Goldmann Sachs in charge of Wall Street reform."

You're being ironic - for those who miss the joke:

Larry Summers, current director of the National Economic Council, is Goldman Sachs property.

Gary Gensler, current chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, former Goldman Sachs bagman.

Bob Rubin (also Goldman Sachs) and Larry Summers urged Bill Clinton to repeal Glass-Steagall, which brought the financial hammer down on us while shielding Wall Street salaries and bonuses.

It goes on and on. Read GRIFTOPIA by Matt Taibbi and weep.

See also:

Max B said...

Two of the three have no college educations, following in the footsteps of Be Bold, the Leader.

Anonymous said...

There has been a group of ivy-leagued pedigreed 'intellectuals' running the Federal Government the last 2 years.

How has that been working out for us?

Anonymous said...

As a conservative Republican that voted for Walker I have my reservations about the changes at DNR. A home builder champion does not on its face appear to be a strong choice.
For those haters- people with College Degrees are dead beats too...please stop drawing a false relationship to a person being capable to the necessity of a college education...To be cheapen your opinion by casting that false generality.

Max B said...

We're not talking ivy-covered towers here, just your basic college education. As a person who worked hard in high school to get the grades and knowledge base to be eligible for admittance to college, and then worked hard in college to earn decent grades, while financially supporting myself as an independent adult, (plus some borrowing followed by paying it back) let's just say I have an appreciation of the effort and commitment that it takes to earn a college degree.

That is what I tend to resent about the non-colleged presuming to have the credentials to "lead" us: it's not what they didn't learn in college (although there may have been at least a little to be gained there, academically speaking), it's that they didn't put forth the effort, didn't value a degree or higher learning enough to finish, and now they tell us that they know how to best solve our problems and lead us into the future. How can we trust that they won't take the shortcuts in policy making that they took in life? How can we be sure that they won't repeat the mistakes of the past, not knowing what they were? A little history never hurts anyone.

Both of my parents have advanced degrees--college and post-college; my parents-in-law did not. My parents in-law were highly intelligent, worked hard and were financially successful. But they regretted, until their dying days, that they didn't have a college degree. To them, education was privilege that they highly valued but hadn't been able to afford during the first Great Depression.

Don't tell me that Stepp, Gunderson and Walker couldn't afford a college education. In the years that they would have attended college, there was no excuse for not being able to attend--or finish, as in Walker's case.

Furthermore, it sends a poor message to the young people of our state, the same young that Walker wants to stay here in Wisconsin--after THEIR college educations--to prevent the dreaded "brain drain."

It's also says, rather arrogantly, I believe, that "Everything I need to know, I learned in high school." even though they perhaps don't intend to communicate that specifically.

As to the "ivy-leagued pedigreed 'intellectuals' running the Federal Government the last 2 years", I much prefer them to the pack of lying, law-skirting, intellectually-incurious, born-on-third-and-thought-he-hit-a-triple, grifters that got us into this mess in the first place. Not that I agree with everything the ivy-leaguers have done, mind you.

That's another thing college can teach you--if you're paying attention--is how to think critically, a skill that would have served much of the country better during the years 2000 - 2008, especially.

Max B said...

Anonymous II and III:
We're not talking about the ivy-covered towers of academia here--just your basic college education.

It's not a certain body or type of knowledge that Stepp, Gunderson and Walker didn't obtain (though there might be at least a little something to be learned over 4 years), but the message conveyed that higher education wasn't worth their time, effort or commitment. By the way, it's an odd message for Walker, who's said he wants to keep college grads in state--to prevent the dreaded 'brain drain.'

As a person who worked hard in high school to qualify for college, then worked my way through college, supporting myself and paying tuition from my earnings, I think I have a pretty good appreciation of the value of a college degree.

Both of my parents were college and post-college educated, but my parents-in-law had neither. They both worked hard, possessed a high intelligence and were financially successful, but they went to their graves ever regretting that lack of college degree. They'd graduated high school during the first Great Depression and their families couldn't afford the cost.

There's no such excuse for Stepp, Gunderson and Walker--many more opportunities were available by the time they were of college age.

Without dissing the non-degreed, I do resent the attitude that they have all the answers. I wonder what other short-cuts they may take in leadership positions, or what history they may repeat, unaware of past pitfalls.

As to the "ivy-leagued pedigreed 'intellectuals' running the Federal Government the last 2 years", I much prefer them to the pack of lying, law-skirting, greed-mongering, soulless jackals we were 'lead' by in the Bush administration.