Monday, January 31, 2011

About Pro Bass: Getting "Pro" In The Process

It's well-known by now that a business development in Green Bay has run into trouble after the prospective tenant - - a big national fishing equipment outfit - - said with some logical consistency it didn't build stores on wetlands.

What's fascinating is that there was a process underway to determine, under Wisconsin law and procedures, if there was a way that the wetlands issue could be addressed so the store could be built with all parties, and all interests - - public and private - - satisfied.

But Scott Walker, eager to look as pro-business as possible, and get a positive jobs count going towards 250,000, made an end run - - pesky procedures ! - - and proposed a special bill to terminate the process and thus declare the site acceptable by legislative fiat.

As if that is the way to determine whether a wetlands should be filled, even for a nifty development.

That's when the project began to unravel.  It was the political equivalent of the bad Brett Favre throwing unsuccessfully into triple coverage: of course that play will fail.

So give Walker a thumbs-down for mishandling what was a delicate and important but resolvable issue, and give a thumbs-up to the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, which is trying to get the parties around a table, and to Bass Pro, for not wanting to fill a wetlands or be on the wrong side of some messy and unnecessary PR.

Walker and his new DNR team could have been the convener of a rational process, but that would have required professional governing skills that Team Walker does not have, preferring ideology to openness, and politics to persuasion and process.


1 comment:

Betsey said...

And I thought foam hats in the shape and color of a cheese wedge were our biggest statewide embarrassment. . . This is a category in which Walker and Co will win big: Embarrassing Wisconsin.

At least the cheeseheads are kind of cute, and say to the rest of the world "We're proud to be the Dairy state. We're able to poke fun at ourselves because we're OK with who we are."