Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Get It Now: Stepp Says A Charter DNR Could Be Business-Friendly Up North

In an earlier post, I wondered if remaking the Commerce Department into a quasi-public business development corporation with $200 million from our "broke" state wasn't enough to satisfy Scott Walker and his obeisance to the private sector.

Apparently not, and for.the first time, I see a clear political motive in the "plea" to make the DNR a champion for Northern Wisconsin, instead of the bogeyman the agency has been portrayed up north.

Consider this explanation that DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp emailed employees yesterday about why she and Walker want to turn the agency inti a Charter department, free of red tape and other pesky bureaucratic procedures, like traditional hiring and permitting practices

we could take steps to improve delivery of services to our customers and clients across=all programs. A key in this effort is creation of the Office of Business Development and Economic Sustainability, headed by Al Shea. Our goal here would be to work early and closely with new business ventures to assure all necessary permitting steps are known and that we are consistent so that a new business in northern Wisconsin plays on the same field as a business in the southern Wisconsin and vice versa.
So I get it now:  It's about more than getting different employees and trucks for the agency at a faster clip: it's about shoring up the GOP base and addressing attacks from the right about the big, bad DNR up north.

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