Wednesday, February 22, 2012

GOP Offers Seats At The Table...But Not To Ojibwe Tribe

There's a double-standard enforced by Republicans when it comes to bringing people in to share in decision-making - - and I won't even go into detail about the redistricting mess blowing up in Federal Court in Milwaukee over secretive-map making where paid attorneys and friendly, outside advisers had a hand in the drafting. reports tonight:

Walker signs executive order to reduce regulatory burden on small businesses

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed an executive order to further empower the Small Business Regulatory Review Board to determine the economic impact of rules on small business and increase the flexibilities state government must give employers when complying with regulations...

...Walker said.  “Giving small business owners a seat at the table when discussing state regulations will help get buy-in for rules and regulations from employers, assist state agencies in promulgating rules that are realistic, and ultimately grow jobs in Wisconsin.”
But when the Assembly was writing a pro-industry mining bill behind closed doors - - of course, with the mining company at the table - - the Assembly never offered a seat to the Ojibwe Bad River Band whose lands and waters are directly affected, and whose treaty rights need to be respected.

Rep. Jeff Stone, (R-Greendale), said he had no obligation to be that inclusive (video).

And Rep. Mary Williams, (R-Medford), the chair of the committee that 'wrote' the mining bill...
Photo of Representative Williams
...said legislators had deigned to discuss matters with some Bad River officials - - though where is unclear - - but to the Band, through The Wisconsin State Journal she said, in effect: 'tough luck and move on, since if we let you at the table, we'd have had to let everyone else in, too':
Mary Williams, R-Medford, who chaired the Assembly committee that helped write and conduct hearings on the mine permit bill, said Bad River officials were invited to testify at hearings on the legislation. Some Republican legislators also spoke with tribal officials outside of the hearings, she said, although the tribe wasn't directly involved in authoring the legislation.

"I'd be willing to bet that lots of people would have liked to have had seats at the table," Williams said. "It didn't happen. But that's in the past. I do understand how they feel."
Some great video here of Stone, Williams and others ducking questions about the bill's actual authors, as the door to Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald's office is closed in the face of the questioners - - who are then told to leave by Capitol Police.

And you wonder why the Journal Sentinel last Saturday editorially called the bill "rancid?"

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