Friday, March 9, 2012

A Partisan Stepp Steps On DNR Tradition, And Her Own Words

Cathy Stepp, the former home builder installed at the helm of the DNR to bring to it what Scott Walker called a "chamber of commerce mentality" engaged in a partisan attack on Democratic legislators on Charlie Sykes' radio show this morning - - the agency has usually stayed above the partisan fray - - and repeated some of her views in a statement emailed to her employees over the demise of a mining bill.

And here's the little tip-off, the "tell," if you will, that her intentions were partisan, because at the end of her email, Stepp says:

On my travels through-out the state, I have found that most of the citizens of the state trust the DNR to do its job. Why don't Democrat State Senators?
"Democrat State Senators."

That use of the noun "Democrat" when "Democratic" is the proper term is a typical, righty, Republican/Tea Party Rush-ism invention and put-down - - and you only hear it in a partisan context when the right and GOP wants to diminish the Democratic Party by mis-naming it.

Stepp, busted.

Which we've seen and heard from her before. Remember her righty, anti-DNR rant, with its classic illiterate ending, here?
Just another example of the democrats game plan: Change the Rules to Fit the Players.

Shout it with me, now: HYPOCRISY, THY NAME IS DEMOCRAT.
And I also remember when Stepp tried to paint herself as a neutral arbiter, telling Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel:
 “It doesn’t matter what I think,” she said, adding, “My job is to check my beliefs and ideologies at the door
Busted, again.

More, here.


Gareth said...

A complete lack of professionalism.
Welcome to the new Wisconsin, ruled by Party Apparatchiks at the service of the Great & Glorious Leader Comrade Scott Walker.

Anonymous said...



You are good!

Dave said...

Well, it was only a matter of time before Kathy Stepped in It, big time. Is anyone surprised? Nope.

The only mildly interesting tidbit is the length of time it took Chatty Kathy's to say something dumb enough to go viral. After all, most repug politicians show their true colors much more quickly after taking office.

Betsey said...

That;s Komrade to you, Gareth.

Wisborn said...

My letter to Stepp yesterday:

I read your inappropriate remarks about the reasons the mining bill failed to pass and it seems you need a refresher. Walker appointed you (unfortunately, considering your lack of qualifications for the position) but you don't work for him - and you don't owe your loyalty to him. You work for the people of this state who pay your salary and are the ones who deserve your loyalty.

If you knew anything about natural resources, you would know that the mine threatened to poison the very resources that you are supposed to protect. And that Walker and the Republicans wrongfully ignored the treaty rights of the Native Americans in the area, as well as international agreements concerning the Great Lakes. "Because of the enormous volume of waste [pyrite] rock that will be created from this proposed mine, even a small amount of pyrite rock could produce large amounts of acid mine drainage. This drainage into the Bad River watershed would destroy the wild rice beds of the Bad River Chippewa Tribe and threaten the drinking water of Ashland and nearby towns."

And let's set the record straight. The mining company committed to nothing. The bill was written by and for the sole benefit of the mining company and to allow it the greatest possible profit (at taxpayer expense). The alleged jobs? The "high paying jobs" (estimated at 600-700 to start) would go to out-of-state workers because locals lack the specialized skills required for the work. An unknown number of other jobs would be new low-wage/minimum wage jobs needed to serve the (out-of-state) workers.

And WI equipment manufacturers? The mine company doesn't have to use Wisconsin companies - and Wisconsin companies have already made it clear that mining equipment sales will not translate into new jobs, even if they got the orders - and there's a good chance they won't: out-of-state rivals for mining equipment purchases include Sandvik and Atlas Copco, both global manufacturers. And as John Disharoon, vice president of industry relations for Caterpillar Global Mining, said any Caterpillar machinery for the proposed Wisconsin mine probably would not be made in Wisconsin.

There was no fear-mongering; there were real facts (unlike anything presented by the mining company). As several scientists testified, the nature of the soil and the local geology meant ANY mining would poison the watershed. (If what you said was true - that your "agency would have been able to site an iron mine in northern Wisconsin without harming the environment" then the mine would not have needed the bill, would it?)

The motivation of those who opposed the bill was to protect us. If you were doing your job and living up to your responsibilities, you would be applauding this result. Shame on you for overstepping. As Dave Clausen, the chairman of the state Natural Resources Board, which sets policy for the DNR, correctly stated, "By law, the Natural Resources Board sets the legislative agenda and [DNR] policy. Secretary Stepp has never consulted with the board on the mining issue."

I find your public statement unprofessional and an abuse of your position. You need to either start working for us or resign.

Very truly yours,

James Rowen said...

Good letter.

Anonymous said...

Excellent letter.