GOP State Senators Should Seize Their Profiles In Courage Moment
The State Senate, with an 18-15 Republican majority, is on the cusp of a defining vote and larger moral moment in state history:
Will the Senate allow the public's constitutionally-protected rights to clean water and natural beauty (see the Public Trust Doctrine, Article IX) to be sold off to special interest influence over a bill to exempt massive open-pit iron mining from statutory environmental standards and Wisconsin's conservationist traditions?
Think of all the routine business that has moved across one's desk, and the meetings, caucuses, fund-raisers attended, and the votes that career Republican state senators have cast on officers, resolutions and bills - - good, bad, indifferent, some even sent over the dam on party-line auto-pilot - - and think also of the relative rarity of issues they have faced with the physical consequence, historical significance and moral weight of the mining bill.
Is there another GOP State Senator appreciative enough of the fresh water glacial gift on and beneath the Wisconsin soil, are there GOP Senators - - just one or two or three moved enough by the conservationist legacies left by Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Gaylord Nelson and Warren Knowles - - to stand first for the environment on this mining vote, as did State Sen. Dale Schultz, (R-Richland Center), the sole, widely-respected Republican conservationist to say "no" to a similar bill last year.
How many Profiles in Courage opportunities does a Wisconsin legislator get in a session, a career or lifetime?
The real test of courage will be to see if any democrats (or even Dale Schultz) has the courage to abandon partisan politics long enough to vote for a bill which will provide for the common good while ensuring functional environmental protections. I doubt that they will.
The wacko environmentalists lost because of theirs, and yours, irresponsible claims of environmental destruction discredited anything of value you may have had to say. You have abused your right to speak by yelling “fire” in a movie theater when there was no fire, and now your voice will be marginalized. The radical environmentalists are truly their own worst enemy, and they are not able to be any different.
This deal is all fully baked - follow the money. With the possible exception of Schultz the GOP senators are bought.
But this mine does have a fatal flaw, and that is its provision giving the DNR power to grant nearly unlimited exemptions to environmental laws.
It's a fatal flaw because of who leads the DNR -- someone with no natural resources background, with known hostility to the agency and its mission (the very reason she was appointed), and someone who openly shills for the GOP on right wing talk radio programs.
Clearly someone like that cannot be trusted with the power to grant exemptions to laws that protect our resources. That fact is out in the clear for all to see. And ultimately this is what will unravel the entire project
"ll provide for the common good while ensuring functional environmental protections"
You can repeat the lie as often as Mr. Rowen will let you.
It is still a lie. This bill guts water protection in WI, and will inflict on WI what reckless mining did to West Virginia.
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