I posted this over at Purple Wisconsin Tuesday:
Now that the iron mining bill has been signed - - a bill sponsored for and crafted by a single mining interest run by Walker donors - - the Cline Group - - let's have a moment of bi-partisan truth-telling and agree the facts demand that Republicans officially retire their talking point about Democratic Party politicians, platforms and principles being the source of indiscriminate government power that designates winners and losers.
Changing laws that govern mine permit reviews, wetlands fillings and waste dumping fees to suit the needs of Cline's possible open pit iron ore mine near Ashland is not the first time that Walker and/or his legislative allies used government power to create advantages for certain businesses or interests:
* Walker had been Governor about 20 minutes when he tried to help a donor developer - - and eventually the Legislature joined the party, too - - fill a wetlands near Lambeau Field for a sporting goods complex before the DNR had finished its review.
* He interceded in the implementation of wind turbine siting rules on behalf of real estate interests and blocked wind turbine projects in the pipeline - - and also blocked the manufacturing, installation and maintenance jobs that accompanied this growing, green industry.
*He's on record asking for a continuing waiver for the operation of the coal-fired S.S. Badger on Lake Michigan that routinely dumps its coal ash in the water - - even though the extended permissions for the continuing dumping had ended in December.
* Low-income workers had their state income taxes raised in the reconfiguration of the value of a federal tax credit in Walker's first budget that helped fund tax breaks for upper-income and business owner filers.
* His budgets grossly favor highway building over local transit operations and road maintenance - - making winners of major concrete-laying firms and losers of asphalt spreaders, their lower-paid workers and transit operators.
The corollary myth here is that Walker's policies are breaking chains of dependency, when, in fact, iron mining and highway expansion involves government favors and preferences to industries that are 100% dependent on their production or financing.
So let's bury the winners and losers rhetoric and focus on history and facts.