Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Big business tightens grip on Wisconsin government

Add another squeeze in the paid stranglehold big business has around all three branches of Wisconsin government:

Newly-elected Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel has named a leading state business lobbyist/lawyer as the office's top appointee, so look to Schimel, having been backed by big energy donors, to follow through quickly on his campaign promise to sue the US EPA to roll back clean air rules governing coal-fired emissions.

Here's who's to be Schimel's top aide, according to the Journal Sentinel:
[Andrew] Cook is a contract lobbyist with the Hamilton Consulting Group and currently represents Walmart; Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state's largest business lobbying group; 3M; Aggregate Producers of Wisconsin; Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers; American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity; Association of Wisconsin Surgery Centers; the holding company for Enterprise Rent-A-Car; Lockridge Grindal Nauen, a law firm with offices in Minnesota and Washington, D.C.; Manitoba Hydro; Marathon Petroleum Company; Xcel Energy; Wisconsin Civil Justice Council, a group that successfully pushed legislation making it harder to bring civil lawsuits; Wisconsin Defense Counsel; and the Wisconsin Sheriffs and Deputy Sheriffs Association.
Cook is also the president of the Madison chapter of the Federalist Society, an influential national group of conservative lawyers.
So the polluters and opponents of livable wages have another key power-broker at the helm.

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