Saturday, September 19, 2015

WI DNR sells primo public property to Walker donor

[Updated] Nothing surprises us now in Wisconsin. Havoc has been wrecked, time and time again in the land of Gaylord Nelson, Aldo Leopold and John Muir. And repeatedly it is the once-great Department of Natural Resources - - entrusted with stewardship
of the people's land, air and waters - - that is at the center of our state's degradation and collective disgust:
DNR agrees to sell prime lake frontage to big Scott Walker donor
Leading conservationist and former DNR Secretary George Meyer pretty much summed up this outrage:
"Selling prime shoreland on a northern Wisconsin lake is a terrible precedent,"said former Natural Resources Secretary George Meyer, who is executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. 
Props to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Lee Bergquist for his strong reporting about the deal to sell this frontage on Rest Lake, in Vilas County, and to the paper for its Sunday, page-one placement.

And shame on me for saying the DNR had hit a new low just a few weeks ago over another atrocious land sale. I apologize for my optimism.

Remember that these outcomes were virtually guaranteed more than two years ago when the Legislature gave Walker the power to sell any state asset - - even the State Capitol:

Plan To Sell Wisconsin State Properties Without Bids Invites Corruption
The Walker administration wants the right to sell public assets - - from highways to prisons to university dormitories - - through private, no-bid procedures, reports the Journal Sentinel...
Talk about back-door policy-making, using public assets to make private, special interests even richer. 
To pick winners and losers, to defeat local control, and taxation with representation. 
Legislators who are comfortable with giving away taxpayer-paid properties to reward insider influence practically begs for flat-out corruption - - contributions for buyer access, Pay For Play II - - should vote for the plan. 
And also remember that DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, a former home builder put atop the once-preservationist agency by Scott Walker because she had the "chamber of commerce mentality" he wanted, was an early and continuing champion of DNR land sales, opposed the state's long-standing Knowles-Nelson Stewardship land acquisition program, never complained as the Legislature moved to mandate a 10,000-acre sales program - - a round-number pulled out of some lobbyist's hat, no doubt - - and does not deserve cover on the issue, as has been provided before. 


Anonymous said...

What Lake? More details. This is truly revolting.

Sue said...

Vilas County went for Walker 61% - 37% in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Will Wisconsinites ever stop allowing our "Pay to Play" governor and his "rubber stamp" Republican legislature from using corruption and greed to feather their own nests and those of their donors at the public expense. This governor and these legislators have used their power grabs {Act 20...allowed Walker to appoint agency heads removing nonpartisan civil service leadership of agencies]. Wisconsin's government must now rank right up there as the most corrupt state government in the nation. Those "open for business" signs at the state lines must be replaced with " purchases open to campaign donors"!

Anonymous said...

While some of the proposed parcels available for sale may have few potential buyers, surely prime lakeshore properties would draw considerable interest if any but major donors knew the parcel was available for purchase.

Jake formerly of the LP said...

And enables the Uihleins to flip their nearby condo project with new lake access for a big profit.

It pays to know the right people in Fitzwalkerstan....

Anonymous said...

Most corrupt government of the year.

my5cents said...

Well heck, they are just doing what they've always wanted to do. That's what Robin Vos says. We want the power so we can do the things we've always wanted to do with Wisconsin. Did anyone think this would not happen when the first things they did once Walker was elected was to push all the power possible to the top, to Walker? To take the power out of the hands of the public. So now they can run an authoritarian government of the few, by the few and for the few. Now will people get off their duffs and get out and vote? Will they pay attention and research the people they are voting for? Time will tell. Ever the optimist.

Sue said...

Exactly, my5cents. Anyone who didn't know what they were getting by the time Walker was elected for the third time (as we keep getting reminded) was not paying attention. The information was out there though not well covered, and connecting the dots was mostly left to some committed and serious bloggers. I have my favorites but I'm grateful for all of them.