Saturday, February 27, 2016

The WI DNR is the new WI Commerce Department

We thought the scandal-ridden Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was the key-pro-business Walker remake of the Department of Commerce he wiped out in the early days of his administration.

But as the sand mine and factory-scale pig and cattle feeding operators and golf course developers and other water-hogging-and-wetland-and-forest-and-shoreline filling applicants look longingly past the needs of everyday citizens to acquiring the state's natural beauty…'s time to admit how wrong we were, how deeply the public voice and common resources and rights have been transformed into a private-sector entitlement, because there is:

An even more blatant, self-policing business friendly 'reorganization' of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources coming from Walker on top of a) an earlier pro-business DNR 'reorganization' scrapped in 2011, but refined, and b) last year's budget-slashing, science-trashing do-over which won the praise of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

This new 'reorganization' or 'streamlining' or whatever corporatized talking-point you want to affix on it more firmly redefines the DNR as the"chamber of commerce mentality" state authority he promised when elected to replace and privatize the DNR's key public policy and input mission.

The demolition of the DNR's public purpose reminds me of some State Supreme Court language decades ago which explained and defined the DNR's key public policy role in protecting the people's water rights - - the Public Trust Doctrine (note: copy and save) - - in Article IX of the Wisconsin State Constitution.

So just substitute the phrase "a little reorganization" for "a little fill" as you read along below to understand what Walker - - despite his assurances - - is doing to the DNR and your environment on behalf of the special interests who have put him, his legislative allies and the current State Supreme Court majority in power:
"A little fill here and there may seem to be nothing to become excited about. But one fill, though comparatively inconsequential, may lead to another, and another, and before long a great body may be eaten away until it may no longer exist. Our navigable waters are a precious natural heritage, once gone, they disappear forever," wrote the Wisconsin State Supreme Court justices in their opinion resolving Hixon v. PSC.(2)
And to understand how Walker and his party are systematically targeting that very Public Trust language with the giveaway of the public's water and its oversight.

And to understand why pollution of your waters is on the rise in Wisconsin.

And to understand why you as a citizen would end up on an agency do-not-respond blacklist if you asked the DNR too many questions.

And to understand why you as a DNR employee would be severely criticized by your bosses if you gave citizens too much public information.


Anonymous said...

To be blunt, Cathy Stepp is a great deceiver of simple minded people. She and Walker know what they are doing yet cover it up with statements that make it appear positive. For instance in supporting Walkers cuts to the DNR the Cat said "These reductions will allow us to increase efficiency and boost employee morale". Total BS and ridiculous but the minions who hate the DNR and any environmental restrictions eat it up.

Thanks for your stories on this, you have it exactly right.

The upper levels simply do not allow existing environmental restrictions, even as weakened as they are, to be enforced. Everyone in the DNR knows this.

Anonymous said...

I like your picture of Scott Walker and all of his republican cronies at the top of this post. They all look like swine and act like shameless pigs!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why we don't ask Scott Walker and Republican leadership to direct pee and defecate in our drinking water instead of letting them have surrogates do it for them as Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

Ate they not "man" enough to stand by their actions as they relieve themselves and the special interest they represent of biohazards? Are they too chicken to accept responsibility for their bioterrorism?