Monday, August 8, 2016

WI AG, corporate/GOP tool, purges senior state environmental lawyer

Attorney Brad Schimel, whom the Wisconsin Republican Party's candidate machine promoted from Waukesha County DA to Wisconsin Attorney got elected after promising to oppose Obama administration environmental initiatives, and who then hired an energy sector lobbyist to run the office has now replaced the Justice Department's senior environmental attorney with a private-sector attorney who represents business interests in environmental cases, we learn.   
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel announced Monday that he has replaced the long-time head of the Department of Justice Environmental Protection Unit. 
The unit this year shrunk to its smallest size in 25 years... 
Schimel named Assistant Attorney General David P. Ross, who has worked as an attorney and advisor to environmental regulators in Wyoming. 
Ross replaces Tom Dawson, the long-time director of the unit...
And when with a law firm that represented business interests, here's a water quality case in which Ross fought the US EPA, and lost.

More about the case, here.

Ross also represented the Wisconsin Builders Association - - one case, here.

This is the-same profession and network from which sprung former homebuilder DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp and former Metro Milwaukee Builders Executive Director and former DNR Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney (now a special assistant to Walker).

Not to mention current DNR air, water waste and business services honcho cum "Environmental Management Division administratrator" honcho Pat Stevens - - quite the concentration of private sector power, wouldn't you say?

A 2011 Stevens' DNR bio included these details:
Stevens brings 17 years of experience with DNR programs as general counsel for the Wisconsin Builders Association, counsel for the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and environmental policy director for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.
Dawson was formerly State Intervenor, a public advocate for the environment within the Justice Department - - a small but effective unit with GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson destroyed, an opening shot in Republican attacks on the DNR, the state environment and even-handed regulation.

Read Dawson's biography and try and absorb the loss to the land and water and the air and Wisconsin history and The Public Trust.

Schimel has intentionally removed a strong public voice which, on behalf of the WMC and the Koch brothers and the oil pipeline owners and the industrial-scale feedlot operators and traded it for another corporate insider - - and aren't there enough of them now in the Governor's office, the DNR, the Natural Resources Board, the Public Service Commission, the State Supreme Court, and on and on and on.

The move by Schimel reminds me of Walker's replacing a noted water scientist on a Wisconsin water advisory panel with a big Ag/big water user/campaign donor.

The purge is getting down to the individual level, matching the public policy forfeit to GOP donors and corporate special interests.

Bottom line: this is devastating.


Rich Eggleston said...

Tom Dawson, his fellow public intervenor Peter Peshek, later joined by Kathleen Falk and Wally Arts, taught me what made me proud of Wisconsin as an environmental leader. That was a long time ago, and it's sad to see the last of the soldiers who fought within the system -- along with allies like Peter Anderson and Jim Derouin -- depart the scene. Shame on Brad Schimel and his band of jackals.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know Peter Peshek was a public intervenor. Edwina Kavanaugh was the last intervenor but she worked for DNR and wasn't independent.

ORC said...

I have known Tom since the mid-80's. He always had the proper focus, and always kept the citizens of the state foremost. Schimel should be ashamed.

my5cents said...

They are stacking our state government with people who favor business over the well being of the public, and that stinks. It is definitely the Koch/ALEC plans in action. I hope all of the people who voted these guys into office will be happy with their polluted waters, lands, and air. By the time they realize they made a serious mistake, it will be too late to correct it because their learning curve is very very long and time consuming.

I cannot believe all of the intelligent hardworking people this state has lost because of Scott Walker and the Republicans. It is a crying shame.