Sunday, September 18, 2016

Walker moved WI to kleptocracy on his Day Eight

[Updated from 9/16] The Guardian's publication of investigative documents showing Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's donation-laden multiple relationships with corporations and policy shifts in their special-interest direction expands our understand of dark money's takeover of state politics, but close observers of the rise in special interest power within state government know that Walker's putting Wisconsin on the auction block goes back literally to the beginning.

*  He appointed Cathy Stepp, a former developer, to administer the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources with what he called "a chamber of commerce mentality."

Then he got personally involved using all the mechanics of the government he'd run for a week and a day.

*  On January 11th, a mere eight days after being sworn in, Walker administratively suspended the DNR's routine review of proposal to fill a small, crane-populated wetland near Lambeau Field.

The proposal had been made by a Walker campaign donor, and the wetland filling had been formally appealed by the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, yet Walker also got the GOP-controlled Legislature to pass a special bill to stop the appeal.

A development eventually went on the site, and laws statewide weakening wetland, shorelines and other environmental protections have been signed into law.

*  Fast-forward to and through 2012 Walker recall campaign and the millions of dollars stamped with that same chamber of commerce mentality which The Guardian documents release can track.

*  Ditto for the sweetheart iron mining bill crafted and embedded into state law by and for a mining company that had secretly routed more than $1.2 million for Walker's campaign benefit.

*  And wrote their own sweetheart mining bill, says WI State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, which is still Wisconsin law. Video proof.

*  As the DNR has been systematically withdrawn from more basic public resource protection, including inspections and enforcement of violations.

*  And moved heaven and earth for a Walker (and Trump) big donor so she could have shoreline access for her northwoods condo.

Which is why groups working to save a nature preserve adjacent to and partially within Kohler Andrae State Park near Sheboygan know that big money has its thumb on the scale, and why others trying to ensure there is clean water along the north-south, cross-state Enbridge tar sand oil pipeline #61 and the big contaminating feedlots operating or proposed further across the state...

Photo: Farms Not Factories.
...have such a structurally-unfair uphill battle against state-enabled, chamber of commerce mentality polluters.

Walker and the DNR and now the Attorney General at the GOP Assembly Speaker's direction - - with a State Supreme Court majority always waiting in reserve - - have been on the same special interest service page  - - the latest case study, here - - from the beginning.

1 comment:

MadCityVoter said...

Excellent summary. A timeline of corrupt actions meant to benefit political donors of both the above- and below-board varieties. Thank you.