Thursday, January 19, 2017

Where Trump & Walker overlap, and where they don't

The dirty air trail pumped out of Trump Tower and soon from a ruined US Environmental Protection [Sic] Agency long ago settled over Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" state government in Wisconsin.

So media covering the nomination hearing of climate change denier and right-wing GOP Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as administrator of the EPA should take a look at the formerly progressive state of Earth Day founder and former Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Gaylord Nelson, where right-wing GOP Governor, ALEC captive and Koch brothers' darling Walker has created the kind of corporately-slavish, de-regulated anti-science state which incoming President Donald Trump is embracing.
Trump at lectern before backdrop with elements of logo "TRUMP"

Walker has installed dedicated climate change deniers atop both the Department of Natural Resources - - where clean air and water are supposed to be protected - - and at the Public Service Commission - - where energy policies are implemented.

At the DNR, the cave-in on climate science is a mixture of willful ignorance and Walker mission creep, while the PSC is chaired at Walker's behest by utility-friendly Phil Montgomery, a right-wing former state lawmaker once named the ALEC "Legislator of the Year."

That Koch brothers/fossil fuels addicted circle in Wisconsin is closed by right-wing GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel, who joined with Walker's approval with both the Wisconsin PSC and DNR to sue the EPA over clean air rules, joining litigation initiated by Pruitt.

Both Pruitt and Schimel set up specialized legal teams within their state agencies to sue the Obama EPA.

More about that, here.

And Walker and Trump both are friends of upper-earner tax cuts, enemies of Planned Parenthood and backers of public dollars poured into private schools, to name but a few of their partisan and ideological similarities.

Walker and Trump do diverge on the matter of job creation, however.

While Trump has been demanding that businesses locate in or relocate to the US, Walker is fine with jobs leaving Wisconsin as long as the departure fits with his partisan agenda and increases the odds that Republicans have electoral advantages insured on parallel tracks by suppressionist voter ID and other ballot-box blocking laws.

Though he created and initially chaired a state run economic development corporation purportedly to add and retain jobs through public loans and grants, he and that body did not lift a finger as about 1,000 jobs at the now-shuttered Oscar Mayer meat-packing plant in Madison moved to Iowa.

A big hit to the Madison economy neatly fit with Walker's goal of weakening the city, a Democratic stronghold, where he has also deeply cut the budget and appeal of the flagship UW campus, a white-collar jobs' engine.

Similarly, Walker killed a fledgling Amtrak train assembly plant and maintenance base in Milwaukee to serve the Midwest High-Speed Rail system as part of Tea Party-and-fossil-fuel-industry inspired attack on President Obama in 2010.

Walker also blocked permanently an Amtrak line extension from Milwaukee to Madison, its several years of good-paying construction jobs and long-term development spinoff, and also future Amtrak train assembly jobs that are now concentrated in a massive complex in nearby northern Illinois.

Again, it was ideology and partisanship over jobs in a Democratic city.

That entire saga is here.

For Walker, mission accomplished.

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