Friday, February 10, 2017

Sellout of state water to Walker's ag allies again exposed

Those of us following the endless handover in Wisconsin of state groundwater, surface water, shorelines, wetlands, wildlife, clean air, forests and the regulatory processes that were supposed to somewhat balance the scales in the public interest against well-heeled special interests since right-wing Wisconsin GOP Gov. Scott Walker and his party took power across all of state government will not be surprised by this story and headline:

Lobbyists for large farms met with Gov. Scott Walker's staff before he announced a possible shift in ag oversight

On Wednesday, I noted Walker's proposed transfer of that groundwater management near big ag, feedlot and dairying operations this way:
Walker's proposed budget further accelerates some of the environmental dysfunctions and penalties which have become his trademark ever since his first few days as Governor when he short-circuited a wetlands-filling permit near Lambeau Field so a campaign donor could get busy building a development. 
Keeping feedlot and other water-polluters' regulation inside his "chamber of commerce mentality" Department of Natural Resources wasn't a big enough pro-business conflict-of-interest for right-wing Gov. Scott Walker, so he's pretending to enact a reform by giving that regulation to the state agency that promotes agriculture - - Ag, Trade and Consumer Protection. 
Big Ag has been throwing its considerable weight around Madison for sometime,having successfully enlisted right-wing GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel into the corporate cause. 
Trust me - - the big cattle feeding operations who have admitted some culpability in groundwater pollution are going to love this change.
 Putting the foxes in charge of hen house security isn't going to lessen this:


Anonymous said...

Over 500 people signed up for Water lobby day on February 8th. Originally the Assembly and Senate weren't scheduled to be in session but oh howdy, they found something to meet about when faced with that many angry voters. I stopped in to visit with my representative and found him very receptive to protecting OUR water.

Chris said...

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel addressed this wiith a front page, above the fold headline in today's edition.

Good to see, but this story would have much more impact if the editor ran it on a high circulation day like Sunday.

I've seen this too many times with big stories and MJS - it's like the editor wants to have it both ways: We covered the story! We didn't rattle the governor/GOP! Unfortunately it's the citizens of Wisconsin who are underserved.

MJS has the horsepower to do in-depth, informative and impactful stories - if only the editors would let their reporters do what they are more than capable of doing.