Friday, May 19, 2017

Walker keeps delivering special interest privatization, favors

[Updated from 5/17] More evidence is piling up about the favors showered on well-connected private interests in GOP-run Wisconsin as right-wing Governor and corporate bellhop Scott Walker readies a run for a third term which deep-pocketed donors will again fund.

*  He's ready to sign a bill brazenly and successfully demanded by major ag, dairy and related farming industries that gives the owners of at least 13,000 high-volume wells permanent rights to public groundwater regardless of draw down impacts on nearby rivers, streams, lakes and neighbors' drinking water supplies.

Walker donors are being well-served by the DNR he recast as a "chamber of commerce mentality" agency.

Not coincidentally, many of the state's large and often-polluting animal feedlot operations are running while state regulators look the other way on expired permits, giving their owners an inspection-free/open-ended permission to operate without regard to public impacts.

Details, here.

* And private contractors will soon be allowed to draft permits for those same big feedlot operations and other businesses 'regulated' by the DNR.

* Now we're learning through the exclusive reporting of Dan Bice at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the ultra-powerful Bradley Foundation quietly funded and a Walker administration family policy commission aligned with the Foundation's right-wing goals.

* Don't forget Walker's re-election budget includes new transfers of hundreds of millions of public dollars to private and choice schools whose advocacy organizations have long been Walker supporters.

* And that Walker's systematic draining of all state operating dollars for Wisconsin state parks will force more user fee increases, perhaps even private sector naming rights' purchases.

Looking forward to a night at Acme Insecticide State Park or JumboBurger Nature Preserve? 

* And here's more hard news:

While Walker's colossally-failed Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation has thrown money at Walker donors and failed to keep accurate books - - and is a winner in Walker's pending, re-election budget for fresh millions and restored lending authority despite earlier accounting flaws - - a state audit released today into the agency's continuing miasma showed it failed to meet legal requirements for tax credit financing and still could not prove with data that it actually creates and/or retains jobs.

Imagine if an audit of Green Bay Packers finances found that the franchise continually could not track its finances or that that its highly-touted draft picks had contributed positively to the team's performance as the General Manager had promised and claimed.

Would you urge that the team's General Manager be given a new four-year contract?


Bernard J. (Bernie) Starzewski said...

Heres another one for you. They are pushing the idea that they should tare down the Green Bay correctional institute (prison) and LEASE a new one from a private company but still staff it with State employees (for now). The justification is that it would generate property tax revenue by selling the old property to a commercial developer and the new owners would also pay property taxes! Really? Where do you think the money to pay those taxes is going to come from if not State money paid for the lease?

James Rowen said...

Great point.