Thursday, August 3, 2017

Who can answer non-financial questions at today's Foxconn hearing?

To the Foxconn primer I've been expanding over the last few weeks, let's add a   fresh question:

If the Walker administration sends spokespeople to the State Assembly's hearing on the Foxconn enabling bill today who will do more than spin - - senior officials and experts with credibility - - who can attest that the state indeed has the water, air, recycling and wastewater treatment and disposal capacity to coordinate with and regulate (yes) the massive Foxconn manufacturing plant and its high-tech exotic materials and outputs, it can't be DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp.
Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
Yet it is that agency (and local officials are going to have to deal with these matters and their funding, too) where many of those responsibilities lie, so how foolish has it been for Walker to repeatedly diminish and weaken the DNR and the health and safety role of the public sector generally.

It's not just the transportation infrastructure which Walker and his administration have mismanaged - - from the modern Amtrak line he killed that could have connected the potential Foxconn's SE WI main plant to a rumored Dane County facility, and the rutted and incomplete interstate highway segments that are tied up in the Legislature because there isn't enough money or political will to finish them.

It's the scientific and intellectual infrastructure which Walker has cut from the DNR, and from his favorite Madison target, the UW system and faculty, that leaves the state without useful resources and advantages it could be putting into play right now if Walker's far-right ideology hadn't the new Wisconsin Idea.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No deals with Walker and Ryan helping take from the citizens.