Friday, September 1, 2017

Contempt, connections pave WI right-wing career path

Republicans running Wisconsin and the country are taking care of their own, regardless of performance.

Connections, of course, are important. Contempt for the public doesn't hurt, either.

Consider that:

*  The Democrat-by-ploy and authoritarian Republican-by-action David Clarke has quit his job as Milwaukee County Sheriff, leaving behind costly litigation and disregarded dead bodies in the jail he was supposed to manage. says Clarke is finally getting a yet-to-be-disclosed Trump administration appointment. 

If Trump can pardon Arizona's disgraced Sheriff Joe Arapio, then why not a job for Clarke?

*  Then there is Cathy Stepp, headed for a regional deputy position at the US Environmental Protection Agency after nearly seven years of failing to protect the state's environment and the reputation and legacy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Stepp is a former home builder and McDonald's restaurant manager who got Walker's attention as a possible DNR Secretary-appointee after publishing a mocking, partisan anti-DNR/science/public employee screed.

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
Trump said during the presidential campaign pledge he would destroy all but a few bits of the EPA, and appointed as his cudgel Oklahoma Attorney General and friend-of-polluters Scott Pruitt, something of a Stepp-on-steroids figure.

Stepp says she wants to bring some of her "reforms" to Trump's EPA - - maybe her support for polluters writing their own permits, or helping rural kitchen taps run manure brown near big feedlots which her agency didn't inspect; the Stepp-Pruitt tag team has just the right degree of environmental and people contempt to carry out Trump's mandate. 

After all, it's not everyday that Scientific American tells the world you and your Governor have ruined your state's natural resource agency, and that was before you beat Trump and Pruitt stripping climate change information off your public websites.

*  And speaking of executive appointments which slap the public in the face - - don't forget the saga of former Wisconsin GOP State Rep. Scott Suder, whom Walker promoted to a $94,000-a-year water policy position with the state Public Service Commission.

Suder quickly declined the position, or it was yanked, after it was learned he'd worked a $500,000 grant into Stepp's DNR budget for a so-called Sportsmen's organization that had done little actual sportsmen's work, had no proper tax exemption status, but which had political ties to recall election campaigns and conservative organizations which promoted GOP causes and helped keep Walker in office.

As for Suder - - he got a lobbying position with the paper industry.

The PSC job Walker had given him went instead to Jeff Stone, another GOP state representative - - but speaking of the PSC and lobbying - - another top PSC post under Walker went to former GTac iron mining company and Koch interests' lobbyist Bob Seitz.

The GTac mining company owner, Koch interests and other well-heeled individuals were solicited for the benefit of Walker's recall campaign, or secretly routed money to it.

GTac's donation was $700,000. Walker later said it was all news to him.

Talk about contempt for the public and transparent campaigning, let alone governing.

Anyway - - you can close out this circle with the news that the Walker administration had wanted to give Seitz the #2 position at the DNR under the afore-mentioned Cathy Stepp, but a federal conflict-of-interest law got in the way.

So Seitz ended up at the PSC.

Lots of dots there - - some connected, some not - - but know this: Walker and Trump take care of their own.

Your interests at these now-less-regulatorily-minded 'regulatory' agencies, or across the Walker and Trump administrations, are of lesser importance, because Trump is taking Walker's 'chamber of commerce mentality' governing model national.  

No comments: