Friday, January 19, 2018

Schimel tag teams Walker/GOP 'chamber of commerce' governance

Wisconsin GOP Gov. and big business bellhop Scott Walker's 'chamber of commerce' style of governing just got another rousing endorsement from his Capitol sidekick GOP AG Brad Schimel:
Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel’s appointment of a lawyer and former dairy industry lobbyist to lead the environmental protection unit of the Justice Department has drawn objections from the leader of a public interest law firm and concerns from a former secretary of the Department of Natural Resources.

What makes this stinky tale even more foul is that the key environmental oversight job in the AG's office was available because David Ross, Schimel's previous lead pro-business 'environmental watchdog' brought in from the outside to give business interests another leg up, had been called to Washington, DC to help US EPA wrecker Scott Pruitt apply Trump's deregulating, polluting reach.

Not long ago, these environmental responsibilities in the AG's office were managed by Tom Dawson, a career, civil service attorney - - whom Schimel needed to push aside, then out, to get the AG's office better aligned with Walker's manure-flowing, wetland-filling, Foxconn-exempting, mine waste leaching, algae-blooming, donor-serving agenda.

For the record, Dawson had been one of the lawyers who had staffed the state's now-dismantled Public Intervenors Office.

It was a small but effective office with attorneys who represented the Wisconsin public interest in environmental cases against the private sector's always-available battery of lawyers and trade associations and lobbyists - - until it was trashed budgetarily by then-Gov. Tommy Thompson to assuage his business community base and, for good measure, to stick it to his then-nemesis, Attorney General Jim Doyle, (D).

That outrageous power play which helped lay the groundwork for the pollution and privatization agenda Walker, Schimel and GOP legislators now tag team against the public interest on a regular basis was explored in depth by veteran environmental attorney Jodi Habush Sinykin. A snippet:

  1. In keeping with Wisconsin's populist roots, the Public Intervenors' government watchdog function not only protected Wisconsin citizens' right to an accountable and effective government but also championed the right to obtain complete and accurate information regarding issues of importance to the public good and to Wisconsin's natural resources. Finally, the Public Intervenor's Office provided an important benefit to Wisconsin's business community by reducing legal uncertainty, serving as an industry problem- solver, and protecting Wisconsin's tourism industry. 
Know your history. It's a must-read.

Final thought:

As hundreds more Wisconsin waterways end up on the polluted list and wetlands are targeted for filling and wells in Kewaunee County test positive for feedlot contaminants, Thompson's role in weakening clean air and water protections could be explored by that new leadership center on the UW Madison campus which bears his name.

How exactly did Thompson lead us to our polluted state?

As I said, know your history.


Anonymous said...

According to her bio, Anna Wildeman who replaced Ross worked for the US Chamber of Commerce.

"Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Anna was a
Committee Executive and Policy Counsel for Environment
and Agriculture at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in
Washington, D.C. Before joining the Chamber, she was a
partner at Michael Best and Frederic and counseled clients
on permitting and compliance issues, defended against
regulatory enforcement actions, managed environmental
due diligence, and developed regulatory and legislative solutions."

Concerned world citizen said...

Our state and Federal governments are a recipe for disaster. The Dow Jones Industrial average is a form of greed index and right now it is doing just "swell"! The groundwork exists for a collapse of this index because of unprecedented greed and corruption supported by many state governments and the Federal government. This combined with a known climate crisis developing right under everyones nose and enhanced by denial from state and federal politicians will create some interesting and frightening scenarios in the not to distant future, bank on it!

Anonymous said...

Whoa. Anna Wildeman is married to David Crass who represents most if not all of the CAFOs in the state against DNR regulations. How can they isolate her from the people who work for her that work on these cases?