Thursday, April 25, 2019

The WI GOP wants you to subsidize water grabs, polluted leftovers

The latest news from the Land of the Lame Ducks is that the Wisconsin GOP - - a/k/a the Greedy Old Polluters - - wants to grab many more thousands of taxpayer dollars to keep what's left of environmental law tllted towards their donors and other special interests.

This time the pollution party wants another thumb - - or is it a million-gallon manure tank? - - on the scales when the State Supreme Court this fall takes up cases which the GOP assumes will be decided favorably by the right-wing majority it has ensconced.

Specifically, rulings which would give more groundwater to the biggest corporate users while letting the industrial-scale animal feeding operations add more and more dairy cows which will add more and more manure to the groundwater
not already siphoned off to hydrate the animals.
Manure runoff in Kewaunee County
Noted here, earlier.
Walker legacy runoff from oversized feedlots and dirty legislation has flowed onto the dockets of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Major cases involving gubernatorial powers and environmental impacts of large-scale animal feeding operations are being taken up by the high court.
Before I get any further, the GOP's push for these rulings means you can flush any expectation that the GOP's water task force is anything more than window-dressing.  

And forget any genuine water advocacy on these and other matters should they reach the US EPA's regional office managers in Chicago, where Walkerites have assembled a lame-duck team which could do their work for Walker and his backers as effectively as are his big-spending, power-grabbing, sore-losing WI GOP legislative water-carriers back home.

Now let me add that I mean "old" as in 'old reliable,' since this current iteration of GOP corporate bellhops has been goosing along fouled water, dirtier air and wrecked ag and filled wetlands since Scott Walker installed a team atop the Department Natural Resources with his 'chamber-of-commerce mentality' who would transfer those resources to the chamber of commerce types looking for easy permits, lax inspections and effective control of the agency.

I don't mean "old" in a chronological sense. I am old people. So I know a lot of old people who are not polluters, and who would prefer their grand kids grow up as did Grandma and Poppy, before trout streams were made to run dry

River Alliance of Wisconsin photos of the Little Plover River

and were turned through policy and laziness and thoughtless self-interest into phosphorous-fed, stinking-green waterways.

We even have 'dead zones' in major state waters.

You might think that the pollution party's ask for public money to underwrite and embed private-sector privileged access to water in a state where the Constitution says the water belongs to everyone suggests that corporate interests in Wisconsin have somehow been shut out of the process.

Actually, the opposite is true: the GOP just wants to add more injury to the insult.

Remember when major corporate water users got together and hand-delivered to Wisconsin legislators their list of demands for control of state groundwater?

Which GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos dutifully turned into a 'we-all-know-how-this-will-turn-out' request for an opinion from GOP Attorney General and Team Player Brad Schimel.

Who dutifully opined the Right's right way for grateful special interests.
AG's Ruling on Wells Praised by Special Interests that Spent $2.2M to Elect Him
There was about as much surprise in Schimel's ruling as there would have been had Colonel Sanders put together your wedding dinner menu. 

And because friends are well-heeled - - and are forever,  Schimel helped fast-track the big dairy case to the high court's calendar before state voters booted him out.

At least much of all that was happening out in the open; back channels in Wisconsin have routinely given major special interests special access to decision-makers.
Dairy group uses behind-the-scenes influence with Gov. Scott Walker to shift regulation of large livestock farms
Special interests also got the State Supreme Court to codify as judicial procedure in Wisconsin their proposed code of ethics that allowed justices to rule on cases in which parties appearing before them had given donations to the justices' campaign committees.

One of those corporate organizations, the powerful Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, has congratulated itself for successfully targeting large donations in Supreme Court races which have helped solidify the right's control of the high court.

The recent elevation of ultra-conservative Brian Hagedorn to the Supreme Court bench now tips the political balance there to an even-more 'old reliable' 5-2 rightwing majority. 

Pollution party leaders could not contain their glee over Hagedorn's imminent presence on the high court bench this summer when this latest round of key cases is argued.

GOP Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald sounded like he'd just found out NSYNC might be touring again and could show up at County fair:

"Thank God for Brian Hagedorn," Fitzgerald said. "I can’t wait for him to be seated."
Might we be seeing the right's next divinely-inspired next bumper sticker?


Anonymous said...

If they run out of money and influence for their efforts then they can always ask Walker to look up his pals associated with Maria Butina. They all helped themselves to millions in NRA money and Russian troll farm assistance. According to the FBI agent on her case her operation caused the Russians to receive intelligence of immense value and caused current damage and future ongoing risk to our national security. I guess of course we could thank "Professor" Ryan now also and RoJo since they couldn't wait to belly up to the NRA/Butina operation. They felt no need to inform the FBI that they were having meetings with a Russian national. Remember how when Johnson came back from his "vacation" trip to Moscow he couldn't wait to find a microphone and proclaim that any Russian activity during the 2016 election was very minor. Does any reasonable person think that there is all this and it's all just coincidental? To believe it is coincidental makes a mockery of common sense.

Boxer said...

Anonymous, you are a man/woman after my own heart. The signs are there for anyone to read: GOP elected took Russian money and it isn't huge leap to think they also colluded. In the summer of 2016, at a GOP caucus meeting, now-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy made a joke about a list of GOPers who cashed Russian checks. Then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan shut him down immediately by saying "We're never going to talk about that again." Months later, Ryan, the guy who'd never known any other employment than government, taxpayer-paid jobs for a matter of decades, declined to run for his Congressional seat. Later, when Russian hacking of the DNC first came to light, a natural question would have been was the RNC also hacked. Questioned about it by an intrepid reporter, again Ryan quickly shut it down. "No. The RNC wasn't hacked." He responded so quickly it seemed almost . . . . rehearsed? And no one asked about it again. If Ryan didn't take money, and I've not read any evidence that he did, he certainly KNEW of others who did and knew of collusion activities on behalf of Trump and the GOP. The Mueller Report has clearly demonstrated the fallacy of concluding that lack of evidence means the crime didn't occur. Thanks to the Mockery-of-Common-Sense Administration.