Friday, February 14, 2020

In another last-minute ploy, WI GOP 'lawmakers' go all-in for CAFOs

Wisconsin's corporately-obeisant GOP-run legislature which can't find the time to debate gun safety or implement other Tony Evers' initiatives is suddenly reviving one of defeated Gov. Walker's unfulfilled sops to the state's drinking-water polluting, groundwater-hugging mega-dairies:

Walker figures out new way to serve business, weaken WI DNR 
[Updated from 10/28/17] Right-wing WI GOP Gov. and corporate bellhop Scott Walker now wants to give foxes the run of the farm.

Handing, without any real discussion, Big Ag's already marginal 'regulation' to even-more friendly interests over at the state ag department.
Wisconsin Republicans are trying to speed a bill through the Legislature in the final days of the session that would transfer the power to regulate factory farm siting and expansion from state officials to a new board controlled by agricultural groups....
The bill would create a new nine-member review board attached to the agriculture department. Five members would be selected from agricultural groups. The board would advise the department on regulations and the department would be prohibited from drafting any siting or expansion rules without approval from two-thirds of the board. 
Ag is a department the GOP further politicized last year by firing Brad Pfaff, Evers' ag secretary nominee, for basically declining to lick GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's boots:
The Republican leader also warned other Evers cabinet secretaries awaiting confirmation – including those running Health and Transportation departments – that Senate Republicans would “hold them in check.
And in case Evers didn't get the message that GOP legislators would continue to chip away at the Governor's authority after having protected or expanded former GOP Governor Scott Walker's powers:
The Senate also voted 19-14, along party lines with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against, to move forward with a proposed constitutional amendment that would limit Wisconsin governors' veto powers. 
Vos and Fitzgerald's submission to the industrial-scale dairies known as CAFOs has been unapologetically out in the open, so it's not surprising that the GOP 'leaders' would come up with fresh, pro-CAFO sweetheart legislation that comes with a partisan bonus:

Again - - and without warning - - stripping from Evers executive powers which Walker routinely enjoyed before the public said on election day 2018 that they'd had enough of Walker's ultra-partisan politicking.

Still playing the last-minute, corporately-subservient and partisan power-grabbing game which accelerated in late 2018. Why? Because they can. And their special interest constituents expect nothing less.
The GOP legislators' gerrymander crafted in secret and installed after the 2010 census still gives them the power to run the government for favored special interests - - a mutually-self-serving arrangement which gets donors what they need and rewards GOP legislators with safe stays in status-and-perk-drenched (and part-time!) nicely-compensated seats.

Somehow these legislators tolerate a self-produced moral stench they trail into the Capitol while their rural constituents are forced to deal with brown tap water and big-city residents' drinking water remains laced with lead - - an intolerable situation perpetuated knowingly by legislators which lacks a normal level of empathy and commitment to public service:

Vos, Fitzgerald go to bat for 'existing and expanding CAFO operations'
The legislative session is drawing to a close, which guarantees that common sense measures from safer state water supplies to vital assistance for homeless kids, adults and veterans - - during the winter - - will remain delayed, ignored and buried.

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Well stated. Nothing but a sellout to get donations to Big Ag. No one springs a mega-part bill like this at the last moment without major input from lobbyists and campaign contributors. Note that many of the sponsors are endangered in relatively close seats with a sizable rural populations.