Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Vos-Gerald, awakened by Evers, discover WI farm crises

Well, well, well.

After ignoring farm bankruptcies and small dairy operators' crises during their power-sharing reign with Governor DoNothing, GOP legislative leaders Vos and Fitzgerald now want to outdo Gov. Evers who has proposed a comprehensive aid and reform package.

Set aside for a moment that the GOP plan is heavy on their all-purpose, election-year bumper-sticker-drive favorite handout - - tax breaks - - and the underlying question, 'is that really what businesses plummeting income really need down the road? - - and look at the teeth-grinding hypocrisy that underlies the Vos-Gerald bid and overlooks what they and Walker tolerated when they ruled - - 
So here's the state of the Dairy State in one new headline:
More than 4% of Wisconsin Dairy Farms Call It Quits in 2018—So Far
Meaning that almost two WI dairy farms are closing every day this year - - 382 through July 31.
Echoing this late 2017 headline:
Western Wisconsin Had Most Farm Bankruptcies in the US
While Gov. Walker helps expand the big CAFO dairy operations, embraces the Tariff King who's closing off export markets, and assigns no priority to stemming the leap in farm-country well-water and waterway contamination.
- - to principally overshadow Evers' initiative.

Remember that Vos-Gerald are the same two captive enablers of Big Ag special interests who just three months ago signed a public letter - - you can see and read it here - -

Vos, Fitzgerald go to bat for 'existing and expanding CAFO operations'
- - lauding the continued expansion of the very industrial-scale /groundwater-draining/drinking water contaminating/barely-regulated dairying operations known as CAFOs whose production and state-promoted, politically-driven market advantages have helped push small farms and dairies out of business.

I noted Walker and his party's ideologically-driven ag policy failure in part nine -

Walker's 8-year war on Wisconsin's environment. Part 9. CAFOs 
You may remember that I began this series focusing on moves Walker made in the first hours of his administration to ease wetland protections and even to suspend the rules so a campaign donor could quickly get a permit to fill and wetland and build a development.
Fast forward to this year, when Wisconsin Democracy Campaign discovered that major Walker donors were getting permits basically in perpetuity to acquire all the groundwater they wanted to fuel their CAFOs.
The bigger the CAFOs, the bigger the Walker-driven supply/over-supply of milk, driving out smaller farms and leaving the big operators more ready to weather that storm.
Here is a link to the entire, 21-part series, and finally summary takes note of perhaps-forgotten Vos play to protect CAFOs, including one of Wisconsin's largest, from a modicum of public-interest oversight:

Begin with what I wrote in December 30, 2010, in this blog's third year but only hours before Walker's first-term swearing-in:
Stepping on open space, wetlands, forests
For the environment in Wisconsin, this is the day the music died.
With anti-DNR zealot Cathy Stepp's preposterous (read: management by the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and the home builders organizations) nomination as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, Walker's legacy as the environmental destroyer of the land of Gaylord Nelson, John Muir and Aldo Leopold has begun.
Then take note of this unbelievable, no, very believable story published just yesterday about Walker's DNR, aided by GOP AG Brad Schimel and GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos:
Wisconsin permits wells in areas judge ruled pumping would harm trout streams
I'd written about this lever-pulling-industry-to Vos-to-Schimel-to the DNR-and back-to-industry-judiciary-and-the-public-be-damned network before, and it's back. Because it never left.
Wisconsin officials tilt land, water, conservation to corporate goals
...Including [Schimel's] issuance of a favorable opinion that granted large-scale groundwater withdrawals to big operators which they had openly demanded GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos deliver. 
While Wisconsin is abusing, over pumping and contaminating our groundwater, the Legislature's GOP Assembly Leader Robin Vos - - a leading Wisconsin corporate water-carrier - - is seeking an opinion from GOP Attorney General and fellow corporate water-carrier Brad Schimel that could turn over more groundwater to corporate control and away from public oversight...
And big business hasn't been shy about its demands, noted in October:
A pretty stunning memo was sent last week by multiple trade groups and corporate special interests to the State Legislature in advance of today's hearing about the fast-tracked Wisconsin water giveaway bill I wrote about yesterday that puts groundwater and downstream users' access in private hands.
Here is the full text of the Vos request...
Remember - - the State Constitution says the waters of Wisconsin belong to everyone and the DNR is obligated to put the public's rights first.


Anonymous said...

Holy shit. Vos is an even bigger criminal than sane Wisconsinites ever suspected!

Anonymous said...

Seriously, this is malignant, pathological, foaming-at-the-mouth corruption.