Tuesday, August 31, 2021

WI manure contaminates our groundwater - and the US Gulf, too

Long-suffering WI well water users from Kewaunee County - 

Previously-reported manure flow from a Kewaunee County farm

- to citizens in the state's Central Sands who have been systematically ignored by corporately-captured GOP politicians - 

Vos, Fitzgerald go to bat for 'existing and expanding CAFO operations'

- will not be surprised by a blockbuster report's data and conclusions:

Water atlas links water pollution to heavy fertilizer use in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin

In Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, 80 percent of surface water monitors and 83 percent of groundwater monitors with elevated phosphorus levels of at least 100 micrograms per liter, or ug/L, were located in counties where more than 70 percent of cropland is fertilized.

Excess phosphorus in freshwater feeds algae blooms. Not all algae outbreaks are toxic, but those that are can harm humans and animals. And even algae blooms that are not toxic can make waterways unfit for fishing and swimming. 

The water atlas confirms previous [Environmental Working Group] investigations revealing that drinking water nitrate contamination is a serious and worsening problem. In the four states, 86 percent of the water systems contaminated with nitrate levels at half or more of the federal legal limit are located in counties where at least 70 percent of the cropland is fertilized. 

But I hadn't realized we were part of outsourcing this nasty blend of 'Midwestern Nice' from the US South to the Gulf of Mexico:

Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agriculture in [Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois] is the primary cause of a notorious annual hypoxic zone off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. During the summer, that part of the Gulf of Mexico is effectively dead, with devastating effects on Gulf fisheries and ecosystems – and the maps show the pollution problem persists.

And then I remember this as recently as 2018:

Dead zones in Green Bay show signs of lasting longer, raising long-term questions

The challenge: Industry and municipal wastewater systems have made big cuts in pollutants that have fed the dead zone. But the lion's share of runoff pollution comes from farms, which face less regulatory pressure to cut back.

"We are definitely moving in the right direction, but it’s still going to be a pretty big lift," said Kevin Fermanich, a professor of environmental science and geoscience at UW-Green Bay. He did not participate in the study. 


Saturday, August 28, 2021

WI 'educators' could add kids to GOP 'yearn, learn and earn' food plan

Wisconsin Republicans cannot let this teachable moment courtesy of educators slip unexploited past the party's opportunistic best pundits and policy-makers.

I mean, this could be the GOP's most powerful and expanded contribution to education in Wisconsin since Act. 10.

And, finally, the party can get busy implementing that old adage that used to mean something: "There's no free lunch," so good on you, Waukesha school board.

The GOP has long been making the poor, disadvantaged and plain unlucky among us work for their calories and survival - going back to Walker's first budget and straight through to the former guy's Presidency - so this is the chance for Wisconsin's most successful publicity-seeking school board - 

Waukesha The Only Wisconsin School District To Deny Free Meals For All Students

- where state Republicans get their biggest pile of in-votes to grab ahold of this ideology-first teachable moment and put some real shine on that apple a day -  

- by telling the kids:

'You want some of that good government surplus to fuel your food addiction? Get out on the playground and parking lot, pick up some trash, and earn you way to the cafeteria line.' 

Besides, free food courtesy as taxpayer-paid perk is a privilege controlled by top GOP power-brokers, so listen up, you little ingrates: who do you think you are, state legislators?

So respect yer elders and get to work, food addicts. I think I see some garbage near the board members' parking spaces.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Do not take it from a mule. Do not take it from a fool.

Wisconsin's highest-ranking hawker of a hooved animal dewormer as a preferred pandemic treatment for people also suggests taking anti-Covid-19 treatments according to that established pharmaceutical measurement - "a bunch." 

Johnson pushes Ivermectin and vaccine conspiracies despite federal warning

“I don’t care what drug will work. Try a bunch of them.”
 Trumpista Forever Ron Johnson

Reminds me of that old-timey pharmacists' credo Johnson must have in the drugstore when growing up in Minnesota: 

'Milligrams, kilograms, graham crackers - pretty much the same to me.' 

And as viral flu season rolls around - I just got an email reminder that flu shots are available - I'm expectantly waiting for Dr. Johnson to come out with his list of alternative flue treatments. 

Google tells me these include burned potato peels, salt and aluminum strips - and the best news is that none involve an upper arm owie or stupid sciency advice from by CDC buttinskies.

Along with this snotty slap at Johnson from 'experts' over at the Federal Drug Administration determined to steal my freedom to award your school kids lots of extra sick days - a fact which this Journal Sentinel headline glosses over:

You are not a horse. You are not a cow': FDA issues blunt warning on taking ivermectin, drug promoted by Ron Johnson to treat COVID-19

Which echoes another doctor who only practiced with a literary license and, were he alive today, might have said something like this about Johnson's horse-of-different-color Covid-19 treatment plan:

Do not take it with a cow

Do not take it with a sow

Do not take it with a mule

Do not take it from a fool.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Another WI wolf-killing binge generates formidable opposition

Every fair-minded Wisconsin resident who understands why there is even a northern Wisconsin on the map should be outraged and embarrassed that repetitively ugly actions by powerful, partisan and self-serving politicians who continue to intentionally erase 'conserve' from their so-called 'conservative principles' have brought us to this unacceptably retrograde point in 2021 -

Tribal leaders in Wisconsin feel ignored over wolf hunt decision

Ojibwe tribal leaders in Wisconsin feel like they’re being ignored in their concerns about wolf hunting in the state. 

“It seems like our voices are never heard,” said John Johnson, chairman of the Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe Nation and Voigt Intertribal Task Force....

“We’re supposed to have 50% say over the resources, and that’s never happened, especially in the Ceded Territory,” Johnson said. 

My question: where's the best place to send a donation to help overcome this history of justice denied, and its latest outbreak?

Photo copied from a November, 2020 report from Wisconsin Greenfire which policy-makers should have adopted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

WI science-basher irked when scientists don't meet his perfection standard

Voters in Tom Tiffany's northwoods congressional district need to know the level of repetitive and dangerous misinformation - and related b.s. - that their elected representative has been feeding them.

This May, 2021 posting was a start.

Yet Tiffany continues his camouflage-the-facts campaign.

In this recent release, Tiffany bashes the CDC for not providing 100% instantly complete advice about the unprecedented and fast-mutating COVID19, and then makes an unbelievably misleading and politicized statement: 

The lack of transparency by the highest-ranking medical officials in our federal government has created confusion and uncertainty. Americans have faithfully followed public health directives and recommendations for eighteen months, based on the premise that compliance would result in the resumption of normalcy. It seems now that guidance was illusory.

It's true that plenty of Americans have "faithfully followed" health directives and recommendations for eighteen months, but Tiffany is not one of them.

What gall, as we consider his record:

On August 17, 2021, when speaking at a Rhinelander school board against a masking mandate:

Congressman Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) spoke against masks at the meeting, equating the CDC guideline on masks to its one on eating raw cookie dough.

Does that sound like respect for and compliance with CDC recommendations to you? 

* On March 31, 2021

Wisconsin Congressman Tiffany Says He Advised His Adult Daughters Against Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

At Town Hall, Republican Representative Made False Statements About COVID-19 And Contradicted Public Health Guidance

Is that what faithfully following CDC guidelines sounds like? 

On October 6, 2020: 

Tiffany's Unmasked, Indoor Campaign Event Slammed As 'Completely Reckless'

Gathering Featured Arizona Sheriff Who Previously Caught COVID-19 At A Campaign Event 

Is that how a public official sets an example for compliance with CDC recommendations - during a killer pandemic? 

His attitudes and public position abuses contradict much-needed work by agencies and scientists trying their best to keep people, homes, and communities safe, and for Tiffany it dates to his years in the Wisconsin State Legislature.

Image of Tom Tiffany
US Cong. Tom Tiffany, (R-WI)

* In 2015:

Sen. Tom Tiffany says he asked governor for DNR job cuts

State Sen. Tom Tiffany has owned up to asking for job cuts to DNR scientists, who he has said focus too much on climate change.

On Friday’s Devil’s Advocate radio show, the Hazelhurst Republican said he asked Gov. Scott Walker and his staff to include a provision in the state budget axing approximately 17 positions from the Department of Natural Resources’ Science Services Bureau.

* Noted on June 18, 2017, and which you might keep in mind as Wisconsin is among the states experiencing sizzling temperatures and destructive storms which are long-predicted consequences of human-assisted climate change:

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Walker is further weakening through disconnecting transfers - - an age-old bureaucratic ploy - - the work of the few science staffers whose positions he had not already eliminated. Work in the public interest which his GOP legislative allies have sought to and will additionally further restrict at the direction of Cathy Stepp, the former developer whom Walker appointed in 2011 as agency's business-friendly Secretary:

The story quotes outspoken climate change denier and eager corporate captive State Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R-Hazelhurst), in support of even more limitations on what remains of DNR science:

Stepp should be able to ensure that research benefits sportsmen and the DNR should be better able to prevent further research that takes climate change into account, Tiffany said.
Tiffany doesn’t accept the findings of 97 percent of working climate scientists that the climate is changing rapidly in large part because of human-caused pollution....
[Also] recall that he was the state legislator whose view of fishing and hunting in the Bad River watershed - - which, by the way, is not in his district  - included an active public relations role promoting a possible 35 years of mountaintop blasting, forest-clearing, open-pit iron ore mining, contamination runoff and wetland filling:
News that State Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R-Hazelhurst) is aiming to wipe out local jurisdictions' controls over mining-related dynamiting, road use, air and water regulation so GTAC mining is freer to engage in 35 years of mountain-top open pit iron mining up North is not the first time he has put the company's interests before everything and everyone else. The bill would also place similar restrictions on local controls over frac sand mining.
*  There was his failed attempt to close 3,500 acres of publicly-accessible forest land because mining might take place there. The effect was to bar scientists working for the nearby Ojibwe band from cataloguing wetlands in harm's way - - and right before state geologists found asbestos-bearing rock on potential mine property.
*  One set of URL's and citations about his close relationship to the mining company is here.
*  Another URL, thanks to the League of Conservation Voters and that connects the Governor's office to blatant special interest strategizing for the mine, is here.
A sample:
Begin by taking another look at this Facebook posting from last year by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters about Tiffany's relationship to a Gogebic's lobbyist:
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters · 15,050 like thisJune 27, 2012 at 5:42pm ·  
David Storey, lobbyist for Gogebic Taconite, sent e-mails to then-Rep. [and now State Sen.] Tom Tiffany, and Walker policy adviser Eileen Schoenfeldt, that discussed forming a "response team" to combat negative PR once the final mining bill was released. Read the emails here:http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/Storey_Emails.pdf ...
Tiffany is either unaware or dismissive of published work by DNR researchers posted by a UW-Madison program from which Walker's DNR has now distanced itself that showed the dangers a warming climate posed to Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and streams - - the very 'sporstmen' arenas Tiffany allegedly is trying to assist.
Few Wisconsin wildlife species are more sensitive to changes in their environment than trout. They depend on a particular set of conditions to survive, including a narrow range of cold water temperatures. Climate change poses an extraordinary challenge to this critical state resource.
Department of Natural Resources researchers John Lyons and Matthew Mitro have spent years studying the impacts of environmental change on 50 fish species in Wisconsin. They track how things like changes in land use, stream characteristics and warming temperatures affect fish populations...
Incorporating Wisconsin specific climate data in the fish researchers' models produced startling results: all but four of 50 species they studied would be affected. About half of them, warmwater species such as bass, could benefit from the change. But coldwater species are at risk as air and water temperatures increase. Brown trout and wild brook trout in particular have narrow temperature ranges in which they can successfully live, feed and reproduce.
Under the most extreme summer warming conditions projected by the models — where air temperatures would increase by about 9°F and water temperatures by 7.2°F — brook trout may not survive in Wisconsin at all, and brown trout may decrease by 88 percent. Even under more moderate conditions of air temperature increasing by 1.8˚F and water temperature by 0.8˚F, brook trout distributions may shrink by 44 percent and brown trout by 8 percent. 


Monday, August 23, 2021

Bayfield Co. hounders again throw cautions & hunting dogs to the wolves

This was the headline on a blog post of mine one week ago. You can file it under 'the more things change, the more things stay the same.' 

WI hunters keep throwing hounds to wolves in Bayfield Co.

This is the message line and detail in an email from the Wisconsin DNR Monday afternoon: 

Hunting Dogs Depredated in Bayfield and Douglas Counties 

On August 21, 2021, USDA-Wildlife Services verified that wolves killed a 3-year old female Plott trailing hound in the Town of Delta, Bayfield County.

On August 22, 2021, USDA-Wildlife Services verified that wolves killed a 7-year old male Plott trailing hound in the Town of Highland, Douglas County. 

This is what a Plott hound looks like:


This is the headline on a blog post of mine from Aug. 3, 2020:

Hunters keep releasing hounds into fatal wolf encounters; WDNR compensation available

Here are a few paragraphs from that post: 

I have followed this sad sacrifice for years; while Wisconsin is not the only state with legacy hunting traditions, it is the only state where so-called sporting lobbies had convinced the Legislature decades ago to include reimbursements to hound owners by the DNR of up to $2,500 per hound killed or injured by wolves.

As of April 20, the state has paid out more than $845,000 to hound owners requesting reimbursement for hounds killed or injured by wolves, records show.

(The DNR program also compensates livestock and pet owners for similar losses.)

Media have noted that state reimbursements are made to hound owners who are repeat payment collectors - or scofflaws, and to owners who released their hounds into known wolf activity areas mapped out and posted online by the DNR.

Several of 12 hounds injured or killed this summer in recent encounters with wolves were Plott hounds, perhaps like this one, DNR records show.


These are the recent hound-wolf encounters listed by the DNR: 

This is the headline and some text from a blog post of mine from September 2, 2016: 

28th hound killed in '16 WI bear hunt 'training' by wolves

On Aug. 31 - - the last day of the state's legal, off-leash bear hound 'training' period - - the Department of Natural Resources said by email today that the year's 28th bear hound was killed by wolves in Wisconsin [and] the 25th bear hound killed just this month by wolves in Wisconsin. 

More unhealthy air over SE Wisconsin's lakeshore counties

Remember when the WI DNR quickly gave Foxconn permits to expel nearly 800 tons of air pollutants every year? Only the company's failure to begin any production keeps today's degraded air quality in the region from getting worse:

Sanctions shred Senatorial sanctimony, but do voters care?

At first glance it's an open-and-shut Badger State case study in how not to hold public office, let alone run for re-election.

We're referencing Wisconsin's senior GOP US Senator, who faces plunging approval record - 

Trumpista Forever Ron Johnson

- while weighing a third-term run which he promised he would not make.

And if poor polling and a broken promise wouldn't already have derailed an incumbent bent on re-election - especially one whose recent self-serving maneuvers shattered his earlier sanctimonious self-accounting - consider that Johnson is also deep into an expanding political minefield of his own creation:

* Begin here, with one Andril Derkach, a Ukrainian legislator who was just sanctioned by Ukraine:

Ukraine sanctions lawmaker accused of meddling in U.S. election

* This is the same person - designated by US officials as a "Russian agent" - whose associates and others were already sanctioned by the US Government during the Trump administration for interfering in American politics: 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took additional action against seven individuals and four entities that are part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach. 

Russian agent Derkach was designated on September 10, 2020, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13848, for his attempt to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election....

Since at least 2019, Derkach and his associates have leveraged U.S. media, U.S.-based social media platforms, and influential U.S. persons to spread misleading and unsubstantiated allegations that current and former U.S. officials engaged in corruption, money laundering, and unlawful political influence in Ukraine. 

* Now here's why this might ring an alarm bell for Johnson, and Wisconsin voters

State Dept. provides House Dems docs previously given to Ron Johnson's Biden probe

Democrats have raised concerns that material gathered by Derkach, who met in December with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, has been laundered into Johnson’s material. 
Johnson has strenuously denied the allegations, but Democrats sought the documents he obtained from the State Department to understand the direction his probe is taking. 
POLITICO first reported that Derkach mailed information about the Bidens to Johnson, but Johnson’s office has denied receiving anything from Derkach.

Derkach has pushed many of the same claims against Biden that Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is pursuing. Johnson’s probe centers on allegations that a Democratic public-affairs firm sought to leverage Hunter Biden’s position on the board of Burisma in order to influence the Obama-era State Department. 

* Not to mention this report which ran in the Wisconsin State Journal Aug. 9, 2020: 

national intelligence document released Friday by the Trump administration revealed Russia is using pro-Russia Ukrainian officials to slander presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, undermining a key pillar of U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s ongoing investigation into the former vice president.

Johnson, who is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has drawn criticism from Democrats and foreign policy experts for what they see as an attempt to smear Biden as he challenges Republican President Donald Trump.

* As well as this related August, 2020 lengthy item, which includes Johnson's denial of any wrongdoing:

Earlier this month, Johnson defended himself on a local Wisconsin news station saying, “What have I published, what have I reported on, that is not true, that is any form of Russian disinformation? There has been nothing....”   
We provide a roadmap for understanding this disinformation operation currently in progress, using U.S. elected officials as a vehicle.

 You'd think all this would have led Johnson months ago to announce there'd be no third-term run, but maybe it's all too complicated for voters to digest.

And remember that he won two elections which plenty people said he wouldn't win, so maybe his Teflon is actually advanced, impenetrable Kevlar.


Sunday, August 22, 2021

Tiffany 'greets' traumatized Afghans w/unfounded fears & smears

Afghans already traumatized after escaping the Taliban's violent takeover have begun arriving at Ft. McCoy where the best of America and Wisconsin will offer them an Emma Lazarus greeting.

But as he coincidentally consistently does when discussing people of color who already shoulder outsized burdens - be they southern border refugees, citizens of Asian descent or historically-marginalized African-Americans - Northwoods US GOP Rep. Tom Tiffany - 

Image of Tom Tiffany
US Cong. Tom Tiffany, (R-WI)

- wasted no time giving these newest immigrants - many of whom aided the American war effort at great personal risk - his signature fear-mongering, ignorant and empathy-free attention:

"I am deeply disturbed by reports that as many as 5,000 Afghans per day are headed to the United States – many without valid visas or even basic identity documents. Biden administration officials have said they plan to transport many of these individuals to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin – but have declined to elaborate on how many will come, what screening will be carried out prior to arrival, or what will happen after they land here."

"Alarmingly, the White House has also declined to say whether these individuals will be held in custody during vetting, or if we will see the same kind of catch-and-release policy we’ve seen on our southern border. Adding insult to injury, President Biden has not bothered to seek the approval of Wisconsin leaders, or the local communities that will be affected by this haphazard plan..."

"The White House should abandon this dangerous, ready-fire-aim plan and mitigate risk by transporting Afghans to safe third countries for vetting before bringing thousands of unknown people into Wisconsin or other U.S. states. Our national security has been deeply degraded in the months since January 20 and allowing the mass entry of foreigners from a known hotbed of terrorism will only make this situation far worse."

Note that sixteen Republican House members voted against funding a speed-up processing paperwork which key Afghan refugees need to legally settle in the US, so maybe Tiffany should take his phony, unfounded fears about "what will happen after they land here" to his colleagues. 


Friday, August 20, 2021

Removing Walker lame-duck resources official would revive WI elections' value, too

WI Republicans are trying to freshly extend at taxpayer expense their broad and persistent power-grabbing - a partisan strategy implemented immediately after Gov. Evers was elected in November, 2018 - by blocking Evers' appointees from serving on the very powerful -  but now tainted - state Natural Resources Board so it can continue to protect and serve Walker and GOP agendas.

Walker, the DNR and its oversight agency the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board sacrificed clean water, exposed public trust wildlife like wolves to repetitive, science-free slaughter and continually promoted corporate policies, not broader public agendas.

So it's good to see a) that Wisconsin Atty. General Josh Kaul is trying to remove a key Walker Board member who refuses to step down from the Board and relinquish its chairmanship - though his term has expired - and, b) that top-shelf citizen organizations and attorneys have joined the fight, which is also a fight to restore fairness and credibility to the Board and Wisconsin elections:

WI Environmental and Conservation Organizations Support Legal Action to End NRB Chair’s Holdover Past the Expiration of His Term

For immediate release: July 22, 2021

On Tuesday, attorneys for the law firm Pines Bach, LLC directed a complaint to Attorney General Josh Kaul that outlines the reasons why Frederick Prehn is unlawfully occupying a seat on the Natural Resources Board (NRB) and requests the Attorney General take action to obtain a writ of quo warranto under Chapter 784 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

Midwest Environmental Advocates, Wisconsin's Green Fire, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, Clean Wisconsin, River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Sierra Club - Wisconsin Chapter jointly make the following statement:

Our organizations hold a variety of interests and positions on matters that come before the NRB. Our own positions as organizations are not always fully aligned with the groups that filed the complaint, Humane Society of the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity. On many issues, we in fact hold opposing viewpoints. However, on this issue our organizations agree strongly: Frederick Prehn’s continued presence on the NRB undermines the “sound, responsible, and accountable management of natural resources held in the public trust.”1

The NRB is part of Wisconsin’s tradition of limiting the influence of politics in natural resources and conservation decision-making. Frederick Prehn’s continued refusal to vacate a seat on the NRB after the expiration of his term is doing great damage to that tradition.

Westerberg, Christa. Request for Quo Warranto Action, Wis. Stat. s. 784.04(1)(a), Regarding Dr. Frederick Prehn, July 20,2021. Letter.

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The NRB was created by the Kellet Reorganization Bill in 1967, which merged the then Department of Conservation with the then Department of Resource Development.At that time, many in the conservation community were concerned that development and business interests would hold disproportionate power over the resulting agency, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).The structure and composition of the NRB was the result of a critical compromise: it preserved for Wisconsinites a direct role in setting natural resource and conservation policy and was meant to insulate DNR decisions from undue political influence. Critically, NRB members are to act as citizen-representatives for their six-year term. During that time period, they are stewards of the public interest. The notion that any former NRB member may attempt to maintain power after the expiration of their term, when a duly nominated and qualified member is able to serve, is inconsistent with legislative intent and is anathema to both the role of an NRB member and the long tradition of the NRB.

These unique aspects of the NRB’s history and function provide context for the legal points made in the complaint. At the time of the NRB’s creation, the Legislature chose not to include a holdover clause in statute creating the NRB,even though the statutory model for giving appointees the ability to holdover had been established by previous legislatures.This decision by the Legislature, reflected in the text of Wis. Stat. § 15.34(2)(a), is consistent with the intent and spirit that motivated the creation of the NRB. The drafters of the Kellet Bill did not permit what Frederick Prehn continues to do because the NRB was created not as a body comprised of political actors seeking to maximize their power but as citizen-representatives who serve in the public interest for a set period of time.

We emphasize that our support for the complaint is neither about a particular policy issue before the NRB nor the particular political party of the governor who made the most recent appointments. George Meyer is a former DNR Secretary who served in Republican Governor Tommy Thompson’s administration. Mr. Meyer was recently quoted as saying that Frederick Prehn staying in his seat, “overturns the will of the people that was voiced through the election of the new governor, and I would say this regardless of the parties here. It makes no difference whether the Democrats are in charge or the Republicans....Either way, this would be contrary to the way the system is set up...."6

Over the next months, the NRB will be setting policy for the people of Wisconsin on a wide range of issues, including wildlife management, PFAS water quality standards, addressing nitrate contamination in drinking water, land acquisition, among many others. Our respective organizations may have differing views on these issues, but we agree that the people of Wisconsin have a right that these matters be addressed by an NRB that is accountable and comprised of members who are lawfully acting in the people’s interest.


Sinykin, Jodi Habush. "At a Loss: The State of Wisconsin After Eight Years Without the Public Intervenor's Office." Marquette Law Review. 88 (2004): 648.
Thomas, Christine L. "One hundred twenty years of citizen involvement with the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board." Environmental History Review 15, no. 1 (1991): 75.
Wis. Stat. § 15.34(2)(a)
See, e.g., 1961 Wis. Act 507, § 8 (“All appointed trustees [of the Wisconsin Investment Board] shall serve until their successors have been appointed and have qualified.”).
Kaeding, Danielle. “Evers Seeks Fresh Faces On Natural Resources Board, But Current Chair Isn't Stepping Down Yet.” Wisconsin Public Radio, May 25, 2021. https://www.wpr.org/evers-seeks-fresh-faces-natural-resources-board-current- chair-isnt-stepping-down-yet.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Two more WI Republicans extend GOP's COVID coddling

Polling data show a stark division between Wisconsin Republicans and Democrats on many matters pandemic:

A new statewide poll shows a partisan divide in vaccinations and more negative perceptions toward last year's shutdown

Here's up-to-date-data highlighting another straight line to follow in COVID-slammed Wisconsin - 


- that you can trace from this ideological insanity

Congressman Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) spoke against masks at the (Monday night Rhinelander School Board) meeting, equating the CDC guideline on masks to its one on eating raw cookie dough.

* To this even more serious and unfolding story:

GOP Senator Railed Against Vax, Caught COVID, Then Hid It From Dem Colleagues

A Republican state senator who has proven to be one of Wisconsin’s most virulent critics of mask and vaccine mandates became sick enough to be hospitalized last week after contracting COVID-19, his office confirmed to The Daily Beast.  
What’s more, a possibly infectious Sen. AndrĂ© Jacque, who testified maskless during a Joint Senate and Assembly Education Committee meeting last Wednesday at the statehouse in Madison, neglected to inform his colleagues about their potential exposure—and they’re not happy. 

I wish State Sen. Jacque - 

Image of Andre Jacque

- and his family full and speedy recoveries; let's also hope COVID19 and its super-infectious Delta variant was not spread to constituents, other legislators, Capitol staffers, medical workers and random contacts.

No more suffering!

But let's be honest: 

* The seeds of this dangerous resistance to science and common sense were planted last October, for example, by Sen. Jacque's Racine County GOP colleague Sen. Van Wanggaard - 

...three weeks-and-a-day-ago on October 8th, Racine's GOP State Senator and unofficial lead state COVID shoulder shrugger Van Wanggaard said Wisconsin's cases could multiply ten-fold and he still wouldn't support a statewide making order.

* And to an even earlier display by WI GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, wore a mask, gloves and other protective gear as he sought to assure voters it was "incredibly safe" to vote in person for Tuesday's election amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

"You are incredibly safe to go out," Vos told The Journal Times in a Facebook livestream. Vos said he was serving as an election inspector and that wearing the personal protective equipment, or PPE, was mandatory. 
Standing in front of cars lined up for curbside voting, Vos said people working at polling locations and those voting in person face "very minimal exposure."

To others

* On May 5th, 2020, The Wisconsin Supreme Court - meeting virtually and respecting COVID19 distancing guidelines -  heard arguments in a case brought by GOP Legislative leaders to overturn Democratic Gov. Tony Evers 'Safer-at-Home' order extension. The Justices overturned the Evers order several days later by a 4-3 vote.

During the May 5th argument, Chief Justice Patience Roggensack (the Court is officially non-partisan, but has a 4-3 majority which usually supports conservative and GOP positions) opined that a highly-publicized outbreak of COVID19 in Brown County (the Green Bay-area) meatpacking plants which employed large numbers of migrant workers in close quarters had not hit "regular folks."

The food and commercial workers union called it "shocking and deeply offensive that Roggensack would suggest that workers in meatpacking plants aren't 'regular folks' who deserve protection."

On May 5th, state data showed a total of 1,966 confirmed COVID19 cases and 13 confirmed deaths in Brown County. Using the latest, December 18 data, those Brown County numbers had soared to 25,042 confirmed cases and 155 confirmed deaths, with both categories having jumped by more than by a factor of 10....

* On August 3rd, 2020, GOP Senate Majority Leader [and now-US Rep.] Scott Fitzgerald urged the Senate to overturn a statewide mask-wearing order issued by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. 

“I just said I think it’s a mistake,” Fitzgerald said of the mask order. “I think things are going well right now. People are complying if they want to.” 

On August 3rd, the confirmed COVID19 case number in Wisconsin was 55,328 and the death toll was 949. By December 18, the confirmed case number had soared to 451,676 and the death toll to 4,345....

Which brings us to Wisconsin's senior GOP US Senator and all-in Trump enabler Ron Johnson. 

* In fact, in the very early days of the pandemic on March 18, 2020 - note that Wisconsin did not report deaths until March 20th, state data show - Johnson was sugarcoating COVID19's risks and framing them in business-like/balance-sheet statistics, as The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported:

"...97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu,” Johnson said.

Johnson acknowledged that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less,” he said...

By the way, 3.4 percent of the US population is more than 11 million people.