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25 January 2012

FollowUp 9: Wisconsin Republican Dirty Tricks

While one might expect that Governor Walker and the other Republicans up for recall might be focused on cleaning up their image in Wisconsin, they are in the midst of political rewards for those who fund their campaigns at the cost of dirtying the environment of Northern Wisconsin.

When Mr. Walker ran for his office of governor, he did not run on union-busting.  He ran on creating jobs.  Since then he turned down federal money that might have created railway jobs, health care jobs, and has focused on his campaign chest.  But now the Republicans are racing to change Wisconsin mining regulations, to allow for an open pit iron ore mine near Lake Superior (far north in Wisconsin).  Here is a three minute video that offers Governor Walker's propaganda.

To be clear, it is not just environmentalists who are complaining about the race to push this through. The Bad River Reservation, originally deeded to the Ojibwe, abuts the proposed four and a half mile long open mine.

From the Indian Country.
The Bad River Tribe presented 10 guidelines for mining legislation to Walker in September. They are:
1. The definition of iron mining should be clearly set forth to exclude any project proposal that has the potential to cause acid mine drainage.
2. The completeness of iron mining–permit applications should be clearly defined and the burden of preparing and submitting a complete application should be entirely on the permit applicant.
3. The permitting time frame should be reasonable, flexible and consistent with federal agency time frames. It should also provide sufficient time for the DNR, the public, federal agencies, and affected Indian tribes, to fully review and participate in the permitting process.
4. Wetland protection standards should be maintained and the federal/state partnership in the environmental review process under state and federal law should not be jeopardized.
5. Federal clean water act implementation by DNR should be corrected and not weakened.
6. There should be contested case hearings to allow full participation by interested parties, including Indian tribes.
7. There should be no preemption of local control.
8. Citizen suits should be maintained to make sure permit provisions and legal restrictions on new mines will be enforced.
9. Consultation with Indian tribes by the DNR should be required as part of the permitting process.
10. Interested party financing should be provided for the contested case hearing process.
Mayors of neighboring towns object.  So, why would they object to so many high paying jobs.  My friends in Wisconsin tell me that the jobs to be created a low-paying and far fewer than promised.  The real money is flowing in another direction.

The Cline Group is the Florida based organization behind the open pit mine.  They have been making donations to Wisconsin Republicans in exchange for relaxing the permitting process and laws to protect the environment.  It turns out that this is a repeat of similar donations for mining opportunities in Illinois by the same Cline Group.  Dirty money that may lead to dirty water, wrecked land, and dirty air in Northern Wisconsin.

Protests are planned.  (Wisconsinites have become far too practiced in protesting Governor Walker's agenda to hurt Wisconsin).

27 January 2012, Update:  Despite protests, the Wisconsin Assembly passed the mining bill which is now on its way to the Wisconsin Senate.

16 November 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.
30 November 2011, FollowUp 1.
4 December 2011, FollowUp 2.
11 December 2011, FollowUp 3.
14 December 2011, FollowUp 4.
15 December 2011, FollowUp 5.
30 December 2011, FollowUp 6.
13 January 2012, FollowUp 7.
17 January 2012, FollowUp 8.

2 February 2012, FollowUp 10.
9 February 2012, FollowUp 11.
12 February 2012, FollowUp 12.
18 February 2012, FollowUp 13.
22 February 2012, FollowUp 14.
6 March 2012, FollowUp 15.
12 March 2012, FollowUp 16.
16 March 2012, FollowUp 17.
30 March 2012, FollowUp 18.
31 March 2012, FollowUp 19.
3 April 2012, FollowUp 20.
4 April 2012, FollowUp 21.
11 April 2012, FollowUp 22.
14 April 2012, FollowUp 23.
17 April 2012, FollowUp 24.
21 April 2012, FollowUp 25.
29 April 2012, FollowUp 26.
2 May 2012, FollowUp 27.
6 May 2012, FollowUp 28.
10 May 2012, FollowUp 29.
13 May 2012, FollowUp 30.
23 May 2012, FollowUp 31.
24 May 2012, FollowUp 32.
30 May 2012, FollowUp 33.
2 June 2012, FollowUp 34.
4 June 2012, FollowUp 35.
5 June 2012, FollowUp 36.

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