Tags Archives: Politics » Bills & laws

Visit the global Politics » Bills & laws archives for posts from all DGR sites.

The Corporate Rot Eats Away at Wisconsin

from The Progressive

The corporate coup d’etat in Wisconsin is harder to ignore since June 5 when Scott Walker was deemed winner of the recall election. The veil is being lifted on the identities of the people who have their hands on the levers of power in the state and the economic interests they represent.

Gogebic Taconite is a case in point. This week, Matt Rothschild broke the story revealing dissension within the ranks of the mining lobby. James Buchen, the Vice President of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, took the Wisconsin Mining Association (of which Buchen himself is a board member) and its executive director, Kennan Wood, to task for working on a compromise mining bill with Democrats in the legislature after the one written by and for Gogebic Taconite failed to pass the state senate earlier this year.

The letter offers a rare glimpse of the inner workings of corporate influence in Wisconsin politics and illustrates several points:

1) That lobbyists and the businesses that pay their salaries believe they control the legislative process;

2) That consolidation of power within a certain corporate faction – namely the defense manufacturing and resource-extractive industries – is nearly complete. Total domination of the state apparatus only requires two more senate seats;

3) That even the people promoting the Gogebic Taconite project themselves realize that it is not viable unless extraordinary de-regulatory measures are taken to subsidize it; and

4) That they believe the very purpose of the legislative process is to do the bidding of wealthy corporations. Continue reading

Wisconsin Wetlands Association: “No” to SB 368

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: February 15, 2012

Wisconsin Wetlands Association Statement on Passage of SB 368

Today is a sad day for wetlands in Wisconsin. Our strong tradition of allowing economic development while also maintaining a strong commitment to protecting wetlands has just been overturned by the Senate. Once revered nationwide for our high standards, our policies are sinking to the level of so many other states where thousands of acres of wetlands are legally destroyed each year and mitigation rarely lives up to its promise. Only time will tell whether this law, once enacted, will lead to the run on wetlands we fear. The new framework, emphasizing wetland mitigation over avoidance and minimization of wetland impacts, certainly allows it. To those who applaud this bill as an economic engine for the state of Wisconsin we remind you that wetlands contribute billions in free services to Wisconsin’s economy every year. They protect us from floods, support our fish and wildlife, clean our water, and preserve the outdoor heritage Wisconsin residents hold so dear. If this law is enacted, we will no longer be able to count on the state to protect our wetlands. Our focus moving forward will be to work with local communities, and others, to help them capitalize on the economic benefits of protecting and restoring wetlands. For better or worse, wetland protection will now be in the hands of the people.

Continue reading

Walker Favors Wolf Hunters over Native Rights

from http://www.progressive.org/

By Rebecca Kemble, February 2, 2012

Last Thursday, Anishinaabe elder Joe Rose of the Bad River Band addressed a press conference at the WI State Capitol. He traveled 250 miles from the shores of Lake Superior to protest the passage of a highly controversial mining bill that opens the door to a huge, open pit mine project that will likely destroy the entire Bad River watershed and the vast wild rice beds that grow within it.

Rose gave a short lecture on the creation story and history of his people in the region. He highlighted the relationship between wolves (Ma’iingan) and people in the Anishinaabe creation story. The two were created as brothers and traveled together all over the Earth, giving names to everything. The Creator then sent them on their separate ways, but told them that whatever happened to one would happen to the other.

Continue reading

DGR Wisconsin participates in anti-mining protest

from http://ashlandcurrent.com

Citizens from around the state are planning to protest the proposed Assembly iron mining bill Wednesday and Thursday, according to the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

A “Bury the Bill” rally will take place on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the State Capitol on the State Street steps.

Then, Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., a “People’s Tribunal” will take place in the north hearing room of the Capitol building’s second floor.

The Wednesday rally will feature speakers including Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Director Mike McCabe, Laura Gauger of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, Ben Manski of Wisconsin Wave, and attorney Glenn Reynolds. Photos and maps of the area around the proposed open-pit iron mine in Ashland and Iron Counties will be available for public viewing, and a short performance will demonstrate the impacts the bill could have on the Northwoods.

At the Thursday tribunal, anyone who wants to speak publicly will be invited to speak about the proposed legislation and mining in general.

The Wednesday protest and Thursday Tribunal are hosted by Madison for the Penokees. Participating organizations include the Penokee Hills Education Project, Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, SaveTheWatersEdge.com, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Sierra Club, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Madison Infoshop, Family Farm Defenders, Take Back the Land-Madison, Groundwork White Anti-Racist Collective, Deep Green Resistance–Wisconsin, Lake Superior Greens, Madison-area Urban Ministry, and People Empowered to Protect the Land of Rosendale.

Bad River Chippewa Against Proposed Mining Legislation In Wisconsin

from http://www.intercontinentalcry.org/


BY  JAN 8, 2012

The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa are working, along with several NGOs, to stop a controversial mining bill that would gut existing environmental protections and effectively silence the public in order to streamline mining projects in the state of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin State Assembly Bill 426 looks like it could’ve come straight from former Peruvian President Alan Garcia’s waste basket, for all the good it would do. The 183-page billwants to:

  • Allow for the destruction of high quality wetlands
  • Allow mining waste to be deposited in floodplains and on the shores of lakes and rivers
  • Remove the right of citizens’ to sue for illegal environmental damage by a mine
  • Prohibit the DNR from monitoring mine waste sites or facilities, stopping work at a mine if there are permit violations or pollution, or making mine companies pay fines for those violations.
  • Force the DNR to make a decision on a mining permit within 360 days, otherwise it is automatically approved.
    Continue reading