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
Madison – In a release today, the blog Cognidissidence posted what it dubbed as a secret email to Gov. Scott Walker from Walker staffer Andrew Davis. The email depicts talking points Walker will use to justify the breaking of treaties with tribes in Northern Wisconsin by opening their lands up to iron ore mining.
To give you a brief history, The Ojibwe of Wisconsin signed three major land cession treaties with the United States in 1837, 1842, and 1854, ceding their entire homeland to the U.S. and establishing reservations for four Ojibwe bands in the state. The 1837 land cession treaty between the United States and the Ojibwe was concluded at a conference held near present-day Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota.
There, the Ojibwe traded the majority of their Wisconsin lands for a twenty-year annuity of $9500 in cash, $19,000 in goods (blankets, rifles, and cooking utensils), $2000 worth of provisions, $3000 to establish and maintain three blacksmiths’ shops, and $500 worth of tobacco. Congress appropriated another $75,000 to pay debts the tribe owed to fur traders. A final treaty provision reserved the Ojibwe’s right to hunt, fish, and gather wild rice on ceded lands.
More, President Obama Promised Tribal Leaders Help with environmental issues in November 2009 when he signed a memorandum directing every Cabinet agency to give him a detailed plan within 90 days of how they will implement an executive order signed by President Bill Clinton nine years ago that established “regular and meaningful consultation and collaboration” between tribal nations and the federal government.
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.