Republican Rep. Tyler August and Aqua America Inc. are spearheading the fast track takeover bill of our drinking water in Wisconsin. But in New Jersey, Gov. Christie just sign similar legislation, giving us a preview of how this is going to go down. NJ:
Gov. Chris Christie would allow for fast-tracking the privatization of many public water systems in New Jersey.When a bill has a goofy name like the "Water Infrastructure Protection Act," you know it's deceptively trying to cover up what it really does.
Big Government Republicans Kill Off Local Control Again: The most outrageous part of the Wisconsin bill eliminates the requirement for local referendums, giving the public a say. Christie liked that idea:
(It) removes the public vote requirement to sell water systems throughout the state under emergency conditions that many systems currently meet.
After making government dysfunctional with mismanagement and spending cuts, Republicans now want to sell it off:
The sponsors of the bill tout it as a way to get desperately-needed investment into water systems that have been neglected to the breaking point by government owners.Highest Bidder gets our Drinking Water, but that means we have to pay higher rates!
Opponents warn that it is an attempt to turn private profits off public infrastructure at the expense of taxpayers.The state's Division of Rate Counsel blasted the bill publicly, saying ratepayers would end up paying for the sale of their own water systems, with the way infrastructure sales are legally regulated.
"This bill ... has the potential to allow investor-owned utilities to run wild with bid prices in an effort to submit the highest bid," said Stefanie Brand, director of the Division. "Meanwhile, ratepayers will be required to pay for the full purchase price in rate, and will pay for these higher bids.
"Telling us What to Think...the GOP Mind Trick Revisited: Oh sure, everybody knows private companies can do things better, right? It's just common knowledge...goes without saying:
"We recognize that there are times when private entities might be most capable..." said state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth).
Who Are Republicans Listening too? Lobbyist, not the public:
Originally introduced in September, the bill drew opposition from a wide variety of industry and environmental groups, including the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, environmental groups like the Sierra Club and Food and Water Watch, and the Communications Workers of America union. "This is such a bad deal for the citizens of New Jersey," said state Sen. Bob Smith (D-Middlesex). "This is crazy. ... Just giving away our water supply."That old "opponents are just spouting political rhetoric" excuse so they won't have to listen:
"Put the rhetoric to one side," Kyrillos said. "This does not force anyone to sell water utilities.No, but it lets it happen.
MONEY DOES NOT APPEAR TO INFLUENCE OR CORRUPT GOVERNMENT...AGAIN:
A notable political contribution was made in between the vote's passage and Christie's signing of the measure. American Water of Voorhees, the largest publicly traded U.S. water and sewer company, contributed $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association in the final days of the New Jersey governor's chairmanship of the organization.This is just a preview of what will go down here in Wisconsin, it's irreversible, no matter what party is in charge.