Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Walker Saves Big Money for Menard's.....

We're finding out again, that dark money had coincidentally changed environmental rules in Wisconsin, and the sad thing is, we completely unaware of it. If conservatives truly believe in open government, why aren't they questioning Scott Walker's intentions to hide money when he asked donors to contribute to the Club for Growth? It's being used for dark reasons.

Not only did John Menard Jr., the 75 year old billionaire owner of Menard's get WEDC tax credits for expansion, he got a pass from the DNR via weaker environmental regulations. That made Menard very happy:
George Meyer, a former secretary of natural resources under Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, said the hardware baron made no secret of his views on environmental enforcement. “He told me he just didn’t believe in environmental regulations,” said Meyer. “He was upfront about it.” 
So why someone like Menard, a true supply side believer, want to remain anonymous in support of the governor? What does he think would happen if the public knew what he was up to?
John Menard Jr. ... found the perfect way to (donated to Walker) without attracting any attention: He wrote more than $1.5 million in checks to a pro-Walker political advocacy group, the Wisconsin Club for Growth, that pledged to keep its donors secret, three sources directly familiar with the transactions told Yahoo News … seem to have paid off for the businessman and his company. 

In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs ... Walker’s appointees have sharply scaled back enforcement actions by the state DNR, a top Menard priority. 
Menard is your typical trash the environment conservative billionaire, who's disregard for things, like drinking water, parks, rivers and lakes is actually legendary:
The DNR had repeatedly clashed with Menard and his company under previous governors over citations for violating state environmental laws and had levied a $1.7 million fine against Menard personally, as well as his company, for illegally dumping hazardous wastes.

George Meyer said he had intense confrontations with Menard during the late 1990s over state environmental laws. In one instance, he said, state officials caught the billionaire store owner on videotape personally dumping arsenic-laden hazardous waste ashes from one of his lumber plants in a state landfill.

“I swear to God, he would have his employees bag up [the ashes] in plastic bags, and he would take them home and put them in his personal garbage,” said Meyer, who is now executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation. “They were going to a regular landfill, not to a hazardous waste facility. We were trying to get the attorney general to file criminal charges. If it had been you or me, it would have happened, but it didn't to John Menard.” Instead, Menard and his company settled and agreed to pay the $1.7 million civil fine, then a record in Wisconsin. 
And despite being the chairman of WEDC, Walker had nothing to do with giving Menard taxpayer help:
Laurel Patrick, Walker’s press secretary, strongly denied that the governor had provided any special favors for Menard and said Walker was “not involved” in the decision to award his firm tax credits, approved by the WEDC (Walker is chairman).
Here's even more from Rachel Maddow, and her interview with Isikoff:

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