Friday, September 15, 2017

Walker's Big Government Budget wipes out Local Control again, taking with it Public Safety!!!

Republicans hate liberal big government policies. That doesn't mean they hate big government though. How would you like an overbearing, know-it-all, one party, dictatorial, authoritarian state? Coming right up. 

Heck, why don't I let a Republican explain the concept:
Rep. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield: “There are certain values that the state upholds. If the values aren’t consistent at the local level, there is an opportunity for the state to come in and say these are our principles and they are good.”
Kinda takes your breath away...or at least it should.

Former Republican State Sen. Mary Lazich redefined "local control" this amazing way:

Question of Balance? Totally destroying the idea of local control, Republican weasel Rep. Robin Vos resorted to the old standard, "it's just a question of balance," to do away with local control:

GOP Making Liberal Big Government Look Really Really small: This authoritarian one party vision has been rolling along for the last seven years. Take a look at the Republicans latest takeover bid that would kill the spread of those liberal-leaning walking/bike trails that takes cars off our now crumbling roads:
A provision added to the 2017-2019 state budget denies cities, villages and towns the ability to use condemnation — acquiring private property from unwilling sellers for public use — to expand or build new sidewalks, bicycle lanes and trails.

An incensed Madison Mayor Paul Soglin blasted GOP lawmakers: "We happen to think it's important that children going to school not get run over. But obviously we've got legislators who just don't give a damn about issues of safety. This is driven by bitter people who hate the rest of the state.

It's just one more example where with millions of people in this state there's one or two property owners upset about the ability to condemn for public safety. And now we've got a Legislature that disregards the safety of millions of people from one end of the state to the other."

Soglin also labeled the lawmakers supporting the provision as "anti-economic development," noting that Amazon recently issued a request for proposals for cities interested in being home to a new $3.7 billion headquarters facility. The specs include bike accessibility. Not only would the provision put Wisconsin out of the running, he said, but "nobody would be able to put bicycle paths or sidewalks into the Foxconn deal." 

The city intends to file an open records request to get any correspondence about the provision and “the special interest that’s going to be at work here,” Soglin said.“We really have not learned and had a good explanation from the perpetrators of this as to their motivation and what they’re trying to solve,” he said. Madison City Engineer Rob Phillips said the measure allows a single property owner who doesn't want to sell a right-of-way to kill several bike path projects, some in the works and some planned for the future. It's unclear who inserted the provision into a transportation budget amendment before last week's committee vote. 
Mining Taking control of Local Governments:  Right now, the legislative Republican environmental bulldozer Sen. Tom Tiffany is trying again to trash small local communities. Is it any wonder rural voters hate government:
• Limit public opportunities to contest DNR decisions, eliminate an automatic hearing with an administrative law judge and rolls back a judge's authority to halt mining activities if such a hearing was granted.

• Ends DNR authority to require a mining company to provide evidence that its solid waste disposal process will protect ground water indefinitely.

• Repeal a law requiring the DNR to deny a mine's request for a high-capacity well that would unreasonably harm the ability of others to have drinking water or enjoy lakes and streams. Instead require the mine to replace a dried-up water supply or temporarily shore up the water level in an affected lake or stream.

•  Eliminate rules that address the specific problems that a mining project can cause by disturbing the flow of water above and below the surface.
Here's something that ignored and affected a whole bunch of local communities:
WPR: Wisconsin residents can no longer challenge state Department of Natural Resources permits for a high-capacity well if state officials failed to look at what the well might do to overall groundwater in the area. Republican lawmakers and Gov. Scott Walker got rid of the cumulative impacts challenge when they passed the state budget a year ago. 
Here's a great, but now outdated, list that was posted awhile back:
Wisconsin Republicans Consolidate Power, Erode Local Control Republicans Add to List of 100+ Measures that Harm Local Decision-Making; Republican legislators continue to propose even more bills that would tie the hands of local governments. “Republicans say they are the ‘Party of Local Control’ but their actions show the opposite,” Democratic Rep. Shankland said. 
Reporter Matthew DeFour wrote this nice summary:
Since consolidating control of state government in 2011, Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature have enacted a series of laws that upend a bedrock of their party’s conservatism: the principle of local control. The GOP has wrested from local government’s control of cellphone tower siting, shoreland zoning restrictions, landlord-tenant regulations, public employee residency requirements, family medical leave rules for private companies and large soft drink bans, among other things. It instituted a statewide voucher program opposed by many school boards and has kept tight property tax caps on school districts and municipalities. The latest and perhaps most disconcerting example for many local officials is a bill introduced by Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, that would limit a municipality’s ability to regulate certain aspects of frac sand mining operations, such as blasting, damage to highways, and air and water quality.

“Many (municipal leaders) will tell you how terrible it is and how it’s the worst they’ve ever seen,” said Dan Thompson, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. UW-Madison political science professor emeritus Dennis Dresang. “But boy, recently, that’s really going out the door. What we see from the tea party types and the radical right types is, ‘I've got an idea, I've got an agenda, and it really ought to apply across the board."


  1. When will the voters wake up? Did their constituents ask for this. I know some badgers who are completely oblivious to what Walker is doing.

  2. Great blog BTW - how would you like to be on the Earl Ingram show?

  3. Sure, would like that. Later part of next week might work. Message me on Twitter!