Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Classless and secretive- how the Walker Admin rolls on Earth Day

Two stories that broke this afternoon show just how low-class the Scott Walker administration has become. The first you've probably heard of already, and involves 57 employees of the Department of Natural Resources getting layoff notices as a result of Gov Walker's budget provisions, with the dismissals being concentrated in a very convenient section of the DNR.
DNR spokesman Bill Cosh said that of that number, 27 employees are in the Bureau of Science Services, a unit of the DNR where Walker is proposing significant cuts.

The bureau performs significant research duties for the DNR, and the cuts have come under fire from wildlife and environmental groups who say research is the underpinning of many agency activities. Other positions that could be cut are education and communications personnel.

DNR officials have said in recent weeks that it's premature to say what cuts will actually occur, and how science and research will be handled at the DNR in future years. Cosh has said that science is carried out across the DNR, and not just in the Bureau of Science Services.

The DNR's scientific staff conducts research on matters ranging from estimating the size of the state's deer herd to to studying the effects of aquatic invasive species. Work is paid for with state and federal funds.
Catch that last part? Many of these positions are federally and grant-funded, and ending these positions won't do anything to reduce Wisconsin's budget deficit. But remember, Scott Walker has been recently named a favorite of the Koch Brothers in the 2016 GOP primary, and the Kochs are especially interested in reducing (if not outright ending) enforcement of pollution laws, and measures to reduce climate change, since both items might cut into their profits. Having DNR staff that might use actual science to show that bad things are happening to the natural beauty and resources of Wisconsin might turn people against big-money energy execs that Walker wants to grab money off of. So why not take that possibility out of the equation by cutting that staff, and especially strike that pose on Earth Day, to show your Koch bosses how "serious" you are about helping them out? Yes, the Walker Administration's act is just that transparently political and absurd when it comes to its DNR policies.

It's been similarly transparent and absurd that Walker has made Wisconsin taxpayers shell out for his campaign trips trade missions around the globe, as well as the staff from WEDC that accompany him on these junkets. In addition, Walker makes the taxpayers pay for his security detail when he makes his many trips out of state to court donors and GOP voters. This issue came up again in today's Joint Finance Committee meeting, as the State Patrol's funding was discussed, and what they have to spend to accompany Walker on these trips was part of the discussion.
The committee voted along party lines 12-4 to reject a Dem motion to require the Walker administration to detail how much the state is spending on providing protection for the guv.

The motion sought a quarterly report on the expenses for the dignitary protection unit, which protects the guv, lt. guv, their families and visiting officials.

Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, said Gov. Scott Walker's travel outside Wisconsin and the country as he mounts a bid for the presidency has been "staggering," but the committee has no idea how much is being spent.
That's right, the GOP legislators said it was none of the taxpayer's business how much Walker was spending on his personal vanity run for president, and they weren't willing to even get a report how much was being spent. Remember when conservatives allegedly were the ones that were the "tightfisted overseers of the taxpayers' dollars." Not so much in the Age of Fitzwalkerstan, where the accumulation of money and power is always more important than anything that would resemble ethical governance or caring for the public good.

Gee, you wonder why Walker's approval ratings are in the low 40's and falling, and why the Wisconsin public has turned against these budget provisions in massive numbers? Because they know Scotty and the gutless GOP lackeys in the Legislature could not care less about what happens to the everyday person in Wisconsin, or what kind of state they leave behind after the leave their current job and cash in for big bucks as a lobbyist or other type of wingnut welfare case. You just wish a lot of these people could have figured this out 6 1/2 months ago (it's not like the signs weren't there), and then we wouldn't have the disgusting embarrassment of a state government that we're stuck with today.

1 comment:

  1. Right in the middle of an industry crushing and woldlife risking avain flu crisis. Priceless.