Wisconsin Republicans Payoff Their Corporate Sponsors

Corporate Stooge Scott Walker Services His Johns

Excerpt from The Progressive, for the complete article check here: http://www.progressive.org/walker-colossal-giveaway-to-mining-co-in-wis

The passage of Wisconsin’s massive mining deregulation bill is a stunning example of the massive influence that private corporations have come to enjoy in Wisconsin state government under the reign of Scott Walker and the Republican-dominated legislature since 2010. Despite overwhelming opposition from scientists, conservationists, hunters, fishers, local government officials, Native Sovereign Nations, and the general public, the measure passed the senate last week on a 17-16 vote and is likely to pass by a larger margin in the Assembly this Thursday. (The Senate bill is SB1; the Assembly bill is AB1.)

It is the second time around for this wholesale regulatory giveaway to Gogebic Taconite (GTac), a newly formed company owned by Chris Cline. Last year the bill failed when Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) broke from his caucus with a no vote. After the November 2012 elections the Republican majority in the senate grew from one to three seats. Opponents of the bill had hoped to sway the vote of one more senate Republican, to no avail.

Earlier in the week the bill passed out of the Joint Committee on Finance on a party line vote. Democrats on the committee attempted to reduce the impact of the more egregious aspects of the bill by introducing several amendments, all of which were rejected on 12-4 votes. Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) criticized provisions that weaken protections for public health, safety and the environment, and others that shift the burden for costs of infrastructure development and maintenance on to local communities. The bill, he said, is “a sweetheart deal for the company and a raw deal for Wisconsin citizens.”



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