It wasn't hard to see this coming -- one just listen to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and then follow Lee Enterprises, Journal Communications, Gannett, Clear Channel AND THEN EXPECT THE OPPOSITE!
Scott Walker has a problem telling the truth -- not an opinion, an objectively fact that is not hard to document. Wisconsin's media echo-chamber amplifies the misinformation and disinformation that Scott Walker speaks. The mainstream media shields Walker from scrutiny over the criminality behind his ascent to power.
The media has told the public that Scott Walker is now a "moderate" and seeks to unify us -- nothing could be farther from the truth. The latest mining power-grab to usurp the Wisconsin Constitution, federal law, and Native American Treaty Rights proves Walker is not avoiding controversy -- Walker is doin' what he does best -- "divide and conquer".
As the link in our second paragraph above demonstrates -- Scott Walker is not a truthful politician, but this would not be a problem if Wisconsin's mainstream media actually published news instead of propaganda. Walker's "rock star" status is entirely manufactured by a media an in-state oligopoly and Fox News.
Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has issued a press release (.pdf) showing that Senator Tom Tiffany and the league agree: The "new" mining bill is really the "old" one which was too divisive and onerous to pass last year. If anyone believed the propaganda in the mainstream media that Scott Walker was going to avoid "divisive" issues this year, you were had by their propaganda.
The 2013 version of the open-pit mining bill released today is strikingly similar to last session’s AB 426 that was defeated. The new Open-Pit Mining Bill is a flawed, extreme, one-sided bill that will subject our waters to contamination from toxins like arsenic, lead and mercury.Wisconsin's founding documents are very clear on the who has rights to Wisconsin's water resources (Wisconsin Constitution, Article IX, Section 1, THE PUBLIC TRUST DOCTRINE). The mining bill which will sale-through the legislature and be signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker, on-its-face, violates the State's Constitution:
The bill exempts mining companies from following environmental standards, a fact that the main bill author validated (See http://www.wiseye.org/Programming/Mining.aspx, 30:01). When a reporter asked, “Is it fair to say that the bill does allow the DNR to exempt companies from environmental standards?” Senator Tom Tiffany, lead bill author, replied, “Yep, that is accurate.”
“The bill exempts mining polluters from following the laws that every other Wisconsin business, local government, and resident must follow. In a single bill, our hunting and fishing traditions, our tourism economy, and the health of our citizens are placed in jeopardy,” said Anne Sayers, Program Director for Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.
An open pit mine that would destroy the Penokee Hills, at the headwaters of the Bad River would force the DNR into opposition in the public interest, as Walker's DNR explains the Public Trust Doctrine - - in its own italics:
All of this is laid-out in the State of Wisconsin publication, Champions of the Public Trust, 1995 (12- page .pdf). This bill will end-up in court -- perhaps what GOP and Walker intend -- more divide and conquer. Sen Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) sees where this mining bill is headed: "From a litigation standpoint, they have a losing hand".However, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court has ruled that when conflicts occur between the rights of riparian owners and public rights, the public's rights are primary and the riparian owner's secondary.(1)
To date, Walker has a poor track record -- not only is the economy in shambles, but his signature ACT 10 stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees has been ruled unconstitutional -- appeals are pending.
The problem is this -- inherent in open mining of the type Gogebic Taconite wishes to operate in Wisconsin, is the removal of massive amounts of topsoil and hilltops. The removed soil has to be put somewhere. Open-pit mining can only exist if laws are modified to allow the soil to be dumped where it is convenient and cheap -- filling wetlands, streams, and other waterways.
The state Supreme Court has consistently ruled that protecting state waterways is demanded by Wisconsin's Constitution -- developers do not have the right to destroy these public assets. Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) explains:
It’s almost impossible to put all that overburden somewhere near the mine without putting it in water. The big problem is there is too much water up there.
While fighting this power-grab for out-of-state corporate interests is important, perhaps more so is the lesson this affair teaches us about Wisconsin's media echo-chamber. They lie -- a mining bill that exempts multinational corporate interests from environmental law is NOT bipartisan and it is not "moderate."
Walker and his GOP cohorts are picking up where they left off last year -- extreme divisiveness and economic terrorism -- Wisconsin's media oligopoly is doing what it can to prop this up. PLEASE DON'T BUY PUBLICATIONS FROM LEE ENTERPRISES, JOURNAL COMMUNICATIONS, GANNETT AND DON'T SUPPORT CLEAR CHANNEL AND SQUAWK RADIO!