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Wisconsin Legislature Needs To Override DNR Veto

February 16, 2010

The time is approaching when the State Legislature will attempt an override of a most important issue facing Wisconsin.  The facts of the matter are quite clear.

For sixty-seven years Wisconsin had a rich and proud tradition of having the DNR Secretary appointed by the Natural Resources Board.  In 1995 Governor Thompson claimed that power as his own within the Executive Branch.   Governor Doyle had opposed the idea, but now finds it useful for the Executive Branch to have and use.  Thankfully there is a vocal segment of the Wisconsin State Legislature, and a huge swath of the citizenry that is determined to use their power to stop the political games over the selection process by governors from both parties.

On February 23rd the State Legislature will try for an override of this issue.  Every citizen needs to contact their elected official and urge a vote to strengthen the DNR Board and remove our natural resources from the political football field.

What has been disconcerting to me throughout these many months of debate over the matter is how Governor Doyle, once a critic of the policy change back in the mid-90’s,  has now embraced the power to make the selection.  There is a sadness in the change of position, as I have seen it as a power grab by the Governor as opposed to a thoughtful policy change on his part.  That part of politics rankles me.

My concern with this matter continues to be the degree of politics that needlessly is embedded in having any governor, of any political stripe, make the appointment of the person who is supposed to oversee the protection of our natural resources.  These matters are far too vital and fragile to leave to any one person, be it Jim Doyle, or say a future Scott Walker.

Do I need to say more?  Or should I write, do I need to say more!!

4 Comments
  1. Randy Roberts permalink
    February 17, 2010 12:08 PM

    One lesson I’ve learned from studying history is that politically appointed positions usually lead to corruption.

  2. patrick permalink
    February 16, 2010 9:51 PM

    It is about how power should flow. Power should flow from the people in a representative democracy such as we have. Therefore, one should support the option which allows the people to have the most power. If the office is to remain unelected, then we should, at least, allow the people to hold a govenor accountable for his choices and those of the people he appoints. The idea of giving an unelected board the power to appoint a secretary for a SIX year termflies in the face of all reason.

  3. February 16, 2010 8:23 PM

    For the record I opposed this when Tommy had the power during his time in office…..I thought it bad policy from Day One of Doyle’s time in office…..this is all about how one sees the way power should flow.

  4. patrick permalink
    February 16, 2010 7:37 PM

    I think you do need to say more–of the truth of the matter. First, the members of the Natural resources board are appointed by the govenor, so to argue that people should their poitical power to surrender their political power is a rather silly argument. Democrats want to overturn this veto because they know Scott Walker–a republican–will be the next govenor. They simply want to ensure their control over what may well be the most powerful state agency. But this aside, when the DNR secretary is not answerable to anyone in any real fashion, he or she could make any crazy decision at all without consequences. We need more accountability, not less. Doyle is right about this–a shocker!

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