People in Wisconsin, particularly Madison, have a long history of exercising their right to speak up, and I really think that a large part of the reason the recall is happening is that Walker tried his best to take away that right, with all his ridiculous laws about four people constituting a rally, his locking of the capitol building, etc. He made a lot of people mad with those maneuvers, myself included, even aside from all his other mishandling of issues.
I was startled to discover that the NRA is coming out so vehemently in support of Walker, though. They have an ad screaming about how Barrett hates gun rights and will take away your right to own a deer rifle. Hunting will end up as a thing of the past for a lot of people if Walker gets his way, so who cares if you've got the right to own a deer rifle? You won't be able to shoot anything with it, unless the NRA is supporting more shootings of home intruders, which is a truly appalling thought.
Anyway, the DNR is falling apart, too, thanks to Walker, so I'm sure the public lands are all going to end up mismanaged, thus lending statistical support to his private game park plan. The new, Walker-appointed secretary of the DNR is Cathy Stepp, a construction company owner and former Republican state senator who has long been a critic of the DNR
She called [DNR] employees “unelected bureaucrats” who tend to “come up with some pretty outrageous stuff that those of us in the real world have to contend with.”
Former DNR secretaries, including one appointed by Republican Tommy Thompson, are criticizing her handling of environmental cases
, using words like "unprecedented," "outrageous" and "indefensible." The current scandal is over the handling of the Herr Environmental debacle
, wherein a company that had already been in trouble for runoff pollution in 2010 (a case which they settled for $240,000), has recently gotten in trouble for "excess spreading of human waste on farm fields" (ew), and for cooking their books to hide it. This time the case went to local prosecutors instead of the state DOJ, and the company paid a $4,338 fine, which is the minimum.
The person who referred the case there was Scott Gunderson, who's a former member of the state Assembly who received campaign contributions from Herr Environmental. He claimed he forgot about the contributions and promised to check next time.
Shockingly, Herr has also donated to Walker.
The number of environmental cases referred to the state DOJ in 2011 was 21. The previous average per year was 65. The new Republican appointees blame that on being understaffed, even though the agency was equally understaffed under Governor Doyle (a Democrat), for example.
To top it all off, the DNR won't make Herr Environmental pay to test the groundwater in the area, to see if any wells have been contaminated. Cathy Stepp -- who has no training in such things whatsoever -- has helpfully reassured residents of the area that the potential for groundwater contamination is "relatively low".