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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:29 am 
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The Koch brothers have built their own army of pawns in the Tea Party and are the greatest theat to America on the interior domestic front since the Ku Klux Klan.

Wisconsin Bill Could Hand Utility Rights to Koch Brothers
By Dave Best | March 2nd, 2011

Can the State of Wisconsin sell off its public utilities to its corporate donors for pennies on the dollar without any oversight by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission?
If new Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has his way and Senate Bill 11 is passed in its entirety, two of Walker’s largest donors, oil billionaires David and Charles Koch (“the Koch Brothers”), could be handed free reign on Wisconsin public utilities. The media has focused on the protests surrounding stripping bargaining rights from most state workers, but handing over Wisconsin’s utilities to one of our nation’s largest polluters could also have a major impact.
Based on a legal loophole in the middle of Wisconsin Senate Bill 11, according to Forbes, the State of Wisconsin can sell or contract out management of state-owned heating, cooling and power plants without seeking bids.
If this law passes, the state can sell off utilities without any bidding or review process, all for “the public good.” The Wisconsin Public Service Commission serves utility customers to insure adequate and reasonably priced service is provided. Utilities cannot change rates or build large power plants or major transmission lines without the approval of the PSC.
Passage of WI Senate Bill 11, however, would keep the PSC on the sidelines for sale of these public utilities. Conspiracy theorists are calling “pay for play” over fear that the Koch Brothers’ donations to help elect Walker back in November will yield them a portfolio of Wisconsin utilities on the cheap.
The Koch Brothers own Koch Industries, an energy and consumer products conglomerate based in Kansas that owns a wealth of companies including Georgia Pacific and Koch Pipeline. Personally, Charles and David Koch are each tied for fifth place on Forbes annual list for the 400 Richest Americans ($21.5 billion each).
Wonder about Koch Industries environmental record? “Koch Industries is one of the biggest polluters in America, so it’s not surprising that they’ve spent millions blocking measures to protect our air and water,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. “The Kochs have also served as one of the biggest obstacles to our transition to a clean energy economy.”
Wisconsin has a Republican dominated state legislature and although the bill has passed the Assembly, all 14 Wisconsin Democratic State Senators have fled the state to prevent a vote by the Republican majority. Without progress, Governor Walker now threatens to issue layoff notices to 1,000 state workers.
Now seems to be a great time for Wisconsin to kick its “Koch habit.” Otherwise we risk thousands of Wisconsinites losing their jobs, the ability of workers to bargain be cut, public utilities get donated to the governor’s donors, renewable energy construction be halted and clean air rights be trampled.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 10:27 pm 
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Here's a different viewpoint for the conspiracy theorists:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/ ... 55525.html

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 6:47 am 
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Interesting and note worthy. However, we all know people with that kind of money and power have publicists, secretaries and the like to do what it takes to make them look good.
The Governor didn't become giddy and childlike when he thought he was speaking with David Coke for no reason.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 10:01 pm 
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Interesting how you dismiss a position by saying that it's all spin by publicists. What do you call the "news" articles posted from the other side?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:22 am 
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Hmmm, good point to a point. From the other side we're not dealing with wealthy contributors or the man who is at the center of attention. We are dealing with people who don't agree with the agenda. Which could be a very personal agenda.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:32 pm 
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This is a fascinating article about today's hearing proceedings from the Milwaukee Journal - Sentinel. No matter how you slice it, it sure appears there was a lot of monkey-business going on before that vote took place.

http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... 59714.html


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:39 pm 
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ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

(Catfish, it was time.)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:40 am 
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~groans and shakes head wearily~ Gotta love the message board family!

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:47 pm 
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Yawn, I think I will join you Jeff !

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Hmm, interesting just as I was told by a casual observer of the message board...just the good old boys.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:52 pm 
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The State is truly in trouble. I used to think Tommy Thompson was the king of nepotism and partronage. No more. Cathy Stepp who exhibited nothing but disdain for our natural resources now heads the DNR. Senator Randy Hopper's girl friend ends up with a state job at $12,000 more than her predecessor and unliker her predecessor has no experience other than doing whatever she does for Hopper. http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolit ... 41669.html Former Assemblyman Montgomery who took in vast amount of money in the past doing favors for the utilities when he chaired the Assembly Utility committee has now been appointed to head the WI Public Service Commission.

It will take many years for the backward motion to stop so Wisconsin can began moving forward again.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:29 am 
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But wait, there's more...

Just in his mid-20s, Brian Deschane has no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions.

Yet he has landed an $81,500-per-year job in Gov. Scott Walker's administration overseeing environmental and regulatory matters and dozens of employees at the Department of Commerce. Even though Walker says the state is broke and public employees are overpaid, Deschane already has earned a promotion and a 26% pay raise in just two months with the state.

Here's the link for the entire story...

http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/noquar ... 59584.html


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:39 am 
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I just saw that this morning. All very disgusting.

"...no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions."


"His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year's governor's race."

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:47 pm 
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All very disgusting.

"...no college degree, very little management experience and two drunken-driving convictions."


"His father is Jerry Deschane, executive vice president and longtime lobbyist for the Madison-based Wisconsin Builders Association, which bet big on Walker during last year's governor's race."




Disgusting , YES.......Surprising, NO


Walker is a bought and paid for politician.
He was bought by big business, now he has to deliver.

It was bad enough he gave the kid the job, BUT TO GIVE HIM A RAISE A FEW WEEKS LATER!
I thought the state had budget problems?!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:00 am 
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And this morning it was announced that Walker and Cathy Stepp ordered that a law protecting lakes from phosphorus be halted, something the WMC is applauding. Weed and algae growth and fish kills are apparently preferable in their mind to clean, healthy lakes..

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:00 pm 
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Mystic,

From today's Wisconsin State Journal:

"Instead, Walker has proposed that the new rule not be put in place for two years, according to Cathy Stepp, secretary of the state Department of Natural Resources. Stepp testified on the proposal, and other conservation-related items in the budget, before the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee Monday.

Stepp said municipal officials and others affected by the rule told the agency that implementing the tougher statewide standard would be too expensive during this difficult economic period. Some communities estimated they would have to raise sewage treatment rates by as much as $900 per customer per year.

"Governor Scott Walker's budget recognizes that this is not the time to force communities to take out very substantial loans to upgrade wastewater treatment plants. They can't afford these investments, nor can their ratepayers, your constituents," Stepp told the committee."

Post the whole story next time. Many of the new proposed water quality standards are at best dreams. In a perfect world we would have reverse osmosis membranes for organics, ion exchange columns for inorganics, and then aerated ponds for BOD removal. Zero discharge may be an ideal, but hardly affordable, even when the economy wasn't in the toilet. Stating economic realities doesn't mean anti-environment.

Walker & Stepp have not repealed existing water quality standards, just may delay "polishing steps".

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:55 am 
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Jeff,

What you are quoting is a recent development. Originally Walker planned to repeal the proposed rules entirely. It wasn't until he realized he might not have enough support, even from his own party, that he caved and changed it to a delay.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:18 pm 
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"Governor Scott Walker's budget recognizes that this is not the time to force communities to take out very substantial loans to upgrade wastewater treatment plants. They can't afford these investments, nor can their ratepayers, your constituents," Stepp told the committee."

We hear these unsubstantiated, histrionic claims from the right all the time. Clean Air - "Can't have it as it would add $5000 to your electric bill." Clean Energy that does not destroy our natural resources - "Can't have it as it would cost $10 dollars a gallon for gas." Anything to try to scare the masses into compliance. What is the cost of a despoiled world, species and biodiversity gone, water you can't use, air you can't breath?

I do not post whole stories because space on forums is limited and I do post links to the whole story for those who do want to read it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:33 pm 
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http://www.thewheelerreport.com/release ... 5barca.pdf

According to Peter Barca, the Republicans raided the Employee Trust Fund yesterday!!!!!!! Another promise broken!!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:38 pm 
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According to Klem Kaditalhopper the tax and spend demacrats are unhappy that the state may get out of the financial sink hole and are doing everything that they can to keep it in debt. :wink: They are afraid that a balanced budget will make them look bad ! :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:11 pm 
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Kerry,
Read the rest of my post. The Walker objection was not to eliminate controls on phosphorous releases, just new & in my view possibly unattainable limits.

I give up. I'll leave the "Chicken Little" posts to the sensationalists currently commenting on this topic.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:58 am 
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For certain the sky is falling in our state. What I find interesting is that it's sensationalism and Clem Kadiddlehopper when it's the other side of the fence.
~strains of Wayland Jennings~

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:00 am 
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I agree with those who think the "sky is falling" mentality is being overplayed. Past governors of both parties have dealt with similar deficits. In past budgets governors interjected much less ideology. Scott Walker keeps telling us the sky is falling and he must get everything he wants. In the Budget repair bill he claimed we needed $137 million to balance the current budget and yet he had just given $140 million in tax breaks to corporations. His economic skills in balancing budgets is very much in question. Things like selling off state powerplants so his privately selected buyers can gouge taxpayers all they want will not benefit us. Destroying recycling will not benefit us. Accelerating the decline of our water resources will not benefit us. Destroying access to contraception will not benefit us. These things will cater to his supporters but are detrimental to the future of the state and taxpayers.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 09, 2011 11:37 pm 
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A tidbit I found interesting.

Just in case anyone wonders why Obama and all his friends are so hot to support/protect Labor Unions, particularly Government Employee Unions, check out the contributions on this Chart.

Source: Center for Responsive Politics, Wash., DC.

Leading Union Political Campaign Contributors 1990-2010

American Fed. of State, County, & Municipal Employees
$40,281,900 - Democrats
$547,700 - Republicans

Intel Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
$29,705,600 - Democrats
$679,000 - Republicans

National Education Association
$27,679,300 - Democrats
$2,005,200 - Republicans

Service Employees International Union
$26,368,470 - Democrats
$98,700 - Republicans

Communication Workers of America
$26,305,500 - Democrats
$125,300 - Republicans

Service Employees International Union
$26,252,000 - Democrats
$1,086,200 - Republicans

Laborers Union
$25,734,000 - Democrats
$2,138,000 - Republicans

American Federation of Teachers
$25,682,800 - Democrats
$200,000 - Republicans

United Auto Workers
$25,082,200 - Democrats
$182,700 - Republicans

Teamsters Union
$24,926,400 - Democrats
$1,822,000 - Republicans

Carpenters and Joiners Union
$24,094,100 - Democrats
$2,658,000 - Republicans

Machinists & Aerospace Workers Union
$23,875,600 - Democrats
$226,300 - Republicans

United Food and Commercial Workers Union
$23,182,000 - Democrats
$334,200 - Republicans

AFL-CIO
$17,124,300 - Democrats
$713,500 - Republicans

Sheet Metal Workers Union
$16,347,200 - Democrats
$342,800 - Republicans

Plumbers & Pipefitters Union
$14,790,000 - Democrats
$818,500 - Republicans

Operating Engineers Union
$13,840,000 - Democrats
$2,309,500 - Republicans

Airline Pilots Association
$12,806,600 - Democrats
$2,398,300 - Republicans

International Association of Firefighters
$12,421,700 - Democrats
$2,685,400 - Republicans

United Transportation Workers
$11,807,000 - Democrats
$1,459,300 - Republicans

Ironworkers Union
$11,638,900 - Democrats
$936,000 - Republicans

American Postal Workers Union
$11,633,100 - Democrats
$544,300 - Republicans

Nat'l Active & Retired Fed. Employees Association
$8,135,400 - Democrats
$2,294,600 - Republicans

Seafarers International Union
$6,726,800 - Democrats
$1,281,300 - Republicans

Source: Center for Responsive Politics, Washington, D.C.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:59 am 
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You leave out the disproportiate donation of money to republicans from groups like the Koch brother and other polluters, and anti-citizen groups.

For example AT&T gave John Boehner, (R-OH) $77,300 versus Harry Reid, (D-NV) $31,750 . I say we should have publicly financed campaigns and end the system of legalized money-for-favors completely.

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