Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The $700K question of Scott Walker's new attitude toward mining

So by now we all know that Gogebic's $700,000 donation couldn't possibly have influenced Scott Walker, according to Scott Walker. See, our grand governor has always been pro-mining. Except when he wasn't, of course.

In fact, he helped block a proposal to construct another major mine in northern Wisconsin years ago.
In 1998 — as a member of the Assembly — Walker voted in favor of a mining moratorium that put the brakes on a proposed copper and zinc mine near Crandon. The measure passed in the Assembly on a 91-6 vote and was signed into law by Gov. Tommy Thompson.
The mine was never built.

 A far cry indeed from his more recent actions.

In March 2012, state senators rejected legislation aimed at clearing the way for the $1.5 billion mine. Just two weeks after Walker won his recall election that year, he launched an effort to put together a bill favorable to Gogebic Taconite.
The GOP-controlled Legislature passed a measure last year rewriting the state's mining laws, a bill that the mining firm helped draft. An alternative proposal by three state senators — Democrats Bob Jauch of Poplar and Tim Cullen of Janesville and Republican Dale Schultz of Richland Center — failed to garner support

Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now perhaps phrases it best:

"The record is clear: Scott Walker the legislator was for tougher environmental laws on mining before Scott Walker the governor was against them," said Ross, who gave $250 to Walker's opponent, Democrat Mary Burke. "The '$700,000 Question' remains — what changed Governor Walker's mind?"

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