Published on Truthout
Top Ten Disastrous Policies From the Wisconsin GOP You Haven't Heard About
Kevin Donohoe | Saturday 26 February 2011
Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state while dismantling the healthcare programs, environmental regulations, and good government laws that protect Wisconsin’s middle and working class. These lesser known proposals in the 144-page bill reveal how radical Walker’s plan actually is:
1. ELIMINATING MEDICAID: a little-known provision that would put complete control of the state’sultra-conservative Health and Human Services Secretary Dennis Smith. Smith would have the authority to “to override state Medicaid laws as [he] sees fit and institute sweeping changes” including reducing benefits and limiting eligibility.
2. POWER PLANT PRIVATIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL NEGLECT: a rapid no-bid “firesale” of all state-owned power plants. --: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism” and suggested that the provision will open the way for large, politically connected corporations to buy up the state’s power plants on the cheap. — not dumped into the private sector.
3. DANGEROUS DRINKING WATER: Republican lawmakers have introduced bills in both the Senate and the House which would repeal a rule requiring municipal governments to disinfect their water. --. In 1993, 104 people died and 400,000 fell sick when the Milwaukee water supply became infected. Municipalities can keep their water clean for as low as $10,000 per well — but apparently for the Wisconsin GOP that is too high a price to pay to keep citizens safe from deadly microorganisms.
4. DESTROYING WETLANDS: In January, Walker’s proposed regulatory reform bill exempted a parcel of wetland owned by a Republican donor from water quality standards.
5. FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY: Walker said a bill this week requiring a 2/3 super majority in the legislature to pass any tax increase. Republican lawmakers are now reportedly considering a constitutional amendment that would make the rule permanent. A similar constitutional amendment in California has been called the “source of misery” of that state’s crippling budget crisis and has forced lawmakers to “gut public education, slash social services and health care programs, close prisons, and lay off record numbers of public employees.”
6. DISENFRANCHISING VOTERS: a bill that would require voters to present a photo ID from the DMV at the polls, making it significantly more difficult for the elderly, the disabled, college students, and rural residents to participate in elections.
7. CUTTING JOBS, LOSING THE FUTURE: Last fall, Walker killed an $810 billion federally funded high-speed rail project, forcing the Transportation Department to pull its funding. Walker’s decision killed 130,000 expected jobs and forced the Spanish company Talgo to close its Milwaukee factory and layoff its 40 person staff.
8. STIFLING INNOVATION: , Walker introduced a bill that would ban wind-powered energy from Wisconsin and exacerbate the state’s dependence on out-of-state coal. If passed, it’s estimated that the law would immediately eliminate $1.8 billion in new wind power investments and jeopardize eleven currently proposed wind projects. After a public outcry earlier this month, Walker’s bill is (for now) dead.
9. “NAKED POWER GRAB”: in a party-line vote, the legislature ceded “extraordinary control” of the state’s rule-making oversight process to the governor. Walker now has complete power to draft agency rules which the legislature must then either approve or reject. The law gives Walker the power to write rules for formerly independent state agencies like the state Departments of Justice and Education — and most ominously the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics watchdog.
10. POLITICIZING STATE AGENCIES: A provision in Walker’s budget repair bill would convert thirty-seven state employees from civil servants to political appointees — consolidating his power over state government and expanding his power to “hire, fire and move key employees to carry out his agenda.”
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said Tuesday, Walker has stopped acting like the Republican governor of a Midwestern state and has instead “basically taken on the position of a dictator” with a “vision of America that’s similar to somewhere like Nigeria or Pakistan.”
Source URL: http://www.truth-out.org/top-10-disastrous-policies-the-wisconsin-gop-you-havent-heard-about68116
The Tea Partyers obviously don't have a clue about the damage they will do to our democracy. I do wish someone with credentials they will listen to will educate them before it's too late.
Sarah Palin is not the one with credentials. I got this great one-liner from a friend.
"If would really speak her mind, she'd be speechless"
I can't leave without giving you another laugh. Check out this funny video featuring Jeanne Robertson.