James Rowen
Op Ed

The Brown Water Republicans

GOP convention at Dells water park highlights environmental failings.

By - May 15th, 2017 02:35 pm
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Manure from large dairy operations has caused drinking water contamination in Brown and Kewaunee counties in recent years. Photo by Carolyn Betz of the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.

Manure from large dairy operations has caused drinking water contamination in Brown and Kewaunee counties in recent years. Photo by Carolyn Betz of the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.

No better place for Wisconsin Republicans to hold their 2017 state convention than a Dells water park, as the AP reports it.

You couldn’t find a more telling metaphor as Wisconsin slides down quality-of-life ratings, from road conditions to job growth, than a long, slippery slope where at the end you’re gonna get soaked.

Not to mention that such parks take extra steps to clean their water, while across Wisconsin there has been a surge in river and stream pollution.

And so many wells are tainted with Big Ag and feedlot contamination that Scott Walker felt the political need to rush out a pre-election bottled-water giveaway by the public sector he’s crippled to stem rural users’ repeat “brown water events” after years of pollution-inducing permit approvals by his so-called environmental ‘regulators.’

Thank you, Wisconsin Republicans, for putting “brown water events” into the news and vocabulary.

If you’re looking for a new Wisconsin slogan for Democrats, how about this?: Flush Brown Water Politicians.

It’s also ironic that Republicans would be meeting at a private sector park after slashing the budgets and staffing at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, where public parks under the DNR’s intentionally-weakened jurisdiction are raising fees and planning to sell naming rights and other privatized business opportunities to keep the parks afloat.

And they’re also considering a plan by Walker donor and property magnate Herbert Kohler to level much of a wetland-woodland-rare dune and native-artifact-rich nature preserve, and even to allow the development to acquire acreage in the adjoining Kohler Andrae State Park to build a high-end private golf course on the Lake Michigan shoreline south of Sheboygan.

Under Walker’s rule and the GOP’s one-party takeover of state powers, state waters and parks in Wisconsin ain’t what they used to be, so no surprise that the Republican Party would convene in a privately-controlled environment and artificial bubble.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment

Categories: Environment, Op-Ed

One thought on “Op Ed: The Brown Water Republicans”

  1. sharon pendleton says:

    The heck with shore-birds. Lets have another fine golf course that rich white men can drive to for a fun afternoon.

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