Throughout human history politicians have always used their positions and influence to punish rivals or further their agendas. This is nothing new but in Wisconsin it always has to be taken to more and more lofty extremes to the point of punishing the foundation of science itself.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how Wisconsin just had to one up the assholes of the nation by sending out lay off notices to 57 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources employees on Earth Day. These were not just any employees but those that belonged to the science division of the agency. While the anti-science stance of the anti-environment, anti-wolf, anti-everything labeled “progressive” or “liberal,” Walker Administration should not come as a surprise the petty reasons behind these latest cuts are truly disturbing.
According to a news article published today the root of the DNR science cuts seem to lead back to one of the most vindictive and extreme anti-environment legislators in the state, “Taconite” Tom Tiffany (R-GTAC). Tiffany is a long time anti-wolf/anti-wildlife legislator but his extremism and profile were taken to new heights when he pushed for legislation to gut environmental regulations to pave the way for a giant open pit mine for out of state company, GTAC.
When the mining company announced in February that it was not proceeding with the mine, poor Taconite Tommy went on a whining rampage and proceeded to blame everyone from the Forest Service, to the EPA, to a federal judge relisting wolves (???), to Obama himself for the failure of his pet project. Says Tiffany:
Make no mistake, what occurred with GTac is not an isolated situation. The EPA and the Obama administration are openly hostile to natural resources utilization in our state and country. Not long ago, the president vetoed the Keystone pipeline — slowing our efforts for greater energy self-sufficiency. This is happening at the same time the U.S. Forest Service continues to restrict timber harvest on federal forest lands even though there is twice as much growth as harvest. A federal judge stopped Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan from managing wolves. And now the EPA is stifling mining projects from Alaska to Michigan.
Rural America is caught in the sights of a radical EPA, and northern Wisconsin residents’ economic prosperity is their latest casualty.
Funny. What Taconite Tommy fails to mention is that the EPA had NOTHING to do with GTAC pulling out. They were just a convenient scapegoat for the reckless company and Tiffany to fall back on when they could no longer hide the extreme destruction that the mining project would have brought. Tiffany also failed to mention how the plummeting prices of taconite made the whole operation not fiscally prudent for the company. But those facts can’t get in the way of the rural persecution complex that extremists like Taconite Tommy and his benefactors like to play off of.
Obviously upset with the nerve of scientists being scientists, Tiffany now has apparently set his sights on destroying the last remaining elements of science in the Wisconsin DNR because they dared not tell him what he wanted to hear. Even more absurd is Taconite Tommy also setting out to destroy the DNR science bureau because his “constituents” didn’t get to kill enough bobcats. This is not a joke. From the Cap Times article:
Many observers believe it’s because they’re the pet peeves of Sen. Tom Tiffany. Although the Hazelhurst Republican hasn’t announced he is behind the proposed cuts, he has been critical of DNR research since the cuts in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget were announced, called climate change “theoretical.” He has also penned scathing columns about the department’s efforts on CWD management and the state’s bobcat harvest quotas, which he thinks are too low.
This is where we are now folks. One arrogant and extreme state senator can now destroy an entire agency based on his own twisted biases and sense of revenge. But it’s not just wolves, bobcats, and wetlands, that Taconite Tommy has as reasons for destroying the science bureau. He also has a problem with climate change being studied by the scientists:
Tiffany didn’t return phone and email messages for comment. But in response to a question about his position on DNR research on climate change, he recently told the Milwaukee Journal, “I do have a real problem with them putting so much emphasis on that and making recommendations for changes in policies based on something that’s theoretical.”
So here we are Wisconsin. We are now being controlled by arrogant/ignorant/vindictive little men that we are apparently going to allow to push us around and destroy all that we hold dear. Let’s destroy science itself because poor Taconite Tommy Tiffany doesn’t get to kill enough bobcats or destroy enough wetlands. This is what our state has become.
Let Taconite Tommy know exactly how you feel about his petty vindictiveness and let your own state representatives know how catering to the childish whims of one little man and his biases are not an acceptable way for our alleged “democracy” to run.
Room 409 South
State Capitol Madison, WI 53707-7882
Telephone: (608) 266-2509
4973 Willow Dam Rd.
Hazelhurst, WI 54531
If you are a Wisconsin resident find your legislators here: