Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Support Dale Schultz

The following is a letter to the editor of the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter I submitted earlier today.

Dear editor:

All too often these days politicians see their their self interest as being entwined with their party's ideology. There is the party line and it must be toed regardless of the facts. When things go wrong the blame is for the other guy even when the party overreaches and does or tries to do something so outrageous that it breaks all civil notion of public interest. Compromise is for that other guy.

Before the Legislature is Assembly Bill 486. This mining bill commits such outrages as forcing the DNR to issue the permit even if the department knows that the mine will endanger public health or safety, explicitly orders them to ignore groundwater contamination, allows the draw down of lakes and rivers from not only the mining area but anywhere in the entire region with no limits. Toxic waste can be dumped in wetlands at will. This is not specific to the Ashland site but any mine anywhere in the state now or in the future. And worse, the Walker administration will raid 40% of local impact fund to shore up their creaking budget.

Republican Senator Dale Schultz has had enough. Citing what he calls the “golden rule of this state's treasured land ethic” he has bucked his own party's land grab for Gogebic mining. Perhaps he truly believes in that ethic or perhaps he has listened to his constituents who oppose the bill by 2 to 1. It doesn't matter. That is what politicians should do and Schultz deserves the credit. But he is under tremendous pressure. He needs other Republicans to join him and we can help. Call your representatives and tell them to Support the Schultz Jauch compromise. If they refuse, ask them why compromise is a bad thing and who they see as partisan.

BREAKING! Ziegelbauer Tells the Truth! - almost

In a February 19th interview with 25th Assembly district Bob Ziegelbauer he is asked if he lost his committee chair because of his vote on abortion (as he formerly claimed).
At the time I criticized that excuse for being a misdirection.  He had in fact been fired because he was a no show for committee meetings and votes.

It seems his story has changed just a bit.  In the interview he states the following:

CT: Before you left the Democrats, they stripped you of your committee chairmanship over abortion issues?
BZ: Well yeah, it was because I didn't vote on a couple procedural motions that are supposed to be required voting -- back to that "you have to vote with us" deal. When I did that I understood fairly well that that could be the result, so I didn't go off stomping mad or anything. It was a very civilized transaction -- the speaker told me this is why and I'm taking your chairmanship and basically all I could say is OK because he had the power to do it.
Read more:

In fact the story has changed several times.  In this version he claimed it was because of a vote that he "took".

Sept. 18, 2009 | Madison – Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer (D-Manitowoc) was replaced as chairman of the Assembly’s Committee on Ways and Means because of a vote he took on a state budget amendment, the nine-term lawmaker said Friday.
“It’s discipline, I was fired,” said Ziegelbauer, who frequently votes differently from the rest of his Democratic colleagues.
He said Sheridan told him the decision was made because of his vote on an amendment offered by abortion opponents during the budget debate. Ziegelbauer voted with those who wanted to overrule a decision by the body’s chairman to not consider the amendment.
The amendment from Rep. Dan LeMahieu (R-Cascade) would have prohibited state Medicaid funds from going to hospitals that perform second- and third-trimester abortions.

Pants on fire?
But was it then or is it now?