By Jeff Simpson
One of my absolute favorite writers in WI is Ruth Conniff, who recently received a well deserved promotion to editor of The Progressive Magazine.
I usually love her work, and make a point to read all of her columns.
Today I vehemently disagree with what she wrote about the recent United Sportsmen controversy.
What does United Sportsmen have to do with all that?This is where I disagree.
Since it was formed two years ago, the group has spent a lot of money lobbying for a wolf hunt, easier access to wetlands by developers, and the massive open-pit mine proposed by Gogebic Taconite in northern Wisconsin -- including a measure to keep hunters and other outdoorsmen off the land where GTAC wants to build its mine.
Doesn't sound like much of a conservation group, does it?
Oh, and it sent out a mailing, along with Americans for Prosperity, supporting Republicans in the 2011 recall elections.
Former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, who is about to start making a big salary as a Walker appointee to the Public Service Commission, carefully crafted grant language to exclude real conservation groups from getting the $500,000 state grant. If you were a chapter of a larger, national organization, you were not eligible for the money.
Suder rigged the grant for United Sportsmen. But also, by writing the rules the way he did, he jeopardized $28 million a year in federal wildlife management funds.
Talk about not upholding Wisconsin values.
This is EXACTLY what Wi values are now.
Until we prove otherwise in an election, reward donors, punish enemies and grab for taxpayer cash are the new WI values.
Good Government, responsibility, fiscal conservatism, bipartisanship, wanting to benefit all, hard work and earning your pay, are all Wisconsin values of years past.
As they say that ship has sailed.
If you don't believe me, just do an Open Records request for a typical say in Scott Suder's life.
The lobbyist for a self-described sportsmen group offered free fishing excursions to then-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder just days before an affiliate of the group secured a now-canceled $500,000 grant from the state, newly released records show.Don't worry Ms. Conniff, Rep. Nick Milroy agrees with you.
Suder, an Abbotsford Republican, went on the Lake Michigan outing with the head of the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin in August, about 21/2 months after he engineered money for the grant into the state budget. Also scheduled to be on the Aug. 22-23 trip were a lobbyist and a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. The former NRA lobbyist, Darren LaSorte, is also a board member of the foundation affiliated with United Sportsmen.
"Public officials are held to a higher standard," Milroy said. "The people who elect us expect more of us than this."
No Mr. Milroy, unfortunately the people of Wisconsin no longer do.