06 March 2008

Glenn Grothman: Wrong on the Great Lakes Compact.

Hi everyone,

Well, holy smokes. Good to know that as far away as Staten Island New York, Glenn is giving people everywhere an impression of who we are.

Senate approves Great Lakes Compact - NewsFlash - SiLive.com

3/6/2008, 8:15 p.m. EST
The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate passed an interstate treaty Thursday designed to keep arid states from pulling water out of the Great Lakes. But it appears doomed anyway in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The 26-6 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber sent the Great Lakes Compact to the state Assembly, where Republican leaders have raised objections to part of it.

The Republicans run the Assembly, and they aren't happy with a provision that would let one Great Lakes state block a city's request to use lake water. The legislative session is set to end next week, too, leaving little time for revisions or compromises that could pass both houses.

"This is one of those bills everybody knows is not going to pass next week," Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, told his colleagues before they voted Thursday.

I have to say I admire this kind of advocacy, but all the other Americans on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario have said this was a good idea. The Canadians too. Glad to know that Glenn will say "no" no matter how much this isolates us from the rest of the... well, world.

On the other hand, stubbornness for stubbornness sake is not a sign of intelligent commitment, but a kind of psychopathology.

I mention it in passing, and because it's interesting to know that people in other parts of the county now have a pretty interesting idea of who we are. First the Garter Snake crusade, now this.



Boxer said...

Grothman is the ONLY legislator to vote NO on the GL Compact whose district includes any Lake Michigan shoreline--all others in the Gang of Noes are landlocked: Kanavas, Lazich, Kedzie, Fitzgerald and Schultz.

Makes you wonder how those constituents, shore owners, and in-basin residents feel about being sold out--once again--for partisan politics.

clyde winter said...

The Great Lakes Compact has been worked out over five years of negotiations between states bordering the Great Lakes with the intention of fashioning a compact that will protect the lakes and will (excuse the expression) hold water, in this era of "free trade" and corporate avarice for control and commercial exploitation of all natural resources of the planet.

It is needed to replace the existing federal law which currently protects (somewhat) the Great Lakes, but which is in jeopardy because of "free trade" legalities, and is only meant to be an inadequate stopgap until a Great Lakes Compact is achieved.

The current baseline Compact is the result of those interstate negotiations, and has already been ratified by most other state legislatures. It was recently approved by a majority of Republican state Senators in Wisconsin, and by all Democratic Senators. The overwhelming vote was 26 to 6. Glenn Grothman was one of the six naysayers.

Now the leadership of the Republican majority Assembly is derailing the Compact by refusing to bring it to a vote this session. Mark Gottlieb is one of those who is opposing a vote in the Assembly on the Compact now. He (and other Republican opponents of the Great Lakes Compact) are obfuscating the issue and camouflaging their reasons and their obstruction.

Gottlieb has told constituents who write him that he has a "primary concern" about what he calls the "unanimous approval provision" in the Great Lakes Compact. Here is some background on Gottlieb's argument.

The Compact language has been hashed out over several years by governmental representatives of all Great Lakes states. All of these bordering states must pass the same baseline resolution in order for the Great lakes Compact to be adopted. And these states already modified the initial proposal, at the specific request of Wisconsin, to allow municipalities that are partially within the watershed to use Great Lakes water, subject only to the approval of their own Governor, and provided they return the water (clean and not hot) to the watershed. The proposed Compact also allows municipalities that are entirely outside the watershed, but are in counties that are partially within the watershed, to use Great Lakes water as long as they properly return the water to the watershed, and the Great Lakes water use is approved by all governors of the signing states.

The current federal law (that the Great Lakes Compact would supercede if and when it is ratified) does not allow the exemption for municipalities that are partially within the watershed. Existing federal law requires any diversion outside the watershed to be approved by all Great Lakes states. Moreover, under the existing federal law, no state has ever vetoed any temporary diversion of Great Lakes water that is returned to the watershed.

So Gottlieb and Grothman, et al, are in the minority of legislators who propose throwing the carefully negotiated concession (with its "improvement" over the existing law, that was made at Wisconsin's request) back in the face of the other states.

If the Assembly (following Gottlieb's and Huebsch' and Gunderson's and Grothman's nihilistic strategy) modifies the Great Lakes Compact before approving it (or if they simply sidetrack it by not allowing a vote) this will likely be the kiss of death for the Compact.

Time is critical, right now, as is a groundswell expression of support from concerned citizens. Let me know, please, if you notice any errors or omissions. For those of you who have long labored in the trenches on this issue, Thank You for your efforts to protect the Great Lakes.

Mpeterson said...

Thank you Clyde.

clyde winter said...

(Here's an additional "comment". You may want to place both this and my previous essay as separate posts, if they deserve and may thus get greater exposure.)

Three Wisconsin Senators voted NO yesterday against the thirty Senators who voted YES for SB 397, a bill to keep toxic electronic waste out of landfills by requiring that producers of such waste collect and properly recycle or dispose of junk video display devices.
Who were the "Toxic Three"? Grothman, Lazich, and Liebham ("representing" Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha/New Berlin).

Senator Grothman was also in:

the "Tainted Ten" who voted against the Impartial Justice Bill,
the "Clueless Clique" of six who voted against the Compassionate Care for Victims of Rape Bill,
the "Great Lakes for Sale Six" who voted against the Strong Great Lakes Compact,
the nine who voted against appointment of the DNR Secretary by the Natural Resources Board instead of a political appointment,
the "Toxic Three" who voted against reducing mercury emissions from obsolete industrial processes.

Grothman is quite comfortable being in the tiny minority! I believe that if citizens in the 20th really knew how Grothman votes, they wouldn't return him to the legislature this November.

The ONLY bills tracked and endorsed by the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters that Senator Glenn Grothman did NOT vote against, were a few bills that were approved unanimously by voice vote.

Unfortunately, so far, it appears that Glenn Grothman will not even have any opposition when he "runs" for re-election this November.