Wisconsin ALEC Republicans Caught Breaking Treaty Rights; Fitzgerald Announces Fatally Flawed Mining Bill Will Pass Anyway

January 13, 2012 by Barbara With

A shot of the inside of an ALEC brochure from the summer ALEC convention, August 5, New Orleans.

A shot of the inside of an ALEC brochure from the summer ALEC convention, August 5, 2012 New Orleans.

On January 11, Rep. Mary Williams brought her Jobs, Economic and Small Business Committee to Hurley, WI to hear public testimony on the new mining bill. Although Williams denies association with the right-wing Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Commission (ALEC), seven of the eight Republican legislators on the Jobs committee are or have been ALEC members. [list below]

Aside from the downright embarrassing behavior on the part of Williams and her fellow GOP towards the non-pro-mining public, their obvious refusal to recognize International Treaty Rights and their racist responses to members of the Anishinaabe Nation are reason alone to kill the bill. Perhaps the most telling comment of the night came from Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-45), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Alternate.

Dennis Grzezinski, attorney for Bad River had just admonished the committee for failing to consult with the tribes when writing the bill. “You should be ashamed and embarrassed to vote for this bill, we urge you to start over,” a relatively benign request seeing as the committee had already broken the law by not including the tribes in the negotiations. Grzezinski advised them to recognize the state’s legal obligation to consult with all the tribes when a project affects the resources that they have a right to use subject to treaties. “When you look at a bill and the series of entities who receive notice, who’s missing? The tribes! How can you do that?”

Loudenbeck, who claims to be a “certified environmental specialist” because of her work at the WMC as a “waste matchmaker,” expressed her distain for being addressed with such blatant disregard for her credentials. After demanding that she be treated with respect, she asked Legislative Council, the representative that sits on the committee to advise on the legality of the bill, to confirm that the bill does not remove Bad River Treaty Rights. The absurdity of this request was deafening, considering that the International Treaty Rights that Bad River has protection under recognize them as an independent, sovereign nation. Loudenbeck’s assumption that the mining bill could take away Bad River’s rights is the equivalent of saying that Scott Walker has the power to change the laws of Canada.

Follow the money, all roads lead to the Penokees.

Follow the money, all roads lead to the Penokees. (Click on picture to enlarge)

Several testified on the illegality of the bill and its relationship to ALEC, the neo-conservative legislation factory that writes bills to benefit the corporate interests of their members. Republican ALEC members go to conferences such as the one held last summer in New Orleans and sit on committees to help craft these bills. Loudenbeck, for example, was the alternate to the committee that helps write all the bills dealing with commerce, insurance and economic development. The Republicans then promise to bring home these bills to their legislatures and pass them off as their own.

According to Alecwatch.org, during the 1999-2000 legislative cycle, of the 3,100 pieces of ALEC legislation introduced based on their models, more than 450 were enacted. Add in a couple stolen national elections that allowed for nation-wide installation of corruptible Diebold voting machines, and away they went. With ALEC-backed politicians installed with their stolen votes, imagine how many ALEC-inspired bills got through in 2011 across the nation, especially the Great Lakes states where the water resides.

Nowadays, politicians are chosen for how well they will obey the ALEC-backed agenda. Corporate control at the polls gives them that arrogant swagger needed to look sick children and the poor in the eye and ignore them. Or outright break the law and pretend they aren’t, as in this case, pretending they never heard of treaty rights. Scott Walker, both Fitzgeralds, Robin Vos, Amy Loudenbeck and Mark Honadel are all perfect examples of prime ALEC politicians: willing to say and do anything, including breaking the law, to allow Cline Mines one more foot in the door to extort the state’s resources of iron ore and fresh water.

State ALEC-backed politicians also seek out city, town and village governments and enlist them to push through their agenda at record speed. We experienced this with the Ashland County Board’s rushed support of “responsible mining.” The five-member ad hoc committee is still engaged in a wild goose chase to define “responsible mining” while Jeff Fitzgerald already has announced his intention that this bill will pass the Assembly on January 19. [As of this writing, the bill’s entry into the Assembly has now been delayed until the 23rd.]

The Penokee Mountains are a veritable gold mine for Cline and Koch, and every subsidiary associated with Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce (WMC). Add that Scott Walker has been stacking the DNR with WMC people and you have a lovely example of the cross pollination of the mafia-like web of extortion ALEC appears to have installed.

Add the piece about where the iron ore goes—quite possibly to make weapons to sell to other countries to use against us—which lead to the profits of Haliburton and all the other defense contractors, including Dick Cheney, Karl Rove et al. Using more media fraud, now we hear how to we have to bomb Iran. Really? Up go their profits and down goes the world, and like the Kakagon-Bad River sloughs in the Penokees, never to be returned.

If this isn’t a long-term hostile takeover of the government, I really can’t imagine what else could be.

Have no fear, the good news is coming. But we all must understand that this is the level of corruption we are dealing with. We should be shocked and awed. We should also get ready to saddle up, and join the nonviolent movement to stop this mafia-like organization from stealing our state blind. Trust me, it will be fun!

Many of us who have been watching Wisconsin government for the past year feel that this mining bill is Jeff Fitzgerald’s initiation into the ALEC-funded fold. Having already announced his intention to run for US Senate, his funders have more than likely ordered him to get this bill passed at all costs. They know full well there will be lawsuits. Meanwhile, how quickly can they move forward as if they have the right? After all, Other Brother Scott orchestrated the last steal, trying to illegally pass Act 10 in the middle of the night last March. The only thing that overturned it was the denial of election fraud in Waukesha that put Prosser back on the bench.

AB426 is Jeff FItzgerald’s Act 10. This will show his meddle—what he can to, in the face of law, to advance the Koch agenda, no matter what. With Walker, Kleefisch, Galloway, Wanguaard,  Moutlon and Other Brother Scott about to be recalled, ALEC and the Kochs will need all hands on deck to keep control of Wisconsin. Judging from the actions of the ALEC-backed State Republicans in the Assembly thus far, their intention to pass the ALEC-inspired mining bill regardless of what We the People think, say or do is obvious. We are about to watch Jeff Fitzgerald and his mafia fan club commit what I would consider legislative fraud, right before our eyes. No amount of amendments they tack on to make it look legit will make up for the huge mistake of leaving the tribes out of the original negotiations. The entire bill should be killed.

If on January 23, Jeff and the Republicans pass the bill, we will see clearly who are traitors to the Wisconsin constitution. If they pass the ALEC mining bill after failing to follow the order of law and consult with the tribes, and considering all the testimony at both public hearings against this bill even from the pro-mining side, by all intent and purposes they admitted they are working for the Cline and the Kochs, not us. It’s treason. Anything short of killing the bill and the state patrol should be waiting to arrest them.

Let’s have a good old-fashion rally at the capitol, Monday, January 23, for as long as we need to. Let’s Occupy the Gallery to see what Lil Fitz and his legislative mafia-hit men and women decide to do. Come gather at our house, like the olden days, happy Badger state of yore …

Then hang around for Walker’s State of the State address on the 25th. Provided he is not arrested by then.


ALEC Members on the Jobs, Economy, and Small Business Committee
Rep. Mike Endsley (R-26), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Member
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-45), ALEC Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force Alternate
Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-33), ALEC Civil Justice Task Force Alternate
Rep. John Klenke (R-88), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Alternate
Rep. Joseph Knilans (R-44), ALEC Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force Alternate
Rep. Mike Kuglitsch, ALEC International Relations Task Force/Federal Relations Working Group Task Force Member
Rep. Warren Petryk (R-93), ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force Member

* Alecwatch.org

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19 Comments on “Wisconsin ALEC Republicans Caught Breaking Treaty Rights; Fitzgerald Announces Fatally Flawed Mining Bill Will Pass Anyway”

  1. Buffy Mills January 13, 2012 at 7:21 pm #

    Barbara.. I came to the Hurley hearing in the hopes that you would “educate me”. Instead, all I heard was ALEC this, D of J that. Nothing about the bill. Much like your article above.

    • jessie January 13, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

      Buffy, THAT was your educational opportunity! Sorry you missed it!!

      • Jody January 13, 2012 at 11:36 pm #

        Odd that one could go to a hearing like that, and not even have bothered to read the bill. Usually I understand a bill once I’ve read it, and I would certainly want to read a bill before attending a hearing on it. It’s not that hard to find that stuff online, but I guess you have to want to.

      • Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 7:17 am #

        strange assumption, and erroneous, that I did not read the bill. Because I chose to focus my testimony on an area pertinent to the process of creating and passing the bill does in no way indicate I didn’t read it. Not sure where you came up with that one. Maybe it goes along with the “JOBS JOBS JOBS” lie as well.

  2. Buffy January 13, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

    Oh, good!! If that is what I need to know about the bill and the mine, I guess I can make an informed decision now!!! NOT!!

  3. Buffy January 13, 2012 at 11:42 pm #

    I have read the bill. My point is that Barbara keeps saying that the people of Iron Co need to be educated and she didn’t even talk about the specifics of the bill or why she thinks the mine is going to be environmentally bad.

    • Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 7:14 am #

      Buffy, not sure why you think it is my responsibility to educate you. I did it on my own. I used critical thinking, I read about scientific evidence of the pollution it will create, I read about treaty rights, I read about democracy and process of how a bill should be created, with input from everyone including the dems.

      That you do not have to capacity to understand the RICO Act is again not my responsibility. That you don’t care that our process has been hijacked, that you have no understanding of what is really going on in state government this year is something only you can change. But start with Al, and we can go from there.

      And since everyone else had pieces to the puzzle, I felt my time was best spent with what I had to offer that was unique to the arguments against mines: That the republicans are breaking the law in many ways.

      If you were at the hearing as you claimed, you surely heard everyone else giving the environmental evidence. If not, well, gosh Buffy, sorry, no one can help you.

    • Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 7:21 am #

      plus if you read the bill like you claim and you still support it, even when most of the pro-mine people with any sense were anti-this bill,…well, again. you speak for yourself. god bless you.

  4. Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 7:37 am #

    Start reading here. This should keep you busy for a few days.


  5. Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Here’s more…


  6. Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    Here’s some more, more general about a time when we had no EPA and regulations to protect us. Funny we had many more jobs, EPA was going strong, no corrollation to EPA limiting jobs.

  7. Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    And here’s one about where Cline Mine money is coming from. Traced back to Karl Rove and the military industrial complex. Like in, this ore would go to make weapons to wage war very likely against the US. But what do you care about that right? It’s not the bill so it must not mean a thing.


  8. Buffy January 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    First of all, I don’t expect you to educate me… You have offered to do that…many times. And you are correct, there were many who testified about their environmental concerns Concerns, but no facts to support it. Ok, there were some who brought their facts.
    Thanks for all resources and links. I will be busy!!!
    Good luck, Barbara

  9. Cheryl January 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Thank you Barbara With. I read and appreciate the fact that you wrote the article. I can’t believe what they are doing to our great state. It makes me sick. I sure hope all the alec, tea party members get theirs. I don’t know why they picked our state, I heard a lot of guesses but I really don’t know. I hope someday we find out the truth. I do believe the koch’s are behind everything though.

  10. Christine January 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Please… it’s DISDAIN. “Distain” means something else.

  11. Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 6:53 pm #

    Buffy, all back and forth aside, besides all the reasons why there should never be any mining in this internationally recognized wild space that is the home to Bad River, and in those sloughs are their farms and fish, the food they eat. They have the right to say what would harm them. They have said, they have used all the best science. Did you hear Bob Tannen from MN, he was the older guy who worked in mines both in Hurley and northern MN. He is warning us, everyone is trying to warn the pro-mining people in Hurley what we already know.

    The difference between us, perhaps, I imagine because I never met you before, is that we are defending our homes, our water, our air. We are NOT trying to stop Iron County or Hurley from having economic prosperity. But the RICO complaint was meant to educate people on the unique situation going on in Wisconsin since 2011. I have been watching day and night for months as I have watched the republicans break the law. I was at the Supreme Court recount…I listened to hours and hours of government in action. I would never just frivolously file a RICO complaint. This hostile takeover is real, and its huge, and one way they succeed is to keep you and I fighting.

    I do not want to fight, I want to help the good people of Hurley understand why there will be no mines, and help us all come together with a new vision of economic prosperity that doesn’t harm the Penokees.
    SO really, forgive if I am snarky. I have had people attack me for wanting to save my property values, my own town’s economy, that will crash because of this, Bad River people, because I guarantee and we have all the evidence, that this mountaintop removal will destroy their food sources. That’s why, as a sovereign nation, with different governing systems and religion than the rest of us, they get protection to make sure this mine won’t kill them. They wrote it into their treaties.

    Thats the law. Either you respect the law, understand why your neighbors are saying no, and maybe be thankful that, since there won’t be mines, your neighbors who you have been fighting are offering you a way to create a new economic vision without the mines. We have TONS of great ideas, real ways to start to make money up here. From big to small.

    But you wont hear the jobs committee breathe a word of it, because, as my complaint says, they are here to rig it for the mines, no matter what it does to you or me. They KNOW they are going to pollute your water, too but by the time they use you to get their foot in the door, it will be too late for you and I anymore. Once they start the pollution, it won’t stop. It won’t matter how much money we have to sue them, they don’t care.

    I had a woman in IL write me last month, she too is complaining to the D of J because of Cline. Same reason. Told us one thing, once he got in, did quite another and now we can’t stop him.

    Lastly, I hear that people want their kids to come back and live. Did you hear the woman from Bad River whose son is in the military? If you put this mine is, he has nowhere to go. It will destroy him. He wont’ come back BECAUSE of the mines.

    ON Madeline Island, almost all our kids come back, and we don’t have tons of jobs. what we have is community, clear air, clear water and lots of love and respect. We look after each other.

    Believe it or not, all us anti mining people are looking at your long range health. We don’t want you to have to die of lung cancer for work. There are better ways.

    Join us!

  12. Barbara With January 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

    And by the way, anyone from Hurley here, I am sorry I insinuated that you are all criminals. I was wrong to post the article about Pete, and I deleted it. But please, understand, there are certain criminal elements in this mining push, and I have been targeted. And Mary Williams and her Republicans have been arresting people in the gallery in Madison illegally. Over 50 or more arrests or tickets, order by her party, refusing to allow us our 1st Amendment rights, which is illegal. She partly held the meeting in Hurley because she could not bring any of her own police force onto Bad River. Was there a need for six cops? Really? They were bored to tears. There was never any even hint of trouble. Who pays for the cops they use to do these things? Us the taxpayer.

    Imagine if they would have had the meeting in Bad River on a Saturday. So many more could come, we could have had bigger daycare, maybe even a potluck for all hearing testifiers to eat and enjoy while they wait. But no.

    Anyway, I’m sorry I posted that bad article. Forgive me. I would not enjoy at all if I had three relatives with history and you threw it in my face.

    I am not at all afraid to admit when I am wrong.
    Kind regards….

  13. Gay January 15, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Go Barbara With. Many who foolishly over-react to small grammatical and usage problems will dismiss your excellent ideas unless you tend to these issues, though. They already have. Don’t let this trivia hinder your truthfulness.

  14. Irene January 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I read the dialog between several posters on whether the issue that should have been addressed at the meeting is: 1. whether the bill was a good one or bad one or 2.whether the tribes should have been consulted or not. I have successfully lobbied against a quarry (an open pit mine) in the SE corner of the state. Believe me that by the time mining interests in a particular area have become public they (the mines) believe that they have whatever legislative backing is needed. The issue of whether its “good or bad” is no longer up for debate. What you have left to fight with is irregularities such as not consulting the tribes. You have to use these to continue to be before the public eye and to play for time. Time and the public are actually on your side in these issues. Barbara With and the others absolutely took the right approach.

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