Bob Haase Another Can Of Worms

What We Can’t See Can Hurt Us!


It seems like more and more today we don’t pay attention to the things we can’t see maybe thinking that if we can’t see it … it can’t hurt us.  There are a lot of things happening around us that we should be paying attention to but most people don’t seem to care.  

In politics today decisions are not based on what is right, wrong, or in the best interest of the people.  The decisions are being made on what is in the best interest of the party and those that made the largest contributions to a candidate’s campaign.  Because of the Political Action Committees and Super PACs it is becoming more difficult all the time to trace the money candidates benefit from but don’t directly receive because of the way they operate.  We as citizens don’t seem to care where the money is coming from because we think it doesn’t matter.  It does matter because once a candidate is elected to office they no longer care what the people think… they just need to please those that gave them the money.

Another example of what is happening and most people don’t even know it is that local government is losing control and is being taken over by the Governor’s office.  The latest power grab that was just recently introduced to the budget bill would take away the power of a county or municipality to have any regulations that are more restrictive than the state requirements.  This might be regarding hunting within a city limits, set backs on building on lakes, or a variety of other things.  It used to be that the state would provide minimum standards and local government could provide stricter rules and regulations if the people want them.  Some of these might include safety measures for air and water quality or other things that might benefit the citizens but not big business.

Little by little the people are losing control and agencies that were intended to be there to support and protect the people are losing control.  Control is being given to the governor’s so that they can do whatever they want regardless of how it affects the people or our environment.  An example might be the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  In 1995 Governor Thompson slipped in a bill to make the Secretary of the DNR a cabinet position appointed by the governor.  This used to be done by the Natural Resources Board and this gave the governor more control.  The DNR was a separate agency that was not in direct control of the governor (one person) so that political influence could not jeopardize clean air, clean water, and other environmental issues. 

If you think that is not important you may want to ask why DNR staff are not allowed to speak to anyone about things such as air or water quality, or even mention the words “Global Warming” or Climate Change.  They are no longer allowed to give an opinion and need to be careful what they say in fear of being terminated… even if what they say is the truth.  I don’t care if you think positively or negatively about the WDNR, it is still their responsibility to protect air quality, water quality, and other factors that affect our health and the health of our environment.  Decisions need to be made based on science and fact and not political reasons and payback.  The governor as part of the budget bill has proposed eliminating 18 DNR staff positions in Science and Education.  These are the people that perform tests and monitor air and water quality to protect our health and environment.  Some of these are paid for by Federal Grants and money and are not even paid for by state funds.  You may not think that this is important but what you can’t see can hurt you and sometimes it is irreversible.  

Bob Haase is the host of “Outdoors Thursday” heard Thursday mornings at 9:10 a.m. on News-Talk 1450 KFIZ.