In recent weeks, Republican Senator Dave Zien has taken to publicly poking the Department of Natural Resources in the eye over the agency's handling of a proposed expansion project at Menards' Eau Claire headquarters.
Zien claims state environmental experts have treated the large home improvement retailer shabbily and cost the state jobs. It is the typical claim of awful treatment businesses and individuals make when they want to use their land anyway they please and the state won't let them.
But the DNR and some of Menards' employees involved in the project have said recently their relationship has improved and they are working together to find a way to make the project work.
Zien made his comments as a member of a newly created Senate committee - the Select Committee on DNR Regulatory Reform - which is roaming around northern Wisconsin to encourage DNR bashing and gin up support for Republicans running in the November elections.
There may be more to this for Zien, however. It turns out Menards' employees are Zien's second largest source of campaign contributions when grouped by employer, giving him $4,350 since 1993.