The star of the show at today's "Unfinished Business" rally at the Capitol by the People's Legislature surely was former Department of Natural Resources Secretary and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation director George Meyer.
The one-time member of Tommy Thompson's cabinet issued a stinging indictment of the Legislature’s stonewalling of a bipartisan measure restoring independence to the DNR by giving the authority to appoint the agency’s secretary back to the Natural Resources Board. Under Thompson, the authority was taken from the board and given to the governor.
The state Conservation Congress overwhelmingly supports an independent DNR, Meyer said, and not a single citizen testified against the legislation at public hearings. The only opposition came from a handful of business lobby groups.
Meyer saved his most damning remarks for the end, when he said there's a “supermajority” of legislators who have either sponsored the legislation or voted for it, yet Assembly leaders have blocked a final vote. He said legislative leaders have acknowledged to him that the Senate-passed bill would get somewhere between 70 and 75 votes in the Assembly, but it will not be debated because of “business opposition.”