Mar 26, 2015

Citizen Attendance at Wood County Board Meeting Angers Committee Chair

Those uppity clean-water activists in central Wisconsin have really done it this time.

At a March 24 meeting of the Wood County Board of Supervisors' Spray Irrigation of Waste Ad Hoc Committee Tuesday morning, an estimated 35 to 50 citizens attended the public and open meeting.

You read this correctly: Citizens attended a County Board meeting, visibly upsetting several Board Supervisors and Wood County Supervisor and Committee Chair Ed Wagner who voiced his displeasure at public attendance.

"The chairman of a Wood County committee tasked with studying the issues raised by agricultural manure spraying was not happy about seeing a crowd at Tuesday's meeting. ... "I don't like the fact that we have the public standing in the hallway," [Supervisor and Committee Chair Ed] Wagner said before moving the meeting to the Courthouse Auditorium. "I think this is an attempt to put pressure on the committee for one point of view." (Madden, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)

The public disagreed, saying they had a right to attend a public meeting.

"I had a chair right in front of Supervisor [Ed] Wagner (District 4-Marshfield) when he sort of grumbled, 'This was supposed to be a committee meeting not a public hearing.' This was at the time more people were showing up outside the door," said one member of the public.

The meeting was held in compliance with Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law mandating "all meetings of all state and local governmental bodies shall be publicly held in places reasonably accessible to members of the public and shall be open to all citizens at all times unless otherwise expressly provided by law.” Wis. Stat. § 19.81(2). (Wisconsin Department of Justice) (Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council)

Had Supervisor Wagner closed the open and publicly advertised meeting, Wagner would have been in violation of Wisconsin Open Meetings Law: "Any member of a governmental body who knowingly attends a meeting of such body held in violation of this subchapter, or who, in his or her official capacity, otherwise violates this subchapter by some act or omission shall forfeit without reimbursement not less than $25 nor more than $300 for each such violation." (Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law, 919.96 Penalty)

It's not clear if discouraging the public from attending open meetings is illegal.

"I asked Ed Wagner why he seemed so angry and agitated, he said, 'I put word out I didn’t want the whole big group and everyone shows up.' I said, 'Ed, I never received this message. It is a public meeting, correct? Not one person said a word including public comment, this has not been disruptive. I came here to listen and that’s exactly what we all did.' He said in the past there has been people that have been disruptive. I do not recall this. There has been, at times, public input that apparently is not welcome. [Supervisors] Hilde Henkel (District 10)  and Donna Rozar (District 2) talked of the risks we run being exposed to pathogens going into a supermarket, walking in the grass or as a surgeon (Donna’s husband) operating on a patient with AIDS, being exposed and dying from the disease. Their philosophy is everything has risk ... manure has very little. They have missed the boat!!!," said another attending citizen, Rhonda Cain-Carrell.

The Ad Hoc Committee deals with issues associated with the pollution caused by Spray Irrigation of liquid cow manure in Wood County, site of large potato operations among other concerns.

Spray Irrigation has drawn increasing scrutiny as the pollution of air, water and land has become apparent as the practice increases in Wisconsin. (Seely, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism)

Numerous Wisconsin towns and Bayfield County (Mullen, Ashland Daily Press) have banned the practice. Ten counties in Minnesota also ban manure irrigation. (Seely)

In manure irrigation operations, "high capacity wells can pump 100,000 gallons of groundwater per day or more (with some pumping up to 1 to 2 million gallons per day)," and combine the water with cow manure, sending back liquid cow manure onto crops, mainly corn and potatoes. (Wisconsin Lakes)

Central Wisconsin has more high capacity, industrial water pumps than any other region in Wisconsin.

"Pumping is measurably lowering groundwater and surface water levels where density of high capacity wells is high. Over 3,000 high capacity wells in the Central Sands Region are threatening surface water and groundwater level," notes the John Muir Chapter of Sierra Club.

From Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors:

March 25, 2015

A Disappointing and Disastrous Meeting

The Spray Irrigation of Waste Ad Hoc Committee met at the Wood County Courthouse on Tuesday, March 24th starting at 9:00 AM.  There was some confusion regarding the starting time as it had previously been scheduled to start at 9:30 AM, but this was later changed to 9:00 AM.

The agreed upon agenda for this meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee was an open discussion among the committee members about what they had learned over the last seven months and where they were headed. There was a high level of interest in this meeting and about 33 – 50 citizens showed up by 9:30. Committee Chairman Ed Wagner was quite upset that so many citizens showed up to attend an open meeting of the county board and made a number of insulting comments about the public attendance and stated that “this was no way to run a meeting”.  Apparently Ed does not believe in the democratic process. If anything, government officials should encourage citizen attendance at public meetings, not discourage it.

No citizen spoke during the open time at the beginning of the meeting as we all felt that we would have our heads handed to us if we did.

[Supervisor] Bill Leichtnam (District 19) had communicated with Ed well in advance of this meeting to expect a lot of citizens to show up and plan to have the auditorium available. Ed had resisted this advice.  Due to the overflow crowd, Ed finally began negotiations to use the auditorium at 9:20 AM and we all adjourned to the auditorium and the meeting began again at 9:30.

Ed Wagner guided and pretty much dominated the discussion with some technical input from Shane Wucherpfennig. Whenever Bill Leichtnam tried to offer input, Ed treated him with disdain. I really expect our county board supervisors to act in a more civil manner.

Ed outlined the these main areas of concern and there was some discussion around each point:
  • Water Quality
  • Ground 
  • Surface 
  • Air Quality
  • Public Health
  • Pathogens etc.
In the end, it appears that the committee will wait for the state-sponsored final report from the Manure Irrigation Workgroup, which may appear in about six weeks. This state report will provide “best practices” and will not have any force of law. Ed Wagner will also start writing a “draft” of the committee report.

I have surmised from the various discussions that this committee will not come out with any proposed county ordinances regarding the aerial spraying of manure.  I think the best we can expect from this Ad Hoc committee is a recommendation to follow the best practices provided by the state.  

This Ad Hoc committee, under the leadership of Ed Wagner, has proved to be totally risk adverse and dysfunctional. Bill Leichtnam has done everything he could to educate and energize the committee, but met a lot of resistance along the way.

Mar 25, 2015

American Rightwing Questioning Scott Walker

The rightwing is beginning to see Scott Walker is more craven and less principled than hoped.

Daniel Payne writing in the rightwing The Federalist calls out Scott Walker yesterday, and it has nothing to do about Walker secretly directing dark money contributions.

Payne writes about Walker's deep-sixing communications consultant Liz Mair.

"Mair’s departure, in other words, wasn’t about making 'people’s' lives better, it was more along the lines of making Scott Walker’s life better, and easier," writes Payne. "... [Walker's] response to Mair’s garden-variety opinion is disappointing and troubling, indicating that he’s less of a reformer than we thought, and less willing to take risks that might improve the country as a whole."

Eliana Johnson at the National Review Online writes, "Just a few months into the long 2016 primary campaign, the whispered doubts about whether Walker can successfully scale up are louder than ever."

Wisconsin Dead-Last for Middle Class; Outrage Grows over Dark Money

Wisconsin is worst among 50 states as middle class shrinks

"Wisconsin ranks worst among the 50 states in terms of a shrinking middle class, with real median household incomes here falling 14.7 percent since 2000, according to a new report," notes Mike Ivey in the Capital Times.

The Pew Report Ivey cites reports a declining Wisconsin economy made worse under Scott Walker as the Wisconsin brain drain—children fleeing the state looking for work—continues. (Murray, WTMJ; Mills, WPR)

"Youthoside," one Wisconsin grandparent tells me as younger generations appear to be targeted by Walker's policies for not voting for him. "Walker is killing our children's future for the benefit of special interests who fund his political campaigns."

The report of Wisconsin's shrinking middle class comes as Michael Isikoff's piece on John Menard Jr.'s $1.5 million dark money contribution to Walker's frontgroup, Wisconsin Club for Growth, was revealed this week.

Scott Walker's budget proposal provokes astonishment about where Walker's radical proposals attacking workers, education and the environment are coming from as Walker runs for president (Opoien, Captial Times). The answer is a few special interests looking out for themselves from whom Walker takes orders.

Walker's proposed radical demolishing of education and environmental protection are coming from billionaires' secret money directing Walker what to do.

"George Meyer, a former secretary of natural resources under Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, said the hardware baron [John Menard Jr. president of Menard Inc.] made no secret of his views on environmental enforcement. 'He told me he just didn’t believe in environmental regulations,' said Meyer. “He was upfront about it.'" (Democurmudgeon) quoting Michael Isikoff who broke the Menard dark money story.

Walker Statement on Pay to Play

Here's what Scott Walker had to say about John Menard Jr.'s secret contribution: "I haven't engaged in any of that and there's going to be lots of stories going forward," Walker said before walking away as an aide told reporters that he would not take questions. (AP, New York Times)

"When somebody says it’s not about the money, it’s about the money," warned the great journalist, H.L. Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore. Mencken's dose of common sense from the early 20th century fits Walker perfectly, the slippery man from Wisconsin who can't think on his feet.

Walker's confused statement on Menard's dark money contribution is similar to Walker's statement after the second John Doe II probe was reported in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in October 2013: "We expected that with a new Democrat candidate for governor in the race that there would be stories like this along the way," said Walker referring to Dan Bice's 2013 piece reporting law enforcement's probe of Walker and dark money, (Mal Contends) a probe Walker's allies are trying to kill at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. (Kilgore, Washington Monthly)

Boycotting Menard Inc. 

Menard Inc. is headquartered in Eau Claire, Wisconsin employing some 35,000 employees across the nation. (Reed Elsevier Inc.). Menard Inc is a privately and closely held S corporation, a subchapter S partnership (IRS), allowing profits to flow through to the partners without the corporation being taxed as a business entity. (Applebaum, New York Times)

Across Wisconsin, there is anger and a growing commitment to boycott Menard Inc., aka Menards.

"The corporations that show no civic responsibility and hide their actions from the press and public deserve no loyalty. Over the years I have shopped at the Menards Store and spent a bundle on home repair items. It stops today!," said writes a multi-generation Wisconsin family man. "If you are a corporation owner and truly believe in your political position, why not show it, why hide it from public view? On the other hand, if we, your customers, don't agree with your position is it not also correct that we show our displeasure?"

As John Menard Jr. prospers, other Wisconsin residents' grandchildren won't be living in Wisconsin long after they graduate from college.

One hopes the Republicans don't get their way and destroy Medicare and Social Security or the GOP's decimation of the older generations' earned benefits are going to resemble their grandchildrens'.

Mar 24, 2015

Isikoff: Scott Walker Got Secret $1.5 Million, Dark Money Contribution

Michael Isikoff's story on a massive contribution to a Scott Walker-aligned dark money operation is breaking hard.

This is Scott Walker, taking dark money from the One Percent and ripping off the 99 percent.

The recipient is Wisconsin Club for Growth, a GOP-front group to which Scott Walker helped direct money.

Both Walker and Wisconsin Club for Growth remain the subject of a John Doe probe which Republicans are trying to kill.

The contributor is John Menard Jr., the richest billionaire from Wisconsin looking for more.

"In the past two years, Menard’s company has been awarded up to $1.8 million in special tax credits from a state economic development corporation that Walker chairs, according to state records," notes Isikoff.

Mar 23, 2015

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Challenge Gets No Hearing Before Supreme Court

Updated - Wisconsin case assists GOP efforts to block voters likely to oppose the GOP

Voter Photo ID is law of the land in Wisconsin - Implementation will begin AFTER the Spring General Election on April 7

Update II: "Our legal team did an outstanding job defending Wisconsin law, from the trial court to the U.S. Supreme Court. Absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters, therefore, the law cannot be implemented for the April 7 election. The Voter ID law will be in place for future elections – this decision is final."—Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel

Update: It is possible that the four 'liberal' justices on the Court torpedoed this challenge to Wisconsin's Voter ID out of concern the five rightwing activist justices on the Court are looking to further slice off section(s) of what remains of the the Voting Rights Act. This suggests that the five GOP justices are so off-the-charts hostile to the Voting Rights Act, (enacted to enforce the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and for other purposes), that a radical policy of further disfranchisement is coming in the future, should the five GOP justices remain on the Court.
The U.S. Supreme Court decided this morning to reject a challenge by civil rights activists to Wisconsin's Photo Voter ID law.

The cases, Walker v. Frank (and a consolidated case), will not be reviewed by the Court, a refusal to hear a Photo Voter ID law on the merits in the first major challenge before the Court since Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (Indiana) (2008), a state-specific and content-specific opinion.

The Court will not rule whether Wisconsin's restrictive Photo Voter ID law abridges the right to vote without justification in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and the Voting Rights Act, Section 2.

Republicans nationwide have used Voter ID laws and other laws to target the disabled, minorities, classes of the elderly and young voters who have trended heavily Democratic in their voting patterns.

As noted in SCOTUSBlog, at issue in the Frank case is "Whether a state’s voter ID law violates the Equal Protection Clause where, unlike in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, the evidentiary record establishes that the law substantially burdens the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of the state’s voters, and that the law does not advance a legitimate state interest; and (2) whether a state’s voter ID law violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act where the law disproportionately burdens and abridges the voting rights of African-American and Latino voters compared to White voters."

Wisconsin's Voter ID law was upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in a heavily criticized opinion by Judge Frank Easterbrook on October 6, 2014 issued after voting had already begun in the 2014 general Fall election. Judge Easterbrook's decision is now operative.

The Voter ID law was enjoined days later after an order by the U.S. Supreme Court (now terminated) issued on October 9, 2014, (Mal Contends) reinstating U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman's decision and order issuing a permanent injunction on April 29, 2014.

After the Supreme Court order, Wisconsin's Republican attorney general at the time, J.B. Van Hollen, issued a statement contradicting the Court order, saying Wisconsin will "have voter ID on election day" in another GOP effort to confuse and mislead voters. (Mal Contends and Hall, Wisconsin State Journal) Van Hollen later backed away from his statement.

Frank v. Walker also features the extraordinary development of the federal appellate court's Judge Richard Posner's call for a rehearing of the Frank decision on October 10, 2014, a suggestion that failed five-to-five.

What is significant in Posner's 43-page request is the meticulous language in which Posner "includes a devastating response to virtually every false and/or disingenuous rightwing argument/talking point ever put forth in support of Photo ID voting restrictions, describing them as 'a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government,'" as noted by the legal-political writer Brad Friedman and other legal scholars across the nation. (Mal Contends)

Posner is the author of the 2007 appellate court decision upholding Indiana's Voter ID law in Crawford.

Posner in 2013 states that "data" and "evidence" on the consequences of judicial opinions ought help to guide appellate decisions on the constitutionality of state Voter Id laws, and other judicial decisions. (Posner, The New Republic)

The author of the 2008 U.S. Supreme Court opinion on Crawford, Justice John Paul Stevens (1975-2010), has also issued a statement after he retired in which he takes issue with Voter ID laws as a means of obstructing voters (Bravin, Wall Street Journal and Josh Blackman) and with the Court's evisceration of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. (Cohen, The Atlantic)

Mar 22, 2015

Scott Walker's Appetite for Money Leaves Wisconsin Behind

Wisconsin people stand together against the reckless, absent Gov.
Scott Walker. Walker's political "Dept of All" crafted a budget coming
from out of nowhere, maybe the visions of Walker. Walker says
God and his Church put him in this position for a run for president
and that he prays on every major political decision, including
his budget proposal. Jobs and honest work apparently are not
high on Scott Walker's list of thing to pray for.
"They ... smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back
into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever
it was that kept them together, and let other people
clean up the mess they had made."
― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Jobs, jobs, whatever happened to Scott Walker's 250,000 new jobs promise? A floor, not a ceiling, yes?


Scott Walker proves jobs no longer matter. Neither do promises.

Scott Walker is plundering Wisconsin for his perceived self interests.

As Walker jets across the nation, Wisconsin residents are left behind, bringing up the rear in job creation and becoming the unwilling recipient of a Walker budget proposal, eviscerating the DNR, public education and the University of Wisconsin System. Crazy.

Walker didn't run on these ruinous measures. Even right-leaning newspapers and residents who have protected Walker in the past are wondering where Walker's budget of destruction is coming from. So, increasingly is business (Torinus, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel).

So, Walker feels entitled to launch his shock-and-awe fire sale of Wisconsin to the special interests, funding his quasi-presidential campaign at the expense of small farmers, working families and the centers of rural communities called rural school districts.

All the while Walker takes the money to fund his project selling himself as a regular Wisconsinite and not a ideological zealot who doesn't know much about public policy.

"One hiccup in Walker selling himself as a regular guy is that regular guys don't have rope lines to keep reporters at a distance. During three public events on Thursday and Friday, he never was within earshot of national reporters following him. ... As Walker crisscrossed South Carolina, he never took questions in public from prospective voters, either. There were no town-hall style events, and when he met one-on-one with voters the media were kept from that room," notes John McCormick in Bloomberg.

That Walker speaks earnestly about making his political decisions after consultations from God is troubling, that Walker was caught on tape taking his orders from billionaires is disturbing.

But whatever happened to Walker's focus on jobs?

God must have told Walker to avoid question-and-answer sessions and questions about jobs as well because the few softball interview questions Walker entertains reveal a shallow and deceitful man.

The fact is Scott Walker is a pathological liar without a conscience, Walker is even targeting the disabled again.

I guess this utter lack of empathy for everyday people is God's will, if Scott Walker is to be believed.

Mar 20, 2015

GTAC Mining Protestor Gets New Civil Rights Attorney

Katie Krow Kloth targeted by Mining
Co. and Corrupt Wisconsin DA
A woman protesting the siting of a proposed massive open pit mine in Iron County Wisconsin (since effectively withdrawn) is serving a nine-month jail sentence after Iron County's notorious District Attorney Martin Lipske insisted on filing numerous criminal charges associated with a protest in 2013.

Today, conservationist Katie Krow Kloth was granted a change of attorney, and now local Iron County attorney Anthony Stella will be representing Kloth against another criminal charge, felony bailjumping.

Attorney Anthony 'Tony' Stella is well-known throughout Wisconsin and is regarded highly in civil rights circles and the Wisconsin legal community.

The felony bailjumping charge was tacked on against Ms. Kloth by Lipske, in keeping with Lipske's penchant for employing this charge as a means of maliciously inflicting stress onto disfavored criminal and civil defendants.

This state of affairs in which a sitting district attorney runs his office in a capricious and often volatile manner is virtually unknown outside of isolated Iron County in far-northern Wisconsin.

Local residents describe Lipske, whose law license was suspended for discipline involving "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misconduct" in 1990, as "terrorizing" the county with a sparse population of some 6,000 residents.

Lipske has been practicing in good standing since January 19, 1994, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Lipske was criticized by local residents of Ashland and Iron County, (speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation by Lipske), for stipulating last year to a deferred prosecution of a local politically connected man, Dennis D. Braun, involved in a child sex trafficking crime involving a 14-year-old girl who ran screaming out of hotel after being transported some 600 miles from Milwaukee to a hotel in the town of Mercer in Iron County. (Mal Contends)

Lipske minimized the incident saying, "the man only engaged in kissing the 14-year-old and providing wine." (KBJR News, Oct. 2, 2013), before agreeing to not prosecute Braun.

Braun was granted a liquor license in 2003 by the City of Hurley for an exotic establishment on Silver Street.

Mar 19, 2015

Wisconsin's Trial Run for New Law, Verdict Is In: Lives Are Cheap

Updated - The New York Times has a piece on the new Wisconsin law mandating outside agencies investigate cases of police shootings.

Erik Ljung has a video with the Times piece with compelling footage of community outrage against recent police killings of Paul Heenan (Schenider, The Capital Times) and Tony Terrell Robinson Jr. in Madison, Michael Bell in Kenosha (2004), and Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee (Luthern, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel; Mal Contends).

Killer cops in Madison, the most liberal city, notes Paul Gottinger in CounterPunch.

Writes Gottinger:
Since 1976 there has been 1,403 people convicted of a crime, sentenced to the death penalty, and then executed. This number is only slightly larger than the number of Americans killed by cops LAST YEAR ALONE.

Imagine if ISIS, or Black gangs were killing at this scale. What would the country’s reaction be?

Now we’re told to wait for the investigation of Robinson’s murder by the Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation.
Acclaimed former Madison Police Chief David Couper (ret) has been writing about the police assaulting the citizenry as enemies residing in the occupied territories for decades. Stop the Killing—Now, writes Couper in a particularly incensed recent piece.

Blind faith in outside law enforcement investigators (the Wisconsin Department of Justice led by a Republican with a history of corrupt political action) gathering evidence on police killings is what we have now.

Considering the investigation into the police killing of Tony Robinson under 2013 Wisconsin Act 348, why not a new law mandating an investigative agency with subpoena power composed of civil liberty activists, retired law professors, legal journalists and other academics?

The reason is murderous police would not stand a chance.

Being Police gives police a license to kill, and prosecutors a (qualified) license to lie.

The Times piece asks: "As this Times video explains, it would be the first case to test how effective the new law is. Could it help provide a new faith in the justice system?"

No, no faith.

The law, 2013 Wisconsin Act 348, the Times cites is indeed on trial, but the verdict is in.

There won't be a prosecution.

Don't blame Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne for this, Ozanne can't make up evidence that won't be presented to his office.
The law needs to be expanded and police killings considered in an objective sphere of justice and truth.

The Wisconsin DoJ will present the results of its investigation into the Tony Robinson killing within two weeks.

Consider that Wisconsin and the nation will never get the facts from the tainted Wisconsin DoJ whom adults know are playing politics every bit as much as 'law enforcement' in what passes for a criminal justice system.

In America, lives and liberty are cheap in the eyes of police and The Prosecutor, as the jurist Robert Jackson noted some 75 years ago.

Mar 18, 2015

Golf, Sand and Money in Pay-to-Play Game

Golf developer Mike Keiser gives $100,000s to Republicans and Wisconsin Republicans are giving back.

From the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign: "Mike Keiser, who is a frequent, generous contributor to state and federal Republican candidates and committees and conservative causes, contributed $11,100 to Walker between February 2012 and September 2014, and $10,000 to the state Republican Party last October, about two weeks before the November general elections."

In exchange, comes news, that "Two Republican legislators are sponsoring a bill that would allow an Adams County town to give a developer, who has contributed more than $21,000 to GOP Gov. Scott Walker and the state Republican Party in recent years, cash grants or loans to build high-end golf courses. The bill would make a one-time change in state Tax Incremental District requirements to allow the town of Rome to provide direct grants or loans to Chicago businessman Mike Keiser to build up to four golf courses and lodging on about 1,500 acres of land about 15 miles south of Wisconsin Rapids. Tax Incremental Districts are created by local governments through the state Tax Incremental Finance (TIF) program, which uses tax breaks and other incentives to encourage new businesses to locate on blighted land or in economically depressed areas."

See also Golf Course Developers and Walker Contributors Want State Favors.

This explains Keiser's silence about the proposed James Wysocki Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) near Keiser's proposed resort in the Golden Sands in central Wisconsin.

Keiser's resort bombs and Adams County which has the fastest falling property tax valuations in the state would be left to hold the bag.

House Hits EPA Science Advisors in Bill

House Republicans are still working to block the EPA from functioning against polluters and stop environmental experts from serving on the EPA's Science Advisory Boards. Wisconsin Republicans are joining the fight.

Yesterday, the House passed its new version of a bill, HR 1029, that would limit and delineate which scientists serve on the EPA's scientific advisory board.

The Wisconsin House Republican delegation all voted for the anti-science measure, except for Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Somewhere in Wisconsin's Gerrymandered Seventh District) who did not vote evidently out of his ongoing concern "to take our common sense values to Washington" and abstain.

House Democrats all opposed the GOP's anti-science measure.

As noted in Bleeding Heartland:

Cristina Marcos reported for The Hill:
The bill would prohibit the board, which advises the EPA on its regulations, from appointing members who are registered lobbyists. It would also require that at least 10 percent of board members be from state, local or tribal governments.

Republicans argued that the bill would increase transparency at the EPA. [...] But Democrats said the legislation would create unnecessary burdens and limit the number of environmental experts serving on the board by establishing a quota for people representing regional governments.

"Instead of improving the Science Advisory Board's (SAB) structure or operation, the bill will limit the quality of scientific advice that the EPA receives and allow seemingly endless delays in EPA's regulatory process," said Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.).
Emily Atkin reported earlier this month at Think Progress that the Science Advisory Board Reform Act
would change the rules surrounding which scientists are allowed to serve on the Science Advisory Board (SAB), a group that gives scientific advice to the EPA. The SAB reviews the quality of science used to justify EPA regulations, like rules that limit air pollution from power plants. Among other things, the bill sponsored by Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) would make it easier for scientists with financial ties to corporations to advise the agency, and would make it more difficult for scientists who have applied for grants from the EPA to join the board.

Scott Walker is working on similar state measure against using science against polluters as the health of Wisconsin families decreases in importance for the Republican Party.

President Obama's office has said he would veto any bill like HR 1029 that reaches his desk.