Yesterday, news broke that the Wisconsin supreme court ordered a halt to the John Doe investigation into unlawful collusion between Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign staff and “independent” outside organizations, and further ordered destruction of all the evidence.
The whole deal stinks to high heaven. The same groups that conspired to violate campaign finance laws on Walker’s behalf also spent millions to get a conservative majority of judges elected to the state’s highest court. The very court– indeed, the conservative majority– that voted to protect the conspirators from investigation and prevent the public from seeing the evidence of their crimes. The decision has such broad reach, campaign corruption is pretty much legal in Wisconsin.
That gives you a pretty good look at how things are working in Wisconsin these days. So should anyone be surprised that pipeline companies are now writing special legislation that gives them free rein from local control in the state?
Steve Horn at DeSmogBlog posted a story today about how Enbridge– the folks who gave us the $1.2 billion pipeline spill in the Kalamazoo River– had its lawyers write up a piece of legislation that made its way into the state budget that prevents counties from requiring insurance of pipeline operators. Dane County, the liberal enclave that includes the state capital Madison, was demanding that Enbridge get additional spill insurance (remember: $1.2 billion) as a prerequisite to run its expanded tar sands pipeline through their land. (Enbridge had earlier had its way with the U.S. State Department, getting permission to expand the pipeline without going through a proper permitting process.)
But Enbridge’s fancy handiwork behind the scenes to block Dane County’s insurance demands is how things get done when the legislature, executive, and judiciary are all owned by the same corporate interests.