Government and Political News: Gov. Walker seeking federal aid to help those in northwest WisconsinWisconsin News
-- Governor Scott Walker is seeking two types of federal disaster aid to help parts of far northwest Wisconsin that were flooded out in mid-June.
Governor Scott Walker is seeking two types of federal disaster aid to help parts of far northwest Wisconsin that were flooded out in mid-June. Walker asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency yesterday to help U-W Superior and local governments in three counties cover the cost of flood damage to public facilities. And he asked the Small Business Administration to help Douglas County homes and businesses. If the FEMA request is approved, officials in Douglas, Bayfield, and Ashland counties could get up to 75-percent federal aid to fix things like roads that were flooded out. The same is true for the Red Cliff Indian reservation north of Bayfield. U-W Superior had flood damage in 14 campus buildings, including the library and power plant. Walker said there was not enough damage for FEMA to help home-and-business owners, and that’s why he’s seeking the S-B-A’s disaster aid. Just over two dozen homes and businesses in Douglas County had significant damage – and over 40-percent of the losses were not covered by insurance. Northwest Wisconsin was pounded by over six inches of rain on June 19th-and-20th. Nearby Duluth Minnesota had 10 inches and a lot more damage. And FEMA rejected disaster aid for those homes-and-businesses as well. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is appealing that rejection.
Rock legend Ted Nugent says Tommy Thompson will crush the quote, “embarrassing scourge” of political correctness if he’s elected to the U-S Senate. Nugent, a fervent gun rights supporter, performed for about 200 Thompson supporters last night in Sturtevant, west of Racine. Nugent said the Obama administration is working with the United Nations to end Second Amendment gun rights in America – and he said Thompson would fight to preserve those rights. And the musician said the former governor would go to Washington and quote, “represent working hard, playing hard, productive, good Wisconsinites better than anybody I can imagine.” When Thompson introduced Nugent, he described the star as a “great American” who lives, breathes, and speaks about freedom. Thompson is one of four Republican candidates for Herb Kohl’s Senate seat in the August 14th primary. Polls have Thompson ahead of Eric Hovde, Mark Neumann, and Jeff Fitzgerald.
Some Democrats and environmentalists take issue with a business group’s suggestion that negotiations on a new mining bill be halted until after the November elections. A July 19th letter from the Wisconsin Manufacturers-and-Commerce group surfaced yesterday. It urged the state’s mining association not to talk to anyone about possible compromises, until it’s known whether Republicans will regain control of the Senate in the next session in January. The letter said that if the G-O-P can gain a two-vote majority, it could have a better chance to pass what a mining company wants. Back in March, senators failed to pass a bill that would have relaxed regulations – and it made Gogebic Taconite scrap a new iron ore mine it was planning to create near Hurley. Since then, the mining association has been talking with key parties on what might be acceptable. But in his letter, Jim Buchen of the W-M-C business group said quote, “Premature discussions will only make it more difficult to get an acceptable bill passed later if we find we have enough votes.” Senate Democrat Bob Jauch of Poplar accused W-M-C of trying to lock the public out of the matter. Former D-N-R Secretary George Meyer, who’s now with the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, said it’s quote, “incredible” that W-M-C objects to miners and conservationists getting together to revise a law that could create jobs. But W-M-C lobbyist Scott Manley says there’s already been lots of public input on the mining issue. He said a heavy public discourse on the bill has already been had, and major compromises were made.