Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The new legislative session opened on Monday, and leaders in both political parties said the right things about the need for bipartisanship in the Capitol. Those pleasant words will soon be tested by rehashing last year’s bitter battle over a bill to make it easier for mining companies to set up shop in Wisconsin. 
Both parties want this legislation, but can't agree how many environmental safeguards need to be in place. Democrats want more. Republicans obviously want less. 
Of course, Republicans have majorities in both houses and Scott Walker in the Governor’s Mansion, so they could conceivably ram through whatever they wanted. That didn't work last time around, when Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, refused to vote for a Republican bill that didn't do much to protect the environment and local communities affected by mines. 
In a state that just witnessed two years of protests, and a series of recall elections, the moderate approach to mining legislation that appeals to Republicans a some Democrats is best. Unfortunately in politics nowadays, if you are not talking about a member of the opposite party, moderate is a dirty word.

 To buy a print of this cartoon or download a digital copy, visit