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Our view: Jauch, Wisconsin losers in missed mining venture
Duluth News Tribune ^ | March 08, 2012, 12:00 AM | Editorial staff

Posted on 03/08/2012 5:54:54 PM PST by Hunton Peck

A couple of years back, along Wisconsin’s borders, three words were added to the bottoms of the “Wisconsin Welcomes You” signs. “Open for business,” the additions announced.

But is Wisconsin? Really?

You wouldn’t have known it this week, not after the state’s Senate rejected mining legislation despite months of dealings and negotiations. Frustratingly, deliberations devolved into divisive, bitter debates along party lines. While politicians seemed to be doing little more than jockeying for credit while making sure the other party couldn’t score a victory, the state — and especially northern Wisconsin — was losing.

We lost big.

In the wake of the Senate’s rejection, Gogebic Taconite LLC threw up its hands in frustration and abandoned Wisconsin. The prominent mining company took with it $1.5 billion of promised private investment and 600 to 700 good-paying jobs, and in a region racked by low wages and high unemployment.

“We get the message,” Gogebic President Bill Williams said in a statement. “Senate rejection of the mining reforms (sent) a clear message that Wisconsin will not welcome iron mining.”

And is not open for business, not really.

Gogebic proposed the same sort of open-pit mining that’s been going on safely and successfully across northern Minnesota for more than 100 years. There suddenly are concerns? The proposal wasn’t for a more-controversial type of mining, though you wouldn’t have known it listening to critics who seemed either confused or eager to spread misinformation. Gogebic proposed a mechanical process. There weren’t even to be chemicals involved.

Gogebic proposed something else, too: a set time frame for knowing whether necessary permits would be forthcoming. A deadline seemed a reasonable request, especially with current state law including a rather business-unfriendly, open-ended permitting process that can leave companies tied up and in limbo for years.

The proposed mine site in Ashland and Iron counties is within the district represented by Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar. That’s the same Sen. Jauch who threw a political tantrum last year and fled to Illinois, abandoning his post and his responsibilities. He should have been a leader in making sure Gogebic’s proposal became reality. Instead he offered delays and counterproposals, and he consistently opposed what was brought by Republicans.

Jauch didn’t return a phone message from the News Tribune Opinion page Wednesday. His office instead provided a statement also posted to Jauch’s website,

senate/jauch. In it, Jauch expressed disappointment at Gogebic’s decision.

With its ability to move forward thwarted by Wisconsin politicians, Gogebic is expected to take its

$1.5 billion to neighboring Michigan, where it already has had positive talks with state leaders. Michigan’s gain could be Wisconsin’s loss.

“We let something slip away,” Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, R-Horicon, said in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report yesterday. Added James Buchen of Wisconsin’s largest business lobby: “It’s a missed opportunity for the folks in northern Wisconsin to have an economically secure future.”

That’s a northern Wisconsin with a jobless rate of about 9 percent in Iron and Ashland counties and a median income in Iron County of $35,618. The statewide median income is $51,598.

“Simply put, the folks up (here) really need good-

paying jobs and the attendant growth in business that comes with this kind of economic development,” Joe Karius, retired publisher of the Daily Globe newspaper in Ironwood, Mich., wrote in a commentary last month in the News Tribune about the Gogebic proposal. “Getting this mine going makes economic sense even beyond job creation. On a grand scale, getting iron ore out of United States soil reduces our dependence on imports.”

That all seems lost now — lost, apparently, to the political posturing and gamesmanship of politicians who should have been focused on the people and the region they were elected to represent and help.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial; Government; US: Wisconsin
KEYWORDS: bobjauch; duluthnewstribune; mining; miningbill
If it weren't for the obligatory pious baloney about "partisan bickering", this would be an outstanding editorial from a most unlikely source.

The fleebagging senator, Bob Jauch, referred to, represents the WI district adjacent to Duluth.

1 posted on 03/08/2012 5:54:57 PM PST by Hunton Peck
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To: Hunton Peck

This ALL thanks to Wisconsin DEMOCRATS and Rep. State Senator Dale Schultz....but then I repeat myself

2 posted on 03/08/2012 6:02:25 PM PST by bigbob
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To: Hunton Peck; Diana in Wisconsin; TaMoDee; P from Sheb; Shady; DonkeyBonker; Wisconsinlady; JPG; ...

Wisconsin loses mining company ping

FReep Mail me if you want on, or off, this Wisconsin interest ping list.

3 posted on 03/08/2012 6:54:35 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
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To: Hunton Peck

The Dumbocrats in Wisconsin won’t support anything that may make Gov. Walker look good, hence the vote to kill the mining bill. They figured they could vote it down, recall Walker, then pass it and act like job-creator heroes. But, when they voted it down, with the help of a mega-RINO Schultz, the mining company said, “see ya later, we’ll go to where we’re welcomed.” That stunned the Dumbocrats who now realize they blew it, they’re looking like job and economy killers, and their hate-Walker mantra shines brighter.

4 posted on 03/08/2012 7:14:47 PM PST by From The Deer Stand
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To: From The Deer Stand

This is truly sad.

There once was a time when every little town in Wisconsin had a dairy or paper mill or some other industry based on local resources. Not so much any more.

5 posted on 03/08/2012 7:50:02 PM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Beware the Sweater Vest)
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To: From The Deer Stand

“But, when they voted it down, with the help of a mega-RINO Schultz, the mining company said, “see ya later, we’ll go to where we’re welcomed.”

Looks as though the Wisconsin Pubbies need to do something about Dale Schultz! Things will not get better until there is discipline within the ranks of the GOP. We can’t wait for the likes of Shultz ( like his counterpart up on Maine Sen. Snowe) to decide to retire. Guys like Schultz need to know that not being on the “team” will have dire consequences. Getting rid of Schultz is as important as having Little Dennis Kuchinich loose his seat.

6 posted on 03/09/2012 7:33:03 AM PST by vette6387
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To: Hunton Peck

Bump! Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel says this is all Walker’s fault.

It’s the most twisted logic I have ever seen.

7 posted on 03/09/2012 2:29:43 PM PST by Jean S
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