The first in-depth article in this series dealt with a significant but little-known Agenda 21-based agreement established in 1998 by Governor Tommy Thompson between the State of Wisconsin and the German state of Bavaria. That agreement would become a refining fire for dangerous ideas already percolating in Wisconsin. In 1999 those ideas would take more definitive shape in an elaborate proposal for the Green Tier program.
This second in-depth article explores additional seeds of the program, its pre-development, and three of its crucial building blocks: consensus, public-private partnerships, and communitarianism. It also necessarily sheds further light on the administration of Governor Tommy Thompson, under whose leadership—and with whose blessing—the deceptive seeds of Green Tier were not only sown but nurtured.
Tommy Thompson's Industrious [and Connected] DNR Secretary
As Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), George Meyer was a busy man, occupied with the development of a new environmental regulatory regime. In Governor Tommy Thompson, Meyer found an enthusiastic partner. By the end of Thompson's administration, the two men had ensured the growing detrimental influence of unelected bureaucrats, foreign powers, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on environmental regulatory policy—the effects of which continue to the present day.
Currently a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, George Meyer has a long record of environmental advocacy. Most recently, he was in the vanguard of the 2012 charge to defeat AB 426, a mining bill that would have cleared the way for much needed revitalization in economically depressed northern Wisconsin.
First elected DNR secretary in 1993 by the Natural Resources Board, before the DNR became a cabinet-level agency, Meyer that same year helped to found the Environmental Coalition of States (ECOS), uniting environmental regulatory agencies nationwide. From 1996 to 1998, he additionally served as a representative to the Enterprise for the Environment Reform Initiative. Formed and chaired by former EPA administrator, William Ruckelshaus, the initiative advocated a "consensus"-based approach to environmental regulation and a strong reliance on public-private partnerships. More than coincidentally, both themes would prove central to the DNR's direction and momentum during Meyer's tenure.
In fact, it's worth knowing a bit more about Ruckelshaus, as well, since much of his work on regulatory aims and policies would be mirrored in Meyer's own efforts in Wisconsin.
The first article in this series provided a video overview of Wisconsin's Green Tier program, along with a few minor written notes and corrections to clarify some of the information provided in the presentation. This second piece will focus specifically on the planting of the seeds from which Green Tier subsequently germinated and grew.
Governor Tommy G. Thompson Goes Global
In late 1998, then-Wisconsin Governor Tommy G. Thompson traveled to Munich, Germany to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Bavarian government. Signing for Bavaria was the minister for regional development and environmental issues, Dr. Werner Shnappauf. Signed on December 1st, the MOU established the Wisconsin-Bavaria Regulatory Reform Working Partnership.
Nearly every scholarly paper written on Green Tier rightly identifies this transnational agreement as having birthed the program. Yet, nearly 14 years after the fact, most Wisconsinites still know little or nothing about the connection between Wisconsin and Bavaria or the goals the two states adopted. Nor do they have any clear way of grasping all of the damage that has resulted from the agreement.
Framed as a resolution, the MOU is a mere two pages long. A close read of the document quickly and irrefutably reveals to anyone paying attention a profound threat to Wisconsin's representative government in the advancement of a globalist agenda.
Did Governor Thompson know what he was signing? Remarks made by both Thompson and Schnappauf on the occasion of the MOU's signing make it nearly impossible to believe Thompson was anything but fully informed as to the content and nature of the agreement. Both men refer to the aims spelled out in the agreement. They refer to globalist aims and socialist approaches. In fact, Thompson asserted: "It's government's job to help others do what's right," thereby granting verbal as well as written consent to the agreement's purpose and signaling fully considered participation in its aims.
On May 23rd, 2012, Executive Order 69 was signed, ramping up a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) program called Green Tier.
Until now, Green Tier has remained relatively obscure. While the Wisconsin 9/12 Project had already begun to research the program shortly before publication of the order, we have since furthered our investigations substantially. While there remains more to uncover, we already have enough information to determine conclusively that the Green Tier program is dangerous to the State of Wisconsin, business and industry, and, most fundamentally, citizens.
Over the coming weeks, we will publish a series of articles in order to build an airtight case that the Green Tier program should be rolled back rather than advanced. We strongly encourage readers to use the research we will offer here to inform themselves on this important topic. We hope that you will, in turn, educate others, particularly elected officials at all levels of government.
The following video presentation, in conjunction with two brief clarifications and one correction below, provide a general overview of Green Tier. Subsequent in-depth articles will cover Green Tier's origins, development, advancement, and mechanics. Each of those articles will provide clear and substantial documentation.
My profound thanks to the leadership of the Fox Valley Initiative and the Fox Valley Conservative Forum, who recently invited me to address their groups in Appleton on this topic and hosted my stay; to their members, who so attentively heard the information I had to share and bore with me as I accustomed myself to delivering a new presentation; to David Lewis and David Stertz for arranging for the recording of one of the presentations; and to Jeff Bujanowski of the Liberty News Network for capturing and editing the video. I am humbled by and most grateful for such extraordinary kindness.
It will help readers to continue to the notes below before actually watching the video for clarification and correction of a bit of the information presented.
A Few Quick Notes on the Presentation
I had only been through the material in the presentation once prior to the day the video was shot and was still in the process of solidifying some of the information in my own head. Consequently, I did stumble in a couple of spots. The following notes should help to smooth a few minor rough patches, at least until I can write some of the subsequent articles and explore these areas for readers in greater depth. Your understanding is appreciated!
The first annual LibertyVention Wisconsin was held June 15 & 16 at Hotel Mead, in Wisconsin Rapids, with over 70 people attending all or some of the conference. The organizers hope this will be the first of many such events. The goal of LibertyVention was to equip constitutional conservative activists from around Wisconsin to learn ways of growing their groups and finding new ways to expand their influence. Training classes were conducted by American Majority, the Leadership Institute, Wisconsin Family Action and Americans for Prosperity on topics such as social media, effective canvassing, Agenda 21, 2nd amendment rights as well as other topics. Dr. Tim Nerenz, a noted author and blogger, gave the welcoming address on Friday evening. Syndicated radio talk show host Josh Tolley delivered the keynote speech at the closing banquet on Saturday evening. Wisconsin Family Action’s Julaine Appling received a standing ovation for her Saturday luncheon speech on the First Amendment and Religious Liberty.
The comments received from people attending were all positive. LibertyVention was a terrific way to get constitutional activists across the state together. Conservatives are starting to do the networking and training that progressives in Wisconsin and elsewhere have been successfully doing for over a 100 years. We’ve only just begun to roll back their agenda. But we have some decided advantages, it will not take us 100 years; first and foremost, we have the truth, not the leftist lies designed to lead people into their Marxist totalitarian future. Secondly, thanks to Al Gore, we have the internet to easily allow us to connect with each other (sorry I couldn’t resist the Al Gore reference). Robert La Follette and his progressives had horse and buggy travel, newspapers and the telegraph to communicate. We have no such limitations; we do not need to own a newspaper to get our message out. We just have to learn how to use the technology we have at our fingertips.
A number of LibertyVention attendees said they appreciated the fact that no one Tea Party’s agenda was being pushed. Tea Parties or any other group, just like people, have their own special projects. We all feel more strongly about some issues, than others. Unfortunately, this can affect conference and event planning. But, with four different Tea Parties sponsoring the event, the organizers instead, chose to help people to be aware of a variety of issues, while training and equipping attendees of LibertyVention 2012 to work more effectively in their communities.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced a measure to ban sugary drinks in containers that hold more than sixteen fluid ounces, arguing that such drinks contribute to the obesity epidemic that is facing the city and the country. The ban would apply to sodas, sports drinks, sweetened coffee and sweetened tea. Any establishment that sells those drinks would be prohibited from selling those drinks in sizes larger than sixteen ounces. The New York City Board of Health (not the citizens) is scheduled to vote on the measure on September 13. It is expected to pass.
There is no doubt that the country is facing an obesity epidemic. However, there are many concerns from a precedent standpoint. There are also concerns from a health standpoint. If such a ban is implemented, what’s next? Will we be implementing similar bans, for example, on the sixteen ounce New York Strip Steak? How about double-scoops of ice cream? What are we teaching our children about food and diets? Is the message actually a healthy message in the long run?
I argue that such a move is an infringement on our food freedoms. Thomas Jefferson once said, “If people let governments decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny”. The ninth amendment to the United States Constitution protects the citizens from infringement on individual liberties not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution. It exists because the Founding Fathers were concerned that, by listing rights explicitly in the Bill of Rights, the Government would not recognize rights not explicitly listed, and consequently lead to a dangerous expansion of Government power.