Fred Prehn gets it. Yesterday, the chair of Wisconsin’s Natural Resources Board was able to explain clearly why he should step aside. It’s all about politics.
Prehn’s term expired on May 1st, but he has ungraciously held on to his seat anyway, claiming that state law allows him to remain until his successor is confirmed by the Senate. Prehn was appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker. When he is replaced, Gov. Tony Evers will have appointed four of the seven seats and Evers will have control of the board.
Attorney General Josh Kaul has filed a suit in Dane County Circuit Court asking the court to order Prehn off the board. In response, Prehn said that Kaul’s move was all just “politics” and that Kaul was only acting so that Evers could push his own natural resource agenda.
Right. Yes. Exactly. This is how it works.
Evers won an election. That entitles him to advance his own agenda. He gets to appoint members to boards and commissions, including the NRB, who share his views and who will vote the way he asks them to.
That point was underscored last week when the board voted to ignore their own biologists by setting a wolf hunt quota for this fall that is over twice what the resource professionals had recommended. Had Evers controlled the board that wouldn’t have happened. Evers’ appointee Sharon Adams did vote with Prehn, but later said she was confused about what she was voting on and would have voted against the higher quota. But that may have been serendipity since, by voting in the majority, she can now move for reconsideration at the next meeting.
And by that next meeting Prehn should be gone. Because that’s how politics — another name for democracy — works.
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