MADISON, Wis. — As the State Assembly appears poised to approve controversial open pit mining legislation that weakens state environmental protections observers are universally acknowledging a lengthy court fight is certain to follow. One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross questioned whether incumbent State Supreme Court candidate Pat Roggensack’s record of siding with corporate special interest in environmental matters is the mine backers’ insurance plan.
“The special interests promoting Pat Roggensack have spent big money touting the number of cases in which she has participated, as though the number is all that matters. But when you take a closer look, the record shows she has been a friend to corporate polluters, insurance companies and other big special interests, and in return they’ve been a good friend to her campaign.”
During the recent State Supreme Court Primary Election, over $400,000 in television advertising, funded by unidentified sources, was purchased to promote Roggensack. A rating of state Supreme Court Justices compiled by a corporate special interest front group that lobbies against people’s rights to hold corporations accountable for misdeeds found that for two consecutive court terms, Pat Roggensack topped the list of sitting state Supreme Court Justices towing the corporate line with her votes and opinions.
Ross cited the 2011 case, Curt Andersen v. Department of Natural Resources, in which Roggensack voted to overturn a lower court ruling that supported citizens’ efforts to protect clean water, as just one example of her record. The result of Roggensack’s action was to take away the rights of citizens to protest the dumping of dangerous chemicals that could endanger water quality by a company owned by the billionaire Koch brothers, the notorious Kansas-based duo who have spent untold sums from their vast fortune in support of right-wing front groups and politicians.
“As an out-of-state mining company looks to gut state environmental protections through legislation, one has to wonder if they and their special interest allies are promoting Roggensack as their insurance plan. Based on her experience, they know they have a judge in Pat Rogggensack who is experienced in siding with corporate polluters and against protecting clean water for the rest of us,” concluded Ross.