In yet another example of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration seeking to put the proverbial foxes in the henhouse, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting mining lobbyist Bob Seitz was considered for a top position at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) before the Walker administration backed off the appointment due to federal conflict of interest laws.
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration considered giving a top natural resources position this year to a lobbyist for a company proposing a massive iron mine, but backed off because of a federal law barring conflicts of interest.
Records show that Walker’s staff was considering Gogebic Taconite lobbyist and spokesman Bob Seitz for the post of deputy secretary of the Department of Natural Resources. He was being considered for the post just before Gogebic announced it was closing its office in northern Wisconsin and stepping away from a proposed $1.5 billion iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties.
Seitz ended up getting a different appointment from Walker, with the Public Service Commission.
The DNR is the state’s chief environmental enforcement agency and was overseeing early stages of work on Gogebic’s proposal for the mine, which would have operated for decades over a 4-mile-long area.
The consideration of Seitz came as Walker was ramping up his likely run for the presidency.