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Republicans Try to Prevent Wisconsin Official Working on Climate Change

Critics say Matt Adamczyk’s proposal to prohibit Tia Nelson from ‘engaging in global warming or climate change work’ on the job is politically motivated

By Katherine Krueger 

Wisconsin Republicans are looking to place a Florida-style moratorium on the ability of a key public official to work on matters related to climate change on state time.

 emissions Photo by Ian Britton, on Flickr Adamczyk alleges that Nelson’s co-authoring of a report on policy recommendations for the state to address climate change amounted to theft of the state’s time.

State treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican, says his plan to prohibit Tia Nelson, the executive secretary of the state’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, from “engaging in global warming or climate change work” on the job is part of an attempt to trim government spending, which has included fighting for his own office to be eliminated.

The committee tasked with managing some of Wisconsin’s public land, along with a trust to fund school libraries, is set to vote on the measure in its 7 April meeting.

Nelson’s supporters on the board, including Wisconsin secretary of state Doug La Follette, have characterised the vote as a politically motivated witchhunt which comes as the result of Nelson’s participation in a global warming taskforce created by then-governor Jim Doyle, a Democrat, in 2008.

Adamczyk alleges that Nelson’s co-authoring of a report on policy recommendations for the state to address climate change amounted to theft of the state’s time.

Nelson declined to comment on the allegations.

She said that in 10 years leading the agency and working with both Republican and Democratic majority boards, this marked “the first time climate change has been a part of the conversation”.

Adamczyk has taken a special interest in the commission’s spending since he took office in November, reportedly calling for Nelson, who is the daughter of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, to be removed from BCPL’s letterhead within a week of taking office, and telling Nelson he was “beyond disappointed” that the office maintained a New York Times subscription, and urging its cancellation.

The Guardian
The Guardian UK, one of Britain's top daily newspapers, provides coverage of international environmental issues. Earth Island Journal is a member of the Guardian's Environment News Network.

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