Boots & Sabers

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0731, 20 Sep 21

Judge Throws Out Attempt to Oust Republican Board Member

Our government is breaking down.

A Dane County judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit from Attorney General Josh Kaul seeking to remove the head of the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, which sets policy for the state Department of Natural Resources.

Kaul, who filed the lawsuit in mid-April, sought to have the board’s chair, Frederick Prehn, removed from the body after his term expired on May 1. Prehn has stayed on in the role — meaning Republican appointees maintain a 4-3 majority on the board — citing a little-known law that allows members to keep their seats on the board if the state Senate has not confirmed their replacements.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ nominee to replace Prehn, Sandra Dee Naas, has not yet received a hearing in the Legislature’s upper chamber — something that is commonplace among the governor’s nominees, including several Cabinet secretaries.

Prehn, a Wausau dentist who was appointed to the board by former Gov. Scott Walker in May 2015, could, in theory, remain on the board for years under the current strategy.

I love some bare knuckle politics as much as the next guy, but there is also supposed to be a regular churn of appointed members. The current administration is entitled to replace board members as a matter of course. This isn’t like the Biden Administration’s ouster of board members before their terms were up. This is normal order. The Senate has the prerogative to approve or deny the governor’s candidate, but to just sit on their hands is to disrupt normal order. This plays both ways.


0731, 20 September 2021


  1. Merlin

    -This is normal order.

    I think the point here is that there is no longer a normal order. What’s surprising is that even a Dane County judge understands this and is unwilling to issue a ‘fix’ that lets the politicians off the hook. Not even a temporary fix.

  2. Mar

    Yes, Owen it does work both ways and it is about time that the GOP finally stand up to the Democrats and their dirty tricks.
    If you want to play nice to the Democrats, you will be played. If you want to be a Liz Cheney or a Charlie Sykes, good for you.
    But if you think the Democrats will change because the GOP plays nice, well I got me some ocean front property down here in Arizona to sell you.

  3. Le Roi du Nord

    Apparently it doesn’t “work both ways”, as the only other times NRB members have refused to step down (twice), both were republican appointees.

    Both Prehn and the senate are playing politics here, as avoiding political decisions in natural resource decisions was the reason the NRB was created in the first place.

  4. Mar

    Wow, Pervert Boy returns.
    Doesn’t say much, as usual.

  5. Le Roi du Nord

    Well mar, I said more, and spoke only the truth, something you aren’t familiar with, nor concerned, about.

  6. dad29

    Not bare-knuckle, Owen.. Smash-mouth. Mar & Merlin are correct, and LeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy returns to whine.

    Oh, booo hoooo.

  7. Le Roi du Nord


    Looks like the NRB is yet another subject that baffles and confuses you.

  8. Merlin

    I suppose it’s okay to occasionally lament the good old days of absolute capitulation to the Left in the name of good taste and propriety… as long as you realize those days are already gone and never returning. The current state of social disorder exists because of a failure to engage the lefties sooner. Now it’s going to be ugly. Maybe bloody, but definitely ugly. The time for hand-wringing over delicate sensibilities is over.

  9. MjM

    Nazi Nort forgets to tell you something: “the only other times NRB members have refused to step down (twice), both were republican appointees. ”

    Ya mean like when Democrat Gov Doyle tried to illegally force long-time member Herb Behnke off the board – before his term was up – so Doyle could stack the board with his cronies?

  10. dad29

    LeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy never misses an opportunity to look stupid, does he?

  11. Le Roi du Nord


    Different set of facts there. But don’t let that stand in your way towards irrelevance. Herb put his own butt in a sling trying to do an end around state law regarding waterway permits for a buddy. And he got caught. The price you pay for being unethical.


    And what, pray tell, are you mumbling about now?

  12. Mar

    And Pervert Boy Le Roi still sounds stupid.
    Put up or shut up, moron.
    Links please, with legitimate news sources.

  13. MjM

    Nazi Nort retorts, falsely: “Different set of facts there.”

    Perhaps you should discuss _your_ set of facts with lawyer and Doyle’s DNR secretary Scott Hassett. He would set you straight on why Dole sent him to Behnke’s house the night before a NRB meeting…. to tell him he was going to be replaced at the meeting.

    Behnke said “F.U.” and Doyle relented. And everyone knew why. The corruption was Doyle’s.

    Keep digging, numbnutz.

  14. Jason

    Bah, you’re wasting your time MJM. There is not a single person who visits this site that is more biased than Leroy. He’s fully behind his man Doyle using any dirty trick as long as it’s against deplorables. He has vociferously and repeatedly supported Doyle, Chisholm, Bill and Hillary, Barak, Steele, Strozk, and I’m sure he will support Sussmann, Leroy is as dirty as any Pay to Play Democrat. Talking facts to him about this is going to get you nowhere.

  15. Mar

    If Pervert Boy Le Roi was smart, which he or she isn’t, he or she might argue that the person wom Evers nominated might be more qualified to be on the board.
    But then Pervert Boy Le Roi, who is a fan boy of a former judge who loves watching babies being raped says not a word.
    How is your your buddy and lover, the pervert judge doing, Pervert Boy Le Roi?

  16. MjM

    Nazi Nort, 2 years late and $10* short : ” No mention of any FU moments, but rather a willingness to step down”

    Yep, after Dunce Doyle tried to illegally remove him from the board…. in 2003.

    And Behnke resigned – a year early in 2006 – only because Dunce Doyle agreed to appoint Behnke’s personal pick, David Clausen, to replace him.

    Keep digging, numbnutz.

    * Babblin’ Joe inflation.

  17. MjM


    “ … a predominantly Black area where deep-rooted racism has led to neglect and poverty…”

  18. MjM

    Ahem. Let me finish…

    That quote from the article makes no sense. Black men are shooting other black men because of their deep-rooted racism towards black men? A predominately black area is neglected and poverty stricken because the blacks who live there a racist against blacks?

    Circle back time.

  19. MjM

    Ok I give up. Wrong thread for the above two comments. I gotta ditch this damn iPad.

  20. Mar

    Pervert Boy Le Roi obviously did not read the article he linked to.
    Showing once again, the lack of intelligence and reading comprehension from Pervert Boy Le Roi.

  21. Le Roi du Nord


    Got a source for that FU claim? Herb never mentioned it, and we can’t ask him. Regardless, your unsupported anecdote has nothing to do with the article Owen posted.

  22. Jason

    >Regardless, your unsupported anecdote has nothing to do with the article Owen posted.

    I told you it was a waste of time MJM. This idiot is never going to change.

  23. MjM

    Nazi Nort “Got a source for that FU claim?”

    Of course. His name is Herb Behnke.

    Awwwww. Nazi Nort feels slighted: “Herb never mentioned it,…”

    Well not to you, numbnutz. You’re not that important.

    “The late Herb Behnke, from Shawano, was appointed to the previous Wis. Conservation Commission by Gov. Knowles from 1968 to 1972, and then Tommy Thompson reappointed Behnke to the NRB from 1989 to 2006.

    Behnke is one of the most respected of all board members, but Gov. Doyle wanted to get some of his appointments on the board, though didn’t have an opening.

    Behnke told this writer that the governor had the DNR secretary visit him in the evening prior to a board meeting saying that he would be replaced at the meeting the next day, but Behnke knew that couldn’t happen.

    Scott Hassett, then DNR secretary and now an attorney for a Madison firm, says it wasn’t that harsh.

    Hassett said that he was new in the job at the time [appointed 2003] and his boss, Governor Doyle, asked him to approach Behnke and see if he would consider resigning so that Doyle would be able to appoint someone else. Behnke would have none of that.

    Hassett admits it was “awkward,” at the time, but eventually the governor came to realize that Behnke was an “institution” on the board.

    However when it came close to the end of his term, Behnke indicated that he would be willing to resign, after serving several terms, if he knew that someone with good natural resources credentials would replace him.”

    Not to mention, Dunce Doyle then forced Hasset out in 2007:

    “When state Department of Natural Resources Secretary Scott Hassett resigned suddenly in the summer of 2007, Gov. Jim Doyle’s office announced Hassett was leaving to “write, travel and consult on environmental and regulatory issues.”

    Privately, however, Hassett told a different story: That Doyle, a fellow Democrat, forced him out of the top spot at the DNR because of the agency’s insistence that the state clean up UW-Madison’s coal-burning Charter Street heating plant – a move now expected to cost Wisconsin more than $200 million.

    Hassett told at least two former top DNR officials that he was forced to resign and one of the reasons was the Charter Street enforcement action – which pitted two state agencies against each another in a conflict that hit close to the governor’s office.

    “There was no doubt in my mind that (Hassett) was forced out,” said George Meyer, DNR secretary from 1993 to 2001, recounting a conversation he had with Hassett at Hassett’s Lake Mills-area home in March. Meyer said Hassett said he believed the enforcement action against the plant was a key reason for his ouster.

    Tom Thoresen, retired deputy chief conservation warden for the DNR, said Hassett told him a similar story during a phone conversation this month.

    Thoresen said he called Hassett to thank him for helping push for a bill that would take away the power of the governor to appoint the DNR secretary and return that authority to the Natural Resources Board. Four former DNR secretaries, including Hassett and Meyer, signed a letter last month backing Assembly Bill 138.”

  24. Tuerqas

    MJM, that is the comment to which you will not get any more replies from Le Roi on this thread. He won’t say you are right or that he is wrong. Just no more commentary.

  25. MjM

    Tuerqas…. I can guess: “He didn’t actually say F.U.” :D

    As to N.Nort’s “your unsupported anecdote has nothing to do with the article Owen posted”, N.Nort’s original post was an petty attempt to claim the decades-old hackery of the NRB board was all because of “republican appointees”.

    I simply showed that the board, and inadvertently the DNR, has been a political football forever.

    Here’s a second clip from that link above:

    “The board appointed the secretary of the DNR up until 1995, but then [Republican] Gov. Tommy Thompson grabbed control by changing the DNR to a cabinet agency with the secretary appointed by the governor.

    In previous years, the board’s predecessor, the Conservation Commission, also had citizen appointees and there was more of a mixture as governors changed after two-year terms.

    However, [Democrat] Governor Pat Lucey was not happy with a two-year term and got the legislature to change the governor’s term to four years, which gave Lucey, and succeeding governors, twice the influence and could more easily have a board dominated by that governor’s political persuasion.

    Not long after the board was dominated by Lucey appointees, the board fired long-time DNR secretary Les Voigt, who came up through the agency and had served under Democrat and Republican governors, and hired Democratic politician Tony Earl.

    Earl was one of the first DNR secretaries to head the agency without any natural resources experience.”

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