As lifelong conservationists and residents of the 77th Assembly District, we were dismayed to see someone question Brett Hulsey's exceptional environmental record (Madison.gov, 6/18/10) as he vies to replace Spencer Black, an exceptional environmental leader.
The son of the chairman of the National Wildlife Federation, Brett served as a Sierra Club educator and advocate for 17 years, shaping state, local and federal policies. He was an environmental adviser to former President Clinton and Vice President Gore. On the Dane County Board, he has a 100% Sierra Club rating, chaired the Lakes and Watershed Commission, and helped pass a countywide ban on phosphorus-based lawn fertilizer.
Moving to the private sector, Brett formed an award-winning environmental consulting company, dealing with the private sector on waterway buffers, energy conservation and efficiency, wetland and prairie restoration, and renewable biomass fuel. And his work with power producers like Alliant Energy and the university in replacing dirty coal with renewable wood residue and prairie plants is something to be applauded, not criticized.
Caryl Terrell, former director, John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club and George Meyer, former Wisconsin DNR secretary
I read this article with great interest, having interacted with Mr. Hulsey in the past regarding corn ethanol. I take his point about doing something, but the ends and means need to be consistent with the facts. And much of the initial promotion of corn ethanol's potential has not been realized in the operating results.
But my most important takeaway was Mr. Hulsey's comparison of Steve Hiniker to Dick Cheney. I know Steve well enough to have confidence that he speaks from principle, and to suggest motives similar to Cheney's is irresponsible.
This kind of personal invective - rife in our public discourse - is the opposite of what we need, and speaks volumes about the candidate's temperament. Spencer Black leaves big shoes to fill, and this kind of polarizing rhetoric is no way to go about it!