Jan 30, 2015

Mine Owners Cry 'No Money' as Iron County Board Faces Decision on GTAC Lease

"Why should Iron County be subsidizing billionaire Chris Cline at the expense of poor, local taxpayers?" (StellaReport)

Few objective Wisconsin citizens believed Gogebic Taconite's (GTAC) proposed massive open pit mine operation was a full-employment and pro-environmental center in disguise despite repeated statements by mining company officials assuring benign and encouraging results.

But some residents of Iron County will believe pretty much anything in their desperation for promised jobs and money from the Koch brothers. But reportedly, the Iron County Board is considering that it has been taken for a long ride.

GTAC funneled over $ Millions into GOP coffers and allies, including of course Scott Walker who asked that GTAC money defending his Recall election be funneled through Wisconsin Club for Growth. (Marley, Bice and Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) GTAC coughed up $700,000 for Club for Growth at Scott Walker's urging.

Now, GTAC's lease with Iron County is up for renewal.

An Iron County attorney, Anthony Stella, is blasting GTAC's cries that it has no money and needs to lease the Iron County land for free with no payments to Iron County until 2016. (StellaReport)

Writes Stella:
This whole scenario should also be a wakeup call. Chris Cline [the billionaire behind GTAC] is not serious about this project. He can't be. He has severed the umbilical cord between him and GTAC. He is not only embarrassing Iron County, he is embarrassing [GTAC president] Bill Williams and the local GTAC employees. They have come bearing promises of a $1.5 billion investment, and now can't pony up $10K to secure the rights to property which is essential to their plans? Clearly Cline has the money. He has made the deliberate decision not to spend it on this project, just as he already instructed GTAC to lay off all the workers and stop spending any more money last fall.

WAKE UP IRON COUNTY! If GTAC can't afford to come up with $10K to pay Iron County for a year, they certainly aren't in a position to spend the millions that will be required for more drilling and testing over the next year. This is also a red flag. These guys cannot even manage a budget during this early phase. Are we going to trust that they can run a profitable mining venture? When it comes time for cleaning things up and reclamation, will they say they're out of money? If they can't honor their contracts before they've even gotten started, they can't be trusted to honor them later.

We heard excuses from Bill Williams about why nothing is happening. First he said they let employees go last fall because it was late in the year and they couldn't finish environmental work before winter. Last week we heard they would not drill this winter because no snow had been removed. Days later he told Wisconsin Public Radio they were holding off over fears that an EPA decision on a mine in Alaska might lead to a similar decision against GTAC, and he added that Iron County's proposed zoning ordinance also was a concern. But now we learn the real truth. The well has gone dry. Chris Cline won't fork over any more cash, even after generously giving $700K to his buddies in Madison.

What about Cline and GTAC's abiding concern for jobs and the environment? Turns out this was BS, and even credulous Iron County residents may begin to wonder if the proposed mine's destroying and poisoning the environment was ever a bright idea to begin with.

Stella noted last night at the Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine site (Facebook):

"I have had very encouraging and constructive talks with several board members in Iron County. There's reason to believe a dozen or more are open to rejection of the lease extension agreement. This needs to be approached right, including making sure they have the right legal advice going forward. There's also a lot of pressure on some of these folks, so try to resist the urge to attack board members for past decisions made. If everyone is constructive going forward, we'll get the best results. As Mike Wiggins [of the Bad River band of the Lake Superior Chippewa] said the other night, 'the parties all have a lot of mutual interests, and it's time to focus on moving forward with those instead of fighting over the past or things we can't agree on.'"

Wiggins is right, one wonders if GTAC will pull the plug as the collapse in global iron ore prices leave locals holding the bag and finding it empty.

Jan 29, 2015

Scott Walker Loses, Free Speech Wins in Wisconsin Appellate Court

Wisconsin Capitol Police Manhandle citizens
opposing Scott Walker, frightening children
and abusing seniors. Photo: Dawn Henke
"The Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda functions, both literally and symbolically, as a city center and is fully utilized as a public space to which all have claim." - United States District Court Judge William M. Conley in Michael Kissick vs. Michael Huebsch and David Erwin

Scott Walker's assault on free speech at the Capitol has been dealt another body blow, as he amps up his fundraising project disguised as a serious run for the U.S. presidency.

A Wisconsin appellate court has sustained the First Amendment rights of the civil-rights-movement-singing Wisconsin Solidarity Singers or Solidarity Sing-Along (Facebook).

The case is State of Wisconsin v. Michael W. Crute (Appeal No. 2014AP659; Circuit Court No. 2010FO2108).

Mr. Crute was cited with a civil citation when he sang in 2013 and his case was dismissed by Dane County Judge John Markson last year, citing First Amendment violations by the state of Wisconsin.

The case represents a significant victory for free speech advocates, and another judicial slap in the face of Scott Walker who is going thorough the motions of launching a presidential run.

Walker would be subject to national scrutiny and ridicule were he to appeal the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, taking on the appearance of a petty, anti-free speech governor who cannot bear the airing of speech with which he disagrees.

In Wisconsin the state Capitol is recognized as a free speech, public forum area, a commitment discarded by Scott Walker when 100,000s of Wisconsin citizens vocally opposed him and his policies.

Crute is the co-host of the Devil's Advocates Radio.

"I feel vindicated today, I’m 2-0 against Scott Walker," said Crute. "In his State of the State address, Scott Walker said we should stand with the French, stand for freedom of press, stand for free speech. But this Governor would arrest those that protest his policies. He would have arrested the media that tried to to expose those unconstitutional arrests."

In fact, Scott Walker did arrest several journalists and those taping arrests, including Matthew Rothschild, the former editor of The Progressive Magazine.

United States District Court Judge William M. Conley issued a preliminary injunction stopping the capitol police from issuing mass citations for singing, looking at singers or 'spectating', in Kissick v. Huebsch (July 8, 2013), citing numerous Wisconsin state documentary sources and the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The Wisconsin state capitol grounds are a "public forum that has been at the center of public discourse," notes Judge Conley. "As explained in its official nomination for designation as a National Historic Landmark, which was granted on January 3, 2001: The soaring rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol is designed to induce its citizenry to be, as individuals, among the resources of Wisconsin.' Whereas some statehouses are maintained apart from the urban fabric, the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda functions, both literally and symbolically, as a city center and is fully utilized as a public space to which all have claim."

Later an agreement was reached between Wisconsin citizens and the Wisconsin Department of Administration (overseeing the capitol) recognizing the facts of the capitol as a public forum space and the constitutional rights retained by American and Wisconsin citizens.

Recall the summer of 2013 Scott Walker administration orders mass arrests for expression of anti-Scott Walker sentiments, including arresting a Marine and stepping his flag into the ground.

Jan 28, 2015

Target: Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay

Are Lake Superior and Chequamegon Bay doomed? (Kaufman, NYT; The Fight for Wisconsin's Soul)

Only we can halt the destruction of Wisconsin waters and over ten percent of the world's fresh water.

From Wayne Griffiths (Facebook): Chequamegon Bay Area showing approximate location of the Bad River reservation, the proposed Penokee Hill (GTAC) mine and the proposed Bayfield County CAFO. [Meanwhile, Scott Walker is running around the country, proclaiming he wants to be president.] The blue in the upper-right of the shot is called Lake Superior.

The following GPS coordinates are approximate.
Center 46º 19.632'N 90º31.881'W.
North East boundary 46º20.311'N 90º29.334'W.
South West boundary 46º18.962'N 90º34.709'W

Clean Water Activists Carry Fight Across Wisconsin

Lovers of Lake Superior are banding together and saying 'no'
to a huge hog farm looking to call northern Wisconsin home.
The Bayfield County Board voted to ban aerial spraying of
manure on January 27, 2015. CAFO operations such as the
proposed hog farm produce millions of tons of manure annually
Across Wisconsin people are objecting to the fresh waters being polluted by pathogen-laden and oxygen-depleting liquid cow (and now proposed swine) manure fouling streams, rivers, and aquifers, creating growing dead zones in lakes where fish once swam.

Fresh water is under assault from Big Ag, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin—from Scott Walker to the Dairy Business Association—is not going lose any sleep over sick children, dead trout and the increasing numbers of water wells so befouled people are forced to used bottled water for drinking.

Welcome to modern agriculture, and and its mirco inhabitants, MRSA and friends. (The Cornucopia Institute)

"Many generations of my family were dairy farmers in Clark County, Wisconsin, and I continue to be supportive of family farms. But, I can't stand idly by and see a [Wood] county supervisor [Robert Ashbeck] blindly turn his back on a presentation that shows the health dangers of manure spraying, nor can I ignore the state Dairy Business Association lobby pushing for legislation that would bar you and me from taking photos or reporting on animal cruelty or polluting from these mega farms. That's not a democracy," said Rome, Wisconsin resident Donald Ystad in an email, referring to a presentation by Criste Greening of Protect Wood Coutny and Its Neighbors at Wood County's ad hoc committee studying aerial manure spraying last week.

From Bayfield County:
Lovers of Lake Superior are banding together and saying ‘no’ to a huge hog farm looking to call northern Wisconsin home.

An Iowa pig farmer has his sights set on a piece of land in Eileen Wis., but locals are worried about the millions of pounds of manure that they say will pollute nearby Lake Superior.

'Fresh clean water is so much more valuable to this planet than cheap bacon,' said protester, Mary Dougherty of Bayfield County. (Julia Russell, Fox 21-KQDS)
"For a long time, our community has been tolerant of watching the things we hold dear be degraded. Our soils, water and air have been greatly compromised due to these industrial operations and their polluting wastes, measuring in the millions and millions of gallons," writes Nancy Utesch of Kewaunee County. "The continued myth that we are feeding the world must be dispelled. We are not feeding the world. Most of the world is fed through subsistence farming, by women, on small acreages, where they live. The continued push for a "global economy" while our local economies continue to be impoverished by the factory farm model must stop." (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

In Adams County, "Tri-Lakes Management District soon will begin monitoring Spring Branch Creek — which feeds into northern Adams County lakes — to measure its water quality and any potential effects a nearby proposed large scale dairy might have." (Lawder, Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)

Below is a presentation delivered by Wisconsin DNR runoff chief (2001-11), Gordon Stevenson, in January 2015 to the Wood County Manure Ad Hoc Committee.

Wisconsin ignores this public health crisis at its peril.
The Public Trust Doctrine Article 9, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution lays out Wisconsin's Public Trust Doctrine. This is a body of common and statutory law that says that the state holds the the waters of the state in trust for public purposes. This extremely important right, guaranteed by our state Constitution, is the foundation of water law in the state of Wisconsin.

Jan 27, 2015

Scott Walker's Proposed Slashing of UW System Is Unconscionable and Dishonest

Scott Walker will have appointed 17 of 18 serving members of the UW System Board of Regents by May 2017; Walker's claims of independent authority are dishonest

Updated - Scott Walker never ran on slashing state funding 13 percent over a two-year period for the acclaimed University of Wisconsin System. (Bauer, AP)

But Scott Walker is calling for radically cutting and restructuring the UW System, citing Walker's $2 billion budget shortfall.

"It will make the University of Wisconsin more efficient, more effective and ultimately more accountable," Walker said.

Walker is taking his cues from the extreme rightwing on privatization of public education, and Walker's continued attempts to gut public higher education are two objectives of a wholesale project reengineering an entire state as envisioned by the the John Birch Society, (headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin), the Koch brothers and a few other rightwing billionaires.

Project goals, propaganda and money are funneled by the usual radical right-GOP suspects: ALEC, Koch Brothers, the Bradley Foundation, MacIver Institute, the Wisconsin Reporter, Media Trackers, and the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

Nationally, the Koch brothers network plans to spend $889 million in 2016, it is reported today. (Gold, Washington Post)

Independent authority

In typical duplicitous fashion, Walker announced in his January 27, 2015 press release the "UW System will also have independent authority to establish policy regarding employee matters, including sick leave, tenure, and shared governance." (emphasis added)

Left out of Walker's press release is the fact the UW System Board of Regents, (of 18 sitting members), is composed of:
The Board will hardly be independent, but rather ideologically vetted by Scott Walker (as are all appointees to state commissions and boards).

In May 2017, Walker will have appointed 17 of 18 serving members of the UW System Board of Regents.

In May 2015, Walker will have appointed 12 of 18 serving members of the UW System Board of Regents.

The gerrymandered state senate which rubber-stamps Walker appointees has to approve each Walker appointment.

Walker is so controlling and ideologically extreme that Walker rescinded his appointment of UW-Platteville student Joshua Inglet to the Board in August 2013 after finding out Inglet signed the Recall Scott Walker petition to show support for his mother who is a teacher.

UW System Board of Regents

John Robert Behling - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2012
Mark J. Bradley - Term expires May 2017
José Delgado - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2014
Tony Evers - Elected as Superintendent of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction

Michael J. Falbo - Term expires May 2015 (President of the Board)
Margaret Farrow - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2013
Eve Hall - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2014
Nicolas Harsy - Term expires May 2016

Tim Higgins - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2011
Edmund Manydeeds - Term expires May 2017
Regina Millner - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2012
Janice Mueller - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2013

Drew Petersen - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2013
Charles Pruitt - Term expires May 2016
Anicka Purath - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2015
José F. Vásquez - Term expires May 2016

David G. Walsh - Term expires May 2015
Gerald Whitburn - Appointed by Scott Walker in 2011

Wisconsin Mining Protester Releases Statement

Katie Krow Kloth targeted by Mining
Co. and Corrupt Wisconsin DA
By Katie Krow Kloth of Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine

My sentence to nine months in jail in conjunction with a withheld felony sentence equating to 15 years in prison if I “step out of line” in the eyes of the “state”, was harsh and a classist attack on my beliefs and lifestyle. Judge Fox strives to kill my spirit by burying me in a dying urban hole and desires that I refrain from involvement in the anti-resource extraction struggle; I refuse to be “killed,” and I refuse the idea of coerced complacency.

The “lifestyle enforcement” aspect of my five year probation mandate (post-jail time) with full-time employment stipulation, is culturist, and out-of-touch with today’s employment landscape. Innumerable individuals work seasonal jobs for life in a responsible manner, thus Judge Fox’s ruling is based on the disappearing myth of the white American Dream that supports and enforces a destructive capitalist regime. In conjunction, Judge Fox exploited my sentencing hearing to serve as a symbolic trial for my identity as an anarchist, my appearance, and my ongoing affiliation with indigenous communities, extending to my adamant stance against industrial resource extraction- this is unacceptable, yet predictable. The judge seemingly desires to stifle dissent from all things wild and free, and may as well have based his sentence off a hypothetical book in progress entitled, “White Pride and Prejudice,” as the words fell from his mouth in a narrow, out-dated, and white-male privileged world perspective, and does not support or embrace hunting, fishing, or gathering.

Though I am not indigenous and have never claimed to be, I am grateful and touched to have been welcomed into some of those communities, and maintain that G-TAC and their pro-mine affiliates are waging extreme racist resource colonialism on the land and connected peoples and creatures with the proposed Penokee Mine, potentially the largest iron-mine world-wide, as it would negatively affect front-line indigenous communities of the northwoods bioregion, in conjunction with their traditional ways.

Though I wish no harm on Stacey Saari, a geologist hired on G-TAC’s dollar, it saddens me that she continues to despise the fiber of my being, and continues to support industrial resource extraction that in turn supports death to the poorest of peoples in rural/wilderness landscapes. The cliché’ of “just doing your job” is no excuse to participate in colonial violence via corporate resource extraction.

Exploitation of the land by rich corporate entities continues to persist whilst perpetuating persecution of dissent to such negative acts across the globe, so resistance to these destructive activities must continue to proliferate world-wide. Various incarnations of creative resistance must be embraced to succeed in the struggle against the ongoing violence against our only home, Earth.

Consequently, colonization is everywhere, so decolonization must happen everywhere.

We must “know our rights,” and practice good security culture if we are to support our comrades, and succeed in struggle.

It will do us all good to prioritize organizing as communities and individuals that value consensus and the destruction of exclusionary hierarchies, holding ourselves accountable to our own standards.

It is also important to remember who are allies are, as well as who the real enemies are… a Supreme Court recently ruled that it is NOT a police officer’s job to “protect and serve,” only to uphold the law… the law is written by the predominantly white, colonized, elite 1% ruling class, and that is who the “law” protects- not you, not the land, not people of the LGBTQ community, female-bodied folks, or minorities of any kind. Thus, the law protects G-TAC and their affiliates, and police remain the first line of enforcement against community resistance.

We must negate state repression by protecting ourselves and land-bases therein; we must not give our people up, and recognize that to be in solidarity with one another is more akin to the idea of “harmony” than “unity”. Harmony implies that we can all do different things within the same song, and still find conclusion together.

We must let go of the liberal idea and notion of “hope”; hope is a passive wish; I would rather assert myself and strive toward self determination, leaving fascist hands and ideals behind.

The message must be sent that public dissent will NOT be stifled, as we are living in the 11th hour, the seventh fire, the last grab for fossil-fuel resources… We will not live in the wake of corporate destruction and greed… the anti-police brutality struggles that originated in Ferguson demonstrate inspiring community organizing and resistance we can all learn from, in conjunction with the indigenous people’s struggles at the Unis’tot’en Camp 1,000 kilometers north of modern day “British Columbia”- they never ceded their lands to the Canadian government and kicked out large-scale resource extractors by building a traditional village in the way of a pipeline… five years strong and steady.

In closing, direct action is important, and we must all continue to organize creatively; stay aware of the harms and dangers that surveillance and social media can bring. The internet is both a blessing and a curse; spend less time obsessing over government conspiracies, be safe, and organize around tangible issues that are pertinent to your communities.

In addition, for those who are interested in following the law to the tee until they die, you are a hypocrite, and you are not free; slavery was once legal, electro-shock therapy was once legal, and the nature of the proposed Penokee Mine was once illegal… be on the side of loving common-sense, as tough love takes many forms, not the side of money and fascism.

Ultimately, the Penokee Mine will never be built as it is genocide upon stolen Ojibwe land, its’ indigenous peoples and creatures, and their traditional ways. We should continue to use the land as if it does not belong to RGGS [RGGS Land and Minerals Ltd. of Houston], leased to G-TAC, as it does not belong to them. Treaties aside, if we kill the land, we kill ourselves.

Jan 26, 2015

Wisconsin GOP Rising Star Caught in Voter Fraud—Distributing Misinformation

Unable to produce any cases of in-person voter fraud in Wisconsin, the Republican Party of Wisconsin was forced to commit voter fraud, though a different kind.

Chris Liebenthal has the story.

Milwaukee County Supervisor Deanna Alexander, a rising star among Wisconsin Republicans, willfully informed her constituents that photo voter ID would be needed to vote, knowing fully well that this is not the case in Wisconsin.

Judge Richard Posner of the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit notes this is the voter fraud known as intentional "Misinformation" in his dissent in Ruthelle Frank v. Scott Walker (On Suggestion of Rehearing En Banc, October 20, 2014) (p. 12).

Posner's offers a "nonexhaustive" list of voter fraud, citing Voter Fraud Facts.

One hopes this crime is investigated and criminal charges are filed.

Jan 25, 2015

District Atty Martin Lipske Covered for Child Sex Trafficking Offender

Iron County Martin Lipske runs legal interference for his
ally, Dennis D. Braun, in sex trafficking case in 2013-14
Updated - A reader points to the unpredictability and volatility of Iron County District Attorney Martin Lipske in allegations-of-sexual-assault cases, noting a case in which Lipske had recommended 60 years of prison and 20 years of parole. (Ansami, Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan))
 ---

Suppose, and to be redundant hypothetically, a 14-year-old girl were transported over 600 miles to Madison to an isolated Madison hotel by three adults for the pleasures of a man paying $1,300.

Suppose early the next morning the girl fled the hotel screaming.

Suppose further that the man in the hotel room who paid the $1,300 was granted a liquor license 10 years earlier by the City, running a strip bar and brothel, among other dealings illegal under Wisconsin law.

Suppose further that the sitting District Attorney publicly took sympathies with the man in a local TV interview referring to him as a harmless "gentleman" after the incident, and then agreed to a deferred prosecution, meaning no prosecution of the man.

Suppose the absence of 'sexual predator' condemnations from the sitting District Attorney in the criminal complaint against the man, and no talk of protecting children.

I can tell you what would happen in Madison, and rightfully so: The community would be outraged, howls of condemnation would ring through the press, editorial demands for resignation of the DA would be legion across the political spectrum; child advocacy and sexual assault public interest groups would be all over the local media; a Recall petition would be launched within days; and national media would pick up the story asking: What is happening in Madison, Wisconsin?

This would not happen in Madison, Wisconsin and Dane County.

Iron County District Attorney Martin Lipske

But this is precisely what occurred in 2013-14 in Iron County in far-northern Wisconsin in a hotel in the town of Mercer (population 1,407).

The case is State of Wisconsin vs. Dennis D Braun (Iron County Case Number 2013CF000052).

And the offending District Attorney is Martin Lipske of Iron County for whom the local ribald sex trade community in the City of Hurley provides political support.

Lipske's Iron County has been a notorious playground for corruption and the sex trade for many years.


Silver Street in Hurley, Wisconsin, known
for its wide selection of 'gentleman's clubs'
Below is video of Lipske portraying one Dennis D. Braun as a harmless, "elderly gentleman," and in typical Lipske-bizarre fashion, Lipske says: "There's nothing glorifying about this," with Lipske then feigning surprise that sex trafficking occurred in his rural county when Lipske knows perfectly well about Silver Street in Hurley.

Lispke was just shocked, shocked.

After the KBJR News, (Oct. 2, 2013) piece ran, it was reported that Braun sought and was granted a liquor license in the city of Hurley's topless bar section and Braun is at the center of the sex trafficking scandal.

Lipske was in a corner, raising the question of how to help his ally, Braun.

Lipske first minimized the affair, "the man only engaged in kissing the 14-year-old and providing wine." (KBJR News, Oct. 2, 2013)

Lipske then filed one charge, "Soliciting a Child for Prostitution."

This is the same district attorney notorious for filing multitudes of criminal charges for disfavored defendants such as GTAC mine opponents, knowing his political alliance with Iron County Judge Patrick Madden will almost guarantee verdicts and sentences Lipske wants, hence smart defendants ask for judicial substitution when Lipske and Madden are together on a case, unless the case involves a favored prostitute and a favored John.

D.A. Martin Lipske protects sex trafficking in Iron County
When the media light was off the sex-trafficking story, on January 13, 2014, Lipske and Judge Madden amended the charge for the "gentleman," to "Solicitation of Prostitutes," and on the same day agreed to a deferred prosecution, no prosecution, no conviction.

Lipske had done his job for the Iron County political machine.

There is no end to what Lipske is capable of both in persecuting the innocent, and protecting the guilty.

The last judge or district attorney criminally prosecuted in Wisconsin was Iron County Circuit Court Judge Alex Raineri in 1980 in a federal corrupt-prostitution case.

Lipske and Madden ought join Raineri, and every criminal case prosecuted by Lipske should be opened and objectively and thoroughly examined for misconduct and abuse of process.

Lipske is desperate for political allies outside of the sparsely populated Iron County.

In 2008, Lipske ran for DA on the Democratic Party ticket.

In 2012, after Scott Walker and Republicans went to work for the GTAC mine in Iron County after state Republicans and their allies were compensated by GTAC, Lipske ran as an independent.

In 2014, after Waukesha District Attorney Brad Schimel successfully ran for Wisconsin Attorney General, Schimel put out a press release announcing "Another Democrat Endorses Brad Schimel," listing Iron County District Attorney Martin Lipske as a Democrat.

Lispke is for sale.

Worse, Martin Lipske is out of control and running wild as a sitting district attorney is literally terrorizing a Wisconsin county.

Jan 23, 2015

Wisconsin Is Passive as Out-of-Control District Attorney Runs Wild

"The right to do what the law does not prohibit, without fear of harassment or punishment, is one of the hallmarks of a free society."—Judge Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [foreword to Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice (Sidney Powell, Brown Books Publishing Group, 2014)]
 ---
Updated - A January 18 snow trek through the snow-covered forest in a northern Wisconsin county is felony bailjumping (Wisconsin Statute 946.49), according to Iron County (Wisconsin) District Attorney Martin Lipske, the precise sort of prosecutor with a history of misconduct Judge Richard Posner—judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit—had in mind when Posner wrote his crucial opinion hitting absolute immunity for prosecutors in Fields v. Wharrie and Kelley, (2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 133) (No. 13-1195).

District Attorney Lipske routinely files felony bailjumping (and other ludicrous) criminal charges, and these charges are not the result of meticulous investigations and objective gathering of facts and evidence by law enforcement.

Two days after January 18, District Attorney Lipske decided, without an investigation, that he had no choice but to file a felony bailjumping charge the day before an environmental protester was to be sentenced for Lipske's latest abuse of process, one could even say a malicious prosecution.

Lipske just wanted more control over the life of the anti-mining activist, Katie Krow Kloth, and this despicable model of a jurist had no compunction that the actions of his office inflicted pain on the 27-year-old Ms. Kloth, and on her family and friends, hence this site's recent characterization of Lipske as a psychopath.

The District Attorney's office of Iron County in Hurley is run by a little man, Martin Lipske, animated by spite, vindictiveness, and caprice, and whose criminal charges typically are not proceeded by investigations of any kind, just a vague contemplation of how Lipske can use contrived charges to achieve his ends as he revels in his world of Iron County.

The gravity of this situation is easily overlooked by Wisconsin media as Iron County is an isolated and sparsely populated county in far-northern Wisconsin, and Wisconsin has myriad issues of the moment demanding attention of the media, the political system and the citizenry.

Martin Lipske is part of the problem.

Martin Lipske's prosecutions slip through the cracks, giving Lipske carte blanche to run his office on personal whims with appalling results, and the regulatory Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Investigation is a case study in administrative law "capture theory," a state of affairs more insidious when the purpose of regulation and the rule of law is the Sovereign embodied by the District Attorney—"the power and might of the government," as noted by an out-of-state jurist.

I have spoken with victims of Lipske's over the last several years, and the shattering trauma of these victims is common in Iron County for both the legally exonerated and the morally exonerated.

DA Martin Lipske Fronting for the Proposed Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) Mine

District Attorney Martin Lipske threw the book at GTAC mining protester, Katie Krow Kloth, for actions at a June 2013 mining protest that would have brought a civil citation of disorderly conduct in most any other Wisconsin county.

But not Lipske.

Kloth was recently sentenced to serve nine months in the Iron County jail, after being charged with four criminal offenses for these actions at a rally against the proposed mine.

Advocating for GTAC and subsequently for the criminally operating Bulletproof Securities, Inc, (Marley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel) Lipske defended Bulletproof at a 2013 hearing of Kloth's, a window into Lipske's mindset and corruption of the judicial process for the benefit of GTAC.

Subsequently, Lipske violated a Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule [SCR 20:3.6  Trial publicity] in his pursuit of Kloth, (Mal Contends); vis:

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rule [SCR 20:3.6  Trial publicity]: "(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter."

Bailjumping Charge

"Acting Judge Sam Filippo set [a $5,000 signature] bond recommended by Lipske under conditions that Kloth have no contact with the [alledged] victim, nor threatening behavior to GTAC or Idea Drilling employees," notes Ralph Ansami (Lakeland Times).

Now, Lipske on top of the four criminal charges, claims that Ms. Kloth allegedly entering the forbidden zone in the public managed forest land in the Penokee Hills last Sunday constitutes "bailjumping."

The "forbidden zone" reference is to the Republican-passed law, 2013 Wisconsin Act 81, effective January 2014 that the GOP designed for GTAC to test-drill and load and transport bulk samples (Wisconsin Public Radio). [Here is the link to Act 81's legislative history and record of committee proceedings.]

This is a not a criminal statute.

"All the right-winger media was abuzz about supposed so-called 'No Go Zones' that Muslim people have set up in cities in Europe where non-Muslims aren't allowed to go. Turns out, the real No-Go Zones are set up by the Corporate Persons in America where non-Corporates aren't allowed to go," noted Bobby L. Clark, a Wisconsin citizen in Iron County and member of the group, Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine.

The proposed mining zone language is basically a trespassing statute that outlines what constitutes a trespass for "Proposed Ferrous Mining Sites, (2m)," as has been widely noted by clean water advocates.

GTAC gets a 600-foot buffer in which to test-drill and transport bulk samples from its proposed iron ore mine.

Wisconsin "Trespass to law" is still the law used to enforce any alleged trespassing.

Trespassing is a civil infraction—and it is quite a stretch for Lipske to call a civil infraction, bailjumping.

No investigation

It would be silly to contend that Lipske conducted an investigation just after the hours of the alleged infraction and found that Ms. Kloth trespassed, and then conclude a felony bailjumping charge must be leveled.

Wisconsin's trespassing law requires some kind of notice. This means if the owner approaches people and says you are trespassing on land and can go no further, you will advance at your own risk.

If you are not actually told this, signage is also required, and the state trespassing law says you need each 40-acre parcel marked, ridiculous for Lipske to mesh these requirements with the "600-foot rule" that the special forbidden zone legislation created, with absolutely no investigation conducted, as Lipske has admitted.

The Trespass to land law reads in part:
(2)(am) A person has received notice from the owner or occupant within the meaning of sub. (1m) (b), (e) or (f) if he or she has been notified personally, either orally or in writing, or if the land is posted. Land is considered to be posted under this paragraph under either of the following procedures:

943.13(2)(am)1. 1. If a sign at least 11 inches square is placed in at least 2 conspicuous places for every 40 acres to be protected. The sign must provide an appropriate notice and the name of the person giving the notice followed by the word "owner" if the person giving the notice is the holder of legal title to the land and by the word "occupant" if the person giving the notice is not the holder of legal title but is a lawful occupant of the land. Proof that appropriate signs as provided in this subdivision were erected or in existence upon the premises to be protected prior to the event complained of shall be prima facie proof that the premises to be protected were posted as provided in this subdivision.

2. If markings at least one foot long, including in a contrasting color the phrase "private land" and the name of the owner, are made in at least 2 conspicuous places for every 40 acres to be protected.

Lipske would have had to investigate and first determine which 40-acre parcel the 600-foot rule affected, ensure that each 40-acre parcel has the required signage, as required by statute, and that Ms. Kloth then intentionally violated the Proposed Ferrous Mining Sites, (2m) and conditions of her bond.

Each 40-feet forbidden zone is not marked, Iron County residents have confirmed.

This Proposed Ferrous Mining Sites law merely creates a right of the owner to close off the land to the public.

Lipske likely will be informed that the state will not be able to sustain a trespass charge against Kloth, meaning there was no violation of her bail conditions in this respect (i.e., no law violated).

As far as the specific conditions of Kloth's bail forbidding her from entering a mining site on GTAC's premises, there is neither a mining site, as defined in state law, nor a premises owned by GTAC that was ventured into by Kloth or anyone else, and moreover no one was encountered Sunday, January 18, as one would expect in the middle of the forest in the middle of January in far-northern Iron County Wisconsin.

That the conditions of Kloth's signature bond were violated is at best silly conjecture accomplished with no investigation, and to file a felony bailjumping charge is an abuse of process intended to cause Kloth harm.

Lipske had operated in this manner for years, thus demanding, at the least, that every case he has prosecuted be examined by an outside agency.

Hyperbole? I wish.

Jan 22, 2015

The 'Forbidden Zone,' a Psychopathic District Attorney and the Soul of Wisconsin

Edge of the Forbidden Zone
in northern Wisconsin
Update: "The Forbidden Zone is a corrupt political construct bought and paid for by people who should be behind bars.It is a special favor for the dark money donor class and should be challenged," said Jeff Silbert, a Wisconsin resident working to stop the proposed massive open pit mine.
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Pete Rasmussen of the Penokee Hill Education Project, offers viewers a compelling narrative of the Wisconsin "Forbidden Zone," created by Wisconsin Republicans and Scott Walker for the Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) mining company in the middle of "the Penokee Range of Northern Wisconsin, home to a proposed massive open pit operation that threatens the water and treaty resources of the Ojibwe ceded territory." (Indian Country News)

For a stunning and powerful video, see Paulette Moore's videos.

GTAC wants to slash open the largest open pit mine in the world in pristine northern Wisconsin, poisoning an entire ecosystem.

Dan Kaufman in the New York Times calls the proposed GTAC mine, "The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul."

A corrupt Wisconsin District Attorney, Martin Lipske, wants to prosecute a mining protester with a felony crime for allegedly setting foot in the deserted, snow-laden Forbidden Zone in the middle of January 2015.

This writer has listened to and interviewed 1,000s, and I have never spoken with such a repulsive piece of human garbage as Martin Lipske.

The snowshoe trek, (there is a lot of snow in northern Wisconsin), began with "the Lac Coutre Oreilles band of Ojibwe Indians [which] established the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP]: A five-acre camp in the Penokee Hills of Northern Wisconsin. The group joined local, national and international activists protesting the development of the worlds largest open-pit mine in pristine forest," said Wisconsin resident, Brad Geyer.

Bayfield County Inn Guests Say CAFO Is Dealbreaker

Owners of the Pinehurst Inn in Bayfield County recently received some concern from potential guests.

"They told us in the email that that was a deal breaker for them coming here if in fact that [the swine CAFO] was in the process of being built in this area," said Owner, Steve Sandstrom. (Henry, KBJR News)

At right: "Pinehurst Inn is located just 3 miles south of Bayfield, Wisconsin, gateway to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore and Madeline Island."

The area offers wonderful opportunity to couples, families and friends to play, enjoy Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands, wander Bayfield’s orchards, meander the shops in Bayfield or bike the fire roads within Chequamegon Forest."

Jan 21, 2015

Mine Protestor Gets Light Jail Sentence, Corrupt Iron County DA Sought Long Prison Term

Katie Krow Kloth targeted by Mining
Co. and Corrupt Wisconsin DA
Updated - Nine-month Jail Term and Small Restitution for Mine Protester and Environmental Activist - DA Martin Lipske's 15-year Prison Sentence Rejected by Judge; GTAC's $80,000-plus Restitution Request Rejected by Judge [It was originally reported that the sentence is six months, but as the two counts' sentences are running consecutively and not concurrently, the jail term is nine months]

Update: A source in Iron County says Iron County DA Lipske, after being rebuffed today by Judge Fox, is now working on new charges against Ms. Kloth.

Lipske will not be satisfied until he has inflicted as much pain as possible on Ms. Kloth and will contrive virtually any charge in his ongoing abuse of process and malicious prosecution of Ms. Kloth.

The new charge is now Bail Jumping, a Class H Felony, though Ms. Kloth has never missed an appearance.

Reached today by phone, Lipske said there is a forbidden area in the forest of Iron County on which Ms. Kloth set foot.

The case is State of Wisconsin vs. Katie M. Kloth, Iron County Case Number 2015CF000001. Lipske said he is touch with Kloth attorney, John C. Bachman of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Lipske claims that entering the forbidden zone in the Penokee Hills last Sunday constitutes "Bail Jumping."

 "On Sunday, at least 45 people snowshoed into the 'forbidden zone,' an off-limits mining zone in the Penokees established by Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) through the Wisconsin DNR, to peacefully protest the proposed mining in the region," reports Amber Mullen, Ashland Daily Press.

Objectively, Iron County District Attorney Martin Lipske is a despicable human being who should be investigated for misconduct again, and have his license suspended again by the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation.

Lipske said he had no choice but to pursue another felony charge though the political protest case is effectively closed. 

Lipske does have a choice, it's called prosecutorial discretion, but this human garbage is on a vendetta.
 ---
Katie Krow Kloth was sentenced to serve nine months in Iron County jail before a packed courtroom in Hurley, Wisconsin, and was described by the presiding judge as committing an offense on the low end of the spectrum at a political protest in 2013.

Two sentences of six and three months are ordered to be served consecutively by Ms. Kloth who is eligible for work release and has two weeks to report to jail. "Kloth will have five years of probation with the felony charge and two years with the misdemeanor," notes the Ashland Daily Press.

The presiding judge, Price County Judge Douglas T. Fox, said a prison sentence was not "appropriate," and withheld requested prison sentences, rejecting Iron County DA Martin Lipske's appeals.

Lipske is notoriously corrupt and known for fronting for Gogebic Taconite (GTAC).

GTAC's $80,000 request for restitution was rejected in full.

A different company employee, Stacy Saari, was ordered to receive a small restitution from Kloth.

Ms. Kloth, a 27-year-old woman who had no criminal record prior, is an environmental and Native American activist who faced four criminal charges for actions at a 2013 political protest at the proposed GTAC mine site in northern Wisconsin. (See Kaufman, New York Times)

Ms. Kloth had pleaded No Contest to two charges last September.

Kloth's attorney, John C. Bachman of Eau Claire, Wisconsin said he had never seen so many letters of support in a criminal case today as at this hearing.

The Department of Corrections filed a presentencing report with the Court on November 13, 2014, ordered by Price County Judge Douglas T. Fox on September 23, 2014.

"Katie is an intelligent and skilled botanist who has much to teach about the natural world," said environmental activist Rob Ganson of Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine in a letter to  Judge Fox.

Ms. Kloth made a motion for a new judge in March 2014, as is her right (unique among the 50 states) to move for in Wisconsin for no stated cause, though the case stays in the jurisdiction of Iron County.

Good move.

The District Attorney, Iron County's Martin Lipske, is a corrupt jurist, suspended for discipline in 1990, and like Iron County Judge Patrick Madden is not a jurist with whom you want to be dealing when you are protesting the proposed giant open pit GTAC mine in Iron County.

Lipske, incredibly (but not for Lipske), had charged Kloth on four criminal counts two of which could have resulted in a 15-year prison sentence for an incident during which the alleged victims were seen laughing on tape.

Judge Fox handed down the sentence—some 11 months after Kloth's motion for a substitution of judge—this morning after DA Lipske threw the book at Kloth in typical Lipske-abuse-of-discretion fashion.

The charges stem from a criminal complaint of June 21, 2013.

Kloth had reached a plea deal in September, facing DA Martin Lipske throwing the book at her.

Krow was described as "looking well" yesterday by a long-time resident of Ashland County who spoke with Krow at the produce aisle at Chequamegon Food Coop on Tuesday, January 20th in the city of Ashland.

The same source said, Krow told him, "she has a good feeling about tomorrow's trial and claims to be ready for whatever happens."

Today at the sentencing hearing, Krow was described as "emotional but composed, and remorseful," by an attendee of the hearing.

Kloth is also the victim of a PR campaign against her by Wisconsin GOP-front journals, the Wisconsin Reporter and Media Trackers, among GOP groups.

"[T]he Gogebic Taconite company contributed $700,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth during the recall races in 2011 and 2012. According to the John Doe prosecutors, that contribution was coordinated by agents of Gov. Scott Walker. Around the same time, Walker and the Republicans were promoting a bill that was partially written by Gogebic Taconite. That bill eventually passed, giving the company what it wanted for its controversial mine in Iron County." (Rothschild, The Capital Times)

Said Krow in July 2014: "Those who fight against the destruction of the water, land, plants, and human and non-human animals of the Penokee Hills and Bad River Watershed are not ‘terrorists.’ The only terrorists are those who plot to blow up the hills with ammonium nitrate and use the power of the state’s policing apparatus to repress and send fear and division through the communities that oppose them. Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) and Chris Cline have millions of dollars and the support of the state to destroy the Penokees [Hills]." (Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

A support group of Krow's notes:
On June 11th, 2013, Kroft was cited by the Iron County Sherriff for theft due to her alleged involvement in a rowdy protest earlier that day that disrupted bore-hole drilling on the Penokee Range. She was neither arrested nor detained that day.

Ten days later, Iron County District Attorney Martin Lipske increased the charges to robbery with use of force (a class E felony), two counts of criminal damage to property and one charge of theft of movable property.

It is apparent that the prosecutor gave into outside political pressure and that the charges were trumped up. The state legislature and powerful mining corporations seek to make an example out of anyone who dares to step out of line

A letter to Judge Fox by Rob Ganson of Citizens Concerned about the Proposed Penokee Mine (Facebook) is reproduced below:

Judge Fox,

Katie Kloth, in my opinion, is guilty of a crime, one like Bill Williams committed in the courthouse in Ashland, when he too, snatched a cell phone against resistance of the owner.

Small crimes like these, like the one perpetrated on 80-year-old Bruce Noble (no charges) occur on the streets of Hurley on a regular basis with no charges forthcoming. Please ask yourself why this particular case was so blatantly over-charged in Iron County.

It is clear on the video that a very minor assault was committed, while the victim’s co-workers, (a burly drilling crew) stood by laughing at the ill considered and rude antics. It is also clear that GTac responded by breaking the law; sending unlicensed mercenaries with military weapons, mercenaries in camo gear and masks, to confront hikers, including my wife. THIS was another sort of assault altogether! This assault was one including the brandishing of military rifles by masked men who seemed like some sort of terrorist cell and NOBODY was charged! The disposition of this case should be the same as it would be absent the political environment responsible for the elevated charges.

Katie is an intelligent and skilled botanist who has much to teach about the natural world, (if little about manners) and not some troublemaker with a record of crime or violence of any kind. I ask that you act in the spirit of justice and impose the slap on the wrist wake up call it would end in were it not for the politics that have so greatly exaggerated it.

Rob Ganson,
Washburn, Wisconsin
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Bulletproof Securities, Inc - Photo by Rob Ganson
Read as well the refusal of DA Martin Lipske to prosecute the rightwing Bulletproof Securities, Inc. which tried to provoke natives of northern Wisconsin by unlawfully carrying semi-automatic weapons captured in a shot by Rob Ganson that was picked up nationwide.

July 17, 2013

Martin Lipske District Attorney
300 Taconite Street
Hurley, WI 54534

Re: Bulletproof Securities, Inc.

Dear Mr. Lipske:

This is a follow-up to my letter of July 11, calling your attention to several violations committed by Bulletproof Securities, Inc. while their armed personnel were unlawfully present in Wisconsin at the GTAC mine site. Apparently Bulletproof’s application for a Wisconsin license is still under consideration.

In my previous letter I did not specifically point to Wisconsin Statutes Section 134.58, which suggests that some officials and employees of both Bulletproof Securities and GTAC may have committed felonies. Section 134.58 states:

“Any person who, individually, in concert with another or as agent or officer of any firm, joint-stock company or corporation, uses, employs, aids or assists in employing any body of armed persons to act as militia, police or peace officers for the protection of persons or property or for the suppression of strikes, not being authorized by the laws of this state to so act, is guilty of a Class I felony.”

It is difficult to argue that this provision was not violated by the hiring of unlicensed personnel carrying AR-15’s, engaged to conduct surveillance and to protect the employees and property of GTAC.

Given this and the numerous previously listed violations, it is incumbent on your office and state regulatory authorities to insure that Bulletproof Securities, Inc. is not allowed to operate in Wisconsin. In the event Bulletproof officials were to be convicted of these charges, they would lose the right to operate in Arizona as well as Wisconsin. GTAC is presently utilizing Wisconsin personnel, and the tension has de-escalated. It would be counterproductive to reintroduce this firm into Wisconsin, as GTAC has promised. While Governor Walker and others have insisted that you prosecute law-breaking protesters to the fullest extent possible, I am looking for some semblance of an attempt to enforce the laws against out-of-state corporations responsible for criminal activity within our state.

Your defense of GTAC’s right to hire Bulletproof’s guards at Katie Kloth’s hearing was troublesome.

It was unrelated to her guilt or innocence, and only served to conflate the issues. No one has ever suggested GTAC has no right to hire private security -- they have every right to hire licensed personnel. Don’t confuse that with utilizing unlicensed, armed security forces in violation of Wisconsin’s criminal laws. Your vigorous stance in support of the hiring appears inappropriate for one charged with the duty to decide whether that hiring led to multiple violations of the law.

Unlike Governor Walker, I am not requesting that you use every weapon at your disposal. I am merely seeking assurances that Bulletproof Securities, Inc. will not be granted a license to operate in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is better served by the continued use of local companies that have demonstrated knowledge of and compliance with the law.

Sincerely,

Anthony J. Stella, Jr.
Copy: Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services

Record 2014 Profits Won't Change CAFO Model for Big Ag in the Dairy State

Wisconsin - Visit the Liquid Cow Manure
Big Ag Is Willing to Accept Devastation of Wisconsin Waters as Costs of Doing Business

Update: The concept of a 'global economy'" while our local economies and rural America continues to be impoverished and desecrated by the industrial model of agriculture is devastating.  The hard core irony that we are to drink more milk and eat more cheese - while this industry pollutes and pillages our communities' natural resources, homes, and health is beyond comprehension. All over the nation the scourge of the factory farm model is being pushed, shamelessly, including by our agencies that were originally designed to protect citizenry and our natural resources [DATCP and DNR].

In disgust,
Nancy Utesch, Kewaunee County Wisconsin
 ---
To listen the public relations statements coming from the Dairy Business Association (DBA), all Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) owners care about are hiring workers, protecting the water and helping tourism and recreation.

After all, these are rural people, so noble and hard-working.

With politicians like Wisconsin State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) in their pocket CAFO owners can say anything and know corrupt politicians have their back and will amplify their message.

Anybody who thinks CAFO owners are going to back down from their business model destroying Wisconsin streams, lakes, rivers, and aquifers are kidding you.


Rob Schultz has the story in this morning's Wisconsin State Journal, "Dairy farms lead state to record ag profits in 2014."

Quaint concerns like safe and clean water, property values, and recreation and tourism are laughable to these CAFO owners.

These matters have zero effect on CAFOs' bottom line because CAFO owners have no stake in the community (they don't live on CAFOs).

Record Ag Profits.

Wisconsin's waters didn't fair as well.

With the CAFO model working so well for massive Dairy operations, the model has been adopted by Swine operations, and an out-of-state operation wants to site a swine CAFO in Bayfield County, some 10 miles from Lake Superior, 10 percent of the world's fresh water.

Far-northern Wisconsin clean water activists won't back down against the CAFO water and air polluters or the proposed GTAC mine water and air polluters: "One anti-mining activist said she isn’t worried 'about getting a ticket for trespassing and would gladly lay down her life if it would stop the mine or the [proposed Bayfield] CAFO,' a sentiment shared by a number of other participants." (Mullen, Ashland Daily Press)