Republican Party of Wisconsin front-group, Media Trackers want Native Americans camp to disband and leave
Iron County, Wisconsin is a rural county at the very top of northern Wisconsin, running into Lake Superior. [Shaded in red in graphic at right]
With a population of some 5,900, the county is frequently the butt of jokes about the corruption of its public officials, such as Iron County District Attorney Martin Lipske.
But there is nothing funny about Iron County officials again trying to drum up racist resentment against the Lac Courte Oreilles band of Ojibwe.
The Republican Party of Wisconsin front-group, Media Trackers, and its Republican writer, Brian Sikma, are attacking a wooded campsite because it's calling attention to the proposed open-pit mine, owned by Gogebic Taconite for whom Wisconsin Republicans wrote a mining bill rushed through on a party-line vote earlier this year.
Writes Lee Bergquist this morning:
An attorney for Iron County says that a wooded campsite that's been a hub for opponents of a proposed iron-ore mine is violating county ordinances by exceeding the timeline that such a gathering can take place.
Michael Pope, corporation counsel for Iron County, said Thursday that the harvest camp organized by the Lac Courte Oreilles band of Lake Superior Chippewa has exceeded a two-week limit for such gatherings.
But Paul DeMain, a spokesman for the camp, said Iron County officials have raised no questions about the legality of the tent community directly with tribal leaders. He suggested the issue is politically motivated, as debate over mining shows no sign of abating.
Wisconsin Republicans like Sikma and Iron County officials should give it up.
The Lac Courte Oreilles band of the Ojibwe operate at a level of commitment that Republicans like Brian Sikma simply cannot understand.
Harassment will be laughed off.