|Dana Duncan, Candidate for |
Wisconsin's 72nd Assembly District
is taking on pro-CAFO incumbent,
Conversion or political expedience?Updated - Whatever the explanation, grassroots activism still matters in central Wisconsin, and when a local citizens' groups forces a corrupt political opponent to adopt qualified agreement with their positions, the grassroots can claim victory.
Ask Protect Wood County and Rome and Saratoga Friendly and their two-plus years opposition to a proposed massive, Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation (CAFO) by the Wysocki corporation in northern Adams and Wood County (and abutting Juneau and Portage counties and the area stream, the Ten Mile Creek) in central Wisconsin.
State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) is as cynical and craven a politician as I have seen in Wisconsin politics, and this is plunging the depths of today's Republican Party dominated by corporate-owned extremists.
In this triumph of grassroots activists, citizens have pushed Krug to join Krug's general election opponent, disability rights attorney Dana Duncan, into opposing the proposed giant CAFO by the Wysocki corporation in a spectacular reversal on Krug's part who cited soaring level of Ecoli in area lakes (reported last week) and beaches as the rationale behind Krug's new position.
|A common site in the Town of |
Saratoga in Wood County
Krug has known of Ecoli and other pathogen concerns for years thanks to the work of this constituents.
Facing a groundswell of opposition, Krug announced his opposition yesterday, the same week Protect Wood County and Rome and Saratoga Friendly jointly announced they are co-sponsoring a debate between Krug and Duncan to take place October 6, and the same week Krug said he is filing a libel suit against MAL Contends for pointing out Krug is cynical, corrupt and willing to support dumping toxins into area streams and lakes.
Opposing the Wysocki CAFO is better than telling CAFO opponent, Nancy Koch, to "quit your bitching," as Scott Krug said on July 19, 2012 at a special Saratoga Town Board meeting drawing 100s of people held at the Wisconsin Rapids Performing Arts Center.
Krug's press release announcing his reversal, 73 days from the November 4 general election, is reproduced below, as is his general election opponent's, Dana Duncan who excoriated Krug for waiting so long to come out against the proposed CAFO and high capacity water permits.
"It's obvious that the real reason for Representative Krug's sudden opposition to the CAFO in Saratoga and its high capacity wells has more to do with his floundering campaign than the high e coli levels in Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha," said Dana Duncan, Democratic Assembly Candidate for the 72nd assembly district now held by Krug. "For nearly three years local residents have vocally expressed their opposition to this project and up until now my opponent has refused to take a position on this critical local issue.
"This sudden change of heart on this critical local issue by my opponent is just a cynical attempt to distract voters from the fact that he has been wrong on this issue for nearly three years. This isn't leadership; this is simply a bold-face attempt at political manipulation. First, per diem, then term limits; how many other positions will he change to try to win this election?"
Dana Duncan has long opposed the Wysocki CAFO and its requested 49 new high capacity well permits since the Wysocki Family of Companies formed two LLCs in 2012 and dropped like a bomb its plans to build the massive CAFO against the wishes of residents of this rural region called the Golden Sands.
The Duncan campaign said in a phone conversation this morning that Dana Duncan remains opposed to all new CAFOs under existing regulations devoid of wastewater treatment plans, noting there are several CAFOs now operating in and near Krug's district, and Krug has only come out against one proposed CAFO.
Duncan said opposing one proposed massive CAFO out of "political expediency" is smart politics, but Krug's horrid record on the environment remains.
The Central Sands region relies heavily on tourism and recreation, and northern Adams County, for example, is the site of a planned golf resort now imperiled by the proposed massive CAFO and its estimated some 60 million tons of liquid cow manure produced annually. In a phrase: PGA-rated golf courses and cow shit do not mix.
Citizen Ystad Responds
"I appreciate that Scott Krug has finally come out and said what should be realized all the way up the chain in Madison. The central sands area is already in trouble from over pumping of high cap wells, and with the closure of area beaches we are seeing the result of overreaching agriculture polluting our groundwater and surface water," said citizen Don Ystad of Rome, Wisconsin in an email this morning.
"Most importantly, the Rome/Saratoga recreational area, a major contributor to state tourism revenue, and inhabited by thousands of families, is not the place to put a large dairy CAFO. This is a strong statement from a man whose party has been the friend of big ag in many bill proposals, and Scott needs to be commended for saying the right thing."
|Right here in our local Lake Nepco - |
Attack of the Blue/Green Algae.
Our reps, both local and at the state level,
better start getting a clue!
Water worries everywhere!
Nepco Lake for E. Coli and blue-green
algae. Just kayaked in the nastiest
We must fix these issues."
- Rhonda Cain-Carrell
As a voter who cares about his environment, I need to know that the people I elect are protecting our environment, and our beautiful recreational area with the tourism dollars it can generate. Many of us believe you can be a friend of agriculture and still do the right thing for the citizens in our state. I'm a concerned citizen and I vote."
Activism Pushing Environment
Personally, MAL Contends has been up in Wood and Adams counties some 10 times since 2012, and I can tell you that popular opposition against the CAFO is as strong a local political issue in Wisconsin this election cycle as I have seen next to the proposed GTac mine in Iron and Ashland counties in northern Wisconsin.
Krug's calling for a moratorium on high capacity wells in his district and his new opposition to the CAFO centered around Saratoga in the words of a long-time CAFO opponent appears as "a light on the road to Damascus. Or he [Krug] looked at the primary returns in Saratoga and Rome," referring the August 12 primary election that catapulted Duncan to a two-to-one victory over an opponent that Wisconsin Democratic Party Chair Mike Tate picked to run against the independent-minded Duncan.
Perhaps Scott Walker and Mary Burke will follow Duncan (and now Krug). Well, one conversion at a time.
Whether Krug was struck by lighting to borrow the Biblical allusion or the hard reality of losing an election against popular opposition, Scott Krug and Dana Duncan's Press Releases are below:
DISTURBING NEWS OF HIGH E. COLI LEVELS LEADS TO CALL FOR ACTION
Madison –“With the news this week that Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha have disturbingly high levels of E. Coli (close to 30 times the level of safety) Representative Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) urged the DNR to deny the high capacity well permits currently being considered in Saratoga, and made the following statement:
"The progression of signs of deteriorating water quality ranging from lower lake levels to contaminated water bodies leads me to the believe that this area cannot handle increased pressures on water quality and quantity. Because of the serious concerns I have about the safety and quality of our water supply here in the Central Sands, I can't support the CAFO that is currently being considered for a high capacity well permits in Saratoga until those water quality concerns are addressed. While I appreciate the openness of the Wysocki family to negotiate on certain aspects of their project, it no longer appears that this project is feasible in any form, in an area that is so vulnerable for contamination. I ask the DNR to look into this E. coli outbreak and deny the high capacity well permits.
"Our area has a long, proud tradition of agriculture and we definitely need to do whatever we can do to bring job growth to the area. But those considerations should not supersede the protection of the health and safety of our residents. Nor can they supersede the concerns associated with property value loss and decreased revenue from loss of tourism.
“It was recently announced that the economic impact of tourism in Wisconsin went up 18% since 2011 to a staggering $17.5 Billion. The municipalities surrounding the Wisconsin Rapids area have started to pick up a great deal of steam in creating a new recreational haven for tourists from not only Wisconsin but all over the country. Compromising that momentum because of damaged natural resources would not be a wise long-term decision."
CONTACT STATE REPRESENTATIVE: SCOTT KRUG: (608)-266-0216
Duncan Campaign Forces Rep. Krug to Finally Listen to Constituents on Saratoga CAFO
"It's obvious that the real reason for Representative Krug's sudden opposition to the CAFO in Saratoga and its high capacity wells has more to do with his floundering campaign than the high e coli levels in Nepco Lake and Lake Wazeecha," said Dana Duncan, Democratic Assembly Candidate.
"For nearly three years local residents have vocally expressed their opposition to this project and up until now my opponent has refused to take a position on this critical local issue." Duncan continued, "In contrast, I've listened to these residents concerns and have taken a firm stance against high capacity wells which fail to consider overall impact to the area as well as all CAFOs in Wisconsin. I hope he will examine my other proposals and adopt them also.”
"This sudden change of heart on this critical local issue by my opponent is just a cynical attempt to distract voters from the fact that he has been wrong on this issue for nearly three years," said Duncan. This isn't leadership; this is simply a bold-face attempt at political manipulation. First, per diem, then term limits; how many other positions will he change to try to win this election?” concluded Duncan.
Duncan for Assembly 715-451-0503
|Proposed Golden Sands Dairy, in Saratoga, in Adams and Wood Counties, Wisconsin|