Oct 31, 2014

Clean Water Group: Dana Duncan Gives Unique Access for Concerns, Scott Krug Ignored Outcry

Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors released a statement regarding Wisconsin's 72nd Assembly district race.

The Dana Duncan (D-Port Edwards) campaign released the following statement in response: "I am pleased that Protect Wood County (PWC) has recognized me as the candidate best poised to deal with the dangers posed by high capacity wells and CAFOs. Before becoming a candidate, I did not grasp the dangers facing the Town of Saratoga and Wisconsin from high capacity wells and CAFOs.  After looking at the issues, I took a clear stand without any equivocation. It was the right thing to do then and is the right thing to do now, regardless of political ramifications. This endorsement by PWC shows that they are frustrated by Scott Krug's efforts to protect the interest of big money donors to the detriment of the people of his district. They recognize commitment versus political expedience.  They see determination to act versus delay and apprehension.  I look forward to go to Madison to work on these problems and to provide real leadership for the 72nd District."

From Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors:

Dear friends and concerned citizens,

Election day on Tuesday, November 4th, is fast approaching. The Assembly race for District 72 and the Governor’s race are of utmost importance as the "Winners" will have a direct impact on the future of Wisconsin’s natural resources and environmental protection. The purpose of this email is not to direct you how to vote, but to briefly present some of the key environmental issues and candidate positions.

There are many among us who have misgivings about continuing to work with our current representatives.  The question has been posed, "Is it better to have a mediocre representative from the party in power or a strong representative from the opposing camp?" Ultimately, that decision is going to be left to the voters.

How you choose to vote is your choice.  What is ultimately important is that you vote.

As with the Gubernatorial email, comments provided below are from local residents who have been actively involved in our battle from the beginning and frequently communicate with our representatives. Comments have been edited to reflect environmental topics only and not those on education or the economy.

Representative Krug - Rep. Krug has been our elected official throughout the duration of our battle against the Wysocki group and their proposal to site a dairy CAFO in our backyards. Rep. Krug initially was determined that a “Win / Win” situation could be reached between the dueling parties, ignoring the outcry from his citizenry. Although continuing to sit solidly on the fence regarding the proposed CAFO, Rep. Krug created a Groundwater Advisory Committee in August 2013 in response to community outrage over Motion 375 sneaking into the budget bill.   The citizen committee never addressed Motion 375 because Senate Bill 302 was introduced and dominated the discussion by Krug’s lead.  Krug attempted to bring interested parties to the table to reach an acceptable compromise regarding water usage in the Central Sands.   The Groundwater Advisory group did not address the CAFO concerns. 
The following is an overview of citizen input regarding representation of our concerns over the past 2 years:
•Proposed CAFO announced in June 2012 - community research completed and given to Rep. Krug in September 2012.  Rep Krug did not stand with his constituents publicly until Aug. 21st of 2014 - two full years after the initial announcement.

•Rep. Krug takes sole credit for the defeat of Senate Bill 302 and indeed he played a part in the victory.  However, in actuality SB 302 was so bad it was defeated by a tremendous amount of statewide citizen opposition and activism preventing it from ever reaching the Senate or Assembly floor. 

•League of Conservation Voters Award - Voting for conservation bills 57% of the time and with a lifetime record of 38%, Krug ranked highest among Assembly Republicans.  Democrats like Katrina Shankland were typically at 100%.

•Rep. Krug formed the Groundwater Advisory Committee after significant pressure from environmental groups and touts the success of the group's accomplishments. However, numerous participants feel very differently regarding the accomplishments noting:

◦meetings were casual/informal and lacked focus - Follow-through from the previous meeting decisions hardly happened 

◦group had questionable objectives

◦creation of draft legislation was completed by Rep. Krug without the group’s input or knowledge - group actively spoke with Rep. Krug to NOT introduce this legislation due to its unacceptable content.

◦Rep. Krug had an ineffective communication style and often cancelled/rescheduled meetings.  The last meeting was held on May 23, 2014. However, Rep. Krug did try to get the group to meet in June and August - no one was available.

•Rep. Krug attended CAFO update meetings hosted by citizen groups but has also backed out of pre-scheduled appearances on multiple occasions.  Most recently, the following venues:

◦August Groundwater Summit (Almond)

◦Living Better/Longer Health Forum on Oct. 2 (Wisc. Rapids)

◦Ho Chunk candidate forum on Oct. 9 (Black River Falls)

◦League of Women Voters Forum on Oct. 20 (Wisc. Rapids)

◦Waushara County Debate on Oct. 22 (Wautoma)

•When asked on Wisconsin Public Radio about the vicious attack mailer being delivered to constituents, Rep. Krug admitted he was aware of the flyers and supported their distribution.

•Additionally, Rep. Krug takes credit for bringing tourism to Rome.  In actuality, both the State Trap Shooters and new Sand Valley Golf Course sought out the Rome location independent of any local representation.

•Rep. Krug voted for the 2013 AB 1/ SB 1 Gogebic Taconite Bill that removed many environmental safeguards from mining regulations.

Dana Duncan (D-Port Edwards) - Candidate Duncan is an attorney and local resident in the Central Wisconsin area.  Mr. Duncan officially announced his candidacy in January of 2014 to challenge Rep. Krug for the 72nd Assembly District seat.  Mr. Duncan has been an outspoken candidate on environmental issues. Provided below are comments and testimonials supplied by local residents who have communicated with candidate Duncan and asked difficult questions pertaining to our concerns.

•Citizens met with Candidate Duncan to share concerns on the proposed CAFO and water issues associated with the facility in late 2013. Citizen research was shared at that time.  Mr. Duncan studied the information and completed his own investigation leading to his announcement against the proposed Golden Sands Dairy proposed for Saratoga on June 12th, 2014.  Candidate Duncan continues to utilize citizen groups for insight and information regarding the proposed CAFO.

Candidate Duncan believes the Department of Natural Resources should be an elected position not appointed by the Governor and will work to initiate this change to eliminate party politics from the DNR.

•Candidate Duncan has publicly called for a moratorium on high capacity well expansion until a further evaluation is done by the DNR assessing cumulative impact

•There are concerns that Candidate Duncan will have little clout with veteran lawmakers due to being a freshman in the Assembly.  When hearing this concern, Mr. Duncan outlined how he plans to form a freshman caucus so the new hires to the Assembly have more clout working together than standing alone independently. This idea was stated publicly at a meeting with members of the Protect Wood County group on July 21, 2014.

•An Attorney background provides knowledge of law and organizational ability not available to our current incumbent.

•Candidate Duncan ran his campaign with little monetary assistance from his political party.  After being the target of numerous mud-slinging ads from his opponent, Mr. Duncan’s campaign team continued to take the high road, including rejection of a mailer designed to strike back at his opponent even though he was encouraged to circulate it.

•Early on, Candidate Duncan chose two members of the Protect Wood County group, Bill Leichtnam and Bruce Dimick, to be on his Advisory Committee.  This has given our group unique access to the Candidate.

As with all political campaign seasons, deciphering fact from party propaganda is at times very difficult.  Do not believe every radio commercial you hear or every slam ad that hits your mailbox.  Comments provided here are from individuals who have been front and center in the fight to protect and preserve our townships and who are deeply concerned with current trends in our state government.  Unfortunately, our environmental battle has become very political.

Please honor their hard work by voting on November 4th.

Protect Wood County
Core Leader Group

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