Oct 30, 2014

Victory for Kewaunee County Citizens Fighting for Clean Water

 The fight for clean water in Wisconsin
Water Problems Highlighted in Court Challenge to DNR Water Pollution Permit

Updated - Judge blames toxic Kewaunee County wells on ‘massive regulatory failure’ (Seely, WisconsinWatch)
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Citizens' win against mega dairy could presage anti-Walker rural vote (Jim Rowen)
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Tears of joy here tonight as I read about the victory for the good guys over in Kewaunee County. So many of the folks in that area have become personal friends over the past 2 years.  I am so happy for their victory. Unfortunately it should not have to take a court decision to ensure clean drinkable water for a township. The systematic dismantling of our DNR has got to stop.

PLEASE VOTE! Together we have the power to change directions in this state and make protecting our environment a priority once again.
- Criste Greening, Saratoga
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"Yesterday, the Wisconsin State Division of Hearings and Appeals issued a decision in the water pollution permit challenge by residents of Kewaunee County against the state Department of Natural Resources. The court decision spotlights the widespread groundwater pollution problems in an area of Wisconsin with the highest concentration of industrial livestock facilities," reports Stacy Harbaugh of Midwest Environmental Advocates.

Don Ystad of Rome writes, "Regardless of who wins on Tuesday, this issue cannot be ignored. In fact, the protection of our water should never have become a political issue. Citizens should not have to sue their own government agencies to protect their health and well being, and people should not have to live in an environment where percent of drinking water wells have become unusable because of manure contamination. The current push for 30 billion pounds of dairy by 2020 makes no mention of environmental protections. It's doomed for failure and will result in growing the fissure between farmers and citizens forced to deal with the resulting slop. Fortunately, our courts are leveling the playing field."

I know how I'm voting Tuesday."

Continues Harbaugh:

“In rural Kewaunee County, industrial livestock facilities produce more manure waste than can safely be spread on area fields for disposal,” said Sarah Williams, a Midwest Environmental Advocates staff attorney who worked with citizens in the permit challenge. “Nitrates and bacteria from untreated animal waste are polluting local drinking water wells. During the permit challenge proceedings, the overwhelming and moving testimony from Petitioners and local residents about their concerns for their health and their water was reflected in Administrative Law Judge Jeffrey Boldt’s decision.”
In his decision, he notes that “many members of the public were deeply upset about what could only be described as a crisis with respect to groundwater quality in the area.” He continues,
The proliferation of contaminated wells represents a massive failure to protect groundwater in the Town of Lincoln. The Department [of Natural Resources] needs to utilize its clear regulatory authority to require groundwater monitoring to enhance its ability to prevent further groundwater contamination. Many public witnesses testified, under oath, credibly and forcefully about the hardship and financial ruin that this local groundwater contamination crisis has had on their businesses, homes and daily life.
One of the Petitioners, Lynda Cochart, said about the decision “I’m pleased with the additional protections that Judge Boldt put in place. He obviously listened to our testimony and is concerned about our health and welfare. It is unfortunate that we had to go through so much to get this result. I would’ve liked attention given to our surface water as well as my well water, which I cannot use because it is polluted. No one can live with water like that.”

Recent sampling by the USDA revealed that bovine viruses and salmonella, a particularly harmful type of bacteria, were already present in Cochart’s private water well. Lynda has to buy bottled water for cooking, baking, washing her hands, and drinking.

The inclusion of groundwater monitoring requirements and an animal unit limit as enforceable permit conditions were two of the most significant victories in the decision. Specifically:

Kinnard Farms, Inc. must conduct groundwater monitoring at the production area and around at least two landspreading fields. Kinnard must submit a plan to the DNR within 90 days of the decision that includes no less than 6 groundwater monitoring wells. If practicable, at least 2 of those wells must be in locations that monitor groundwater quality impacts from off-site manure landspreading.
Kinnard Farms, Inc. is now required to put a cap on the number of animals to ensure the facility does not grow beyond its current capacity to store and dispose of the large quality of manure held on site in multimillion gallon lagoons.

Boldt noted that without required monitoring, the only way for the DNR – or those who live near CAFOs or landspreading fields – to know about groundwater contamination is for a neighbor’s well to become contaminated. Judge Boldt said, “Unfortunately, this has been the all too common state of affairs in the Town of Lincoln and Kewaunee County over the past years.”

Other results from the decision included the requirement for Kinnard Farms, Inc. to take steps to prevent environmental harm from a catastrophic failure of above-ground manure storage lagoons. The pollution permit now also has requirements meant to protect surface water and aquatic life from the facility’s discharges. Unfortunately, these additional conditions are very general and are likely harder to enforce than the numeric discharge limits and monitoring requirements Petitioners sought. The decision also did not require Kinnard Farms, Inc. to reduce the amount of manure it can spread on fields, which the Petitioners believe will contribute to surface water and groundwater pollution.
“The decision is a victory for the people who live near Kinnard Farms, Inc.,” said MEA Executive Director Kimberlee Wright. “However, this is just one of fifteen industrial livestock facilities in Kewaunee County. Last week the local group Kewaunee Cares joined other environmental groups, including MEA, to file a petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Safe Drinking Water Act to get federal intervention in Kewaunee County’s water crisis. This decision is a turning point for Wisconsin water because the problems are too big to tackle in the courts one bad pollution permit at a time. This is what regulatory failure looks like.”

Midwest Environmental Advocates is a public interest organization that uses the power of the law to support communities fighting for environmental accountability.

Scott Walker Is Desperate, GOP Front Group Plants Last-Minute Defamation

Update: Defamatory story knocked down across the board as even the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial page hits the Wisconsin Reporter. Meanwhile, Burke hit back saying, "These are complete lies, fabrications. Tom (Albers) had an ax to grind, Gary Kellerman has an ax to grind with Trek. It shows Scott Walker is not going to stop at anything. He is a career politician who will do anything to win an election, including lies, smears, dragging a great Wisconsin company through the mud." (Stein, Glauber, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Two lessons ought to be apparent: The Wisconsin Reporter is a GOP propaganda sheet, and the desperate Scott Walker will tell any lie to hang onto to office.
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A desperate Scott Walker is hoping last-minute infusions of out-of-state money and defamatory stories by the GOP-front organ, Wisconsin Reporter, can stave off an expected high turnout by college-aged and minority citizens now that photo voter ID is enjoined.

Under the cloud of fake neutral journalism, Walker still knows he's falling short.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin citizens need to GOTV, and "Calm The Fuck Down."

No one can sit this one out, the stakes are too high.

Vote Mary Burke.

Sen. Frank Lasee tells folks with contaminated wells to just drill deeper!

Updated - Wisconsin State Sen. Frank Lasee (R-Unknown) has a solution for residents with wells contaminated by liquid cow manure: Drill Deeper.

"Nitrates in drinking water can cause the potentially fatal blue-baby syndrome, a concern for pregnant women and infants," notes Kate Golden, among other health concerns with vectoring liquid cow manure in areas with karst geology.

Restore Kewaunee notes Frank Lasee's absurd suggestion for the massive pollution in Door, Kewaunee and Brown counties. You're drilling for water "too shallow there," drill deeper.

Some wells in Kewaunee County run as far down as over 400 feet, and still are contaminated.

"Shite flows down," a reader notes, no matter how much political interference Republicans run

The Dairy Business Association, the Scott Walker administration, along with Lasee, Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) all run this political interference for the poisoning of Wisconsin.

From the Peninsula Pulse Candidate Forum, Oct. 21, 2014, Baileys Harbor Wisconsin:

Oct 29, 2014

Clean Water Group Hits Scott Walker from Central Wisconsin

The DNR appointments of Cathy Stepp and Matt Moroney shocked Wisconsin clean-water advocates, "The DNR is no longer a strong advocate one way or another on environmental issues," (Agri-View) said Moroney as Scott Walker’s anti-environmental commitments stand out

Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors in central Wisconsin has been advocating for clean water and making allies from across Wisconsin for two years.

This morning, Protect Wood County hit Scott Walker on the environment and praised Mary Burke.

From Kewaunee County and the Green Bay and Fox River watersheds to Iron County to southeastern Wisconsin, the alarm has been sounded about the dangers of toxic runoff and CAFOs (Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operations).

"We have 3.4 million head of cattle in Wisconsin. That’s equivalent to 60 million people, the combined populations of both Tokyo and Mexico City, the two most populous cities on earth. In that light, we should not be surprised about what happened in Brown County and Kewaunee County. We have only seen the tip of the iceberg. Of all the issues that I have dealt with, or should have dealt with, in my career, I have lost more sleep over this issue than any other," said Gordon Stevenson, DNR runoff chief from 2001-2011.

The solution from Scott Walker is more liquid manure production and more runoff, with no plan for treatment—a brazen pro-pollution stance that has rendered parts of Wisconsin's fresh water at third-world status as measured by the fact the folks in Kewaunee County will not wash out a child's cut with water from the faucet and over one-third of water wells in Kewaunee County are so poisoned the water is unsafe to drink.

Even a pro-CAFO central Wisconsin state legislator, Scott Krug, was forced into releasing a statement 74 days before Election Day feigning opposition to a giant proposed Wysocki CAFO centered in the Town of Saratoga in Wood County.

Krug and Scott Walker aren't fooling many.

"The closing of area beaches, increase in the dead zone in Green Bay and two lakes in Rome recently added to the DNR's impaired list are indicative of an administration turning a blind eye when it comes to protecting our natural resources," writes Sue Savage in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune.

From Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors:

Dear friends and concerned citizens,

As we all face election day next Tuesday, November 4th, we encourage everyone reading this to exercise their right to vote. Our communities here in the Central Sands will be greatly impacted by many of the races at the state level, particularly the Assembly race for District 72 and the Governor’s race.  The purpose of this email is not to tell the reader how to vote, but to briefly present some of the key environmental issues and candidate positions as we understand them.

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

Governor Walker - Regardless of where one stands in their support of our state Governor, we cannot quietly ignore the evidence that indicates he does not actively protect the environment of Wisconsin.  In fact, many will say he is doing just the opposite. 

From the appointment of Cathy Stepp, who has limited experience as Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, to the appointment of Matt Moroney as Deputy Secretary who openly stated, "The DNR is no longer a strong advocate one way or another on environmental issues," (Agri-View)the facts speak for themselves where Governor Walker’s priorities are in regard to protecting our environment.

  • Policies enacted by Governor Walker have systematically emasculated the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, stripping them of their enforcement powers to protect the environment.
  • 2011 ACT 10, also known as the Budget Repair Bill, is known mainly as the bill that attacked collective bargaining.  What many do not know is that a provision was included within the bill that allows for the sale of public lands to individuals and companies.  This means your favorite hunting lands may require a monetary fee to access in the future or be closed to your hunting enjoyment all together.  The DNR has already listed public lands for sale.
  • In March 2012 Governor Walker streamlined the CAFO permitting process making it easier for large scale dairies to receive required permits without public input.
  • 2013 Governor Walker spent time in China in negotiations with the Shanghai Dairy, eventually partnering with them for goods and services. Shortly after he attempted to lift the ban on foreign country limits of WI land ownership.
  • 2013 Governor Walker attempts to lift ban on the sale of WI land to foreign countries. The attempt was blocked, but again quietly resurfaced in January of 2014.
  • December 2013 Governor Walker signs state budget that includes Motion 375, taking away citizen rights to challenge the DNR regarding cumulative impacts of high capacity wells. 
  • Recent report released Oct 6, 2014 - Governor Walker worst in history for the environment.
  • Neither Governor Walker nor Lieutenant Governor Kleefisch (to our knowledge) have responded directly to citizen concerns regarding the proposed dairy in Saratoga or concerns expressed by Rome residents.
  • 2013 AB 1/SB 1 was signed into law by Governor Walker on 03/11/13.  This bill, written by Gogebic Taconite, significantly watered down Wisconsin’s mining laws. It was later disclosed that Gogebic Taconite channeled $700K to the Walker campaign through the Wisconsin Club for Growth.
Candidate Burke - Mary Burke is the candidate running against Governor Walker.  New to the election campaign, Ms. Burke has indicated her concern regarding environmental topics.  The following is a compilation of issues presented to Ms. Burke and her response on the campaign trail.
  • March of 2014 launched the Rural Leaders Initiative to her campaign to gain insight into issues that are affecting WI rural citizens by identifying community leaders and important issues.  She then created a plan to invest in rural communities.
  • Ms. Burke believes there needs to be a change to the current system of appointing the Department of Natural Resources department heads.
  • Environmental issues are of great concern for Mary Burke.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 10, 2014, is quoted as stating, ”If implemented, her (Burke's) approach would help guarantee clean air, water, access to the natural environment.”  Additionally, in a discussion regarding frac sand issues, Ms. Burke shares her concerns on balancing environmental issues with business opportunities.  (37 Min. mark in debate video).
  • When concerns were shared and individuals invited to tour our area, Senator John Lehman (Mary Burke’s Lt. Gov. candidate) visited Rome and Saratoga to see and hear our unique situation first-hand.
  • Mary Burke states she will work with anyone to get the job done. Lake Delton - Mary Burke.  "I'll put an end to the politics-first approach of the last three years," she said. "I'll sit down and work with anyone — Democrat, Republican or Independent. It wasn't so long ago that that was the Wisconsin way. Finding common ground, negotiating in good faith, and putting the people of this state first.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 6, 2014.
Remember to vote on Tuesday, November 4th and encourage others to do the same!

Oct 28, 2014

Mayor Tom Barrett: "They want us to stay home. Do not stay home."

Craig Gilbert reports from Milwaukee.

Pride - Shane Lucas, 11, and his Mom, Kenya. (Erin Richards)

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters Expands TV Buy

Folks in central and eastern Wisconsin are seeing Wisconsin waters ruined under four years of Scott Walker's disastrous environmental policies.

Voters are taking heed, and getting the message.

From the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters

Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters announced today that it has expanded broadcasting of the ad entitled “Water” into the Milwaukee media market. With this additional buy of $310,000, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters has now made an investment of $1.3 million to date in their efforts to elect Mary Burke.

The ad highlights how Governor Walker risked contaminating the drinking water of Wisconsin citizens with arsenic and lead when he signed the open-pit mining bill. It also reminds voters that Governor Walker signed the open-pit mining bill after the mining company gave $700,000 to a group actively supporting Governor Walker.

The ad concludes with, "You can’t put a price on clean water. But it looks like Scott Walker just did."

Help this Marine by Voting for Mary Burke

Update: The Plight of Eric Pizer and Scott Walker's Contempt for Veterans. (Simpson, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

"Eric Pizer, a former Marine who served in Iraq, is blocked from a law enforcement career because of his felony battery conviction," (Barry, NYT) by hick prosecutors in Grant County in southwestern Wisconsin.

Eric Pizer is a decorated combat Marine (2000-2004) from southwestern Wisconsin, He chose the Marines out of idealism and a commitment to serve.

Now, Pizer lives in Madison. After completing an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice he wants to serve with the Madison Police Department, back home from two tours in Iraq, safe with his wife and two kids.

Pizer's dedication to his unit in combat—a commitment honed to degree most of us will never attain—makes Pizer an ideal candidate to join the City of Madison Police.

Two obstacles stand in Pizer's way: Grant County (Wisconsin) District Attorney Lisa Riniker and Assistant DA Anthony Pozorski (rogue jurists and hopeless dolts) and Gov. Scott Walker.

Tony Galli WKOW TV (Madison) interviewed Scott Walker about Pizer and Walker's response is typical Walker.

Walker said since there are 1,000s of good cases for pardons and commutations in Wisconsin, it follows that not a single pardon and commutation should be granted.

Walker's quote (from WKOW's Galli) is: "If you pick one [to be pardoned] there's thousands of other examples out there of people who may not have the media or other outlets behind them, who would be in an equal position who probably have a compelling case to be made that we don't yet know about."

Here are Pizer's words:

I guess we should expect contempt for veterans from Scott Walker; this is the same fool who uses veterans as props and then appoints people to non-profits for veterans, people who embezzle from veterans. Two longtime Walker aides and appointees—Tim Russell and Kevin Kavanaugh—were appointed to non-profit veteran organizations meant for families of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, from which Russell and Kavanaugh looted $10,000s with no Walker apology and no Walker accountability. This is the same Scott Walker who wants to desecrate the sacred and final resting place for many of our deceased veterans, an underreported story by this twerp Wisconsin calls governor.

Wisconsin Constitution [Article 5, (Section 6)] Pardoning power - "The governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses, except treason and cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may think proper ... He shall annually communicate to the legislature each case of reprieve, commutation or pardon granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was convicted, the sentence and its date, and the date of the commutation, pardon or reprieve, with his reasons for granting the same."

Citizen Ystad: We can't live without clean water

Update: Sevastopol and Sturgeon Bay townships in Kewaunee County have both passed no-manure spray ordinances in reaction to massive pollution of acquirers and surface waters from CAFOs, under the Walker administration's newly revamped pro-pollution DNR.
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IN central Wisconsin Scott Walker's ally, Wood County Chair County Board Chairman Lance Pliml is engaging in shady machinations to appoint a pro-CAFO county supervisor to a vacant position comes some sober commentary from a citizen of Rome.

By Don Ystad
The real shame here is that it has gotten to this point of acrimony between the dairy business and citizens of Wisconsin. Many generations of my family were dairy farmers; honest, hard working, highly respected stewards of the land. With the advent of large industrialized factory farms in the last few years, and the resulting weakening of our environmental protections through their lobbying efforts, dairy farming has taken on a negative connotation as a primary source of pollution in our state.

Citizens are being forced to take legal action to protect themselves from the effects of these factory farms, and from the effects of legislation gone wrong. Citizens fighting the Richfield Dairy CAFO have spent nearly 1/3 of a million dollars in legal fees to force the DNR to evaluate cumulative effect when permitting high cap wells. And now, Kewaunee County citizens, where 1/3 of the drinking water wells have been made unsafe through manure runoff, are forced to defend themselves through an action with the EPA.

Meanwhile, our current administration blindly supports their 30 x 20 program to expand dairy with no mention of taking any measures to control the environment effects; 2013 was a record-setting year for pollution of our waterways from agricultural sources. If you've been following the news, 2014 may surpass even that. We can't live without clean water. This has got to stop.

I'm a concerned citizen and I vote.
Don Ystad is a concerned citizens along with 10,000s others in central Wisconsin, but the bought-and-paid-for politicians have their own idea of democracy.

As citizens in Adams and Wood counties are acting locally, Scott Walker's fundamentalist and extremist brand of politics is reaching into central Wisconsin like so much liquid cow manure.

A letter from Nancy Koch of Protect Wood County and Its Neighbors calls for an open process to select a new county supervisor in this heavily-anti-Wysocki CAFO district.

Dear Wood County Board Members:

This letter is to request your full consideration of Bruce Dimick for the open position in Wood Co. District 17.

He ran for office against Mr. Allworden loosing only by 19 votes. He is clearly a people’s choice for the opening.

Past practice reveals Wood County Board positions have been filled with the alternate running candidate. Since it was such a close race during this past election, the public’s choice to fill the vacancy is obvious. Both Mr. Allworden and Bruce Dimick have similar thoughts on the issues addressing our areas of Wood County.

The peoples views would be represented by Bruce Dimick in a similar way that Mr. Allworden would be representing us. 

If other people are putting in a bid for the position, they should do the work required to run and be chosen by people’s vote in the election time, not be picked to fill a vacancy when such a good voted candidate is already available.

The most important thing to remember here when selecting a replacement for Mr. Allworden is to pick a representative for District 17 that will reflect the views of the people district 17. 

Nancy Koch

Oct 26, 2014

Wisconsin Sen. Frank Lasee: Suspected Voter Fraud, Tax Fraud Perp

Wisconsin State Sen. Frank Lasee's residence (R-De Pere, Racine, Unknown) remains an unknown.

Two new complaints were filed by the State Senate Democratic Committee Friday: A tax fraud complaint and a voter fraud complaint. See also A History of Sen. Frank Lasee's Residency Issues.

Lasee's wife and kids live in Racine on the 1,000 block of Orchard Street; pay their property taxes on their Orchard Street residence; claim their lottery tax credit on one of their Racine properties, but Lasee insists the apartment he maintains in De Pere in his residence.

Lasee faces Dean P. Debroux (D-De Pere) this November in the general election.

From the Green Bay Progressive:
The State Senate Democratic Committee filed a voter fraud and a tax fraud compliant against State Senator Frank Lasee yesterday. The complaints center on whether Frank Lasee lives in Racine or in De Pere.

The voter fraud complaint highlights multiple counts of voter fraud from seven different addresses that Frank Lasee has given police officers, municipal clerks, and county courts throughout Wisconsin dating back to 2009. In one case, Lasee used two different addresses within 24 hours.

The tax fraud complaint shows that Lasee and his family in Racine claimed the Wisconsin Lottery Tax Credit, therefore requiring Lasee to maintain fulltime residence in the home where it is claimed. Lasee and his family in Racine have claimed the Lottery Tax Credit while Lasee votes in the City of De Pere.

"The bottom line is, while looking at the facts, it is overwhelmingly clear that Frank Lasee has either intentionally committed voter fraud or tax fraud. It’s astonishing how shameless Frank is in acting above the laws that families in northeast Wisconsin follow everyday," Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Friday. "It’s far past time for Frank to be held accountable for his actions and be honest with the voters before November’s election."
Click here to view the tax fraud complaint.

Click here to view the voter fraud complaint.

Oct 25, 2014

State Legislator Conned Constituents, Clean Water Activists

It's one of the oldest and most cynical tricks in the political playbook: Jump on a story and coopt a grassroots movement as your own.

State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa and ALEC) was advised well, and perpetuated a political fraud and will likely lose an election in his gerrymandered district.

Krug strung along 1,000s of citizens fighting for the safety of their water against a proposed mega diary CAFO (Concentrated Agricultural Feeding Operation) after having accepted the CAFO's super lobby's Legislative Excellence Award which Krug highlights in the 2013-14 Wisconsin Bluebook

Citizens of central Wisconsin were witness to the spectacle in which Krug claimed he tried to build "consensus" with the proposed Wysocki CAFO by holding informal Ground Water Advisory Committee meetings that proved to be a con job Krug was playing on his own Constituents.

What kind of consensus does Krug want to build; the people don't want the CAFO anywhere near the Town of Saratoga.

Only after the August primary election showing overwhelming opposition to the proposed CAFO did Krug suddenly come to the conclusion that the CAFO should not be sited in the region with the most high capacity water wells in the state. So he issued one press release.

Bruce E. Dimick of Saratoga attended the Ground Water Advisory Committee meetings Krug held, reporting Krug often did not show up and never took minutes.

Krug disbanded the farce because, in Krug's own words at an October 7 Adams County forum, Krug told opponent Dana Duncan (D-Port Edwards): "We stopped meeting around the same time that many of the members started campaigning for you."

One can see why Scott Krug doesn't do forums anymore; he's in the assembly for a taxpayer-funded paycheck and nothing else.

Representative Scott Krug’s Ground Water Advisory Committee

By Bruce E. Dimick, Town of Saratoga

Well over a year ago Scott Krug, Assembly Representative from the 72nd District, recruited a citizens committee ostensibly to develop and draft legislation to regulate the proliferation of high capacity wells. We did recruit a knowledgeable cadre of citizens and others voluntarily joined along the way.

The first formal meeting was held on August 23, 2013 at the Rome Town Hall. total of sixteen people showed up including a surprise guest, Julie Lassa, Senator from District 24. It was learned much later from Katrina Shankland, Assembly Representative from the 71st District, that she and Julie had discussed having a bipartisan Ground Water Advisory Committee with Scott Krug, but he would have none of it. How could protecting our ground water be a partisan issue? So Katrina and Julie simply came to many of the meetings anyway or sent a representative.

Senator Neal Kedzie apparently got wind of Krug’s efforts and quickly introduced legislation of his own, a bill that latter became know as SB 302. This bill was essentially a rubber stamp for Big Ag to drill as many high capacity wells as they wanted wherever they wanted with just a few minor restrictions. Scott offered the thought that he could work with Kedzie to somehow modify his bill to meet the needs of the citizens of the Central Sands.

Towards the end of the first meeting, Scott charged the group with coming up with policy issues for the next meeting. A number of us did that and came to the next meeting on September 6 with copies of our policy ideas. There was no published agenda for the meeting and it seemed like the policy idea sharing was largely forgotten. We were able to share some of the ideas, but there was no structured discussion or any meaningful conclusions drawn. Scott Krug set a target of November to have a draft of a bill with a hearing. In subsequent meetings this goal was promptly forgotten.

The next meeting was on September 24. Scott had some new ideas. He wanted Dr. Francie Rowe to head up a committee that would be somewhat separate and work directly with him. He had some ideas about developing legislation that would only be applicable to the Central Sands and another committee that would work on legislation for the whole state. This direction sounded pretty good to most of us and Francie took her new charge seriously.

And that was the last we heard of that. There was no follow up with Francie and there was no formation of a separate committee.

Soon a number of us became suspicious that nothing was going to become of this Ground Water Advisory Committee. The basic fundamentals for a committee of this type were totally ignored.

Specifically:
  • There was no published agenda until some of the members took it upon themselves to create agendas. This didn’t happen until early 2014
  • The email list originating from Scott Krug’s office was erratic. Several of the members did not get the meeting reminders all the time. It appeared that no master list of members was ever created.
  • No official minutes from the meetings. Some members took it upon themselves to create minutes from their notes and recollections.
  • What ever was decided at the previous meeting was promptly forgotten. It was as if we were starting with a blank slate every meeting.
  • However, Scott Krug was getting maximum political mileage by hosting this committee. He referred to it constantly in his public letters.
As the legislative session approached an end early this year, Scott did write up a rough draft of a bill of sorts. He did not share it with the committee, but we were able to get a copy anyway through another channel. It was basically an unworkable disaster that would have never passed either the Assembly or the Senate. He had the gall to say he wrote it with our input.

During one of the final meetings, the committee persuaded Scott to abandon his bill and put all his efforts towards blocking Senator Neal Kedzie’s SB 302.

SB 302 never came up for a vote because it was so bad that a handful of Republicans in the Senate indicated that they would not vote for it.

The committee has pretty much petered out. The last meeting, rather poorly attended with a showing of 10 members, was held on May 23, 2014. There was no agenda and no follow up of any sort here four months later.

So the question is "Did Scott Krug just play us as a bunch of fools or is he incompetent when it comes to running a committee and developing meaningful legislation?"

I don’t know, but either way he must be replaced.

(A version of this letter is published in the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)

Oct 24, 2014

Where Is Scott Krug?

Where Is Scott Krug? Not even Krug's
caucus trust him to show at joint
appearances with his opponent.
State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) has gone dark, refusing any more appearances with his opponent between now and Election Day.

Krug pretends to buck the Republican Party, but the GOP assembly caucus is his boss, sending money his way and advisors so Krug does not appear the clown at joint forums.

But not even the Republican Caucus trusts Krug anymore.

Word is Krug is forbidden to show anywhere where he would encounter his opponent, Dana Duncan (D-Port Edwards).

The fear is that Krug's opponent, Dana Duncan, is an attorney with the ability to cross-examine Krug and make him look foolish.

Moreover Duncan reportedly gets under Krug's skin and make him say stupid things, e.g., "(my water committee) stopped meeting when they started campaigning for you."

This comment refers to Krug's recent line at one forum where Krug claimed to be studying a proposed massive CAFO sited in Saratoga because Krug says he is not afraid of his own party and concluded he against this one CAFO, though outside his district Krug is silent on other CAFOs.

Oct 23, 2014

Scott Krug Tells Bald-faced Lie on WPR Show

A politician lying?

I know, but not this brazenly. This guy has to be held accountable for this one.

Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa, Wisconsin 72nd assembly district) was taken to task earlier this year by Dan Bice in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Here's what Scott Krug said in 2010:
"I'm for real," Krug said during a videotaped League of Women Voters of the Wisconsin Rapids Area forum on Oct. 20, 2010. "My kids are 11, 10, 9, 8, 7. If I went there for more than four years, they'd probably disown me. So even if I don't favor term limits," he continued, "I'm putting a term limit on myself right now for all the audience out there listening. Four years — done. Whoever else wants to come along, more than fine."
That's about as unequivocal as a campaign pledge gets. But then again Scott Krug will do or say anything.

Now Krug is denying this very morning he ever made the promise, though the promise was videotaped and it is linked everywhere.

Here's what Krug said this morning on Wisconsin Public Radio on the Route 51 Show with Glen Moberg (October 23, 2014) at the 28:43 mark:

"You know, the pledge is always taken out of context and I love talking about it because I always said, 'if there is somebody who comes along who can truly represent this district I will walk away gladly.' I don't have to stay here forever. It's something I love doing every day but I don't have to stay for you know six to eight, 10 terms, but you know when I saw my opponent who came out and announced January last year. It was a guy that kind of made (former Wisconsin state representative) Marlin Schneider look like a conservative Republican. I mean this guy is a strong progressive with really extreme views. That's something I'm not going to walk away from. I'm not going to let central Wisconsin go back to the same things it came out of. So, we're going to go for a couple of more terms probably."

What happened to "four years - done?"

Krug likes taking taxpayers' money. That's what happened. But Krug said he needs to save central Wisconsin.

When Krug made his 2010 campaign pledge it was unequivocal.

Bice also points out in another column that Krug said, "My first spending cut is promising not to collect one cent of (legislative) per diem money ever," Krug told the Wisconsin State Journal in 2010.

Krug changed his mind and decided to pocket "tax-free payments in 2013, banking $10,560 for 120 days of work in Madison. That comes on top of his salary of $49,943 per year."

Krug's stated reason this morning: He never said "ever," even though Krug stated precisely the pledge using the word, "ever."

Last Monday the League of Women Voters of the Wisconsin Rapids Area held its candidates' forum. Krug didn't show this time, he said he was too busy.

Scot Krug is not just a pro-CAFO lackey for Big Ag; Krug is a pathological liar.

Honoring John Earl Reese as America Marches Backward

Make no mistake, the Republican Party today is hostile to the work of the Civil Rights Movement, attacking voting rights, as police routinely murder young black males to the applause of Republicans.

From Scott Walker to the deep south, the Republican Party makes open appeals to racism as they are nationalizing the Southern Strategy.

We honor those killed by racist terrorists by remembering and never stop fighting back.

From the Zinn Education Project:

On Oct. 22, 1955, 16-year-old John Earl Reese was in a café in Mayflower, Texas when white men fired nine shots in the window, killing him and injuring his cousins. The men were among those attempting to terrorize African American residents into giving up plans for a new school. Read more in this article by Jerry Mitchell in The Clarion-Ledger http://shar.es/cv2PS and in the paper "Lost Life, ...a Miscarriage of Justice: The Death of John Earl Reese" by Kaylie Simon.

Photo: Children of Reese's cousin, Johnnie Myrle Nelson. Nelson, 15-years-old at the time, was one of the cousins sitting with Reese in the café along when he was shot. The plaque was dedicated in 2010. (http://bit.ly/1w8soSk) See More — with Rose Cannon.

Oct 22, 2014

Kewaunee County, Water Advocates Petition EPA for Emergency Action

Clean water advocates are going
to the feds for our children
 and their children and beyond,
as citizens of Kewaunee County, Wisconsin
 risk their health by drinking water
from the faucet
Update: See also Groups ask EPA to investigate pollution causes by cattle farms (Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
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"The people of Wisconsin can’t keep fighting our own state government to get the help and protections they need to be sure their drinking water is safe," said Kimberlee Wright, Midwest Environmental Advocates’ Executive Director. "The water pollution problem in Kewaunee County is so serious that we have to ask the federal government to do what our state government can’t or won’t."

Clean water advocates are going to the feds for our children and their children and beyond.

They are petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency for emergency action in a 38-page document detailing the dirty secret in northeast Wisconsin, central and eastern Wisconsin and spreading that may virtually destroy Wisconsin's tourism and recreation industry not to mention poisoning our waters, on the surface and below.
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Petition for Emergency Action Pursuant to the Safe Drinking Water Act, 42 U.S.C. §300i, to Protect the Citizens of Kewaunee County, Wisconsin from Imminent and Substantial Endangerment to Public Health Caused By Nitrate and Bacteria Contamination of an Underground Source of Drinking Water, and Pursuant to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. § 9604, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. § 6973 ________
Submitted on Behalf of Petitioners Midwest Environmental Defense Center, Environmental Integrity Project, Midwest Environmental Advocates, Clean Wisconsin, Clean Water Action Council of Northeastern Wisconsin, and Kewaunee CARES

Scott Walker Upset More Proof of Corruption Released Near Election Day

Scott Walker had a lot to say about the latest batch of emails revealing corruption when Walker was Milwaukee County Executive.

No fair showing Scott Walker's office was crooked this close to Election Day, says Walker.

Several emails show Walker's campaign treasurer received inside information on a real-estate deal. Public office for private benefit of Walker's cronies, that's Scott Walker in a nutshell.

"Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday declined to answer specific questions about why he helped his campaign treasurer in an ultimately unsuccessful bid in 2010 to provide office space for Milwaukee County, where Walker was the county executive," report Dee J. Hall, Matthew DeFour, Mary Spicuzza and Steven Verburg report in the Wisconsin State Journal.

"Most voters can see through the smoke screen. It's pretty obvious this was done for partisan political reasons. If it was for any other reason it would have been done a lot sooner," said Walker. (Glauber, Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Walker may call his office's emails a smokescreen but what is revealed is more corruption from the man asking Wisconsin citizens to trust him for four more years.

Note Glauber and Bice:
The new emails do shed light on the part of the John Doe investigation focused on competition to house the county's Department on Aging in private office space.

Cynthia Archer, who was the county's administration director, offered inside financial information to John Hiller, then Walker's campaign treasurer and a consultant for RAIT Financial Trust, owner of the Reuss Federal Plaza downtown. The owners of the Reuss building were one of the three final bidders on the lease deal.

"I understand the timeframe is short due to when final and best offers are due, so I will get you something ASAP," Archer wrote on Aug. 20, 2010, to Hiller and Jim Villa, a former Walker county aide who at the time was president of the Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin.

Hiller wrote in response, "I am very sensitive to the situation and I work pretty hard not to leave fingerprints."

The next day, Archer sent a private email to Walker and Villa — but not Hiller — critical of the Reuss proposal, saying it wasn't the best deal for the county.

A few minutes later, Archer used her personal account to email Walker.
Dee J. Hall, Matthew DeFour, Mary Spicuzza and Steven Verburg report in the Wisconsin State Journal:
In another series of email exchanges, Walker asked Hiller in June 2010 to have the broker for the Reuss building reject Milwaukee County’s request for a six-month lease extension on the building, setting up the need for the later deal that Reuss bid on.

In another email to Archer on Aug. 20, 2010, Hiller said he thought officials involved with the request for proposals were unaware of his involvement. “I am very sensitive to the situation and I work pretty hard not to leave finger prints,” Hiller wrote.

Hiller resigned as Walker’s campaign treasurer in May 2011. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in 2012 that the John Doe investigation was probing a county real estate deal possibly involving Hiller.

Months before Hiller was lobbying for his proposal, another Walker county aide was dropping Walker’s name as he tipped off a developer about the potential deal.

“Not very many people know about this yet,” Greg Reiman, of the county aging department, said in an April 15, 2010, email to real estate broker Scott J. Revolinski of RFP Commercial Inc. “I believe they have only talked to the City of Milwaukee Dept of Development and possibly David Boerke (who manages Federal Plaza). I am also telling one other developer I know about this opportunity. I told Scott Walker that I would mention this opportunity to you and see if RFP might be interested in this building. If you are interested I will put you in touch with Scott’s Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli.”
If the facts of Scott Walker's tenure as Milwaukee County Executive were widely revealed in northern and central Wisconsin, Walker's prospects for reelection would crash.

A glance at central and northern Wisconsin papers reveal the shady real estate deals are blacked-out in local media coverage, replaced by Walker's knockdown as the main story if the story is even run.

Mary Burke called Scott Walker out in a new TV spot that many of Walker's detractors see as overdue:

Oct 20, 2014

Scott Krug Is No-show at League of Women Voters Debate Monday

Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) is a no-show at Monday's League of Women Voters of Wisconsin Rapids candidate forum.

One citizen from the Town of Saratoga said, "the League would fry Krug alive with questions over Krug's broken promise."

Krug had made a promise at a 2010 League forum that he would not be running in this election.

In 2010, Krug said during a videotaped League forum on Oct. 20, 2010. "I'm for real. ... So even if I don't favor term limits. I'm putting a term limit on myself right now for all the audience out there listening. Four years — done." (Bice, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

Krug has skipped several candidate debates and forums this summer and fall after promising his attendance.

Krug contacted the League last week and said he couldn't attend this year because October is too busy.

Krug does not do well at forums in front of voters.

To make up for this deficiency, from appearances Krug is coordinating the timing of his mailings with that of sleazy allies.

Krug's allies are mailing repulsive hate mail that the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune advises residents to toss in the recycle bin.

Meanwhile Scott Krug is making news after it was reported that Krug "publicly supported nullifying federal laws (he doesn't like) and arresting federal officials." (Prairie Badger).

Krug is also a pro-CAFO legislator who has been running political interference for Big Ag.

Krug threatened to sue this writer for libel this summer for pointing out the above fact. Krug backed down from his threat after I advised him truth is an absolute defense against libel accusations.

Oct 18, 2014

Toss Sleazy Political Hate Mail Propping up Pols Like Scott Krug

Sleazy direct mail pieces trying to save Rep. Scott Krug (R-Nekoosa) from defeat this November are being sent out in the 72nd assembly district in central Wisconsin.

The pieces come from the shadowy Job First Coalition, Inc out of Brookfield, working on Krug's behalf to defame the character of Krug's opponent. This is what we have come to expect from anyone working on Krug's behalf.

Krug is ethically unfit for office.

This morning's Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune has some advice for voters regarding this dishonest and sleazy attack in the 72nd assembly district:

Every other October is also attack-mailer season, and anyone with a mailbox can attest that, right on time, the slimy, sketchily sourced fliers have begun appearing daily.

We've seen them in many races across the region and they're not worth dignifying with a rebuttal. After all, they aren't making arguments; they're trying to scare voters through implication, association and selective editing.

They are a gross part of politics, perhaps even worse than broadcast attacks. The proper response is to quickly dispense with them, straight into the recycling bin.

Oct 17, 2014

Report: Judge Shopping Confirmed by Special Interest-in-GOP-Campaigns Group

"When a conservative group filed a lawsuit over campaign finance laws earlier this month, its lawyers filled out court paperwork in a way that all but guaranteed they got a judge (Rudolph Randa) who has already ruled groups and candidates can work closely together."

The plan worked. On Tuesday, two weeks after Citizens for Responsible Government Advocates filed its suit, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa issued an order limiting how campaign finance laws could be enforced, opening the door for groups and candidates to team up in the weeks before the Nov. 4 election," reports Patrick Marley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Sleazy pay-as-you-go politics filed with a corrupt federal judge whom the special interests knew would rule their way, the Scott Walker way.

This is what Wisconsin is up against. Never give up.

Corruption May Turn Friday Scott Walker-Mary Burke into Spectacle

Update: No talk of water, the environment, corruption, race and bigotry. This column's prediction of fireworks was way-off. I'll give this debate a two on a one-to-ten scale.
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Since Scott Walker began his the high-profile chapter of his life-long political career, corruption, misconduct in office and ties to special interests have defined Scott Walker's fetid, authoritarian radicalism.

One would hope tonight's debate will feature a discussion of Scott Walker's many ethical and likely criminal lapses in pursuit of his rightwing vies.

Scott Walker is an extremist. His views should be put to the test.

Just a couple of questions about clean water, high capacity wells, and what we owe to future generations in being good stewards of the environments ought to do it.

From WPR: Walker Contends He's Left Wisconsin's Environment Cleaner Than When He Found It
(Mary Burke's) campaign sent a statement in which she promises to bring together all stakeholders to find the right balance between economic development and our public health and natural resources. Those are welcome words in part of the state troubled by contaminated runoff from big farms.
As is typical of striking a balance projecting the environment and cultivating a sustainable agriculture, retired business consultant and citizen of Rome, Wisconsin has the best stuff out there.

Talk about corruption. Scott Walker is selling out the environment and the health of our children for campaign money from polluting special interests

From citizen Don Ystad:

Concerned citizens,

There's not a lot more to add to Dr. Iwen's message below about this linked video. It's frightening, it's real, and as unpleasant as the message is, you have to view it. Having attended the same public hearing this week that Dr. Iwen attended, I would echo his concerns about the attitudes expressed by the MilkSource Attorney and the shill from the Dairy Business Association.  They are a self-serving bunch who care nothing about what they are doing to our health and well being and will say anything to further the greed of the Big Ag guys who fund them.

Politicians and agency people copied here,

I'm encouraged by the groundswell of public concern regarding this issue. It's unfortunate that you are so slow to take action on our behalf. How many more people will become ill as you pander to these self serving, greedy industrial agriculturists? And how many lakes, streams and wells will be contaminated as you are entertained by their ag lobbyists in Madison? There is a middle ground and the pendulum swings both ways.

Watch the video and judge for yourself.

Don Ystad.
Rome, WI



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: William Iwen
Date: Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 9:19 PM
Subject: CAFO industry and the spread of super bacteria such as MRSA, E. Coli 0157: H7, Salmonella and much more!

Good evening fellow CAFO fighters,

I hope all of you have watched the PBS presentation referenced below.

If you have not, please google this address below, watch the Video and then consider the added very serious worries that should voiced over the proposed dairy in Richfield....or Kewaunee County or anywhere in Wisconsin or the U.S.

This PBS expose' clearly shows the sheer body of overwhelming and growing evidence and the correlation to increased illnesses in citizens unfortunate enough to be living within the reach of air or water transmission of sewage from a CAFO.  Air and water transportation systems are carrying very dangerous bacteria to the surrounding countryside and to susceptible citizens OF ALL AGES .
Richfield Dairy and every CAFO in the U.S. must be mandated to disclose the amount of antibiotics they use and the State must be disclosing and tracking the super bacteria existing in those areas.   This may appear to be an overwhelming agenda, but we MUST all keep pushing the button of alarm over and over and over with a growing chorus of citizens and a growing urgency.

When attorney DuQuaine (Milk Source lawyer) says the the cumulative well effects have been studied "ad nauseam" he is showing his profound ignorance and indifference "ad nauseam" to the most dangerous elements of this industry and is demonstrating this clearly by merely paying simple minded lip service to his professional "cash cow" and addressing only the High Cap well problem.
When John Holevoet (DBA talking head) utters his nonsense, he too is showing profound ignorance and indifference  to the bigger issue.  His comments are so out of line with reality that he owes the community at large a public apology...unless is so totally ignorant  that he will never understand OR that he really does not care one wit about consequences of an industry founded on the principles of  money, power and greed.

Sincerely,
Bill Iwen

Oct 16, 2014

GOP Dirty Tricks Is the Only Way Forward for Scott Walker

Have not read am empirical study but asserting corrupt public officials tend to ally themselves with political groups employing dishonest, illegal and dirty trick seems a truism.

Coming off legal defeats obstructing disfavored citizens from voting, the Republican Party of Wisconsin that used the now-blocked voter ID law as "a mere fig leaf for efforts to disenfranchise voters likely to vote for the political party that does not control the state government," the prediction that dirty tricks including harassment and interference with a voters' effort to vote are coming is the safest bet in politics.

John Peterson has the story.