Northern Wisconsin: Koch brothers group pushes mine issue in county election

A well-funded Wisconsin conservative group is blasting seven candidates in an election for county board in sparsely populated Iron County, calling them “radical anti-mining” environmentalists who will force the closing of businesses and place families on welfare.

Americans for Prosperity’s Wisconsin director David Fladeboe said a glossy, full-color mailing delivered Wednesday to about 1,000 homes is just the beginning of an educational campaign against seven candidates challenging members of the pro-mining county board in the April 1 election.

“We’re activating our field staff up there (because) we want to educate folks in Iron County about the issue,” Fladeboe said Wednesday. “We’re working with our folks in the area who know what’s going on.

However, one of those targeted on the mailer, Town of Saxon Assistant Fire Chief Karl Krall, said he is actually a strong proponent of the mine, and he is puzzled and angry about being described as a job-killing radical on the mailer sent to his friends, neighbors and potential voters in the district where he is a candidate.

“I couldn’t believe that someone who is pro-mine and for this wouldn’t do the research on the people they are sliming in the mailing,” Krall said. “Is that the kind of people we want supporting the mine if that’s the kind sloppy research they did?”