State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst has filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board concerning a person who voted April 1, in the town of Anderson, Iron County. Tiffany authored the mining bill enabling a company to begin exploring for iron ore in the Penokee Hills of Iron and Ashland counties.
Challengers won three seats in this week’s Iron County board elections. The wins come despite campaign advertising by a billionaire-backed political advocacy group.
Americans for Prosperity labeled Victor Ouimette, Brad Matson, and Karl Krall as anti-mine activists on a recent mailing. All three won seats on the county board in this week’s election, beating out incumbents.
A conservative political advocacy group funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers is dipping its hand into Iron County board elections. Americans For Prosperity has been mailing fliers to Iron County residents.
The fliers decry the influence of wealthy radical environmentalists who oppose a mine in Iron County, and point the finger at seven candidates who are challenging county board seats in next week’s election.
Contested county board elections in Iron County have given rise to a series of candidate forums.
The Iron County Citizen's Forum is organizing the two nonpartisan debates inspired by the League of Women Voters format.
Organizer Terry Daulton says the controversy over a proposed iron mine has engaged more people in local politics.
“It’s very unusual to have this many people running. And it’s actually brought a lot of people into the fold thinking about what are the things our county is doing – so I think it’s actually energized the public a little bit.”
The Department of Natural Resources held its first public hearing on the Penokee Mine project Thursday. Hundreds of people showed up in Hurley.
People came from far and wide to voice strong opinions on the proposal. There were even a few speakers from the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and an Ashland, WI contingent actually biked the 40 miles to the hearing. Cyclist Michael McKenna says they wanted to their voices to be heard:
Members of the public have a chance to weigh in on an open pit mine proposal in Iron County next week.
The DNR is holding an info session and public hearing on August 15th in Hurley. Staff will provide details about Gogebic Taconite’s plan for bulk sampling, where the company would remove 4-thousand tons of rock for analysis. DNR mining spokesperson Ann Coakley says the hearing will also cover GTac’s overall mining plan…which has been submitted to the DNR in a preapplication.
Iron County residents have a chance to brush up on their understanding of local zoning ordinances that regulate mining. The Iron County Citizen’s Forum is hosting speaker George Meyer, executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Foundation and former secretary of the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Terry Daulton with the Iron County Citizen’s Forum says it will help inform people about how communities deal with mining activities.