National conservative group going after county board candidates - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

National conservative group going after county board candidates

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IRON COUNTY, Wis. (WKOW) -- A group founded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch launched a campaign of attack ads against seven county board candidates in Wisconsin, labeling them as "radical anti-mining" environmentalists.

The candidates are running in Iron County, where Gogebic Taconite has plans to open an iron ore mine.

Americans for Prosperity sent full-color flyers to about 1,000 homes. Those ads have attracted attention in part because candidates themselves rarely campaign in sparsely populated Iron County, according to a report in the Wisconsin State Journal on Friday.

"Call these anti-mine radicals and tell them to stand up for you and your local jobs, not radical environmental policies," the mailer urges in bold red lettering.

Candidate Karl Krall said he was perplexed by the mailing because he is a strong mine proponent and has made appearances with Gov. Scott Walker in support of the mine.

"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?"

Krall, the town of Saxon's fire chief, said he received 10 phone calls Wednesday asking if he had turned against the mine, even though the flyer listed his neighbor's number and not his. He didn't know if his neighbor had received any calls.

David Fladeboe, Americans for Prosperity's Wisconsin director, said the mailing was the start of a campaign against candidates challenging pro-mining members of the county board in an April 1 election.

Fladeboe declined to say how his group chose the candidates to target.

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