By Raymond Neupert/South Metro Observer

WAUSAU, Wis. – An outside group seems to be trying to influence a proposed Marathon County metallic mining ordinance with a dark money ad on Facebook.

“Dark money” refers to political spending meant to influence the decision of a voter, where the donor is not disclosed and the source of the money is unknown.

The sponsored post on Facebook was posted around 9 a.m. Saturday morning and was sent to residents across Marathon County and came from a website named Marathon Mining Jobs.

The ad specifically calls on residents to contact members of the county’s Executive, Land Conservation and Zoning, and Environmental Resources committees to support “Clean Mining” in Marathon County.

“Throughout the Midwest, we have seen what mining can mean for a local economy,” the message reads. “The economic footprint from clean mining projects would directly benefit Marathon County’s businesses, workers, and families. The potential for economic growth is exciting and real.”

There is no indication on either the Facebook page or the website of who is sponsoring this message or who has paid for it to be spread as political advertising to the area. A search of the company WHOIS data for the website itself tracks back to a company named Contact Privacy Inc. of Toronto, Canada. Any further information on the website’s owners has been obfuscated.

Attempts to reach Contact Privacy were met with a recording instructing people to use their website to find out who runs a particular page. The page used to contact clients of Contact Privacy was broken as of the time of this writing.

The county is currently discussing how best to proceed with a proposed measure regulating metallic mining in the region, after changes in state law would allow for the opening of mining sites in the state.

The county’s Land Conservation and Zoning committee is holding another public hearing on the issue later this month, following a lengthy discussion and public hearing on March 1. The county board has until the end of June to put ordinances into place before the state will start considering mining applications and permits from companies.

Currently, only one company has expressed interest in a potential gold and copper mining region in the county. Aquila Resources, also of Toronto, Canada, has shown interest in the past for what’s known as the Reef Deposit which lies near the Dells of the Eau Claire County Park.

14 replies on “Pro-mining ad pops up on Facebook”

  1. Cowardly dark shadow money from out of state (out of country) special interests.

    Yeah, that’s just what we need telling us how to run our economy.

    There will always be more value to Wisconsin residents past and present, and to our neighbors and visitors, in protecting our environment and the tourist/hunting/fishing economy it provides, than there will ever be in any best case mining scenario.

    1. Gosh Dave, you mean JUST like all of the out of state (out of country) money that came in to WI. to oppose Gov. Walker and Act 10? Thanks for pointing that out for all of us!!

      1. Gosh Mr. “45”, or Mr “call1911”, or whatever it is you’re hiding behind.
        I made it pretty clear what my position is on this.
        How about you do the same?
        How about you stop hiding when you do it so we can give it credibility?

      2. Seems to me you’re “shooting from the hip,” Call1911. There is more than enough “out of state” money, and “dark money” to boot for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and those of his political ilk too. See for example:

        Sweet, Lynn. “Mega donor Richard Uihlein ramps up donations to conservative causes.” Chicago Sun Times, 11/27/2017.

        “Now Uihlein is in the GOP presidential primary spotlight because he and his wife, Elizabeth, donated $2.5 million to the Unintimidated super PAC backing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s White House bid.”

        Dick Uihlein is a resident of Illinois.

  2. The matter deserves a fair hearing. But don’t count on it as the local tree huggers will turn the matter into a crusade. Sad

  3. Dave, “whatever I’m hiding behind”? Nothing, I assure you. I know you and you know me. Tell you what. The next time I see you, I’ll tell you who I am. I also think it’s pretty spineless of YOU to ignore my point. What I or ANYONE has to say here doesn’t have any less validity than you, simply because I chose not to use my real name. Do you call out “City Kid” or the many others who post here without using their real name? Or is it because you agree with those people? Yeah, thought so.
    Oh and while I’m here……City Kid, I’m not “shooting from the hip”, but you’re shooting blanks. I simply pointed out that out of state and/or country money for political causes happens ALL of the freaking time in EVERY state. But for some reason, you and Dave have your knickers in a knot over this? Why am I not surprised?

    1. It really doesn’t matter if we know each other outside of this forum. You stating that is just a distraction to others here from my point;

      Show some courage to back up your arguments, or whatever you call what you are doing, and crawl out from under the rock.

      And yes … I feel the same way about anyone who posts anonymously … in any forum.

      You just happen to be leading the caustic in this pack.
      And you troll … and troll … and troll … anything that smells anything like liberal to you.

      Oh and … you beat Stan and City Kid to the anonymous punch on this thread.

      1. I’m distracting? Umm….from what? You’re “point”? Which is what exactly? Oh that’s right……the typical talking points like “the earth is going to burn”, “the rivers will turn red”…..blah freaking blah. I don’t point out hypocrisy in liberals only. They just happen to be the biggest hypocrites.
        So I should show some courage and crawl out from under the rock, ‘eh? Again, you fail miserably to counter my argument and only continue to contradict yourself. If your first sentence you say it doesn’t matter if we know each other, but in the very next sentence you implore me to “show some courage” and crawl out from under the rock. Which is it, Dave?

  4. Are we upset that someone who has a position they want to advocate for is advocating for it? Or are we mad about the substance of their advocacy?

    Seems to me, without looking into it too deeply, that someone somewhere believes that we should do something, and are using the tools of the internet to advocate for that. Right?

    Clearly if you look at the response, people are offering up the opposing view points far more than this group is getting traction.

  5. …and more of the same:

    “Chinese Corporation Alibaba Joins Group Ghostwriting American Laws”

    > Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has joined the American Legislative Exchange Council, a private group set up for corporations and other interest groups to ghostwrite legislation sponsored by legislators in state capitols around the country.

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