Assembly Race in Northeastern Wisc Is Eye of Water Wars | WisCommunity

Assembly Race in Northeastern Wisc Is Eye of Water Wars

A banker serving as Chair and CEO of a publicly traded bank in northeastern Wisconsin may have joined forces with a Big Ag polluters' front-group.

Robert B. Atwell, the founder of the Green Bay-based (publicly traded as .), used to give a community lecture entitled "Water, Money and Community," intended to stimulate solutions for a region heavily polluted by industrialized agriculture.

Now, northeastern Wisconsin residents are wondering if Atwell is working with the industry-derived Big Ag PR initiative, Peninsula Pride, as a closely watched area state assembly race accelerates. Pennisula Pride is ridiculed by clean water activists as a sham intended to probe the public's gullibility to a slick PR campaign.

The assembly race features Big Ag's State Rep. Joel Kitchens (R-Sturgeon Bay) against , a farmer and clean water activist living in Kewaunee County.

Utesch is the Democratic Party's nominee for Wisconsin assembly district one.

Kitchens has supported every Republican move against clean water protections, and now proclaims his commitment to clean water on the campaign trail.

Atwell was singled out by Big Ag man Kitchens in a favorable reference to a PR campaign last month.

Writes Kitchens in a :

Kitchens singled out Bob Atwell, CEO of Nicolet Bank, for his leadership role in rallying business support for the Well Water Program. 'This is a great example of the collaborative and innovative spirit that exists in Northeast Wisconsin,' Kitchens continued. 'This is a complex issue, and there is a role for state and local governments, as well as for the farmers, businessmen and citizens of our area. We will solve this by working together, not by pitting neighbor against neighbor.'

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has initiated the administrative rule process that will, for the first time, promulgate new rules for manure management that are specific to the karst region. 'Coupled with the voluntary efforts being made by Peninsula Pride members and other forward thinking farmers, there is now a clear path to the resolution of our groundwater contamination problems,' Kitchens said. 'In the meantime, every citizen of Kewaunee County can be assured access to clean water.'

Utesch could not be reached for comment.

A hyperlink to a Big Ag, that is critical of Atwell's water talks has been deleted.

In Wisconsin's First Assembly District campaign, many other hyperlinks critical of Kitchens and his allies have been disappearing, political opponents of Kitchens report.

Published

October 1, 2016 - 11:55am

Author

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