Archive for the ‘Special Interests’ Category
This editorial, from the Mesabi Daily News Editorial Board, insists on getting the Sandpiper Pipeline project built:
Symbolic meetings by elected officials being held on the rail delays that are severely affecting transportation of products and goods to market, including iron ore pellet deliveries from the Range to the Duluth-Superior Port, are feel-good nice and make for good photo opportunities.
Yes, it’s good to push for improvement of the U.S. rail system, even though the politicians are coming late to the issue, not dealing with it until it has reached a crisis level.
But what is really needed is a bipartisan meeting of all Minnesota office-holders along with business and labor leaders to endorse more urgency in getting oil pipelines up and running. Pipelines are the proven safest and most expedient way to get the liquid gold of our domestic self-sufficiency boom from the oil fields to refineries. And, pipelines also mean jobs.
Yet, it’s delay and delay and delay and a lot of political posturing when it comes to allowing and constructing pipelines. Meanwhile, some politicians put out news release after news release on the all sides of the issue, except, of course, advocating for getting pipelines built and operational.
Whether it’s the XL Keystone pipeline that would go from Canada’s western slope to Gulf states or the $2.6 billion Sandpiper pipeline through northern Minnesota to carry North Dakota oil to a terminal in Superior, Wis., that feeds refineries across the Midwest, both are hung up in unnecessary regulatory delay.
Enough of the political rhetoric. Let’s get at the core of the issue.
Enough’s enough is right. Environmental activists are doing everything to prevent the Sandpiper Pipeline and the Keystone XL Pipeline projects from getting built. It’s time they grew up. It’s time for DFL politicians in Minnesota and Democrats nationwide to reject the consequences of these extremists’ policies.
Their goal isn’t to put in place technologies that make fossil fuels safe. These environmental activists want to eliminate the use of fossil fuels:
Sierra Club Programs
The DFL agrees with the Sierra Club the vast majority of the time. Gov. Dayton’s appointees to the Public Utilities Commission, aka the PUC, apparently agree with the Sierra Club. They took the unprecedented step of proposing a different route for the Sandpiper Pipeline. That step means a delay of years, not months.
That’s time farmers and miners don’t have. Farmers already have difficulty getting their crops to market. Miner have difficulty getting iron ore pellets shipped to the ports of Duluth-Superior.
Here’s how serious the Sierra Club is about ending mining, fracking and drilling:
It’s time for Minnesotans to reject the environmental extremists’ agenda. Their agenda is about stopping the fracking revolution that’s lowering gas prices and increasing the supply of natural gas, which lowers Minnesotans’ heating bills.
If the DFL wants to stand with the Sierra Club, let them explain to Minnesotans why it’s better to pay high prices to heat their homes while not creating good paying jobs on the Iron Range.
Technorati: Sandpiper Pipeline, Keystone XL Pipeline, Energy Independence, Republicans, Sierra Club, Beyond Coal, Beyond Oil, Beyond Natural Gas, Public Utilities Commission, Mark Dayton, DFL, Election 2014
One of this morning’s dramatic moments during a feisty debate between Jeff Johnson and Gov. Dayton came when Gov. Dayton accused Commissioner Johnson of pandering by saying he supported PolyMet:
In the first one-on-one debate of the campaign, Dayton labeled Johnson a “huckster” for promising mining permits on the Iron Range before environmental studies have been completed as a way to endear himself to a Democratic voting stronghold in northeastern Minnesota.
During this morning’s gubernatorial debate in Duluth, Commissioner Johnson exposed Gov. Dayton’s PolyMet doublespeak. Commissioner Johnson said his support for PolyMet was built on PolyMet being important for creating jobs on the Iron Range. Responding to Commissioner Johnson, Gov. Dayton said that it was irresponsible to hijack the environmental review.
That gave Commissioner Johnson he’d been waiting for. First, he cited the 9-year process as being too long and too expensive. Then he said that he didn’t want environmental activists “from the Twin Cities” killing the project.
Gov. Dayton’s response was classic DFL doublespeak. Gov. Dayton agreed that 9 years was too long for the review process. Then he said it would be wrong to hijack the process when the review was in its final stages. What’s stunning is that Gov. Dayton didn’t notice that he didn’t complain that the process took too much time while he was governor.
The reason why it’s noteworthy is because Gov. Dayton is only ‘getting religion’ now that he’s up for re-election.
Commissioner Johnson repeatedly attacked Gov. Dayton as being beholden to the DFL’s special interests. He specifically said that environmental activists “from the Twin Cities” were preventing Gov. Dayton from advocating for the PolyMet mining project because “they don’t want mining.”
Later, Commissioner Johnson accused Gov. Dayton’s appointees to the Public Utilities Commission of killing the Sandpiper Pipeline project. When Dayton said that he didn’t interfere with the Commission’s business, Commissioner Johnson replied, saying that he presumed that the commissioners he appointed shared Gov. Dayton’s views on the environment.
Then Commissioner Johnson accused Gov. Dayton of “hiding behind the process” instead of being a leader. After Commissioner Johnson accused Gov. Dayton of hiding behind the process, Gov. Dayton defended letting the process play out. Let’s remember that Gov. Dayton said that the process had taken too long and that he didn’t speak out about the process within his administration.
There’s something else that hasn’t gotten enough scrutiny. That’s the fact that Gov. Dayton hasn’t talked about whether the review process gives environmental activist organizations too much of an opportunity to drag the process out unnecessarily. The truth is that the process is intentionally convoluted to create the delays we’ve seen with PolyMet and Sandpiper.
This isn’t a fair process. It’s weighted to favor environmental activists’ wishes. The process isn’t streamlined so environmental issues are addressed and investors’ issues are addressed. If the DFL won’t untip the scales, then it’s fair to highlight the fact that the DFL is a subsidiary of the environmental activist left.
Technorati:Jeff Johnson, PolyMet, Sandpiper Pipeline Project, Advocacy, Blue Collar Jobs, MNGOP, Mark Dayton, Public Utilities Commission, Environmental Activists, Special Interests, DFL, Election 2014
This LTE isn’t rooted in historical fact or reality. Here’s proof:
After the 2012 election, District 14B Rep. Zachary Dorholt and the Legislature had the tough task of cleaning up our state’s finances, which had been left in shambles. Previous Legislatures had passed along a $600 million budget deficit and nearly $1 billion in debt to our schools.
That isn’t accurate. The DFL legislatures of 2007-2010 left behind multi-billion dollar deficits and about $2,000,000,000 in school shifts. Republicans inherited a $5,000,000,000 deficit when they became the majority party in 2011.
They passed tons of reforms, including permitting reform, budget reform while insisting that high school teachers pass a Basic Skills Test. All of these things became law thanks to Republicans sticking to their principles of accountability and efficient government that works for people.
It’s worth noting that Republicans passed a bill that would’ve paid off the school shifts, too. The disappointing part is that the DFL legislature voted against repaying the school shift. Then Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill that would’ve paid off the school shift.
That’s verifiable historical fact. It’s indisputable.
When the DFL took total control of state government, the deficit had dropped to $600,000,000. That’s one-eighth the size of the deficit Republicans inherited in 2011.
By the time the 2014 session finished, the all-DFL government had repealed the Basic Skills Test reform and the budget reforms the GOP had passed. That’s inexcusable. Education Minnesota opposed the Basic Skills Test so Zach Dorholt and his DFL colleagues voted to repeal it. Nobody in the DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, Senate Majority Leader Bakk and Speaker Thissen, liked the budget reforms so they repealed those reforms.
These paragraphs are total propaganda:
But Dorholt did not back down. He helped pay back every penny owed to schools and used new revenue (largely from closing corporate tax loopholes and asking the wealthiest 2 percent to chip in a fair share) to eliminate the deficit and make long-overdue investments in priorities Minnesotans broadly share.
Those priorities included all-day kindergarten; a two-year college tuition freeze; bigger property tax refunds; more funding for nursing homes; and resources to help small businesses. As a result, our economy is growing, Minnesotans are going back to work and more children have an opportunity to reach their full potential.
Dorholt the ideologue fit right in, voting against his constituents in raising a) income taxes on “the rich”, b) sales taxes that hit the middle class and c) the cigarette tax that hits low income Minnesotans.
All-day kindergarten wasn’t a priority for most middle class families but it was a priority for Education because they saw it as a way to increase funding to their members. It doesn’t have anything to do with providing a better education to students. Property tax relief is mostly a mirage. Yes, there will be refund checks on the back side but there’s also property tax increases on the front side. As for helping small businesses, that’s a myth. Many small businesses are either expanding in other states, starting in other states or moving to other states.
Rep. Dorholt and his all-DFL legislature have made a total mess of things. They should be fired this November.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Mark Dayton, Tom Bakk, Paul Thissen, Special Interests, Education Minnesota, School Shift, Tax Increases, Tax the Rich, Dayton-DFL Deficit, Permitting Reform, Budget Reform, Basic Skills Test, Accountability, MNGOP, Election 2014
Jeff Johnson’s latest ad is causing quite a stir:
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson released a new television ad today that questions the competence of DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.
Johnson’s ad is titled “Unaware.” The narrator contends that Dayton was unaware of bonuses paid to “failed Obamacare bureaucrats,” the contents of bills he signed and the legal issues facing the owners of the Minnesota Vikings.
Johnson then appears, saying Minnesotans deserve a “governor who knows what’s going on,” and promising that he will to be a 24/7 leader.
WCCO’s Reality Check on the ad provides the text from the ad:
Johnson Ad Text:
“Unaware of bonuses for his failed Obamacare bureaucrats
Not even knowing what’s in the bills he signed
Half-a billion taxpayer dollars to the Wilfs after they committed civil fraud and racketeering.
‘I was not aware at all’
What is Mark Dayton aware of?
Minnesotans deserve an engaged governor who knows what’s going on and what’s in the bills he signs. I’ll be a 24-7 leader who owns his decisions. The buck stops with me.
Jeff Johnson for Governor”
The Dayton campaign quickly reacted to Commissioner Johnson’s ad:
A spokesman for the Dayton campaign, Linden Zakula, described the ad as a “desperate attack” from a candidate who is far behind in the polls. “Commissioner Johnson offers no real ideas to improve education, create jobs, or help Minnesota families,” Zakula said in a statement.
What Zakula means is that Commissioner Johnson doesn’t have the special interest-approved pseudo-solutions that Gov. Dayton has. HINT to Zakula: That’s the point. Jeff Johnson won’t be beholden to list of special interests that Gov. Dayton has been his entire public life. The DFL doesn’t do anything that their special interest allies don’t sanction.
As for “real ideas that improves education, creates jobs or helps Minnesota families”, Zakula is lying. Jeff Johnson’s ideas will help miners on the Iron Range (PolyMet), farmers everywhere in the state (Sandpiper Pipeline) and will strengthen families by creating high-paying jobs. Gov. Dayton is a pathetic advocate for raising marginal tax rates. Jeff Johnson is unapologetic in his desire to grow Minnesota’s private sector.
Jeff Johnson will fight for a new K-12 funding formula that reduces the gap between metro schools and outstate schools. I suspect Jeff Johnson will fight to restore the Basic Skills Test for high school math and science teachers that the Republican legislature passed and that Gov. Dayton signed and that the DFL legislature repealed and Gov. Dayton signed. That’s accountability I can believe in.
Zakula’s response is predictable. Gov. Dayton’s litany of things he supposedly didn’t know about is lengthy. Gov. Dayton shut down the government because he supposedly didn’t know that the GOP had removed some provisions that he objected to right before the shutdown. When told in July that they’d been removed, Gov. Dayton acted surprised. Right before FarmFest 2013, Gov. Dayton ‘discovered’ that the Tax Bill expanded sales taxes to include farm equipment repairs, warehousing services and telecommunications. In 2013, Gov. Dayton was outraged that the Vikings stadium bill included a provision for PSL’s, which are standard in every stadium bill that’s been passed in the last 15 years.
Being ignorant might work within the DFL but hard-working families expect their governor to pay attention to the details of major bills. Gov. Dayton said that he thinks MNsure is working “phenomenally well”:
That’s stunningly out of touch. Tell that to families everywhere in Minnesota that are seeing huge increases in their insurance premiums. Tell that to the 140,000 families that had the policies they liked cancelled and replaced by “better” policies they didn’t want.
Gov. Dayton’s policies aren’t growing Minnesota’s private sector. They aren’t making K-12 education the best it can be, either. Gov. Dayton’s policies reflect Education Minnesota’s wish list.
Technorati: Jeff Johnson, Sandpiper Pipeline, PolyMet, Accountability, Private Sector, K-12 Funding Formula, MNGOP, Mark Dayton, MNsure, Tax Increases, Farm Equipment Sales Tax, Vikings Stadium, Personal Seat Licenses, Government Shutdown, DFL, Election 2014
Zach Dorholt’s been running a campaign touting how he’s a great listener, that he’s responsive to the needs of his constituents. Jim Knoblach’s last mailer ends that myth. According to the Minnesota House Journal, Dorholt voted with the DFL leadership 470 times out of 470 final votes on legislation.
You don’t get more partisan than that.
Knoblach’s mailer also highlights the fact that Dorholt’s money comes from everywhere except Minnesota. Contributions to Dorholt’s fund have come from Boston, New York City and Philadelphia in the northeast, Fort Lauderdale in Florida, California (San Francisco and Hollywood) and Phoenix, AZ. The vast majority of the mailers that I’ve gotten praising Dorholt or criticizing Jim Knoblach have come from the “Minnesota DFL Party.”
According to this report, the DFL has outspent Dorholt by, at minimum, a 2:1 margin. Just in August through early September, the Minnesota DFL Party spent $37,160 on mailers for the Dorholt-Knoblach race. That isn’t counting the money that Working America Minnesota Political Fund has spent on the race.
When Knoblach made his first fundraising announcement, Dorholt complained about all the money in politics. I used this post to highlight the fact that Dorholt was silent in 2012, when DFL special interest groups literally spent over $250,000 in the race supporting Dorholt. This year, they’ll probably come close to that again. Once again, Dorholt hasn’t complained about special interest money essentially financing his campaign.
Many of the DFL’s mailers, however, complain that Jim Knoblach was the special interests’ pawn. It’s definitely pot meet kettle time with that.
The reality is that Zach Dorholt was an obedient puppy for Speaker Thissen. He kept his mouth shut and voted with Thissen 100% of the time on final passage of bills. I said early that St. Paul doesn’t need another representative. That’s what Dorholt has been.
We need someone that’ll fight to grow Minnesota’s economy, something that isn’t happening. This week, MMB announced that Minnesota’s revenue had fallen short of projects…again. Booming economies don’t consistently fall short of revenue projections.
Dayton, Dorholt and the DFL have trumpeted as fact that Minnesota’s economy is cruising along. Each time they’ve said that, they’ve lied. It’s that simple. The revenue shortfalls verify that.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Special Interests, Paul Thissen, Working America Minnesota Political Fund, Campaign Contributions, Economy, Dayton-Dorholt-DFL Deficit, DFL, Jim Knoblach, MNGOP, Election 2014
Recently, I got another smear campaign mailer from the DFL smearing Jim Knoblach. It isn’t shocking that the DFL is into smearing Republicans. It’s that the DFL’s mailer has a picture of a senior citizen with the caption “Tell Jim Knoblach to keep his hands off our Social Security and Medicare.”
It’s painfully obvious that the DFL knows that state legislators don’t have anything to do with Medicare or Social Security. Just because the DFL is without character and can’t be shamed because they don’t have a conscience, that doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.
They’re just disgustingly unprincipled and utterly without virtue.
While it’s true that Jim Knoblach supported giving people the option of putting a portion of their FICA taxes into a government-approved equity account when he ran for Congress in 2006, that’s utterly irrelevant in this race. Jim Knoblach, if he’s elected, will never cast a vote on Social Security or Medicare because they’re federal programs.
This DFL’s intent with this mailer is to scare senior citizens into voting for Zach Dorholt. If’s apparent that the DFL doesn’t care that it’s fearmongering at its worst. It’s important to remember what Howard Dean said after being elected chair of the DNC:
It’s a battle between good and evil…and we’re the good.
In Dean’s mind, the ends justified the means. If that meant smearing people with lies, that’s the path he’d take without hesitation. That’s the mindset that Ken Martin brought with him from ABM to the DFL.
In Martin’s mind, the only thing that matters is winning elections and checking items off the DFL’s ideological checklist. It’s irrelevant if it helps Minnesotans. It’s only relevant if it makes their special interests’ lives better.
The DFL insists that it’s for the little guy. That’s BS and it’s verifiable. The Metrocrat wing of the DFL, made up mostly by plutocrats and elitists, has done everything to prevent PolyMet from getting built. If the DFL cared about Iron Range voters, they wouldn’t say that building the mine is important but dragging the regulatory review for 9 years is more important.
If the DFL cared about the little guy, they wouldn’t have shoved forced unionization onto child care providers.
Zach Dorholt voted for the forced unionization of child care providers. He voted for major business-to-business sales tax increases and the Senate Office Building. After the session, he caught hell from St. Cloud businesses for creating these new taxes. These businesses lobbied him hard during the session. He ignored them then. It wasn’t until after the session that he started listening to these businesses.
Dorholt is chair of the House Higher Ed Committee. That’s a position of authority yet he hasn’t lifted a finger to investigate the wasteful spending at MnSCU’s Central Office nor has he looked into the financial mismanagement at SCSU. Despite the fact that SCSU is facing $8,000,000-$10,000,000 of budget cuts this year and despite the fact that the Potter administration hasn’t published a budget report yet, Zach Dorholt hasn’t looked into these issues.
All he cares about is whether he can report that he increased spending on Higher Education.
How does that qualify as helping the little guy or middle class families? That’s before asking Mr. Dorholt how the Dayton-Dorholt-DFL budget is creating part-time, low wage jobs helps grow the economy from the middle class out?
The truth is that the DFL doesn’t care about prosperity. They don’t care about great jobs throughout the state. They don’t care if public institutions foolishly spend the taxpayers’ money. How dare they send out mailers that frighten senior citizens while smearing a great policymaker.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Smear Campaign, Special Interests, Forced Unionization, Medicare, Social Security, Tax Increases, Higher Education, Ken Martin, ABM, DFL, Jim Knoblach, Small Businesses, Prosperity, MNGOP, Election 2014
After reading this LTE in the St. Cloud Times, it’s frighteningly apparent that some members of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees union can’t comprehend grade school English. Here’s why that’s frighteningly apparent:
As the PAC chair of the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, I am concerned former House Rep. Jim Knoblach used our name in campaign fliers, such as the ones labeled “Past Support”, which insinuate he has our support today.
I don’t know how MAPE union members think but I know how normal people think. When normal people hear the term past support, we don’t think that means a candidate currently has MAPE’s support. If a candidate is endorsed by a union or a business trade organization, they highlight the fact that they’ve been endorsed by that organization this year.
Typically, they include a statement from the spokesperson from the union or trade organization saying why their organization is endorsing that candidate. This statement is enlightening:
Our union represents more than 13,000 state employees. We hold elected officials to high standards, and we don’t take our endorsement process lightly. Actions speak louder than words and House Rep. Zach Dorholt has acted in the best interest of our members. Dorholt has a 100 percent voting record on MAPE issues.
It’s interesting to read what Team MAPE is interested in:
Team MAPE supports MAPE friendly candidates and legislation. Our issue priorities include: achieving fair compensation for state employees, fixing our broken health care system, preventing outsourcing and privatization of state services and protecting our pension and retirement benefits. Team MAPE is supported by the MAPE Government Relations Committee and MAPE Political Action Committee. The MAPE GRC and MAPE PAC work hand-in-hand to advance MAPE’s political and legislative strategic priorities. We achieve these goals by assisting the election of MAPE allied candidates and influencing the legislative process through lobbying and grass-roots action.
In other words, MAPE works hard to elect politicians committed to taking money from the private sector to grow government. Whenever MAPE elects a pro-government politician, MAPE gains another politician beholden to their causes.
Based on MAPE’s definition, they just said that Zach Dorholt will represent MAPE’s interests, not his constituents’ interests, 100% of the time. That isn’t surprising considering the fact that Dorholt hasn’t raised any money from inside his district. He’s bought and paid for by the special interests that knock doors for him and help get out the vote for him.
Zach Dorholt’s nickname should be MAPE’s representative. He definitely didn’t represent this district in the legislature.
Jeff Johnson’s campaign is highlighting what’s been happening with the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. This time, the Johnson campaign highlights Gov. Dayton’s past statements about the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis:
Johnson has proposed performance and fiscal audits of all state programs, beginning with human services programs, to determine which ones work and which ones are a waste of taxpayers dollars. In a September 14 Star Tribune story on Johnson’s audit proposal, Mark Dayton said: “The decades-old accusation that Minnesota government recklessly wastes money on people who are poor, sick, or elderly is unfair and unfounded.”
Actually, Gov. Dayton, Commissioner Johnson’s statement is accurate. Since Gov. Dayton made that ill-advised statement, he’s changed his perspective:
“It’s incredibly ironic that, after criticizing my plan to audit all state programs—beginning with human services programs—this egregious waste of taxpayer dollars has surfaced,” Johnson added. “My audit plan is clearly needed, and Mark Dayton is clearly out-of-touch.”
Actually, Dayton’s statements aren’t as much out-of-touch as they are a predictable defense of liberalism. The most important principle behind liberalism and budgeting is that every penny ever appropriated is forever justified. In fact, in 2007, the DFL legislature fought to have inflation calculated into the budget:
That’s bad enough but Democrats pushing to install “an automatic inflator put into the calculation of the state budget forecast” ain’t gonna fly. This is something that should be rejected before it’s ever proposed. There should be a public outcry against this type of reckless spending. We should recognize this scheme for what it is: an attempt to codify into law liberalism’s dream of ever-increasing taxing and spending.
The thought that government was spending money foolishly was the farthest thing from the DFL’s mind. I had multiple arguments with liberal commenters about that at the time. Gov. Dayton certainly would’ve agreed with the principles behind baseline budgeting, which is based on the thought that budgets must increase each year.
That’s the principle behind not spotting the mismanagement seen in the Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis fiasco. The DFL thinks that budgets should increase each year. Therefore, in the DFL’s thinking, auditing special interest organizations that get government grant money isn’t needed.
“I’m very troubled by and tired of Mark Dayton’s continuous pattern of creating or contributing to problems and then trying to claim credit for fixing them after the damage is done,” Johnson said. “Today, for the second time this week, Dayton’s DHS has employed its ‘arsonist with a fire hose’ strategy. Dayton’s ties to the leaders of Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis are numerous, and if he and his DHS commissioner were competent and aware of what’s happening, they would have discovered these issues long ago, without a tip from a whistleblower.”
It’s one thing for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to propose spending more money. It’s quite different, though, for Gov. Dayton and the DFL to initially pretend that money is being spent wisely, then expressing outrage once it’s proven that the money is getting spent foolishly.
It’s unacceptable that the all-DFL government didn’t care about Community Action Partnership of Minneapolis until it became a political liability. It’s better to be proactive in preventing these fiascos than to clean up the mess after the fact.
Jeff Johnson’s audit plan will identify organizations and agencies that are spending money foolishly. There’s no question that Jeff Johnson will implement proactive policies to prevent these things from happening. There’s no doubt that Gov. Dayton has operated government with a clean-up-the-mess-after-the-fact attitude.
It’s time Minnesota took a proactive approach to protecting the taxpayers. Only Jeff Johnson will bring that approach to governing. Gov. Dayton certainly hasn’t.
The Land Rights Network of the American Land Rights Association issued this statement this morning:
Groups Blast Minnesota Congressman Nolan on EPA Vote
Property rights groups are harshly criticizing MN 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan for his recent vote against a bill designed to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial 88-page proposed regulations that would dramatically expand federal control over the nation’ s lands and water.
The bill (H.R. 5078) passed the House of Representatives on a 262-153 bi-partisan vote. Minnesota democrats Collin Peterson and Tim Walz voted with the three Republican members of the MN delegation.
Congressman Nolan voted with the two metropolitan Democrats in opposing the bill.
The bill, if it becomes law, would block EPA’s regulatory proposal, which many are claiming is the biggest federal land and water power grab in history. The bill provides an opportunity for EPA to restart the process requiring formal federal agency consultation with state and local officials.
Chuck Cushman, founder and executive director of the American Land Rights Association said this issue has been a top priority for his organization since Minnesota Congressman James Oberstar introduced the Clean Water Restoration Act in 2007. That bill failed to gain congressional approval and became a defining issue in the defeat of Oberstar in 2010.
“Now EPA is trying to drastically increase federal land and water controls under the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act by going around Congress,” said Cushman. “A vote for H.R. 5078 should have been a no-brainer, especially for a northern Minnesota Congressman. Representative Nolan either doesn’t get it, or he’s beholden to the radical environmental lobby,” he added.
Cushman and Don Parmeter, a northern Minnesota native, led a successful national grassroots campaign to defeat the Oberstar bill beginning in 2007. Parmeter is co-founder of the National Water & Conservation Alliance, and is acting chairman of MnPure, a new statewide property rights group established to restore property rights and ensure access to and use of public lands and waters.
Parmeter said he was surprised and disappointed by Nolan’s vote. “Perhaps more than any other congressional district in the country, people in Minnesota’s 8th district have been national leaders in advancing successful local alternatives to federal top-down initiatives,” said Parmeter. “Local, grassroots alternatives are more lasting, less costly and more consistent with constitutional principles,” he added. “It appears that Congressman Nolan is extremely out of touch with his constituents on this issue. This issue is not about the environment, it’s about governance.”
The history of the water jurisdiction debate in Minnesota goes back to the 1950’s. Then Congressman John Blatnik, Oberstar’s predecessor, authored a federal water bill as chairman of the powerful Public Works Committee. In vetoing the bill, President Dwight Eisenhower had this to say: “The principal responsibility for protecting the quality of our waters must be exercised where it naturally reposes–at the local level.”
And in 1995, the Minnesota Legislature approved a state water rights statute with strong, bi-partisan support. Prominent northern Minnesota Democrats authored and co-authored that bill, including former Speaker of the House Irv Anderson, former Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee Bob Lessard, and current Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk.
This calls into question whether Rep. Nolan actually supports mining or if his positioning on PolyMet is just his playing politics to get past Stewart Mills. This sentence tells me that it’s Nolan playing politics:
Property rights groups are harshly criticizing MN 8th District Congressman Rick Nolan for his recent vote against a bill designed to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s controversial 88-page proposed regulations that would dramatically expand federal control over the nation’ s lands and water.
This is in step with the late Jim Oberstar’s ACCWA legislation. ACCWA is the acronym for America’s Commitment to the Clean Water Act. That bill would’ve essentially given the federal government, starting with the EPA, virtual total control of water in the United States.
I know that sounds the ranting of a fanatic but it’s fact:
The “waters of the U.S.” issue is back. H. R. 5088, America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act (ACCWA), was recently introduced by House Committee of Transportation Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.)
Like Oberstar’s previous bill, ACCWA does two things. First, it eliminates the term “navigable” from all sections of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The term “navigable waters of the U.S.” is used more than 80 times in the CWA. NACo continues to oppose the removal of “navigable” from the act, because of the danger its absence poses to years of hard-won jurisdictional parameters.
Second, ACCWA removes the reference to “activities affecting” those waters and redefines “waters of the U.S.” by using a hybrid of current agency regulatory definitions. While ACCWA uses language based on existing agency regulations for a “water of the U.S.,” it is not identical to existing regulations. Furthermore, certain sections of the existing regulations were deleted and new language was added to the “waters of the U.S.” definition in ACCWA.
If Nolan is still siding with the environmental activists’ agenda, why should people think he’s truly pro-mining? It’s impossible to please 2 masters.
According to this article by MPR’s Tom Scheck, the Jim Knoblach vs. Zach Dorholt race is one of the targeted races that might decide who has control of the Minnesota House of representatives:
For the most part, House Democrats have tried to build a firewall around 15 DFL seats they’re in jeopardy of losing in November. One of those seats is in St. Cloud, where first-term incumbent Zach Dorholt is running for his political life against former state Rep. Jim Knoblach.
The House DFL Caucus wasted no time defending Dorholt, spending at least $40,000 on radio ads. “Zach Dorholt delivered $11 million for local schools,” an announcer says. “On the other hand, Jim Knoblach won’t fight for middle class priorities and would bring Minnesota back to gridlock.”
That’s typical DFL spin. I won’t be polite. Simply put, it’s BS and the DFL knows it. Zach Dorholt voted for raising the cigarette tax, which has hurt convenience stores because smokers are stocking up when they visit the nearby casinos.
In that same Tax Bill, Dorholt voted for the Senate Legislative Office Building. The SLOB is a palace for part-time legislators. It’s $90,000,000 that should’ve been spent fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges, not building a palace for politicians.
That certainly isn’t looking out for the middle class. This isn’t helping the middle class either:
Among the legislation Dorholt takes credit for are measures that provided state funding to expand the St. Cloud Civic Center, increased funding for schools and gave more state money to St. Cloud State University.
Apparently, Rep. Dorholt and the DFL-dominated legislature think it’s wise to write St. Cloud State a blank check, then ignore the University’s multiple catastrophes.
Last year, the House Higher Ed Committee, where Rep. Dorholt is the Vice-Chair, met 4 times. During a non-budget year, the Pelowski-Dorholt committee had tons of time to dig into SCSU’s problems. They couldn’t be bothered by that. They didn’t pay attention to Chancellor Rosenstone until months after he’d received a contract extension and a hefty pay raise:
Monday’s announcement that the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system gave its top executive a raise and a new, three-year contract, last October, drew criticism from a top lawmaker and the union that represents the faculty at seven state universities.
Chancellor Steven Rosenstone will make $387,250 in base salary for the coming school year, a 1.8 percent increase. He also will receive a $43,160 boost to allowances for transportation and other expenses, MnSCU said.
I’d love hearing Rep. Dorholt’s explanation of how letting Chancellor Rosenstone get a $27,250 per year pay raise and a $43,160 per year increase in Rosenstone’s allowances is fighting for middle class priorities.
Rep. Dorholt, how is voting for the forced unionization of in-home child care providers fighting for middle class priorities? That sounds like you’re fighting for your special interest allies that are knocking on doors in your district.
The truth is that Rep. Dorholt is a rubberstamp for Gov. Dayton and the special interests that help him during campaign season. That isn’t a champion for the middle class.
Technorati: Zach Dorholt, Middle Class Tax Increase, House Higher Ed Committee, Oversight Hearings, St. Cloud State, MnSCU, Contract Extension, Pay Raise, Steven Rosenstone, Senate Office Building, Special Interests, Child Care Unionization, DFL, Jim Knoblach, MNGOP, Election 2014