Archive for the ‘Mining’ Category

Now that Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni have made it official that they’re leaving the DFL, I can finally write about the move. The article opened by saying “In a startling political development, two longtime Minnesota DFL senators announced Wednesday they are leaving the Minnesota Senate DFL Caucus to form a new ‘Independent Caucus.'”

The article continues, saying “Sen. Tom Bakk of Cook, a senator since 2003 and former DFL candidate for governor and former DFL Senate Majority leader, and Sen. Dave Tomassoni of Chisholm, a senator since 2001, say their move is designed to become more bipartisan and moderate.” This move isn’t unpredictable. When the DFL ran pro-mining Erik Simonson out in the primary by a 73%-27% margin, the DFL sent the unmistakable signal that pro-mining legislators weren’t welcome in the DFL anymore.

Shortly after that, 5 formerly Iron Range DFL mayors endorsed President Trump. Eventually 9 former DFL mayors endorsed him. In the general election, Sen. Bakk won with only 55% of the vote, the tightest race of his career. At that point, Bakk and Tomassoni didn’t have a reason to stick with the DFL. The DFL rejected the Iron Range’s way of life, which meant their cities couldn’t support themselves anymore.

Imagine being told that being a loyal soldier for 20 years just wasn’t enough, that your constituents’ way of life had to be shut down. Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni don’t have to imagine that. That’s what just happened to them. This segment captured things perfectly:

Now it appears there was much more to that move because both Bakk and Tomassoni will get committee chairmanships. Those positions can only be appointed by Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka.

In an update Wednesday morning, Gazelka stated, “Being a graduate of high school in Virginia, MN, I have a natural connection to the Range. I’ve worked across the aisle with Senators Bakk and Tomassoni for 10 years. I welcome their announcement and the stronger alignment we will have as a result. We share the same vision of a prosperous Iron Range and will continue to work with them to fight for jobs on the Range.”

This hurts the DFL immensely because it didn’t happen in a vacuum. These defections follow Collin Peterson getting thrashed by Michelle Fischbach in CD-7. When it comes to CD-7, Peterson was the DFL’s entire bench. The DFL isn’t getting Peterson’s seat back in the next decade, at minimum. It’s becoming clear that the DFL is the urban party. Further, the DFL can’t escape the fact that they’re the extremist party.

The DFL mayor of Minneapolis let his city get destroyed by rioters. The DFL Minneapolis City Council voted unanimously to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Last week, that same City Council voted 7-6 to spend $500,000 through the end of the year on extra policing to protect against the violent crime that, predictably, skyrocketed after the dismantling vote. That outcome was predictable because officers retired, left or took medical leave after the riots.

The DFL has lots of things to figure out before the next election. If they don’t figure things out, 1 of 2 things will happen. Either Tim Walz will fight with a unified GOP legislature or a Republican governor will work with a unified GOP legislature to restore sanity to the state.

After the Democrats’ big spanking in the 2020 election, centrist Democrats have a major decision ahead of them, especially in Minnesota. In Minneapolis, DFL city councilmembers voted initially to dismantle the police. This past week, that same bunch voted 7-6 to approve an additional $500,000 in funding to make Minneapolis streets safer.

That it was that close of a vote shouts at centrist Democrats. This election isn’t just a time for reflection. It’s a time to wonder if this Democratic Party is interested in centrists. Here in Minnesota, 15-term Congressman and House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson got thrashed by Michelle Fischbach. In State Senate District 3, former State Senate Majority Leader and State Senate Minority Leader (he’s been both) Tom Bakk won re-election with just 55% of the vote. In the past, he’s usually won with 70% of the vote. Are you noticing a trend developing? Then there’s this:

The 2 factions within the DFL on the Minneapolis City Council is more fractious than the Hatfields and McCoys. It turns out that re-imagining policing in substantive terms requires thinking. Already, this fiasco has ended the political career of one DFL politician, Lisa Bender, at least for now:

Bender, who represents five Uptown-area neighborhoods on the 13-member council, was first elected in 2013 and became council president in 2018. Her note to supporters didn’t give a reason for not seeking a third term. She wrote that she made the decision “well before multiple crises hit our city.”

Yeah, right. I’m not buying what she’s selling.

Sen. Jeff Hayden, DFL-Minneapolis, noted that Biden won in a half-dozen state Senate districts that DFL candidates lost. He thinks the ill-formed rollout of the council’s proposal to reshape policing was part of the reason. Senate Republicans maintain a one-vote majority in the chamber.

“Everybody’s words and the way they message, that matters,” said Hayden, who lost a primary race in August to Democratic Socialist opponent Omar Fateh. “If we’re going win legislative races, we’re going to have to figure out how to appeal to some of these folks, because clearly they switched their ballot from the top of the ticket to the bottom.”

Sen. Hayden is one of the most progressive members of the Senate. This summer, he lost in a primary because he isn’t progressive enough. Up north, pro-mining DFL State Senator Erik Simonson from Duluth got thrashed by a 73%-27% margin in the DFL primary. Shortly thereafter, 9 DFL Iron Range mayors endorsed President Trump and Jason Lewis for US Senate. There are other rumblings coming from the Range, too. Will centrist Democrats stick with the DFL? They shouldn’t because they’re outsiders from the Ilhan Omar wing of the DFL.

This article explains what’s happening in Minnesota. It’s long been known that Minnesota’s political landscape was changing. The last 4 years, though, have shown that the pace of change accelerated.

The article opens by saying “Ask Larry Cuffe why, after decades of voting for Democrats, he voted for Donald Trump four years ago, and he’ll talk about his distrust of Hillary Clinton and the need to get northern Minnesota’s mines back to work. Ask the former police officer why he’s sticking with Trump in 2020 and the list is very much longer.” The simplest way of putting things is by saying that President Trump has kept most of his promises to Blue Collar America. He hasn’t been perfect but he’s worked tirelessly to do what he promised. The political establishment hasn’t worked hard to support the lunchpail crowd.

Andrea Zupancich, a real estate agent and part-time mayor of the small city of Babbitt who also voted for Obama and signed the letter in support of Trump, twice testified to Congress that China dumping cheap steel on the US was killing her community. She said the imports drove down demand for iron ore from the mines around Babbitt which cost jobs, battered the local economy and drove people to leave the city. “We were pleading with Obama to do something about this. He started doing a little bit and then it just kind of fizzled,” she said.

Zupancich credits Trump for standing up to China by imposing tariffs on its steel that she says has injected new life into the industry in the US and the Iron Range. “The tariffs, that is causing an equal playing field for the selling of our steel, so we’ve noticed an increase in the mines’ production. We see that they’re hiring people, they’re putting money back into the mines. They’re planning on mining for a while,” she said.

The next time Joe Biden insists that President Trump took over a booming economy, then ruined it, throw this back in his face. The Obama-Biden administration hurt the Iron Range in northeast Minnesota and steel mill towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

President Trump got rid of the Obama regulations that revitalized the energy industry. Now we’re energy independent and energy dominant. President Trump imposed tariffs on China when they tried cheap steel into the US. It didn’t take long for China to stop dumping steel into the US. When the China steel dumping stopped, the Iron Range’s economy was revitalized. The Obama-Biden administration was mostly about career politicians flapping their gums. The Trump administration specializes in fixing economic problems.

“We are sitting on a half a trillion dollars’ worth of copper and nickel,” said Zupancich. “We import all our nickel whereas we could provide 90% of the world’s nickel and the state would really benefit. The mining taxes pay for our schools for the entire state.”

The plan ran into opposition from Minnesota Democrats over environmental concerns. To Zupancich it didn’t make sense if a ban on mining in northern Minnesota means the minerals then come from countries such as China or Russia with lower environmental and other standards.

After reading this article, I wasn’t surprised to find Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka’s tweet:


The article that Sen. Gazelka linked to is hostile to the Iron Range way of life. It essentially says that the metro DFL wants Iron Rangers to live in poverty:

Last weekend, the DFL party officially adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium banning copper-nickel mining projects in Minnesota, according to the DFL Environmental Caucus’s Facebook page. The move is the latest sign that the policies endorsed by the party are moving further toward the agenda’s of urban environmentalists and further away from the rural roots of the party that support farmers and laborers.

Democrats insist that they are the party that insists on following the science. That’s a lie. They’ve said that it’s impossible to safely mine precious metals. I wrote this post in 2013. Here’s the major takeaway of the post:

In 1936, Kennecott constructed evaporation ponds to store and evaporate mine water originating from the Bingham Canyon watershed. Over time, additional ponds were constructed to increase capacity, and the area became known as the South Jordan Evaporation Ponds (SJEP). The ponds were used for mine water until 1965 and for periodic storage of runoff water until 1987. SJEP use was discontinued in 1987.

Studies in the early 1990s concluded that there were elevated levels of heavy metals in the soil where the holding ponds had been located. Kennecott took responsibility for the impacts and agreed to reclaim and remediate the SJEP area. The removal work was undertaken pursuant to an EPA Administrative Order on Consent (AOC).

A massive clean-up operation began in 1994 involving the removal of pond sediment and six additional inches of underlying native soil. The material removed from Daybreak was permanently relocated to the Kennecott Blue Water Repository as part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) clean up. At this time, some sediment, with a low concentration of lead and arsenic but an elevated sulfate concentration were consolidated onsite and capped with topsoil and re-vegetated. In 2001, the EPA issued a Record of Decision stating that the removal action adequately satisfied the remedial objectives and EPA determined that no further action was required. An Operation and Maintenance Plan (O&M Plan) was established to address
further management of the consolidation site.

Pursuant to agreements between the EPA, UDEQ and Kennecott, Kennecott began removing the remaining sediments at the consolidation site under the guideline of the O&M Plan. In 2006, Kennecott, the EPA and the UDEQ entered into an agreement solidifying the unrestricted residential and commercial use clean-up standards for the entire site.

In early 2007, the consolidated pond sediment removal project was completed. In 2008, the EPA and UDEQ issued a Consent Decree for the ground water cleanup efforts.

In other words, the DFL is the party of science except if it gets in the way of their political agenda. That isn’t intellectually consistent. The DFL knows about this. Kennecott’s example has been thrown in their face multiple times.

Not only does the party platform now officially oppose copper-nickel mining, something mining supporters have long suspected, but it also calls for increasing the use of wind and solar, which require enormous amounts of copper, nickel, and cobalt. The platform also opposes nuclear power, which along with hydroelectric power are the only sources of reliable carbon-free electricity.

How do you rely on wind and solar energy without the raw materials to make wind turbines or solar panels? Does the DFL think that these materials just miraculously appear at the manufacturing plant when they’re needed?

Iron Rangers appear to be figuring things out. They’re realizing that this is what’s happening:

It’s time for Tom Bakk and the rest of the Iron Range DFL delegation to flip the metro DFL the bird. The metro DFL doesn’t care about Iron Rangers’ families. Republicans share their priorities. Susan Kent and Ryan Winkler don’t.

Last week, 6 DFL mayors issued a statement that they were endorsing President Trump’s re-election. This week, 3 of those mayors officially endorsed Jason Lewis’s US Senate campaign. While both gentlemen still face uphill fights to win a statewide election in Minnesota, the odds keep improving.

One of the mayors that’s endorsed both the Trump-Pence ticket and Jason Lewis is Babbitt Mayor Andrea Zupancich. She joined with Virginia Mayor Larry Cuffe and Eveleth Mayor Robert Vlaisavljevich in a roundtable discussion with Lewis. After the event, Lewis said “I’ve been on the Iron Range countless times since launching our campaign a year ago and I’m proud to be back today chatting with outstanding leaders like these Mayors. I am humbled to have the support of Larry, Bob, and Andrea in my campaign to represent Minnesotans and the Iron Range in the United States Senate. It speaks volumes about how radical Democrats in D.C. and St. Paul have become when even lifelong Democrats here on the Iron Range are willing to stand up and endorse Republicans for federal offices.”

Mayor Zupancich was interviewed by Tammy Bruce Thursday night. Bruce was filling in for Laura Ingraham. Here’s that interview:

It’s long past time for the Iron Range to flip from bright blue to red. The DFL is controlled by the Metro DFL, which means anti-mining environmental activists. The DFL’s anti-mining activist wing of the party hate Iron Rangers. They tolerate Iron Rangers only to have a chance of holding House or Senate gavels.

This article highlights part of the letter endorsing President Trump:

“Today, we don’t recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left, it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class. The hard-working Minnesotans that built their lives and supported their families here on the Range have been abandoned by radical Democrats. We didn’t choose to leave the Democratic Party, the party left us.”

President Reagan once historically said that he didn’t leave the Democrats, that they’d left him. The DFL isn’t the party representing farmers and laborers. The DFL has become the party that’s dominated by environmental activists and white collar elitists. Republicans now represent farmers and laborers.

I wrote here that President Trump won the 4 rural congressional districts by comfortable margins:

In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 54%-38% margin in Minnesota’s Eighth District. That year, In 2016, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 61%-31% margin in Minnesota’s 7th District. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 52%-38% margin in Minnesota’s First District. Finally, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a 59%-38% margin in Minnesota’s Sixth District.

It’s time to recognize the GOP as the Blue Collar Party. These Iron Range mayors reflect that change.

To: Iron Range DFL
From: Gary Gross, uppity peasant, patriot & 2A advocate
Subject: Guilt by party affiliation

The blue collar workers that populate the Iron Range DFL have a question that can’t be avoided anymore. In the past, it wasn’t that difficult to justify staying affiliated with the metro DFL. They didn’t like mining, you said, but they tossed the Iron Range DFL delegation a few scraps at the end of the session each year. It’s true that the Metrocrats hated the Second Amendment but they weren’t fanatics about it.

The thinking was that, for the most part, the Metro DFL supported the police. Those rationalizations have disappeared entirely. While there’s still some common sense still found in the Iron Range DFL, that can’t be said of Metro DFL. The Metro DFL is largely represented by people like John Thompson. “John Thompson is running for Minnesota State House District 67A.” This is John Thompson in action:


The lunatic in that video doesn’t resemble the man in this video:

They’re both the same guy. The man in the second video is the fake face of a man who will say anything to win a seat in the Minnesota House. The man in the first video is the real face of the man. The point is that the lunatic that was unleashed in the first tape belongs to the same DFL that the Iron Range DFL belong to.

The Iron Range DFL needs to make a decision fast. When Erik Simonson got thrashed in his SD-7 DFL primary, he didn’t just lose every precinct in his district. He was told by the lunatic fringe of the DFL that blue collar workers weren’t welcome in the DFL anymore.

The question you need to ask yourself is whether you’re ok being treated like dirt by the Metro DFL simply because you want to make living and provide for your family. The Metro DFL have made it exceptionally clear that they have a problem with you making a living. Isn’t it time you flipped the Metro DFL the bird and told them to eff off and die?

Harold Hamilton’s weekly commentary contains some bad news for the DFL. This past Tuesday, while I was paying attention to the national news, DFL primary voters delivered a harsh message to the DFL. First, Hamilton highlights the fact that the “labor wing” of the DFL is persona non grata within the DFL. Hamilton wrote “Start with State Senate District 7, where incumbent Erik Simonson suffered a savage beatdown at the hands of newcomer Jen McEwen. Simonson, a moderate, supported mining and pipelines and frequently crossed party lines. In short, he was an old-school blue-collar Democrat.”

Hamilton continued, writing “Simonson had the backing of nearly the entire constellation of DFL opinion leaders, including Governor Walz and a raft of independent spending on his behalf from unions and other special interest groups. Despite this dynamic, Simonson was crushed 74-23%, losing every single precinct in the district.”

Couple this thorough thrashing with Susan Kent’s defeat of Tom Bakk to become the Senate DFL Leader and it’s exceptionally clear that the Iron Range DFL delegation are welcome only to maintain the chance of putting together a majority. The DFL doesn’t want the Iron Range delegation’s mining agenda.

In House District 59B, Rep. Raymond Dehn was beaten by newcomer Esther Agbaje. Let’s be clear about Rep. Dehn’s liberal, woke street cred. Dehn is a proud ex-con, having done time for a 1976 felony burglary, presumably to feed an admitted cocaine addiction. More importantly, Dehn can rightly proclaim that he was for defunding the police before “defunding the police” became a cause célèbre. Dehn was excoriated for his suggestion to disarm the Minneapolis Police Department, even though he was more than prescient as a liberal standard-bearer. The problem for Ray Dehn, clearly, was that he was the wrong race and color for the Group Identity Mob.

Then there’s this:

In another section of Minneapolis, Senator Jeff Hayden lost his primary to Omar Fateh, a Democrat of a different stripe. Fateh proudly ran against Hayden as a Democrat Socialist. Again, Jeff Hayden wouldn’t be mistaken for a moderate anywhere. He has earned high marks from progressive groups everywhere.

Finally, over in Saint Paul, longtime legislative fixture John Lesch was unceremoniously dumped in the most surprising result of the night, save for Simonson’s beat down.

The thought that Jeff Hayden. Ray Dehn and John Lesch aren’t sufficiently leftist enough in this DFL says everything. When Jeff Hayden isn’t sufficiently left for the activists, that means that major changes are about to happen.

I’m sticking with my prediction that Jeremiah Ellison will be the next mayor of Minneapolis. I’ll further predict that he’ll run the city into the ground. The DFL is at a tipping point. If they don’t return to their blue collar roots, they’ll essentially be an urban party for a generation.

Joe Biden is attempting to look like a leader on the China Virus. It’s failing because he’s proposing to do things that President Trump did months ago. They sound reasonable at first blush. That’s because they’ve been implemented months ago:

The former vice president swung into his spiel: “I talked early on about the Defense [Production] Act” to order companies to manufacture essential items, he said. Mr. Trump invoked the DPA March 27 to force General Motors to step up ventilator production.

Then, Mr. Biden said, “you need more testing.” More than 50 million tests have been conducted in the U.S., 754,858 on Tuesday alone. Next, he said, “insist that everyone wear masks.” The White House Coronavirus Task Force and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on April 3 that everyone wear masks in public.

To help the economy, Mr. Biden proposed to “make sure that people are in a position where they can maintain their businesses.” Mr. Trump signed the Cares Act on March 27, providing $349 billion in partially forgivable small-business loans, later raised to $659 billion. His next idea was to guarantee “no one has to pay for contracting COVID and being treated for COVID.” The Trump administration announced April 3 it would use Cares Act money to pay hospitals that treat uninsured people for Covid-19.

Remember that this Reid-Biden interview happened on July 20. Way to go, Joe. You got around to proposing your China virus plan 3+ months after President Trump implemented this plan. Moving at that speed, we’re sure to defeat the virus before the end of President Trump’s successor’s 2nd term.

With regard to a vaccine, Mr. Biden said it was essential to “have a command officer now . . . to put together exactly how that will be distributed to over 300 million Americans.” Gen. Gustave F. Perna, head of Army Materiel Command, was appointed chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed on May 15 to accelerate vaccine production and distribution.

Again, Biden is late by 2 months. Can’t this guy get anything done fast? I’ll tell you what Biden did in March. We can’t forget this golden oldie:

Joe Biden’s economic plan will produce a recession:

The former vice president’s July 9 economic plan, for example, proposes to raise $3.2 trillion in revenue over the next decade. It would do so by increasing taxes not only on the top 1% but on every American. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation says it “would lead to lower after-tax income for all income levels” and reduce the nation’s gross domestic product.

That’s before Biden would reimpose the industry-crippling regulations that temporarily killed the coal industry and the energy industry. By comparison, President Trump’s policies have made the US the world’s largest producer of energy. We don’t rely on foreign energy anymore.

Another example: Mr. Biden’s July 14 climate plan calls for closing every natural gas and coal-fired power plant within 15 years. They now produce 60% of America’s electricity. It’s probably impossible to achieve, but even trying would raise everyone’s utility bills and endanger millions of jobs in the energy and power sectors.

It’s time to reject this hostage of the far-far-left. We can’t afford his incompetence.

There’s no question whether Joe Biden maintained a reputation for decades as a centrist. That reputation isn’t withstanding the pressure of his latest presidential campaign. Byron York’s article highlights how the Democrats’ presumptive nominee is transforming from a centrist into a leftist.

York’s first example is Biden’s years-long defense of President Obama’s deportation of illegal aliens. In his article, York wrote “Biden has defended the Obama administration’s record on deportations against those on the left who criticized President Barack Obama as the ‘deporter in chief.’ Then came last month’s Nevada caucuses. After ugly losses in Iowa and New Hampshire, Biden was struggling for life in Nevada and trying to appeal to the Hispanic voters who made up a substantial portion of state Democrats. All of a sudden, Biden backtracked on the Obama deportations he used to defend. ‘There were too many,’ Biden told Univision’s Jorge Ramos. ‘I saw the pain in the eyes of so many people who saw their families being deported. I know what it’s like to lose family members. It was painful.'”

Biden’s immigration transformation didn’t stop there, though:

As the Nevada vote neared, Biden promised that if he became president he would not deport anyone, no one, under any circumstances, during his first 100 days in office. After that, Biden said he would deport only those who have committed felonies in the United States. Biden repeated the pledge at his recent debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, his last remaining rival for the nomination.

Think about that, people. A Biden administration promises to not faithfully execute this nation’s laws. In this debate, Sleepy Joe and Crazy Bernie gave the same answer on whether local communities should turn over illegal immigrants to their administration:

It doesn’t get much more leftist for a Democrat than that. Joe Biden got the reputation of Blue Collar Joe for standing with coal miners, construction workers and blue collar families. Blue Collar Joe doesn’t exist. Here’s proof:

Biden’s centrist-to-leftist transformation is complete.

Now that he’s been dumped by the DFL, people must wonder what’s next for Sen. Tom Bakk. I’ve thought about that subject myself and I’ve reached the conclusion that Sen. Bakk would look fantastic with MNGOP after his name. What’s left within the DFL that fits Sen. Bakk?

It can’t be disputed that:

  1. today’s DFL has decided that Iron Rangers aren’t welcome within the DFL;
  2. today’s DFL is the metrocentric party;
  3. today’s DFL hates pipelines, mining and blue collar workers;
  4. today’s DFL is the gun grabber caucus;
  5. today’s DFL is the party of socialists.

Sen. Bakk, I haven’t always agreed with you but you’ve worked to make PolyMet and Twin Metals a reality. Susan Kent and John Marty won’t help make those things a reality. Paul Gazelka, Kurt Daudt and other Republicans would enthusiastically team with you on those initiatives.

It’s clear that today’s DFL isn’t interested in rural Minnesota. Sen. Bakk, you know this is BS:

“What I know about the DFL Party is that whether in the Senate or in the House or statewide offices, we’re the only party that represents Minnesotans from the Canadian border to Iowa and from the Dakotas to Wisconsin,” Hortman said.

That’s BS on steroids. When’s the last time a metro DFL politician voted for building a pipeline? That’s right, Sen Bakk. It’s been a decade+. Sen Bakk, when’s the last time a metro DFL politician enthusiastically supported precious metals mining? That’s right, Sen Bakk. They’ve never supported precious metal mining. They haven’t even half-heartedly supported precious metal mining.

Sen. Bakk, you have a chance to establish a different legacy for yourself. There’s an opportunity for you to send a signal that you’re an Iron Ranger first, last and always. Think of the message of statesmanship first that fighting for the people, not a political party, would send. That legacy is a powerful thing, something that would permit you to say that people, not party, matter most to you.

Sen. Bakk, it’s time for you to put your constituents, not the DFL, first. Your constituents want to build things, work hard and be rewarded for doing the right thing. Sen. Bakk, you have the opportunity to send a message to metro DFL politicians that the Range fights for Rangers.

Sen. Bakk, carpe diem. Carpe diem.