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There’s been lots of celebrating on the Range after Resolution 54 got defeated Saturday. This article said that Jason Metsa thinks that the vote is “a clear indication of where the party is at.” Then Metsa admitted that “the issue will be coming up again.”

First, the Range DFL survived Saturday, partially because all parts of the state were represented at the meeting. Anyone that thinks that John Marty will give up his anti-mining crusade anytime soon is kidding themselves. New incoming House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman hasn’t announce that she’ll take a more centrist, pro-mining position now that she’s the top-ranking Democrat in the House.

That’s before talking about whether organizations like the Sierra Club, MCEA or Conservation Minnesota (which gets significant funding from Alida Messenger) will stop bringing lawsuits against PolyMet. MCEA’s mission is to file lawsuit after lawsuit against mining companies or utilities. Winning the lawsuits isn’t MCEA’s goal. Their goal is to wear down the investors until those investors quit. I wrote about that tactic in this post, which I titled Attrition, not litigation.

Third, defeating Resolution 54 isn’t a victory because it didn’t approve a single permit for PolyMet or Twin Metals. The last I looked, Gov. Dayton hasn’t relented in saying no to the initial permits for the Twin Metals mining project.

Fourth, the DFL hasn’t lifted a finger to streamline the permitting process. I won’t trust them until they support permitting reform and regulatory relief. Even then, I’ll remain skeptical because these guys won’t permit the DFL to do real reforms:

When I wrote this post, titled The DFL’s blue collar civil war, I focused my attention on tomorrow morning’s DFL State Central meeting and something titled Resolution 54. The language for Resolution 54 states “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

Harold Hamilton’s Friday commentary focused on those subjects, too. Hamilton wrote “The Watchdog has spoken with a number of DFL opinion leaders from greater Minnesota who have noted that the passage of this resolution means their permanent split from the DFL.”

The next paragraph after that commentary contained an update, which said “The Watchdog has learned that there will be a motion to ‘table’ the resolution until 2018. So what. Kicking the can down the road won’t paper over this schism. DFL candidates are already announcing for governor. You can bet that various DFL constituencies will be working hard to pin down the candidates regarding mining. There will be no place to hide.”

A loyal reader of LFR said that it’s unlikely that the motion to table Resolution 54 will pass. Further, this supporter of LFR thinks it likely that Resolution 54 will pass, though that isn’t guaranteed. Another loyal supporter of LFR sent me this Twitter picture:


I don’t know if these things are tied together or if they’re entirely random. Either situation is possible at this point. What’s certain is that tomorrow morning’s meeting has the potential for blowing up in the DFL’s face. The other thing that’s certain is that DFL State Party Chair Martin can’t be blamed if he’s drinking Maalox by the bottle tonight.

According to Mr. Hamilton, if tomorrow morning’s DFL meeting blows up, Republicans will have gotten a fantastic opportunity if they play it right:

On the Republican side, leadership must grasp the opportunity, which means making some tough choices. It’s easy to support mining and pipelines. It’s easy to support guns. But it isn’t as easy to support other issues like prevailing wage laws.

Internal polling from some construction trade union showed that over 50% of their membership voted for Donald Trump and other Republicans down ticket. Maintaining those numbers will be very, very difficult if the GOP pushes for prevailing wage repeal bills, for example. Regardless of where one stands on this issue, members of the skilled construction trades see prevailing wage laws as a protection against low-cost, low-skill (sometimes illegal) labor undercutting Minnesota’s high-skill higher-cost model.

In short, when you tell a man or woman who has put in many thousands of hours to learn and perfect a trade that they should make less money in order to be on par with crews of unskilled, illegal workers from Alabama and Mississippi, it’s not a winning message. Telling rural Minnesota that blue collar people in their communities make too much money is about as popular as telling them that mining should be illegal.

Here’s hoping that Republicans a) get this opportunity and b) make the most of this opportunity.

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The man that wrote this LTE, Brian Marsh, gives idiots a bad reputation. It’s stunning to think that Democrats think people are that stupid.

Marsh started his LTE by saying “Stewart Mills III, in talking about the Second Amendment, was quoted in the Dispatch as proclaiming: ‘It is an inalienable right given to us by God.'” Marsh then follows that up by saying “Nowhere in the Bible I read is there any mention of God addressing the topic of a right to gun ownership, and, the last time I checked, God did not write our Constitution or its amendments.”

First, Mills is right. The right to defend ourselves is as old as the Bible. The Declaration of Independence introduces the concept that our rights come from “Nature’s God”, not governments. It’s stunning that Marsh finds this concept radical. It’s been part of our nation’s foundation since 1776.
Then Marsh said this:

It’s sad to see someone so desperate for power that he will resort to fabricating his own “facts” in order to achieve it.

What’s sad is seeing how little Democrats know about the Constitution. Stewart Mills understands the Constitution. He isn’t making things up.

It’s also apparent that Marsh’s goal is to deflect attention away from Rick Nolan. Nolan wants this race to be about ‘Mills the One-Percenter’. Nolan doesn’t want this election to highlight Nolan’s time as a career politician. Nolan doesn’t want voters in the Eighth District to notice that he supports Resolution 54, the DFL’s anti-mining resolution, which I wrote about here:

Specifically, Resolution 54 says “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

Rick Nolan is a career politician who will say anything to stay in power. He isn’t about solving problems. He’ll say anything that will keep him in DC.

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It’s amazing that the Duluth News Tribune, aka the DNT, endorsed Republican Rob Farnsworth to replace Carly Melin to represent the people of Nashwauk, Keewatin, Chisholm and Buhl in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

DNT’s endorsement wasn’t tepid, either, stating “he’s also the best bet for effective, strong leadership in St. Paul. Far from an ideologue, he’s an independent thinker with clear goals and specific priorities who’d work for all, not just a party.”

Farnsworth talked about the thing that Ken Martin, Rick Nolan and the DFL don’t want to talk about, saying “The DFL that most Iron Rangers are voting for hasn’t existed for 20 years. The DFL in the Twin Cities that has taken over the DFL in Minnesota, wants to end mining. At their convention and then again at their executive board meeting in the Twin Cities, they tried to pass an anti-mining resolution that I believe will be passed in November because they just pushed it down (the road). This is not a group that is in favor of mining.”

This is the strongest statement by the DNT Editorial Board in the endorsement article:

No matter what political affiliation, Farnsworth rises to the top of this three-way race with a stronger grasp of the issues facing Minnesotans and our Legislature and with his clearly stated and specific goals. They include improving the Iron Range and Minnesota economies by growing jobs; educational plans that make sense for all students; and transportation projects that benefit the greatest number of Minnesotans, meaning more bridge and highway work instead of massive light-rail projects in the Twin Cities that don’t even promise to take cars off the congested roads.

Farnsworth made a ton of sense when he said this:

“With the metro DFL attacking mining, attacking our way of life on the Iron Range, I’m not sure that my kids are going to be able to stay here and raise their family here if that’s what they want to do,” Farnsworth said. “That’s why I’m running for this seat.”

It’s time for the Range to reject the DFL. The metro DFL’s priorities aren’t the Range’s priorities.

Technorati: Rob Farnsworth, Duluth News Tribune, Endorsement, Mining, Iron Range, Transportation, MNGOP, Rick Nolan, Metrocrats, Environmental Activists, DFL, Election 2016

If there’s something that’s mind-boggling, it’s how steelworkers still praise the man who isn’t consistently fighting for them. What’s important to understand is that this isn’t about mining. It’s about the liberal agenda, at least with the union leadership.

Picture the union president saying “Because of his unabashed and outspoken support for our members, we are proud to stand with our congressman and present him with an award to recognize his commitment to our community, not only because of his work on trade, but for leading the fight to equalize pay for women, among other important issues.”

If I’m a miner who’s unemployed, and there are lots of people that fit that description, my first priority wouldn’t be to praise a politician “for leading the fight to equalize pay for women.” Further, I wouldn’t praise a guy who’s fought for high tariffs on countries that illegally dumped steel, then quietly supported Resolution 54, which would shut down mining.

People will take exception with that last statement. I’m perfectly prepared to defend it. It’s been reported that Rep. Nolan worked hard to not have the DFL Central Committee vote on Resolution 54. It’s been reported that “delegates voted unanimously to form an ad hoc committee comprised of the Iron Range Legislative Delegation and representatives of labor, the environmental caucus of the DFL Central Committee, and the Native American tribes to work out compromise wording on a mining resolution to be presented at the committee’s December meeting.”

Nolan knows there won’t be a compromise between the miners and environmental activists. Those groups mix together like oil and water. At the DFL State Central Committee meeting, the environmental activists will propose an anti-mining resolution and it will have the votes to pass. It’ll pass because the environmental activists have the vote to pass it.

It’s clear that the DFL’s leadership sides consistently with the environmental activists. Rep. Nolan knows this. If Range workers are satisfied with inconsistent representation that occasionally sides with them but sides with the environmental activists most of the time, then they deserve representation like Nolan.

If they want someone that’ll consistently fight for them, though, then Stewart Mills is their only option this November.

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While I wrote this post, I couldn’t stop thinking that the Iron Range would benefit if DFL activists from the Range started thinking like the Democrats who filed into Lee Supply’s training room in Charleroi, PA, which is in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Democrats in southwestern Pennsylvania that filed into that training room entered as Democrats but left as Trump voters. Angela LeJohn isn’t just voting for Donald Trump but for Pat Toomey, too. That’s because, in her opinion, “voting to preserve their industry means voting for Trump and Toomey.” Ms. LeJohn is employed by Lee Supply, which specializes in “pipe and pumping systems used in everything from traditional applications, such as water distribution and sewage treatment, to highly specialized applications such as horizontal directional drilling, slip lining, leachate and methane collection, gas extraction and water transport.”

If the Iron Range got smart, they’d vote Republican for a few cycles. A few weeks ago, Rick Nolan and Ken Martin postponed a vote on something known on the Range as Resolution 54. The text of Resolution 54 reads “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

Bill Hanna, the executive editor of the Mesabi Daily News, notes that “while mining opponents, most notably the DFL Environmental Caucus, are targeting nonferrous projects, they either fail to realize, or don’t care, that all rock mined on the Range is ‘sulfur-bearing rock,’ including in taconite production. So Resolution 54 would put the DFL Party squarely against a 135-year history of mining in Minnesota and opposed to a proud traditional way of life for more than a century on the Iron Range.”

As the people of Charleroi, PA have figured out, it’s more important to vote for people you don’t always agree with but who’ll always “have your back” than it is to always vote for Democrats just because that’s what you’ve always done. If the Range doesn’t figure this out, they’ll soon realize that they’ll have to vote Republican to protect their livelihoods.

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If anyone needs proof that the DFL hates laborers (the L in DFL supposedly stands for Laborer), they should look at this map of the new alternative route that Enbridge will use to get their Bakken oil to market:

I wrote this post to highlight the DFL’s indifference to pipefitters and other blue collar workers. The metro DFL environmental activists threw up hurdle after hurdle to prevent the Sandpiper Pipeline. The DFL won. The Sandpiper Pipeline won’t be built. Enbridge decided to avoid Minnesota and route their pipeline through North and South Dakota, Iowa and Illinois.

The oil will flow. The commodity will still make it to market. The DFL ‘won’, if you consider losing hundreds of high-paying heavy equipment jobs to other states winning. (HINT: The Metro DFL thinks this is a victory. Since the Metro DFL runs the party, the DFL considers this a victory.)

The DFL isn’t the party of the blue collar workers. This is who they are:

Today’s DFL is led by a trust fund governor who’s lived a life of carefree luxury. It’s led by a House Minority Leader who lives in a tony Minneapolis enclave and pays more in property taxes than some people make in a year. It’s led by a clownish U.S. Senator who made a fortune playing the fool in Hollywood, writing vacuous trash while doing dope. All three live in Minneapolis and consider walking down to the farmer’s market to pick up some kale to be “farming.”

That isn’t all. Think of this:

Of course, the antidote for this malaise would be to get more mining jobs up and running, especially for those minerals, ferrous and non-ferrous, that have recovered in price point. But the urban elites who run the DFL won’t allow it. Instead, they engage in a cynical game of stringing people along, claiming that there’s just “one more” environmental regulation to clear.

Years later, miners are still waiting for good jobs. They won’t be coming, at least so long as Mark Dayton is governor. You see, there is no intention to allow this mining to start up. It’s all a smoke screen to cop some more votes out of Iron Rangers for the next election.

It’s about the false hope. The DFL party has delayed considering a resolution to oppose mining. It wasn’t defeated. Only delayed until after the election.

The DFL abandoned farmers, the F in the DFL, when Gov. Dayton vetoed a tax relief bill that would’ve provided hundreds of farmers property tax relief. Gov. Dayton didn’t fight for farmers. Instead, Gov. Dayton fought for the SWLRT project.

When it was decision time, Gov. Dayton and the DFL fought farmers, laborers and other blue collar workers. They fought for environmental activists and the metro.

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Rick Nolan has always been an environmental activist. It’s who he was in the 1970s when he was my congressman. It’s who he is today. He’s also a full-fledged socialist. To prove that final point, Rep. Nolan was just endorsed by a pro-Bernie Sanders organization called Our Revolution. Their stated goal is to “revitalize American democracy by unifying the millions of people who got involved over the course of U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in support of progressive causes.” It’s noteworthy that Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva, the co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, were endorsed by Our Revolution.

There’s no questioning whether Ellison and Grijalva are far left lefties. They’re a hard left turn from someone like Tim Walz, who is one of Nancy Pelosi’s favorite puppets. But I digress.

The truth is that Rep. Nolan is an environmental activist. In 2012, I wrote this post to highlight how reluctant Nolan was to cross the environmental activists about mining. At the time, the Pioneer Press reported that “DFL congressional candidate Rick Nolan proposed on Wednesday, July 18, development of a new federal technical institute on mining and the environment to help the industry overcome production and environmental issues to create more jobs, an idea immediately panned by his opponents as expensive and ineffective. Nolan said the institute would help push applied research that would help mining companies overcome technical problems such as how to extract more mineral from the same rock, but also to overcome environmental issues like reducing waste rock and making sure mine runoff doesn’t damage local waterways.”

In other words, Rep. Nolan did his best chameleon impersonation. He wanted to appear pro-mining without upsetting the environmental activists. Rick Nolan isn’t the miners’ friend. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing to the miners. He’s said he supports mining but it’s fair to ask when the last time was that he fought for good paying mining jobs.

Anyone can say that they’re pro-mining. The proof of whether that person is pro-mining is provided when they fight another special interest ally in creating good-paying mining jobs. That’s when a politician makes a decision. Until then, pro-mining statements are just politicians flapping their lips. It isn’t proof.

Thanks to a tip from a loyal reader of LFR, I now have proof that the DFL hates all mining. This article provides that proof in the form of the wording for “Resolution 54”.

Specifically, Resolution 54 says “Oppose sulfide ore mining, which is significantly different from taconite mining, poses unacceptable environmental risks, threatens multiple watersheds (Lake Superior, BWCA/VNP, Mississippi) and should not be allowed in the sulfur-bearing rock of Minnesota.”

Bill Hanna, the executive editor of the Mesabi Daily News, disagreed with Res. 54’s statement that non-ferrous mining “is significantly different” than taconite mining, stating that “all rock mined on the Range is ‘sulfur-bearing rock,’ including in taconite production.” That’s a political predicament that Ken Martin, the chair of the DFL, doesn’t want to deal with.

Here’s why the DFL is in a no-win situation:

Martin, along with Range lawmakers and labor leaders, especially from the building trades, have crafted substitute language for Resolution 54. They are looking for someone who would be more amenable to the anti-mining crowd to introduce the compromise wording.

The substitute language reads: “We support stringent regulations, oversight, and using the best available science when evaluating the proposals for copper nickel mining, which would be a new industry in Minnesota and potentially poses significant risks to Minnesota’s waters including, but not limited to: Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Voyageurs National Park, and the Mississippi River.”

But the DFL Environmental Caucus is signaling no compromise. The caucus has sent out an email that claims support of more than 65 percent of DFL delegates for Resolution 54.

Simply put, the metro DFL vehemently opposes mining. Period. That’s why they aren’t willing to compromise on Res. 54.

Here’s a hint to the proud, hard-working people of the Iron Range: the metro DFL will never be willing to compromise as long as the Iron Range keeps electing DFL legislators. Why should the DFL move if they get what they want every time?

Once again, the Twin Cities DFL shows its indifference towards the Iron Range’s blue collar workers. This post is the latest thumb in the Iron Range’s eye.

ABM’s first paragraph starts by saying “Minnesota has seen many victories for working families this year. On August 1, the minimum wage increase that Governor Dayton and Democratic legislators fought for in 2014 will be fully implemented, raising the wage to $9.50 an hour – one of the highest in the nation.”

I’d love hearing ABM hold a townhall meeting in Virginia, Hibbing or Hoyt Lakes. I’d love hearing them say that the Iron Range’s working families have “seen many victories.” If Brooke Wallington or Susie Merthan opened a meeting on the Range with that type of statement, they’d be advised to duck first, then hightail it to the nearest exit.

The second paragraph says “In May, paid sick leave passed in Minneapolis, allowing workers to better take care of themselves and their families. More recently, the Shakopee City Council voted unanimously to increase the minimum wage at subsidized businesses to $19 an hour. Now, Minneapolis is close to placing a $15 an hour minimum wage proposal on the ballot.” I’m not from the Iron Range but I can’t imagine them getting excited to hear that Minneapolis and Shakopee have new minimum wage laws. How does that help anyone in Buhl, Ely, Eveleth or Hibbing?

What’s interesting is the fact that there’s nothing in ABM’s post that talks about high-paying mining jobs. In fact, there’s nothing about high-paying mining jobs on ABM’s website. That’s rather stunning.

It’s stunning but it isn’t surprising. It isn’t surprising because Metro DFL activists care about the Twin Cities. It isn’t that these DFL activists just hate the Iron Range. It’s that they’re indifferent about the Iron Range. The Metro DFL is indifferent to the Iron Range because the Metro DFL’s agenda is all about what’s important to the Metro DFL.

That’s the way it’s been. That’s the way it’ll be for the foreseeable future. It won’t change until the Iron Range starts voting for Republicans. It won’t change when Iron Rangers stay home. It’ll change when Iron Rangers start making the DFL pay for their metro-centric agenda.

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