Archive for the ‘Debates’ Category
After watching this video from this morning’s Secretary of State debate, it’s difficult to determine whether Steve Simon is dishonest or unqualified for the job:
Here’s part of what was said that makes me think that Rep. Simon is a Sharpton-like race-baiter:
STEVE SIMON: I really don’t support this idea of a sort of Lexus lane for voting or the so-called “Express Lane Voting. First of all, it seems intended to be a separate but equal system. All I have to go on are Dan’s own words when he characterized on a TEA Party TV show in the spring when he said “If you don’t want to show an ID, be my guest. You can go over to the side and wait 2 hours in the cold. That’s fine.”
Rep. Simon’s reciting the separate but equal line was an intentional race-baiting statement. It’s intent was to frighten African-Americans. That’s partisanship at its disgusting worst. Politicians that play on people’s fears aren’t public servants; they’re politicians.
People that play hardball politics do it to win political fights. They aren’t particularly cunning. They just push hard to win. Politicians that play on people’s fears, fears that were created by decades of oppression prey on the vulnerable.
That’s what fascists do.
Next, Rep. Simon was reading from his script the entire time. If he’s upset with Rep. Severson’s remarks, he shouldn’t need to bury his head in a script for 10 seconds. FYI- 10 seconds is long enough to say 45 words. It’s apparent that Rep. Simon’s hissy fit is 75% schtick meant to frighten minorities into voting, 25% Rep. Simon being a less-than-impressive candidate. A top tier candidate, at this late stage of the campaign, would rattle facts off without hesitation and with confidence that he knows his facts.
Though it’s clear Rep. Simon isn’t a top tier candidate, that doesn’t mean Republicans shouldn’t work hard right through the last minute of Election Day. Candidates that get the most votes, whether they’re qualified or not qualified, still win.
At this point in the campaign, the right attitude is to outwork the DFL every minute through the closing of the polls.
I know it’s a high expectation to hope that a Democrat politician to tell the truth about Obamacare but Sunday morning’s free-for-all featuring Al Franken and Mike McFadden was too much. Here’s the video of that part of the debate:
One of the first things Sen. Franken said was that 95% of all Minnesotans are now insured, which is misleading but statistically true. It’s misleading because 93% of Minnesotans were insured in 2012. Another 60% of Minnesotans were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, either through medical assistance, which is Medicaid in Minnesota, or through MinnesotaCare. Based on a population of 5,300,000, that means 97.2% of Minnesotans would’ve been insured or eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. It’s worth noting that it wouldn’t have required spending $160,000,000 on a failed website, too. It would’ve only required an advertising campaign that would’ve cost less than $5,000,000 to highlight these programs.
Another of Franken’s chanting points was that Mike McFadden wants to totally repeal Obama, “which means people with pre-existing conditions” wouldn’t get covered. That’s BS on multiple levels. First, it’s impossible to believe that people with PECs wouldn’t get coverage if 97.2% of Minnesotans were insured or eligible to be insured. I know Minnesota is a healthy state but I’m betting that more than 2.8% of Minnesotans have PECs.
Then there’s the myth that Republicans were unwilling to vote for legislation that would’ve guaranteed insurance for people with PECs. If a bill would’ve been written that guaranteed that people with PECs couldn’t be denied insurance, 95%-99% of House and Senate Republicans would’ve voted for it.
If we were to start over and do health insurance reform right, there’s no question that covering people with PECs would be in the bill.
Next, Franken was questioned about health insurance premiums going up. Predictably, he said that “some people’s rates are going up but some people’s rates are going down”, suggesting that there was just as much a chance of a person’s rates going down as there was of them skyrocketing. That’s extremely dishonest and Sen. Franken knows it. Almost 75% of people will see their premiums go up dramatically while less than 25% of Minnesotans will see their premiums shrink marginally.
Franken said this after McFadden talked about a woman he met in Rochester who told him that her premiums are going up 50% and that her deductibles were increasing by 220%.That’s why McFadden called the ACA a “train wreck.” That’s why Minnesotans are increasingly calling it the Unaffordable Care Act. McFadden added that this woman “had a look of fear and anger” on her face.
One thing that came through clearly was Franken’s dishonesty. His faux outrage was contemptible. Major industry organizations like MAHU, aka Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, have testified under oath to the MNsure board that health insurance premiums are skyrocketing.
If Sen. Franken wants to ignore the truth, then that’s proof that he’ll say anything to get elected. That immediately disqualifies him from elected office. It’s one thing to make statements with statistically accurate information that’s misleading. That happens during a campaign. Franken started by telling outright lies. Those lies were quickly discredited statistically. That didn’t cause him to stop the lies. He’s just continued repeating his refuted lies.
The simple solution to this is to elect Mike McFadden. He’s got a pro-prosperity plan to get Minnesota heading in the right direction. He’s got a plan to do health care reform right. Finally, he’s honest so we won’t have to worry whether he’ll lie to us.
Technorati: Debates, Al Franken, Affordable Care Act, Premium Increases, High Deductibles, MNsure Board, Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters, DFL, Mike McFadden, Patient-Centered Health Care, GOP, Election 2014
Friday night, Collin Peterson collided with Torrey Westrom in a debate. Here’s the video for the entire debate:
Saying that it was contentious is understatement. It was also inspirational and infuriating. This clip fits into the infuriating category:
Here’s what Collin Peterson said in defending his decision not to vote for Obamacare:
PETERSON: I didn’t vote for this bill. The reason I didn’t vote for it — the reason I didn’t vote for it is because I actually read the bill, which a lot of people didn’t.
That’s the first time Peterson said he’d read the bill prior to passing it. That runs contrary to what then-Speaker Pelosi said:
Here are her infamous words:
But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.
The key point in all this is that, if it’s true, Collin Peterson knew what was in the bill but didn’t criticize the ACA. It’s one thing to stay silent on a bill you mildly disagree with. It’s almost justifiable if you think it might work. There was nothing in the ACA that suggested it would work.
For instance, if Peterson actually read the bill, he would’ve known that people couldn’t keep the plans they liked. Sitting silent while that abomination hits the American people is despicable. Edmund Burke got it right with this famous quote:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Collin Peterson did nothing. As a result, people in the Seventh District are getting bad news. Torrey Westrom is definitely speaking up about it:
“All you need to do is travel the district and talk to the small business owners that are getting renewal notices from their employees,” Westrom responded. “They’re seeing 40, 50, 60, 80% increases. I just talked to a person in my home county two weeks ago at the coffee shop, and they said they’re seeing a 100 percent increase because of Obamacare. That is a critical, a big concern, and why I am pushing that we need to repeal Obamacare, different from the congressman.”
Torrey Westrom’s closing statement was inspirational. Here’s that closing statement:
Saying that he returned to bailing hay on the family farm just a year after permanently losing his sight is inspirational. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that I appreciated Westrom’s statement that “even I can see that Washington is broken.”
Torrey’s sense of humor, combined with Torrey’s can-do attitude speak to one thing: that Torrey will be a positive, powerful force in Washington, DC.
I’ll risk saying this but the professional political punditry needs to get start seeing things through a policy impact perspective, not through a ‘will it play politically’ perspective. During this morning’s gubernatorial debate, Gov. Dayton said that he’s long advocated for a single-payer health care system.
What was the collective reaction from the professional political punditry? Crickets. No big deal. Keep moving.
The government, whether we’re talking about the Obama administration or the Dayton administration, is incapable of handling anything that complex. In too many instances, it’s incapable of handling fundamental responsibilities.
That professional political pundits think it isn’t a big deal to advocate for a system that’s never worked anywhere because that’s been his standard answer is shameful. Style points seem to matter more than character, policy impacts and what’s best for Minnesota.
It’s time to tune out the professional political pundits because they’re too interested in election outcomes. Unfortunately, they aren’t interested enough in policy outcomes. Jeff Johnson’s policies will make life better in Minnesota. Unlike Gov. Dayton, Jeff Johnson will fight to build the Sandpiper Pipeline because that’ll free up railcar space so farmers can get their crops to market. That makes life better for hard-working Minnesota farmers. Unlike Gov. Dayton, Jeff Johnson will fight to open PolyMet because that’ll create hundreds of good-paying jobs. That’d make life significantly better for miners and mining communities.
Apparently, these things don’t matter to the professional political punditry from both sides of the aisle. Their tweets didn’t speak to what’s best for Minnesota. They just spoke to who won or lost based on game-changing moments and style points. That isn’t responsible journalism. That’s the type of partisanship that’s rotted our institutions and corrupted the political process.
If Republicans retake the House of Representatives and Gov. Dayton gets re-elected, Republicans will have a mandate because they spoke about issues. Gov. Dayton will have retained his title but he won’t have a mandate because he hasn’t spoken about what he’d do in his second term.
The DFL isn’t the party of no. They’re the party that won’t say no to their special interests that are driving Minnesota’s economy into the ground. Ask an Iron Ranger if they’re better off now than when Gov. Dayton took office. If they’re honest, they’ll say they aren’t. Their median household income has increased marginally. The percentage of people living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) grew by roughly 50%.
Health insurance premiums have skyrocketed. It’s virtually impossible to get changes made to policies to include or drop people from coverage. Still, Gov. Dayton insists that “it isn’t perfect” but that it’s getting better. Once a month, if not more often, we hear of another MNsure-related disaster.
Meanwhile, the professional political punditry insist that Gov. Dayton is winning because Jeff Johnson didn’t have that big game-changing moment. With all due respect, these political junkies are missing the point. Jeff Johnson has been solid. He’s provided sensible solutions to Minnesota’s biggest problems. Gov. Dayton has been dismissive, arrogant and utterly incompetent. He’s Minnesota’s version of Jimmy Carter.
It’s time to ignore the political junkies because they’re worried more about gamesmanship than doing what’s right for Minnesota. While we’re at it, it’d be great to get rid of the incompetent in the Governor’s Mansion, too.
Last night, I watched the Almanac Roundtable debate featuring the candidates for Secretary of State. The lasting impression I left with was straightforward. Steve Simon is Mark Ritchie in an expensive suit. He’s thoroughly indoctrinated in liberal ideology with regards to voting fraud. The other thing about him is that he apparently thinks voters are incredibly stupid.
Let’s take that last one first. After Dan Severson highlighted the vulnerabilities of Minnesota’s election system, Rep. Simon replied, saying “Would Minnesota have the highest voter turnout rate in the nation if people didn’t trust it?” That’s a nice-sounding answer but it doesn’t have anything to do with whether the system is secure. The fact that Democrats continually talk about Minnesota’s election system as the nation’s gold standard is because they don’t want people checking out the details of whether the system is fraught with vulnerabilities.
Rep. Simon’s answer totally ignores the vulnerabilities in Minnesota’s voting system. I know more than a little about this since I wrote a series of articles highlighting those vulnerabilities. (See here, here, here and here.)
Part IV is particularly disturbing because it shows how protective the election machine is of their system:
Thanks to KSTP-TV’s reporting, we learned that cities threw “up legal roadblocks” to their investigation. We learned that Bloomington “even suggested that felony charges could be pursued against” KSTP-TV if they “reported what [they] found.”
A system that’s the gold standard for election participation shouldn’t threaten people examining the system. They especially shouldn’t threaten reporters investigating Minnesota’s election system. The thought that they’d throw up legal roadblocks and suggest that they’d file felony charges against KSTP’s reporters strongly suggests that Minnesota’s election system is anything but impervious to voter fraud.
The DFL says that there’s little proof of fraud existing. That isn’t true but let’s say it is. The video shows that there’s a number of vulnerabilities in the absentee ballot system. Why wouldn’t we want to eliminate those vulnerabilities?
Another of the DFL’s chanting points is that we should want high voter participation rates. That sounds nice but it comes with a catch. The insinuation always comes with the suggestion that everyone who requests a ballot should get a ballot. There’s never a mention that this should be done within the context of the requirements in Minnesota’s constitution.
Steve Simon doesn’t have Mark Ritchie’s history of corruption. Still, Simon is nothing if not a puppet doing the same things Mark Ritchie did. That’s a step sideways after a major step backwards in 2006. We don’t need Mark Ritchie in a better suit. We need a man of integrity who won’t blindly incorporate the DFL’s chanting points into Minnesota state statutes.
Stewart Mills just won an important endorsement:
Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about Stewart Mills, except that he’s the clear choice for voters on Nov. 4 to send to Washington to represent Northeastern Minnesota’s sprawling 8th Congressional District.
Don’t believe he’s a rich kid who never had to work a day in his life, as some have charged this election season. The truth is he scrubbed toilets and mopped floors for his family’s Mills Fleet Farm stores. And today he’s vice president in charge of administering a health plan for the chain’s 6,000 employees and their families. A job of such importance requires plenty of hard work.
The Duluth New Tribune’s endorsement is one of the most important endorsements from Minnesota’s Eighth District. It isn’t the only endorsement that matters but it’s important.
What makes this endorsing editorial important is how it takes Rick Nolan to the woodshed. Here’s a great example of that:
Don’t believe critics who say Mills would privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if elected. Even after the Republican nominee flatly denied it at Tuesday’s forum, Nolan continued to make the baseless accusation.
“Yes, there have been some Republicans that have advanced different ideas, but those are not me. For Rep. Nolan to attempt to put words in my mouth because somebody somewhere in the Republican Party advanced one idea — . You know what? I can only state what I believe and what I will stand for in Washington,” Mills said. “I believe in preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare.”
Nolan had his script a year ago. No matter who he ran against, Nolan’s plan was to accuse his opponent of a) representing the 1 percent and b) wanting to privatize Social Security. Why trust a person who won’t listen to what others are saying and who thinks he’s a mind reader? That wasn’t the only time the Tribune’s editorial board criticized Nolan:
Don’t believe Mills is a spoiled elitist, either, as this fall’s bad-mouthing further has purported. We all have our less-than-mature moments, but at Tuesday’s forum, Mills was respectful, he listened politely when it wasn’t his turn to speak, and he consistently referred to his opponents as “Rep. Nolan” and “Mr. Sandman.” (Ray “Skip” Sandman of Duluth is the Green Party nominee in the 8th District. Voters can hope Sandman stays involved in public service after his thoughtful, sincere and genuine performance Tuesday.)
By contrast, at least twice Nolan cut off Mills while he was talking; referred to him at least once as “Stew”; talked about his “dad and your granddaddy’s store,” as though speaking to a small child; and on a couple of occasions turned to Mills and lectured him like he would an underling. The moments were disrespectful, rude, inappropriate and less than congressional.
It’s astonishing how disrespectful Rick Nolan is. This wasn’t the first time Nolan was dismissive of Mills. It’s just that this debate was just the biggest stage where Nolan was condescending, undisciplined, dismissive and disrespectful.
Beyond that, Nolan’s anti-war policy is reckless:
Critics also have charged that Mills has no clue about foreign policy. But when asked about the threat of ISIS, Mills offered a detailed, realistic and honest assessment while Nolan said, simply, we can’t afford wars overseas. As true as that may be, reality is dictating a different course.
That’s downright dangerous thinking from a sitting member of Congress. Does Nolan think that we’re safe as long as we don’t bother ISIS? That’s incredibly naïve. That type of naiveté can’t be tolerated when terrorists are at war with us. Mills sounded like the wise congressman:
“We don’t have a choice in this one,” Mills said. “They have a direct stated intention of attacking Americans (and of) attacking America and American interests abroad. The current track that we’re on is the right track because we need to leverage our air power we need to work with our allies in the region … making sure that we’re able to give them the training and the arms (and) the logistical support and the intelligence they need so this particular coalition can be successful in undoing our mistake of creating the vacuum (caused by the premature U.S. withdrawal of troops from Iraq). We don’t have a choice in this. We can’t bury our heads in the sand while there are people being beheaded — while there are Americans being beheaded.”
Pretending that terrorists will leave us alone is foolish. That isn’t reality. As Mills said, ISIL has said that they want to attack Americans. They want to hoist their flag from the White House. ISIL has a history of doing what they say they’re going to do.
It’s time to retire Nolan. He’s outlived his political shelf life. He isn’t a good listener. His policies are older than the rock formations of the Iron Range.
Technorati: Stewart Mills, Endorsements, Duluth New Tribune, PolyMet, Mills Fleet Farm, Health Care Reform, National Security, MNGOP, Rick Nolan, Anti-War Activist, Debates, DFL, Skip Sandman, Green Party, Election 2014
The least competent DFL governor of my lifetime criticized the most successful DFL governor of my lifetime during Tuesday’s debate in Duluth. Here’s what Gov. Dayton, the least competent DFL governor of my lifetime said:
“I’ve seen the hucksters go up there and promise chopstick factories.”
There’s only one person that fits Gov. Dayton’s description:
Jul. 19, 1989 11:06 AM ET
HIBBING, MINN. HIBBING, Minn. (AP) _ Lakewood Industries, a Hibbing chopsticks factory that Gov. Rudy Perpich had called a major step in efforts to revitalize northern Minnesota’s Iron Range, has closed.
Lakewood Forest Products, the plant’s parent firm in Canada, said Tuesday that it closed the factory because of a financial restructuring. The company said in a press release that it had been talking with a potential overseas investor, but that discussions broke off Tuesday.
Discussions with other potential investors are continuing, but management “has determined that in light of the company’s working capital position it is necessary to close the plant until adequate financing sources have been identified and a financial restructuring plan implemented,” the release said.
In case that date doesn’t remind you of something, this paragraph will:
On its first anniversary, the Hibbing plant was criticized by Independent-Republican leaders as a government-backed boondoggle conceived for Perpich’s hometown. Perpich was unavailable for comment on the closing.
Here’s Gov. Dayton’s full criticism of Gov. Perpich:
“Irresponsible…you’re just doing it for political advantage,” he said. “I’ve been working on behalf of northeastern Minnesota for 37 years and I’ve seen the hucksters go up there and promise chopstick factories…and all those other things because they are dangling out the prospects of jobs. Well we’re going to do this one responsibly.”
I’d love hearing Gov. Dayton explain how preventing PolyMet from being built is irresponsible but funding DFL GOTV call centers is responsible:
EVELETH, Minn.— Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) Commissioner Tony Sertich today announced that New Partners Consultants, Inc. will operate a call center for its customers at Progress Park in Eveleth. The company is finalizing plans to lease the space that formerly housed Meyer Associates, Inc. New Partners will utilize some equipment from the Meyer operation, which is currently under IRRRB’s ownership. Staffing will begin as soon as all agreements are in place, possibly as early as next week.
“We are pleased to have played a role in facilitating the reopening of the center,” said Sertich. “This project will result in new job opportunities, particularly for those displaced by the Meyer closing.”
The man running the IRRRB is Tony Sertich, who was appointed by Gov. Dayton. If anything fits the definition of hucksterism, that fits. By the way, here’s the definition of huckster:
someone who sells or advertises something in an aggressive, dishonest, or annoying way
It’s disgusting that Gov. Dayton accused Commissioner Johnson of hucksterism while Gov. Dayton is engaging in hucksterism. Commissioner Johnson is simply fighting for PolyMet and for the streamlining of a process that’s corrupted by rich special interests. By comparison, Gov. Dayton is fine with maintaining the corrupt status quo.
Why shouldn’t Gov. Dayton? The activists corrupting the environmental review are Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s biggest supporters. Putting the puzzle together, it’s obvious that Gov. Dayton and the DFL don’t want a straightforward, streamlined review process. If it was streamlined, the environmental activists wouldn’t have the multiple opportunities to kill important projects that they hate. Right now, PolyMet and Sandpiper top their list of projects to kill.
Gov. Dayton and the DFL don’t share Minnesota’s priorities. They’ve proven that by calling people names without explaining why they’re fighting for the corrupt status quo. Yesterday, Gov. Dayton got out of control, criticizing his first boss for being a huckster. I’m not even sure he realizes what he did.
When I watch this video of Greg Orman dodging the question on whether he’d repeal Obamacare, it’s difficult to not think ‘that’s what a career politician sounds like’.
He’s right that we have an affordability crisis. Throughout his response, though, he outlined what’s wrong. At no point did he outline a solution. It was as close to a filibuster as you’ll hear in a debate.
People know what problems they’re facing. What they don’t know, however, is what solution can pass that’ll fix the problems they’re facing. After hearing Orman’s reply, which I won’t call an answer, people will still be wondering what the solution is.
Orman spent almost 90 seconds saying nothing. That isn’t the way to win over Republican-leaning voters. In Kansas, there are 3 political beliefs: Republicans, Democrats and leaning Republican. At this point, Orman looks like a flavor-of-the-month type of candidate. With the polls showing significant and rapid movement in Pat Roberts’ direction, Orman can’t rely on smooth-sounding rhetoric.
That’s why I’ve thought from the start that Orman can’t pull off this charade that he’s an independent. He’s a Democrat. No amount of smooth-sounding rhetoric will wipe away his well-documented liberal tendencies.
The American people are cynical. They understand that Independent is the party that Democrats pick to avoid being called a liberal. It’s also what they say when they don’t want to admit that they’ll vote to keep Harry Reid as Senate Majority Leader.
Orman’s tap-dancing notwithstanding, the truth is that he’s a Democrat who will vote to keep Harry Reid as the Senate Majority Leader. In the end, that’s what will sink him in Kansas.
I don’t have many quotes to rely on but my impression is that tonight’s debate marked the night the gloves came off. Jeff Johnson went after Gov. Dayton for not knowing about PSLs being in the Vikings bill that Dayton negotiated and signed. Later, he said that Gov. Dayton’s tax increases didn’t just hit richest 2%, highlighting the health insurance tax, the cigarette tax and wheelage tax that hits everyone.
Commissioner Johnson was especially feisty on the Sandpiper Pipeline Project, saying that it was Gov. Dayton’s appointees who voted essentially to kill the pipeline project. Gov. Dayton’s smug dismissal that Commissioner Johnson probably “didn’t understand the process” was immediately greeted by Commissioner Johnson saying that he understood the process and that Gov. Dayton’s appointees to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission voted to kill the project. Johnson then said that Gov. Dayton couldn’t hide by saying it was someone else who voted on the project. Commissioner Johnson finished by saying that “Sometimes, Governor, you have to take responsibility.”
Gov. Dayton criticized Commissioner Johnson by saying that “Taxes should be low, broad and simple isn’t a tax policy. It’s a slogan.” Tonight, Gov. Dayton proposed raising taxes on the middle class again by raising the gas tax again. Then he went back to talking about cutting taxes on the middle class. His closing statement from another planet then stated that Minnesota was heading in the right direction because he’d solved the deficit problem.
The arrogance was disgusting. Again.
The question Gov. Dayton didn’t explain is why he thinks Minnesota’s economy is doing well. The unemployment rate is low but monthly revenues aren’t meeting projections. Minnesota’s economy lost 4,200 jobs in July, something Gov. Dayton didn’t address.
Hannah Nicollet got in on the Dayton bashing, too, when the subject turned to the Vikings stadium disaster, saying that when her daughter throws a hissy fit in a store, she lets her daughter’s tantrum run its course. Then she said that sometimes, a governor has to have the spine to say no when the Vikings were throwing their hissy fit.
Gov. Dayton replied, saying that 7,500 people are working, “many of them minorities”, before asking if the candidates would like to tell them that the stadium bill is a disaster. Commissioner Johnson said that he’d stand by his characterization.
In his closing statement, Gov. Dayton said that his biggest priority for another term will be education. Earlier, he said that raising taxes on gas would be his priority. When everything’s a priority, nothing is a priority.
Gov. Dayton was exceptionally dismissive tonight. When Commissioner Johnson talked about 50% of Minnesotans being underemployed, Gov. Dayton insisted that that was “nonsense.” When Commissioner Johnson said that the statistic came from Dayton’s administration, Gov. Dayton didn’t know how to respond.
This likely won’t get written anywhere else but Gov. Dayton sounded exceptionally arrogant, dismissive and in a foul mood. His response to Commissioner Johnson’s talk about underemployment essentially was that it was nonsense. That’s what an out-of-touch governor sounds like. Article after article talks about how many part-time jobs are getting created. How can Gov. Dayton say that verified facts are nonsense?
This was Dayton at his most unlikable, dismissive worst. He was snotty. He didn’t agree with anything Jeff Johnson said on the big issues. He stuck to his talking points.
I’m going through the videotape of the Mills vs. Nolan debate. When they debated the issue of pipelines, something stunning happened. It wasn’t surprising. It was that Rick Nolan exposed himself as totally trusting government. Here’s the exchange I’m talking about:
Here’s the key part of the back-and-forth:
NOLAN: When you’re talking about Keystone, the TEA Party Republicans brought a bill before the House of Representatives that exempted Keystone, a foreign corporation, from complying with the EPA, from complying with the Army Corps of Engineers permits for installation and maintenance, for having to post financial assurances for when those accidents inevitably occur. Would you have voted for a bill like that? No. I’m for the Keystone and for Sandpiper but I want it built right. We’ve proven that we have the technology and the know-how to do it right if we have the political will. But we can’t let foreign corporations come in here willy nilly and have their way with us…
MILLS: Well, I keep getting accused of being a TEA Partier but I’m not sure if that’s entirely accurate but, nonetheless, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers has been weaponized against projects such as Keystone and, you know what, after years and years of trying to get it done, if these agencies aren’t looking for how it can be done but trying every reason to get it stopped, you know what, it’s time to get the people to take control of their government from the bureaucracies and the various agencies so we can get projects like Keystone going…
This isn’t surprising but it’s stunning. Rick Nolan’s belief that bureaucracies, especially the EPA, are honest arbiters of all that’s virtuous is stunningly naïve. What justification is there for that other-worldly opinion? Sen. Ron Johnson, (R-WI), has a mini-series on YouTube titled Victims of Government. I’d love seeing Nolan explain how the EPA’s actions in this article aren’t utterly corrupt. Let’s hear him explain how private property owners aren’t getting victimized by the zealots running the EPA. Here’s a story where the EPA showed itself to be weaponized:
[Andy Johnson] and his wife built a small pond on their rural property using the stream flowing through it. They stocked the pond with trout so that their three small children could fish. The pond is an oasis for wildlife such as ducks and geese passing through.
It is precisely the sort of industriousness that reasonable people and zealous stewards of the environment applaud. But the EPA is made up of neither reasonable people nor zealous stewards of the environment.
They are crazed hypocrites greedy for unchecked power and hell-bent on destroying the passions that connect people to the nature surrounding them. Like the Food and Drug Administration in the movie “Dallas Buyers Club,” the EPA has become the face of absolute power in the hands of blind government bureaucrats.
That is why the faceless henchmen of the EPA have come after Mr. Johnson and his family, charging them with violating federal law and threatening to bankrupt them. These EPA thugs ordered the Johnsons to destroy the pond they built and threatened to fine them $75,000 a day for being in violation of the Clean Water Act.
Stewart Mills is exactly right when he talks about the EPA being an agency that’s looking for ways to stop Keystone and Sandpiper. This is proof that the EPA isn’t interested in common sense. It’s interested in destroying private property rights.
Earlier in that segment of the debate, Nolan talked about supporting the Sandpiper Pipeline project, with this caveat. He wanted the route changed just slightly. Mills said that that’s just a way to delay the project. That would give Nolan’s allies in the environmental movement another opportunity to sabotage the project with attrition litigation. It’s time for the Iron Range to realize that Rick Nolan doesn’t support the miners’ lifestyle. He’s only come out for Keystone once it became politically imperative to say yes to the miners.
Let’s remember that Nolan’s first proposal on PolyMet was to propose a mining institute somewhere on the Range:
Northeastern Minnesota would be home to a major new national research center dedicated to the advancement of minerals research, mining technology and the environment, and is expected to generate several thousand new jobs, under a plan announced today by Rick Nolan, the DFL-endorsed candidate for Eighth District Congress.
The proposal is strongly supported by former Eighth District U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar, the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Natural Resource Research Institute, NRRI, and the UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering.
At a news conference in Duluth and with press interviews across the Iron Range, Nolan said he will immediately introduce legislation to establish the United States Technical Institute for Mining and the Environment (TIME) upon taking office in January 2013. The exact northeastern Minnesota location for the TIME Center will be selected from proposals developed by the state, municipal and county governments and their private sector partners.
Nolan’s support for the two biggest projects in northern Minnesota has been tepid at best, artificial at worst.
The Iron Range can’t afford Rick Nolan’s naïve belief that the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are honest arbiters of this nation’s environmental laws. He’s standing in the way of one important project after another. He’s the believer in sentences that are always 4 words too long. He’ll never say that he supports PolyMet. Period. It’s always that he supports PolyMet…if it’s done right. He’s never said that he supports the Sandpiper Pipeline project. It’s always that he supports Sandpiper…if it’s done right.
It’s time for the Iron Range to reject Rick Nolan. If they reject his caveated support of all things mining, they will have gotten things right.
Technorati: Stewart Mills, Sandpiper Pipeline Project, Keystone XL Pipeline Project, PolyMet, Ron Johnson, TEA Party Republicans, Republicans, Rick Nolan, EPA, Army Corps of Engineers, Weaponized Government, Attrition Litigation, Mining Institute, Environmental Activists, Democrats, Election 2014