In 1974, the first year I could vote, Rick Nolan was the DFL candidate for my congressional district. At the time, several neighbors of mine were members of the DFL. I distinctly remember because I leaned a little to the left myself. What I remember was that most of my DFL neighbors refused to vote for Nolan.
Being a novice politically speaking, I trusted their opinions. That’s why I didn’t vote for Nolan. It turned out I never voted for Nolan. After listening to the tape of Nolan’s interview on the Jack Rice Show, it’s clear that Rick Nolan is as hard left as Keith Ellison or John Marty.
That said, Rice isn’t that in touch with reality, as evidenced by this statement:
JACK RICE: If I think about the amounts of money that seem to be necessary to win a race, what I find particularly disturbing is the idea of how beholden somebody must be if you’ve always got your hand out, telling people “Give me $100, give me $1,000, give me $10,000…
This is projection. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Chip Cravaack won in 2010 with less than half the money that Jim Oberstar had. The difference in that race was that people related to Chip’s positions. Chip was outspent by over $500,000.
But I digress. Let’s get to the stunningly foolish things Rep. Nolan said. This quote is a good place to start:
NOLAN: And so the same corporations that’ve done such a good job of selling crap we don’t want and don’t need and aren’t good for us, like cigarettes and junk food, are pouring in millions and millions of dollars into giving us politics that, similarly, we don’t want, don’t need and aren’t good for us.
In short, Nolan loves the First Amendment as long as people don’t exercise their First Amendment rights too much (in his eyes). It’s gotta be asked who made Rick Nolan and the DFL the arbiter of what level of political speech is an acceptable amount of political speech?
All Citizens United did was give corporations the same ability to influence elections that umbrella organizations like TakeAction Minnesota had.
Then there’s this statement on Chip Cravaack:
NOLAN: Well, you know, he’s a very nice fellow but on policy, he’s a Michele Bachmann clone. He’s voted for the Ryan budget every chance he’s got. He’s voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act every chance he’s got. He’s voted to turn Medicare over to the insurance industry and, like all Republicans, he’d like to turn Social Security over to Wall Street.
Nolan’s whine includes every GOP boogeyman imaginable. Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of Nolan’s nuttiness iceberg. About a minute later in the interview, Nolan accuses Chip of “being one of those who’ve just gone right on down the line” with the GOP agenda. Again, Nolan gets in difficulty when reality intrudes upon his rant:
When we took a look at Congressman Cravaack’s term in office, it became clear that he has done a good job of staying away from partisan Washington politics, and really focusing on bread and butter issues that are important to construction workers in his district. He is not afraid to stand up to his party when he disagrees with their direction, and his votes reflect that.
There have been 7 attempts in this Congress to repeal critical local contractor and worker protections in the Davis-Bacon act. All 7 times Congressman Cravaack stood with local workers and local contractors and voted against his party line. Just recently, there have been several attempts to eliminate the ability of the government to use Project Labor Agreements on federal projects which save the taxpayers money and ensure quality construction. Congressman Cravaack voted against the party line, and with the local construction workers and contractors that benefit from Project Labor Agreements.
That’s what the International Union of Operating Engineers said in their endorsement of Chip Cravaack for re-election, which, by the way, must’ve stung Nolan, Clark and Anderson particularly hard.
These things, while nutty are nothing compared with the disgusting comments he made about Chip’s military service:
NOLAN: I never heard him complain about Veterans benefits or being on the federal payroll all of his life.
RICE: Not on the payroll. On the public dole.
NOLAN: He’s been on the public dole all of his life but he’s gonna make sure nobody else gets a benefit.
That’s insulting. The minute Nolan gets on the radio with another progressive, he finds time to denigrate Chip’s service to his nation. Nolan clearly thinks that military service isn’t really serving your country. If he’d said that Chip’s been a federal employee most of his life, that wouldn’t be as inflammatory as saying Chip’s been on the public dole all of his life.
This information straight from Nolan’s campaign website won’t endear him to the miners:
The environment, our air, lakes, rivers and forests, are crucial to our 8th district economy. The degradation of our air and water, along with global warming, threaten the very survival of our species here on mother earth. We absolutely must do what is called for to prevent this calamity.
It’s pretty clear that Nolan won’t get along with the miners. This information won’t endear him to the miners, either:
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.
Rather than fighting for real jobs like Chip’s done, Nolan’s ‘solution’ to unemployment and poverty on the Range is building a facility that’ll study the nexus between mining and the environment. He was slippery enough to not pick a spot for this institute, too. If he names a city, he’d lose the votes of other cities that wanted that federal pork for themselves.
It’s been almost 40 years since I first heard of Rick Nolan. In all that time, he’s still a slippery leftist with little regard for military service.