When the Minnesota Executive Council decided to postpone the approval of the initial exploration leases, the DFL denied the Iron Range’s miners the opportunity to make a better living for themselves. That wasn’t a smart thing to do. Retiring Rep. Rukavina responded to my email to him. Here’s the email I wrote Rep. Rukavina:
Rep. Rukavina, As a conservative writer, I’ve rarely agreed with your policies but I’ve always admired how you fought for the people of your district. I’d appreciate your opinion on the State Executive Council’s decision to postpone their decision on approving new leases for mineral exploration.
It pains me to see the disparity in incomes between St. Louis County ($44,941) vs. the statewide average ($57,243). There’s no reason why that disparity is that wide. Frankly, it’s disgraceful.
Rep. Ruckavina, I’m in the process of writing an article about the Executive Council’s vote for Examiner.com & I’d love getting your perspective on their decision. Just reply to this email if you’re interested. I promise to publish your statement verbatim in my article.
Good luck in your retirement. Though I disagreed with you, I always appreciated your willingness to fight for your constituents. That’s an honorable thing to do.
Here’s Rep. Rukavina’s reply:
I’m perplexed. I sent an email to the three who voted no, I’m awaiting a reply. Frankly, if Gov Dayton is pissed off at the DNR (hell, Rangers have been pissed off at them forever), he should fire some top dogs over there. But don’t take it out on the good people of the Range who have been mining for 130 years and playing by the rules that some folks now want to change.
Perplexed and pissed off would better describe my reaction. But hey, I’m a has been but I have been wondering why I’m the only member of the Range delegation who seems
concerned about this. Perhaps it’s because I’m the only member of the Range delegation who represents the real Iron Range and has never represented any other constituents in my 26 year tenure.
Sorry for not answering you sooner. I’m falling behind on emails as I have been
doing home projects that I neglected for two decades!
There’s nothing for Rep. Rukavina to be sorry about. It isn’t his fault that the DFL doesn’t consistently fight for the citizens of the Iron Range.
I didn’t hide the fact that I’m a passionate conservative from Rep. Rukavina. That didn’t matter to him. His first concern was about his constituents. I respect Rep. Rukavina for tring to put his constituents first.