It’s still to be determined if this editorial is an accurate indicator of the Iron Range’s mood towards Gov. Dayton. Still, it can’t be great news to the Dayton campaign. Here’s the editorial’s introduction:

“The minerals aren’t going anywhere.” — Gov. Mark Dayton, Mesabi Daily News Sunday, Sept. 28, interview story.

If Gov. Dayton was trying to make a positive first impression with Rangers, that fell short.

We found that to be a troubling response to a governor/reporter discussion of the proposed PolyMet Mine copper/nickel/precious metals project on the East Range. Yes, the rich deposits of minerals that are in such demand worldwide are not going anywhere while under the ground.

However, the need for jobs on the Iron Range is also not going anywhere. It’s here and not going away. It’s seemingly forever with us because of an unemployment rate considerably much higher than that of the statewide average. And it certainly won’t improve anytime soon with a comment from the state’s CEO that the minerals aren’t going anywhere.

This wasn’t written by a conservative activist. It’s a product of the Mesabi Daily News Editorial Board.

Gov. Dayton’s statement is exceptionally flippant. It exposes his disdain for Iron Range priorities. This isn’t the first time he’s done that. During Wednesday night’s debate, he accused Jeff Johnson of pandering to the Iron Range when Commissioner Johnson talked passionately about opening PolyMet. Apparently, Gov. Dayton thinks that Republicans shouldn’t have the right to advocate for the Iron Range’s priorities.

That isn’t the only shot the Editorial Board took at Gov. Dayton:

It has now been nine years of environmental review of the PolyMet venture without a final resolution that would allow the project to move forward and create 360 permanent jobs, hundreds and hundreds more spin-off positions and more than 1 million hours of construction work.

And where is that review at now? Stuck in election year limbo as comments on the supplemental environmental impact statement are looked at and studied for far too long. It’s now been months for their review by co-lead agencies, which includes the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

It’s entirely fair to criticize Gov. Dayton for slow-walking the review. Still, it’s important that they don’t let Iron Rangers off the hook. Their votes for the DFL, including Gov. Dayton, have pushed them into this situation. That’s what happens when a region or a demographic group gives monolithic support to one political party.

If that region or that demographic group keeps voting for the Democrats year after year, they’re sending the signal that it’s ok to take them for granted. If the Iron Range doesn’t stand up for themselves on this issue, then they’re getting what they’ve voted for. If the Range doesn’t become a single-issues voter this November, they’ll still be waiting for the review process to finish in 2016 and possibly beyond.

I’ve heard politicians like Tommy Rukavina, David Dill and others talk about the importance of opening PolyMet in one sentence, then say that the Republicans aren’t great on other, less important, issues. It’s shit-or-get-off-the-pot time for the Range. Either PolyMet is important enough to vote against Gov. Dayton and Sen. Franken or it isn’t.

I’ll repeat this again. If the Iron Range doesn’t vote strongly in favor for Jeff Johnson and Mike McFadden on the basis of their passionate advocacy for PolyMet, they’ll deserve 4 more years of high unemployment and rampant poverty.

It’s the Range’s time for choosing.

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One Response to “Editorial blasts Gov. Dayton”

  • Chad Q says:

    Nice to see you laying some of the blame for the Iron Ranges woes squarely on the shoulders of those who keep voting for the DFL’s policies.

    They had Chip and hopefully they will pull their heads out and vote for Mills and Johnson. If not, as you said they deserve what they get.

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