consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Did I already say Tom Bakk was problematic? I believe that is the word I used, problematic. It was someone else who called him a back-stabber ...

Arne Carlson, I am told, had bipartisanship ingrained and was well liked, generally. He was Governor before I moved to Minnesota so I rely upon what others have told me.

However, he makes sense, this post, excerpted:

For the past several years, there has been a heated controversy involving Polymet Mining Corporation of Canada’s proposal to open pit mine near Babbitt on the eastern edge of Minnesota’s Iron Range. There is believed to be a large copper, nickel, and other valuable mineral deposits beneath a wide stretch of forests and lakes in the area.

Understandably, it pits jobs (around 350) against the protection of the environment including the flow of harmful mining residue into the waters that flow into Lake Superior.

Rebecca Otto, as State Auditor and as a member of the Executive Council publicly announced her opposition to the project and instantly became a political target for the Iron Range legislators.

She was challenged in the Democratic Party primary and mining was a dominant issue. Otto won an easy victory and that should have been the end of this matter.

However, it appears that it resurfaced in the fading hours of this legislative session when the Republican House bill was accepted by the Democratic leadership in the Senate. All indicators are that this was largely the handiwork of two Iron Range legislators with power and long memories; Senate Majority leader, Tom Bakk of Cook County and Senator Tom Sauxhaug of Grand Rapids.

This episode represents a most dangerous threat to our state’s constitution in that it constitutes an effort to intimidate an elected official. What’s next? If the Attorney General disagrees on a policy matter with a segment of the legislature is it acceptable for the legislature then to privatize her office and render her powerless?

We, the people, created these offices and we fully expect them to be treated with respect and fairness by our other elected branches of government. There is no reason in a democratic society for such a gross abuse of power. In this matter, the people have spoken via an election and the legislature has the obligation to honor the will of the people.

May I add that the same goes for the House Republicans and their continuing battle to privatize the office of State Auditor. In this case, the Republican candidate for State Auditor had the full opportunity to make the case for privatizing the office and changing the responsibilities of the office. Discussing policy differences is what elections should be about. At the polls, the people spoke and spoke loudly in support of the incumbent and the preservation of the powers and responsibilities of that office.

[emphasis added] Pettiness, your name is Bakk? It's not inherent vice, not an evil intent, just bad petty judgment of what to most others would be held to be unseemly. Below the level-headedness that should be expected of a party leader in either house of Minnesota's legislature.

No way could you even imagine Thissen pulling such a stunt. It would never enter his mind.

Yep. Problematic. That's an apt summarization.

UPDATE: Problematic for minimum wage sufferers too. Whose advice does Tom Bakk take?

FURTHER UPDATE: Rick Nolan is old school, like Carlson. It is refreshing to see old school do well, especially in the last election when old school was pitted against born into privilege. Class act citizenship in northern Minnesota office seekers does not always go unrecognized.

FURTHER UPDATE: Here, and here. Does either page suggest cause for attempted bullying/retribution by others? PolyMet might be unhappy, but then nobody takes marching orders from PolyMet, right? It is the other way around when environmental protection is demanded; and the long term view is at issue beyond a few hundred short-term jobs. The firm takes marching orders from responsible government in regulatory curbing of corner cutting for highest return on the dollar. Sound stewardship is a public good.

FURTHER UPDATE: It may appear some do take marching orders from PolyMet, but giving the benefit of the doubt, election strategies can be free of marching orders; and it's just we both coincidentally are in step.

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