Don’t let big money overrule the public

Why is the voting public putting up with it?

Big Money has learned how to identify social fissures in our society and when to drive the divisive wedge issues in with the big-money mallet. It doesn’t care who gets hurt in the process and divides friends, families, and communities. Think of Cravaack trying to stir things up with the red herring of the BWCAW legislation—an issue that was settled 30 years ago.

Cravaack has money to stay in this race only because of outside Big Money. The Citizens United decision has polluted the political conversation in this country to the point where friends, families, and neighbors can’t talk calmly about important issues affecting their lives.

While everyone is distracted by the wedge issues, the Republicans are quietly pursuing their real agenda, such as gutting hard-won regulatory protections, like the Glass–Steagall Act; attacking the EPA for trying to carry out its mandate; making it harder for us to vote; and, indeed, stirring up hatred for our government itself (the very government that, despite the political bickering inherent to the institution, sent humans to the moon and the Curiosity rover to Mars, designed and built the interstate highway system, built and maintains the most powerful military ever known, and invests in medical research that benefits all).

If Republicans had to compete in the arena of ideas without unlimited funds provided by billionaires, they would be on the inevitable path to extinction.  Don’t be blinded by the money.

Tim McKenzie

Ely, Minn.


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As one who was intricately involved in the 1978 BWCA legislation, the land issue was paramount at that time. Trouble was, Mr. McKenzie, the big money you talk about was the Sierra Club, their powerful front man SanFrancisco Congressman Phil Burton and St. Paul Congressman Bruce Vento, who refused to deal with the land exchange. Us "little people" had little means to advance our concerns, as Burton headed up the sub-committee which this legislation was reported out of and he had no interest in the land exchange fairness. He personally wrote the legislation (some said at the time after enjoying his regularly heavy consumption of bourbon) and was not open to negotiation. He had a M. Rupert Cutler, Chief of the Forest Service along for the ride assuring Carter would sign the legislation if it reached his desk. It did and he did. The "little people" lost to the big money that day. And Rick Nolan co-sponsored the Burton-Vento legislation, one of only 2 in Minnesota.

Cravaack did not take on this issue by himself, we asked him to do it. Oberstar would not touch it, as he was more interested in getting an assignment on the old Public Works Committee and didn't appear willing to risk his own ambitions for his constituents. 34 years, ain't that a shame? There would be no wedge issues, as you refer to them, if only the wealthy Sierra Club and the Obama EPA would leave us multi-generation residents of northeastern Minnesota alone to deal with our issues, only we don't have big money.

The issue was not settled 30 years ago, I don't know where you get your information. But the land exchange is a bi-partisan measure, authored by the DFL Iron Range delegation, signed by the DFL Governor and it took a populist Congressman to help the "little people" by introducing and using political capital to get the measure passed in the House. It is long overdue, as is the question of the Webster-Ashburton assuring free and unlimited travel along the International Border, which we maintain allows us to use limited size outboard motors on those border lakes. The billlionaires you speak of will fight us on that too.

Saturday, October 27, 2012 | Report this
hard rock miner

orrcountry-I have found that people have very short memories. Nolan needs to go back to his retirement job. Chip Cravaak has done a standout job for the Iron Range. I am an active member of the steelworker's union and cannot understand our "unholy" alliance with the Sierra Club! Mining is a dirty business. So is logging. Everyone cannot make a living renting canoes and cross country skis. Without mining and logging the Iron Range would be a ghose town! Vote for jobs, vote for Chip!

Thursday, November 1, 2012 | Report this