Rep. Pete Stauber does not deserve re-election to Congress for many reasons, several of which we have touched on in previous editorials here. As the Duluth News-Tribune wrote in endorsing his DFL opponent Jen Schultz, “Stauber’s votes increasingly have become partisan rather than what’s in the best interest of Minnesota and his constituents. He voted against lowering pharmaceutical and insulin costs, against an independent investigation of Jan. 6, against equal pay, and against grants to make needed repairs to regional airports, as just a few examples.”
For us, Stauber disqualified himself from representing our region the moment he made the decision to sign on to a fraudulent effort by the state of Texas to overturn a legitimate election and allow Donald Trump to remain in the White House despite the vote of the American people— including the vote of more than three million Minnesotans, who backed Biden by more than 230,000 votes.
That lawsuit, which was dismissed out of hand by the U.S. Supreme Court for its obvious lack of standing, would have never survived a moment’s scrutiny, even by an ultra-conservative Supreme Court that has shown an alarming partisan bias. The central theme of the lawsuit was that voting rules differed by jurisdiction and that this created an equal protection concern that somehow robbed Texas voters of their right to be governed by a president who we now know had been plotting for months to hold onto the White House regardless of what the voters had to say.
The lawsuit was nonsense from the start because election rules have varied by jurisdiction for centuries in this country. States all have different rules on voter qualification, registration requirements and deadlines, and absentee and early voting rules and dates. And, of course, urban voters in America are routinely treated differently due to a limited number of voting locations, which often force them to wait for hours to cast a ballot, while their rural or suburban counterparts typically have little or no wait at all.
Unfortunately, the dishonorable members of Congress who signed onto this farce clearly paid little attention to the details. They were out to please a defeated president and the radical Republican base that, to this day, still hangs on Trump’s every lie.
Stauber has clearly demonstrated that he cares little about his oath of office. He has become part of a radical right-wing clique of Republican members of Congress, much in the mold of Paul Gosar, Jim Jordan, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. As an ultra-partisan, it appears he doesn’t even bother to read much of the legislation he votes against in Congress these days, even measures like the Inflation Reduction Act, which provided multiple benefits to citizens of the Eighth District. And, yet, he still has the audacity to send out press releases claiming credit whenever one of those bills brings benefits to our region.
Rep. Stauber’s decision to back the Texas lawsuit shows an appalling lack of judgment and reflects a member of Congress who has clearly lost touch with the people he was elected to serve. While it’s true that a majority of Eighth District voters backed Trump over Biden in 2020, Eighth District voters haven’t always gotten their way in presidential elections, yet never, EVER, has our congressional representative sought to overturn the results of a free and fair election as Stauber did in 2020. His decision to do so was disqualifying.
Unfortunately, Stauber wasn’t alone in promoting lies about the 2020 election, and some of his fellow Republicans, including local legislative candidates, have been too willing to promote false claims as well. District 3A candidate Roger Skraba should be embarrassed over his promotion of 2000 Mules, a slick piece of propaganda produced by serial dissembler Dinesh D’Souza, which aired in Ely this summer. We noticed that District 3 Senate candidate Andrea Zupancich also had her literature available at the showing of the film.
Republican politicians need to recognize that politics isn’t supposed to be about power at any cost. Undermining public confidence in our electoral process by spreading falsehoods and conspiracy theories may rev up the base, but it comes with great risks, as the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol should have made obvious. It was a conservative federal judge, appointed by President H.W. Bush, who noted earlier this year that Donald Trump remains a “clear and present danger to democracy” because the former president and his allies are continuing to lie about the 2020 election and are taking steps to undermine future elections. Those allies include Pete Stauber and other GOP candidates who refuse to speak out against those lies, simply to hold onto or gain power.
Such people aren’t fit to serve. Think about that before you head to the polls.