Candidate's View: 'Anyone picked out of the phone book at random could be doing a better job'

ABOUT THIS PRIMARY: John Munter of Warba, Minnesota, and Jen Schultz of Duluth are vying in the Aug. 9 primary to be the Democratic candidate for Northeastern Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. The winner will advance to Election Day on Nov. 8 to face the Republican candidate.

John Munter.jpg
John Munter
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I graduated from Duluth East High School, UMD, and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary in Iowa with a master’s degree in divinity. I retired from Delta Airlines in Chisholm after 17 years with a union pension, and I live now on our hobby farm with my family in Warba, Minnesota.

The major issue in my bid for Congress should be affordable housing and property valuations. I support the I-35 rebuild in Duluth to reduce its size by half, giving more lake access and new housing potential with state and federal funding. The Department of Agriculture’s no-money-down mortgages should be promoted for small towns, cities, and rural areas. HUD, the state, and nonprofits should be worked with for affordable housing.

The primary is Aug. 9. Early voting is already underway. Election Day is Nov. 8.

I am running for Congress because anyone picked out of the phone book at random could be doing a better job than Rep. Pete Stauber the past four years, with his votes against the economic interests of the 8th District in opposing the American Rescue Plan and infrastructure funding for schools, small businesses, child tax credits, 29 area airports, six iron mines, Duluth’s Can-of Worms project, the cleanup of the St Louis River, and a critically important new lock in the Soo Locks that prevents an economic catastrophe to our grain and ore shipping if the large lock goes down.

Stauber has promoted low-cost drugs, a cap on insulin, broadband, infrastructure, and support for veterans — and then voted against them like a Libertarian who hates all government. He also voted against reasonable gun regulation, flying in sorely needed baby formula, and prohibitions against oil-price gouging.

Stauber’s issues of inflation, Trump’s wall, guns, and copper-nickel mining are wrongheaded.


He voted against the Consumer Price Gouging Prevention Act in May, which was against oil-price gouging.

Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute found that one-half of the price increases during the pandemic were due to higher profit margins for corporations. This correlates with other findings that oil companies made $75 billion in profits last year and corporate profits are at 70-year highs. Stauber should have held hearings via his Problem Solvers committee to address excess profits and supply issues, and not just blame others in office for political gain.

Trump’s wall has been breached 3,000 times, the Washington Post reported, and it cost $21 million per mile to build, according to Reuters. Biden’s wall is electronic, cheaper, and catching more people.

I favor Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer’s bill placing a 1,000% tax on AR-15-style weapons, as well as age limits and a buy-back program for assault weapons.

Trading 20 years of copper-nickel mining jobs for 500-plus years of pollution is crazy. Billions of tons of copper, nickel, cobalt, and manganese are obtainable on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, lying as potato-sized nodules retrievable with crab-like robots, stingray-like robots, or crawler machines.

Nationally, the Republican platform advocates raising taxes on 60% of taxpayers and sunsetting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid in five years. This would crazy. See Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott’s 11-point plan, points five and six.

In addition, Stauber signed the Amicus Brief to the Texas lawsuit intended to delete the votes of four states and let Republican state legislatures choose Republican electors. This was an existential threat to overturning the popular vote, with Republicans attempting to use the “independent state legislature” theory to choose a Republican president in defiance of the actual vote.

I also oppose state Rep. Jen Schultz, a fellow Democratic candidate in this election for the 8th District, for apparently thinking copper-nickel mining can be done ecologically. I don’t believe it can be.


Abortion should be legal by pills only.

COVID-19 vaccines have saved lives and serious illness but should not be mandated or prescribed for children who aren’t at risk of death.

On the trans issue, chemical and surgical interventions should be illegal for minors.

On a national level, President Joe Biden should invoke the Defense Production Act, making heat pumps and reducing fossil fuels; should push the USDA to provide an asparagopsis seaweed supplement to cattle, reducing the methane they produce; should cap the methane super-emitter wells in the Permian Basin; and should tariff or ban Brazilian imports.

With the looming food and fuel crises, we should reroute the booming LNG (liquified natural gas) exports to Asia back to the U.S. and Europe. Growing corn for ethanol is not ecological. Corn or grain should be grown on those acres for food.

John Munter of Warba, Minnesota, is running as a Democrat to represent Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District. He wrote this at the invitation of the News Tribune Opinion page.

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