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Local View: Stauber failing to protect our republic

From the column: "Our kids, communities, and economy will pay for his neglect of our commonwealth."

Bill Mittlefehldt.jpg
Bill Mittlefehldt
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Findings by the House select committee about events surrounding the insurrection are raising questions about Rep. Pete Stauber’s failure to protect our republic. A review of his lack of leadership suggests his loyalty and energy are not addressing the priorities of our congressional district.

On June 8, after apparently being urged to do so by GOP leadership, Stauber voted against gun legislation in the Protecting Our Kids Act, which passed the House. Such a political move by Republican leaders leaves us wondering how we can reduce the wave of gun violence sweeping the nation. It appears the GOP and Stauber do not consider the number of guns, murders, or violence a public problem that needs a public response. He receives funding from the NRA.

Perhaps Stauber does not feel we have a natural right to be safe in our homes, schools, churches, and streets. The arrogance of his party’s leadership appears to have pushed Stauber to neglect the rights and representation of citizens in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

His website indicates he supports the opinion of Justice Samuel Alito that helped lead to the undoing of Roe v. Wade, a bizarre reversal of women’s reproductive rights. It appears Republican-appointed justices were content with denying rights endorsed for close to 50 years. Male justices on the Supreme Court demonstrated a willingness to undo the liberties of women. Most Americans view female citizens as equals.

Rep. Stauber supports expanding mineral mining in the Superior National Forest and in the watershed that also contains the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The disturbing part of this is that the proposed Twin Metals project is being led by the Antofagasta corporation, which has demonstrated political corruption and ecosystem contamination from its minerals mining in Chile. It seems poor form to pose as a mining supporter and then to embrace a proven polluter on the edge of our most pristine waters. This seems dangerously ignorant. If you sleep with diseased organizations, you will discover disease.

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These illustrations of neglected leadership by Rep. Stauber seem consistent with his apparent ignorance of our climate emergency. There is no evidence in his congressional work of understanding the current level of greenhouse-gas emissions and how current emissions may push climate tipping points toward economic and social catastrophe.

There have been at least five developments this year indicating we may be on the edge of economic disaster: the 100-degree heatwave in Siberia, the shrinking Arctic sea ice, the Antarctic glaciers disintegrating and raising the oceans, and the dramatically slowing Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current that takes heat northeast from south to north.

Many in the GOP are supported by the U.S. fossil-fuel industry. Stauber remains largely quiet about climate even as the International Panel on Climate Change has stated that now is the time for shared energy action. And the global Davos economic summit just described climate warming as our greatest challenge in the 21st century.

Stauber seems to ignore all these signs of trouble. Our kids, communities, and economy will pay for his neglect of our commonwealth.

The greatest threat to our commonwealth and District 8 came when President Donald Trump inflamed and celebrated the deadly domestic terror attack on our Constitution and our orderly transfer of power. The only thing stolen has been the integrity of the GOP. Stauber’s part in this tragedy came after the election when he and fellow Minnesota GOP Reps. Tom Emmer and Jim Hagedorn signed onto a Texas civil suit to deny the election outcomes in several states. This was legal sedition by the Texas attorney general, his corrupted Minnesota partners, and others. The details of the Insurrection and the lies about President Joe Biden’s 7 million-vote victory dramatically indicate that Rep. Stauber fails to represent Minnesota or the 8th District, leaving our republic at risk.

Our democracy suffers from the massive effort of Trump’s lies, spread by the GOP, Stauber, and others. We need a firmer hand on the nation’s rudder and clearer vision on the winds of change.

Bill Mittlefehldt of Duluth has two ancestors who fought in the American Revolutionary War. He taught civics, economics, science, and service at the high school in Anoka, Minnesota, for 32 years.

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