ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Our View: More politics in place of help

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan ripped off a letter urging the Minnesota Legislature, "on day one of the new legislative session," to "extend urgently needed unemployment assistance for hundreds of Iron Range miners out of work due to the illegal...

Yesterday, U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan ripped off a letter urging the Minnesota Legislature, “on day one of the new legislative session,” to “extend urgently needed unemployment assistance for hundreds of Iron Range miners out of work due to the illegal dumping of millions of tons of low-grade, foreign, government-
subsidized steel.”
The plea was a welcome development - or would have been had it come sooner, pretty much any time in the 14 or so weeks since Gov. Mark Dayton first proposed a special session to extend expiring unemployment benefits for thousands of workers and their families across the Iron Range. Unfortunately, while the governor and lawmakers played politics instead of doing what they were in position to do to help their fellow Minnesotans, those unemployment benefits started expiring and will be expired by the time the Legislature convenes on March 8.
Even day one of the session will be too late to meaningfully help families struggling and facing financial ruin as well as the very real prospect of having to abandon their homes and hometowns for opportunities elsewhere.
Where has Nolan been since November? Why weigh in now?
And why did he send his letter only to Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt?
Because he did, it’s hard to see his letter as anything but a political play. Yet another. The frustration only mounts. The failure of leadership continues.
In the letter, the Democrat congressman chastised the Republican speaker of the Minnesota House - and only the Republican speaker of the Minnesota House. Never mind the governor can call a special session with or without any agreement beforehand from his fellow DFLers in the Legislature or from Republican lawmakers. And never mind Dayton, Daudt and the Senate Minority Leader, DFL Sen. Tom Bakk, all sought concessions and votes on other issues before they said they’d agree to a special session.
In other words, all of them - Republicans and Democrats alike - used the suffering and financial difficulties of thousands of Iron Range families as political leverage. And unsuccessfully, too. No special session was called and no political plums were able to be picked.
But Nolan’s letter only went to the Republican Daudt? And three months later? Please.

Related Topics: OUR VIEWIRON RANGE
What To Read Next