This LTE is exceptionally defensive sounding:
Some people are making a big deal out of a story about the executive committee of a local DFL party unit coming out against copper-nickel mining jobs and, therefore, workers in Northeastern Minnesota. Some even wonder whether and when the DFL decided to drop the “L” from its coalition (“DFL unit’s resolution opposes copper mining,” Jan. 14).
The resolution was the action of a small minority of extreme folks who apparently don’t believe in the regulatory process that Minnesotans worked together to develop over decades. This was not a reflection of the larger feelings of DFLers across the state or even in the Northland.
I can assure you, as a labor leader in Northeastern Minnesota, that the “L” is alive and well in the DFL and that the party will stand strong for good-paying jobs and working people across our region and state. We hope.
People aren’t questioning that private sector unions support mining. That isn’t the point. In fact, it’s a non sequitur argument. The point the article made, which I wrote about here, is that elitist Twin Cities Metrocrats vehemently oppose mining. That part of the DFL isn’t a tiny minority. They’re the part of the DFL that writes the biggest campaign checks. That’s why they get the preferential treatment from the DFL. Tom Rukavina represented the miners, which he told me in this email exchange. Here’s Rep. Rukavina’s response:
I’m perplexed. I sent an email to the three who voted no, I’m awaiting a reply. Frankly, if Gov Dayton is pissed off at the DNR (hell, Rangers have been pissed off at them forever), he should fire some top dogs over there. But don’t take it out on the good people of the Range who have been mining for 130 years and playing by the rules that some folks now want to change.
Perplexed and pissed off would better describe my reaction. But hey, I’m a has been but I have been wondering why I’m the only member of the Range delegation who seems concerned about this. Perhaps it’s because I’m the only member of the Range delegation who represents the real Iron Range and has never represented any other constituents in my 26 year tenure.
Rep. Rukavina is an old school Iron Ranger. While Metrocrats agreed with his tax and spending policies, they worked tirelessly to undermine his mining policies.
As long as the Metrocrats dominate the DFL, Mr. Olson can talk all he wants about the DFL still supporting Labor’s issues. Their claims will ring hollow in the ears of the unemployed miners.