Walt Augustyn of Hermantown, MN, has been an official antler measurer since 2004, so Bluestem is guessing he's heard his share of whoppers. But we're surprised that a guy with some obvious commitment to accuracy has come up with the big one he offers in Only Democrats want to protest everything, his letter in today's Duluth News Tribune.
According to a contemporary report in the Duluth Community News, Augustyn first volunteered for the local Republican Victory Office in 2008, but today's letter indicates he seems to have forgot more recent political history in the 8th.
He writes in Only Democrats want to protest everything:
I have to wonder why it seems that Republicans can talk and discuss things but Democrats want to rally and protest everything.
Why does U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack owe protesters a town hall meeting? Here is a man who has been in office less than two years and comes to the North Country on a regular basis; I personally have said hello to him three times. I even had breakfast with him at Hermantown Summerfest last summer. . . .
. . .Ever notice you don’t see Republicans being rude and loud and protesting at Democratic functions?
If Bluestem didn't find evidence that Augustyn is a Republican--and we did--we'd imagine this was the best DFL troll ever of the Duluth News Tribune.
That's because Chip Cravaack decided to run for congress after taking part in a Tea Party delegation to to one of former Congressman Oberstar's offices to demand a town hall meeting.
In 2010, the Star Tribune reported in Chip Cravaack gets ready to report for duty:
It was a hot day in August 2009, at the peak of Tea Party fervor. A radio talk show host was railing against the Democrats' health care plan: Visit your congressman -- the talker said -- demand a town hall meeting. . . .
Heeding the call on the radio, Cravaack set out from his upscale family home in Lindstrom, where he and his wife, Traci, are raising their two boys, to North Branch, where Oberstar has a district office.
There, Cravaack and about 25 other fellow travelers met with congressional staffer Blake Chaffee. "We were all there, saying, 'Hey, we want to talk to our congressman,'" Cravaack said. "After about two and a half hours, the place was packed and it was getting hot."
But Oberstar wasn't in. It would be the catalyst for Cravaack's decision to enter politics.
Robin Marty had more about the 2009 meeting in Mythology of a Tea Party Candidate. Oberstar wasn't in the North Branch office that day in 2009.
Nor was that the last time Cravaack visited an Oberstar office. The Chisago County Republican website posted GRASS ROOTS PROTEST HELD AT CONGRESSMAN JAMES OBERSTAR OFFICE on March 23, 2010:
North Branch, MN, March 21, 2010 - one-hundred protestors gathered in front of Congressman James Oberstar's North Branch office on Sunday afternoon to protest against the Federal Health Care bill. Protestors state that Congressman Oberstar has set himself out as being pro-life but has indicated that he will vote in favor of the bill which contains language to mandate the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.
Organizers say that within only two short hours they were able to rally 100 people to gather in front of the office. Some brought signs protesting the bill; many stepped forward to the hastily set up microphone to voice their outrage. The speakers were many and came from a broad background including veterans, local business men, and local government leaders. Included in those who addressed the crowd was a past supporter of the Congressman who has since become disillusioned with his votes. In addition there were many conservative candidates at the rally some who addressed the crowd showing their support for the cause. Those who addressed the crowd supporting the effort included Chip Cravaack, Darrel Trulson, Sean Neinow and Don Taylor. Other candidates who attended the Rally were Sheldon Anderson, and Russ Gouge.
KSTP Channel 5 covered the event and it aired on the 5:30 p.m. and the 10 p.m. evening news.
"Conservative" here seems to be code for "Republican."
But Cravaack's election in November 2010 didn't stop Republicans in Eighth from rallying and protesting--though their targets changed to protest itself, the Brainard Dispatch reported in Cravaack inspires competing rallies on February 22, 2012. The Dispatch article demonstrates just how American it is to protest, regardless of party.
Augustyn's condemnation of protest as a DFL-only strategy is just another part of Cravaack's nimrod parade--and Republican hypocrisy.
Photos: Chip Cravaack gets ready for the Nimrod Parade (above); Screenshot of the Chisago County Republican post about a Tea Party protest at Jim Oberstar's office in March 2010 at which Chip CRavaack spoke (below).