A sharp-eyed reader called Bluestem's attention to a factual error in District 26 state Sen. Mike Parry discusses election loss, his future passage, Derek Sullivan's article in the Owatonna People's Press:
Since the primary ended, Parry has been talking with constituents. He also voted to offer disaster relief to flood victims in Duluth, raised funds for Republican candidates and has spoken to GOP leaders on possibly running for various offices.
Senator Parry voted against flood relief and was quite vocal about his opposition on the floor of the state senate, Minnesota Public Radio's Tim Pugmire reported in Gov. Dayton signs flood relief bill:
One other point of contention with the bill surfaced during a morning Senate Finance Committee hearing. State Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, objected to a $1 million allocation to the Department of Natural Resources to compensate for lost timber sales in areas where lots of trees were blown down. Parry said it didn't seem right when private businesses weren't getting similar compensation.
"How do we justify that?" Parry asked. "How do I go back to Steele and Rice County businesses when they that see we're bailing out our own state government because of loss of sales, and yet we had businesses that couldn't even keep their doors open? They lost sales."
Parry voted "no" on the final bill.
The bipartisan bill, which passed 60-7 in the senate, in some ways parallels another special session flood relief bill that former Governor Pawlenty signed in October 2010. Pugmire reported in Pawlenty signs flood relief for southern Minnesota:
Rep. Kory Kath, DFL-Owatonna, thanked his House colleagues for working across party lines to help people in need.
"This is what we do. We look out for Minnesotans," he said. "We do what is right, and we make sure that in times of crisis that we react in a way that really reflects our Minnesota values."
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, offered a similar endorsement of the measure.
"This is the good work that government does, and can do and can continue to do," he said. "This is the good work that people can do in Minnesota to help those who truly are in positions that can't help themselves."
In the Minnesota Senate, GOP Minority Leader Dave Senjem of Rochester said Minnesotans won't soon forget last month's heavy rainfall and flooding.
"Tell you what, Sept. 22 to 24 will be a period of time, at least in southern Minnesota -- they will talk about those days 100 years from now," Senjem said.
Lawmakers pieced together the aid package at a time when state finances are still in a mess. . .
The 2010 bill passed unanimously in both chambers of the state legislature, but Parry couldn't return the favor in 2012.
It's hard to tell from the passage whether Parry told the reporter that he voted for the 2012 flood relief or the OPP is simply mistaken. Either way, a clarification should be made.
Photo: Flood damage in Duluth, 2012 (above); flood damage in Owatonna, 2010 (below).