Yesterday in Steve Drazkowski sends scary email about extremists hijacking EQB citizen forums, Bluestem Prairie noted that Representative Steve Drazkowski suspected that citizens forums that began today had not been pitched to farmers and other small business owners. The Draz told elist subscribers:
As far as I can tell, the efforts by our state government to notify farmers and other business owners throughout the state, about these meetings, has been extremely limited. This may have been by design. I encourage you to attend one or more of these sessions to represent common sense in the discussions. Please notify your friends and neighbors in other parts of the state, as well. [emphasis added]
This claim ran counter to our experience reading our local paper and as a Minnesota Farmers Union member.
We weren't alone in posting about Draz's peculiar claim. Earlier in the day, Rochester Post Bulletin political reporter Heather Carlson wrotes in Drazkowski warns of 'extreme environmental advocates' pushing more regulation:
Ellen Anderson, senior adviser to the governor on energy and environment, said Drazkowski's assertion that notification about the meetings has been limited is "completely false." She said the board has sent out hundreds of email invitations to various stakeholders including farm groups, chambers of commerce, mining groups, environmental groups and energy groups — just to name a few.
Other evidence of outreach to farm audiences and ag commodity groups is emerging. Notice of the meetings across the state was published in the November 16, 2012 The Land, an ag producer-directer tabloid published by the Mankato Free Press. Flip to the calendar on page 10 in the embedded copy below:
A friend active in farm policy discussions sent Bluestem an e-newsletter from the Minnesota State Cattleman's Association that was sent out early on Sunday afternoon, about nine hours before Draz's communique hit our mailbox, along with that of the Minnesota Milk Producers, emailed November 21, 2012.
The membership of both groups is composed overwhelmingly of farmers.
We're beginning to wonder just how in touch Representative Drazkowski is with farmers and farm groups or if he just doesn't read the emails they send him.
Here's a pdf of the notices clipped from the livestock and dairy groups' e-newsletters:
Up next in Drazmania: about that legislation...
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Photo: Steve Drazkowski, via the Hastings Gazette.