A friend calls Bluestem's attention to former one short-term state senator Al DeKruif's letter to the editors in today's Mankato Free Press The young man prefaces the link in his email with this observation:
DeKruif is campaign SO hard with this letter. There's so much Republican red meat that the cow's still breathing.
To the contrary, Bluestem believes that while DeKruif's tossing his red meat, that beef is so aged that many of the complaints in Democrats used bait and switch on business have been hanging so long that they meet the traditional definition of having a couple of maggots nosing their way around the quarter.
Take this one:
We need legislators who understand the significant impact of government regulations on farms and businesses. We all agree that clean air and water are important, but what happened in the 2012 election when folks voted for so-called business friendly Democrats is a whole other story.
In the House of Representatives, Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL- Minneapolis, became chair of the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee (another “great” Democrat idea by the way : combining Agriculture with the “Environment” committee).
Rep. Wagenius is far from business and agriculture friendly being an extreme, environmentalist from the metro area; thus, the bait and switch. One votes for a legislator who seems business friendly based upon their campaign literature but one gets a chair of a major committee in St. Paul who knows nothing about agriculture, has never lived on a farm, and is not remotely business friendly.
One in five jobs in Minnesota is related to the agriculture industry . The best interests of rural Minnesota and agriculture are not met by a chair who has no knowledge in those areas.
Poor Mr. Dekruif. Having heard the talking point, he missed the facts. Take this bit from Agri-News in February, in Poppe, Wagenius speak at Agri-Growth policy luncheon:
The two women in charge of House agriculture committees spoke before more than 70 people at the first Agri-Growth policy luncheon of the year last week.
Rep. Jeanne Poppe, DFL-Austin, chairs the House Agriculture Policy Committee. Rep. Jean Wagenius, DFL-Minneapolis, chairs the House Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee.
The duo introduced themselves at the Jan. 29 luncheon, with Poppe telling of her upbringing in rural Houston County and Wagenius talking about her Douglas County farm.
When it was time for questions, no one broached the subject that has everyone talking -- putting agricultural finance with environment and natural resources – but Poppe brought it up.
In an interview after the meeting, Poppe said it's better to bring up the issue and deal with it in a way that's constructive. The more people are open about it, the more opportunity there is for discussion, she said.
During the luncheon, Poppe said that she was first elected; agricultural finance was in the environment, natural resources and agriculture finance committee, the same committee structure as this year. . . .
And who controlled the Minnesota House at that time? Republicans, who must have found that "Democrat" idea attractive. As Bluestem has noted before, suburban/exurban Dakota County representative Dennis Ozment (R-Rosemount) chaired that commitee.
A few days later in House Republicans balk at ag committee structure, AgriNews reported:
Wagenius owns land in Douglas County and her husband, Dwight, grew up on a farm. Her grandfather was a truck farmer. They have trees and gardens on their Douglas County land where research is conducted in cooperation with the Chicago Botanic Garden and the University of Minnesota.
This isn't the first time ag finance has been combined with other areas. In the 2005-2006 session, the Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee was chaired by Rep. Dennis Ozment, R-Rosemount.
Poppe mentions that people had been judging Wagenius by what they had heard about her; one description passed around was "mother earth feminist." Oh noes! What was left out was the context (from a Wagenius campaign page):
During this time Jean and Dwight bought an old and very rundown farmstead in Douglas County near where Dwight had grow up. They could nourish family ties and the love of the outdoors at the same time. Jean went though Master Gardener training which prompted Koryne Horbal, a founding mother of the DFL Feminist Caucus, to call Jean a "mother earth feminist." The name stuck.
So an activist's reaction to Master Gardener training is more significant than the knowledge gained about soils, plants, and the like from the training itself--and owning a farm near rural in-laws? Grandfather a farmer? Fiddle-dee-fiddle! Al DeKruif thinks a Minneapolis address means person's interests--even that economic interest in the Douglas County farm, which is a matter of public record--couldn't possibly have anything to do with rural Minnesotans' interests.
Perhaps DeKruif has gone completely "paleo" conservative, ingesting truly "high meat" before writing his letter.
While the deep red Republicans in the First may scrape the slime from the hanging slab of this red meat talking points and eat up, Bluestem thinks that Southern Minnesotans will listen to Ag Policy chair and Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee member Jeanne Poppe (DFL-Austin) instead.
Divisive Republican rhetoric pitting rural and urban Minnesotans against each other isn't just showing its age. It's getting pretty rank in the heat, now that summer's finally here.
Photo: DeKruif's aging beef, going bad even while fresh. As far as the public goes, "Democrat" Governor Dayton is now enjoying his highest job approval rating ever, at 57 percent, and the "Democrat" tax package received 52 percent support of those polled outside of the Twin Cities (which liked it) and metro suburbs (didn't like it). Indeed, we wonder if DeKruif be a happier man if he built a place in the burbs, where his choice cuts would welcome at the local backyard BBQ. That might make it difficult to run against Congressman Tim Walz. Details. Details.
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