How exhausted has metro/rural placebaiting become? Take the example from the United States Senate race, featured in the Austin Daily Herald story, Housley: U.S. Senate candidate for Franken’s seat in upcoming primary, by Hannah Yang.
However, one of the major factors that played into Housley running for U.S. Senate was her frustrations with Dayton’s and Smith’s leadership, and said that the officials did not have the best interests of “all Minnesotans” at heart.
“I couldn’t let Tina Smith represent all Minnesotans because there’s more to Minnesota than Minneapolis and St. Paul,” she said. “She’s metro-centric and forgets about all the people in Greater Minnesota.”
Now, we're puzzled by Housley's claim to knowing about Smith's memory, but the comment might raise question about what she herself forgets. Elsewhere in the press, we earn that Housley grew up in South St. Paul, the working class center of Minnesota's political universe. Now she lives in Washington County, part of the traditional seven-county metro region.
Of course, this leaves her uniquely qualified to remember Greater Minnesota. Or at least uniquely qualified as an emblem of the absurdity of the Evil Metro rhetoric she's deployed against Smith in her interview with Yang.
(As for the other senate race, GOP candidate Jim Newberger, he's also a metro candidate, since Sherburne County is part of the 2009 Metro definition that the state legislature used in its 50-50 urban vs. rural split for new safe school funding. But we digress).
As for Smith's record of policies that remember Greater Minnesota, Housley has forgotten Smith's leadership in rural broadband development. She also seems to have forgotten that Smith talked about the importance of the Farm Bill:
Smith is on the Senate Agriculture Committee and says there are things the new Farm Bill must include: crop insurance, sugar and dairy programs, rural development and nutrition programs.
“Which are a big part of the Farm Bill, very important to Minnesota and especially Greater Minnesota,” said Smith.
Or maybe Housley forgets that Smith got out a lot as Lt. Governor, as Forum Communications' Don Davis reported in Smith becomes Minnesota U.S. senator:
Tina Smith says she understands greater Minnesota's needs as she takes over for U.S. Sen. Al Franken.
"I have traveled every corner of the state," the Minneapolis resident told Forum News Service in a telephone interview Wednesday, Jan. 3, after she took the oath to become senator.
That, she said, included learning how important agriculture is to Minnesota. "It is sort of the foundation stone to the economy."
Smith touted the importance of more federal funding to help greater Minnesota, including expanding high-speed internet in rural areas, fighting opioids and improving rural health care.
And then there's the recent touring of flood-stricken areas in southwestern Minnesota.
Housley shouldn't be blamed for repeating this mindless twaddle. Rather, we're hoping to learn those who gain from placebaiting and those who fund such efforts. Meanwhile, voters should use critical thinking to help them make sound decisions in the face of what is politely called "messaging" and "storytelling" by the cool kids these days.
Double irony alert: Housley positions herself as a suburban lady with a keen memory about Greater Minnesota (except for the Tina Smith part), while some DFLers are fretting about suburban lady from the Minnesota House running for Lt. Governor as not being able to connect with Greater Minnesota (though another suburban lady running for the same position on another ticket doesn't seem to be hobbled by that geographic defect).
We think that readers should look to the policy ideas espoused by candidates, wherever they collect their mail.
Photo: Tina Smith visits the biggest cottonwood tree in all of Minnesota. We don't care where you live; that's one heckova tree. Tweet here:
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