A fascinating letter to the editor of the Morris Sun Tribune from Alexandria reader Susanne Engstrom fact-checks a recent Republican House leadership photo opportunity and discovers a wee bit of pandering on the part of the Majority Caucus's leadership.
In Are Republican leaders here when it really counts?, Engstrom writes:
House Republican leaders try to talk a good game when it comes to sticking up for Greater Minnesota, but are they there for us when it really counts? Case in point, House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin's tour of the ethanol plant in Morris as part her tour to “support” Greater Minnesota. I'm glad she enjoyed her time in Morris, but when it came time to vote, Peppin voted against ethanol and Greater Minnesota.
House Majority Leader Peppin has been a strident opponent of ethanol. In fact, she voted against $750,000 in funding for the Morris ethanol plant in 2013 (HJP 4722 3/15/13). She voted against funding for the Morris plant again in the 2014 session (HJP 11838, 5/16/14).
And what has Majority Leader Peppin and the House Republican leadership actually proposed for Greater Minnesota this year? They are proposing a cut to the jobs and economic development budget that supports key funding for Greater Minnesota jobs initiatives, including eliminating support for broadband infrastructure. [See "Follow through on broadband pledge to MN"? In campaign, Miller made no-broadband pledge for an update on broadband funding]
It would have been nice for Majority Leader Peppin and Jeff Backer to thank Rep. Jay McNamar during their visit. It was McNamar that authored the bill that provided new funding for the Morris plant – despite opposition from Republicans like Peppin.
I have some advice for House Majority Leader Peppin. You can save some gas money next time you’re coming out here to pander to us Greater Minnesota folks. We’d rather you put your money where your mouth is and actually vote for Greater Minnesota.
Engstrom's letter is a response to the April 3, 2015 Morris Sun Tribune article, Local business leaders share story of ethanol with legislators. The caption to the photo above noted:
Mick Miller (left), general manager of Denco II, gave a tour of the facility to House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin (center) and Rep. Jeff Backer (right) on Friday, March 27. Miller and Denco II board members met with Peppin and Backer to discuss the local impact of ethanol. (Submitted Photo)
Photo: We're curious who took this photo.
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