Yesterday, in Bill Kuisle not sure wetlands & stuff totally worth it, Bluestem looked at the former House member and current endorsed Republican lieutenant governor candidate's reluctance to fund storm water ponds and other environmental considerations for highway construction, expressed in a visit to Worthington.
There's more on his stand in an article in the New Ulm Journal today, Lieutenant governor hopeful stops in New Ulm, and Kuisle adds another item to his list of unnecessary expenses in road construction: archaeological studies.
But while Kuisle may be promoting the sort of thinking that helped fuel the Camp Coldwater protests over Highway 55 construction and the potential destruction of indigenous people's historical and sacred sites, being a good party man, he's not going to attack another Republican.
Journal editor Kevin Sweeney writes:
Republicans are trying to differentiate themselves from each other during the primary campaign, knowing that Gov. Mark Dayton is the primary target.
"You don't want to draw blood," Kuisle said, "you don't want to give Dayton and his group fodder for the election."
That's a rather quaint notion, suggesting that there's nothing in his or other Republicans' voting record or past public statements that might damage them in an election.
Kuisle appears have fewer scruples about damaging American Indian heritage than he does about harming another Republican's reputation.
Requiring extensive environmental impact studies, archaeological studies and extensive wetlands replacement eats up money that could be spent on cement and asphalt, Kuisle said.
Note that unlike the "extensive" environmental impact studies or the "extensive" wetlands replacement, Kuisle is singling out archaeological studies without a qualifying adjective. The mere requirement appears to be a cost without merit.
We are left to wonder: is it federal requirements to respect American Indian hertiage--the so-called Section 106 review process or the federal and state laws, implemented by the Office of the State Archaeologist, that he's hoping a Johnson-Kuisle administration can gut?
And those wetlands? He wants to gut that law too, since "environmentalists" prevailed, Sweeney reports:
He pointed out that when he was in the Legislature, studies indicated that wetlands replacement (replacing acres of wetlands that were affected by road construction) could be done on a 1.2-to-1 ratio, instead of the 2-to-1 ratio required by law. But environmentalists insisted on the 2-to-1 ratio.
But it's not just spending money on preserving the heritage of Dakota, Objiwe or early white settlements that Kuisle objects to. Back when he was in office, he was a strong supporter of running the DM & E upgrade through the City of Rochester and appears to have been the first contact for bypass opponent Kathy King, although he was voted out of office before the Rochester rail war reached a fever pitch.
It's just amazing how the list of people getting in the way grows as one examines Kuisle's recor environmentalists
Photo: Circa 1999, part of the protest occupation of Camp Coldwater, via Circle of Vision. Here's a nifty view of the liner put in to preserve the water flow of the spring. Somehow, we suspect that reducing surveys will only spur people to more activism if Jeff Johnson and Kuisle are elected; one of the objections to the project was original minimal archaeological study of the project.
And Johnson hasn't been at all shy about expressing his opinion of those who protest.
If you appreciate Bluestem Prairie, you can mail contributions (payable to Sally Jo Sorensen P.O. Box 108, Maynard MN 56260) or use the paypal button below:
Email subscribers can contribute via this link to paypal; use email sally.jo.sorensen at gmail.com as recipient.