Take the I-94 Coalition, for instance. On its Facebook page, the group of "local governments, private businesses, local Chambers of Commerce and other stakeholders" seeking infrastructure improvements to the I-94 Corridor, thanks FitzSimmons repeatedly for advocating for I94 on the OpEd page of the Star Tribune, attending forums, and the like.
He's not the only area legislator to earn praise, but it's clear he's active.
Area newspapers also report about the freshman legislator's work. ABC Newspaper's Budig included his reaction in Funds for freeways: I-94, I-694, Highway 610 among projects to receive funding, and back in July, the St. Cloud Times' Kari Petrie noted that he was among area lawmakers from both parties to urge MnDOT to add I-94 expansion to plans.
His caucus leader in the House is pretty happy with his work, writing to the St. Michael Patch in a November 19 letter, David FitzSimmons key leader in I-94 expansion:
You have Representative David FitzSimmons of Albertville to thank for its progress. David, while a first-term Republican in a Democrat-dominated state government, was the leader behind this initiative. While Governor Mark Dayton is focused on wasting more money on light rail projects and moving away from prioritizing our tax dollars on road expansion, David built a coalition of business and civic leaders to advocate for this critical need. After months of putting pressure on the Dayton administration, the Department of Transportation finally came around to agreeing with David that more lanes on I-94 is the best way to alleviate congestion for commuter and commercial traffic. . . .
Bluestem doesn't agree with Daudt's transportation agenda, but we can't fault him for calling attention to the work by a Republican on this issue. That's Kurt's job as minority leader.
Given the recognition of FitzSimmons by so many of those working on I94 expansion, Bluestem was a bit perplexed by Chris Kauffman's November 22 letter in the St. Michael Patch, I-94 expansion "Give Credit Where it is Due." Kauffman gives credit to everybody but FitzSimmons:
Without the dedicated effort of the following groups and individuals this would never have happened. Thanks to: I-94 Chamber of Commerce, I-94 Coalition Members, Mayor Jerry Zachman & staff St. Michael, Mayor Jillian Hendrickson & staff Albertville, Mayor Jessica Stockman & staff Otsego, Mayor Jay Bunting & staff Rogers, Representative Joyce Peppin, Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann.
Fitzsimmons, who represents St. Michael, is nowhere to be seen in the list drawn up by a man who includes his own credentials in the letter:
As a past Chair of the I-94 Chamber of Commerce I can personally attest to the seven year effort of the I-94 Chamber of Commerce and the I-94 Coalition members to get this done.
But FitzSimmons's name isn't the only piece of information Kauffman leaves out of his letter. Another Kauffman credential? He's the deputy treasurer of the Friends of Eric Lucero campaign committee, so perhaps praising FitzSimmons for anything is praise that dare not speak its name in his circle of friends.
Eric Lucero is challenging FitzSimmons for the Republican endorsement in House District 30B. Maybe Kauffman should have mentioned that bit in his letter, especially since his own pony in the race doesn't even include transportation on his website's issues page.
Photo: State representative David FitzSimmons, who may or may not deserve credit for working on the I94 expansion. Maybe it's a world view thing.
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