MN-08: Stewart Mills says American pipelines should be built with American steel

Democratic U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and Republican Stewart Mills disagree on many issues, but building American pipelines with American steel isn’t one of them. Mills said on Monday that using domestic steel for pipelines is “just common sense.”

The national controversy over the source of steel used in pipeline construction was pushed to the forefront in Minnesota on Aug.6 when Mike McFadden, a Republican seeking to unseat U.S. Sen. Al Franken, stated that he supported using unsubsidized foreign steel if it was cheaper than domestic steel. The predicted furor erupted across the Iron Range and threatened to spill over into the race for 8th district congress on Aug.11, when Nolan criticized McFadden’s position as “indefensible” and used it as a springboard to call on Mills to disclose his position on the issue.

“Stewart Mills III is a multi-millionaire with a financial stake in the oil and gas business. He’s also been campaigning with Mike McFadden all over the 8th District. Mills has a vested interest in building cheap pipelines, since it means more money in his pockets. Iron Rangers deserve to know whether he too would choose to import cheap steel from China in order to protect his own wealth.” Nolan said in the statement posted on Facebook.

But Mills supports the use of domestic steel.

“The Iron Range has long been the backbone of our part of Minnesota, and it’s just common sense for me that American pipelines should be built with American steel,” Mills responded in an email

“Miners and their families deserve a strong voice in Washington, but Rick Nolan doesn’t stand for their values. He claims to support American steel and steelworkers, but then turns around and votes against projects like Keystone XL that would benefit them. I’ll always stand up for Iron Range miners and their families”

Nolan and Mills each bring a certain level of expertise to the debate, but from different ends of the pipeline.

Mills’ personal financial disclosure reflects an ownership interest in Crow Wing Oil Company, a privately-held wholesale distributor of oil products. The company does not explore and drill nor process and refine, transport and store oil and gas. It simply purchases and sells end products.

Nolan lived and worked in the Middle East while serving as an investment advisor to the Royal Family of Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi controls 95 percent of the oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 94 percent of its gas reserves. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the UAE “is one of the 10 largest oil and natural gas producers in the world.”

Since Nolan and Mills agree on using domestic steel when building pipelines, they are now free to quibble over who really supports the projects or workers. But another comment in Nolan’s statement grabbed the attention of Iron Rangers and did not go unnoticed by Mills.

“The strongest, safest, most reliable steel in the world is mined and processed by Minnesotans right here on the Iron Range,” said Nolan, prompting Mills to add “Just one final point – I would suggest that Rick read up on the difference between iron and steel (there are no steel mills on the Range, Rick!)”

A low-grade iron ore called taconite is mined and processed on the Iron Range. Steel is an alloy. Northern Minnesota has not produced steel since the early 1970s, when United States Steel closed their steel-making and finishing operations in Duluth.

Nolan’s facebook post remained unedited as of Tuesday evening.

Wednesday morning update: Nolan deleted the post.

Rick Nolan for Congress Steel Aug 11 2014

Itasca County Gives Veterans Memorial Forest to Scab Metro Area Home Builder

“Any county may by resolution of the county board set aside tax-forfeited land which is more suitable for forest purposes than for any other purpose and dedicate said lands as a memorial forest and manage the same on forestry principles…Any tax-forfeited land which has been included in a memorial forest established in any county under the provisions of subdivision 2, and which is found more suitable for other purposes may by resolution of the county board be withdrawn from the forest for disposal as tax-forfeited land if the commissioner of natural resources approves the sale of such land.”

In 1971, Itasca County followed the above Minnesota statute and established The Lt. Franklin Danyluk and Sgt. Emmett Loucks Memorial Forest in honor of two of the region’s fallen WWII soldiers. The easily-accessible 119 acres is popular with the public for all manner of outdoor recreation, including hiking and hunting. Yet despite strenuous opposition from the public, the Itasca County Board recently determined that a housing development is a more suitable use of that beautiful land rich with flora and fauna, voting Tuesday to transfer the veterans memorial forest to a non-union home builder from the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Of course, the Board’s action wasn’t that transparent. The land exchange requested by Bradley Dumonceaux and approved by a 3 -2 vote of the Itasca County Board was presented as a request from a private landowner who owned property adjacent to the veterans memorial forest lands and wanted the additional parcels for hunting and recreation. But the record reveals that Dumonceaux personally owns neither the land adjacent to the Danyluk-Loucks Memorial Forest nor the private property offered in the trade and suggests a more sinister motive: Profit at the public expense.

Bradley Dumonceaux owns Progressive Builders, a 20-year old company that, according to the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters, has never built homes with union labor. Like many other metro area developers, Dumonceaux has in recent years been aggressively buying lake and other prime property in northern Minnesota, including Third River Township in Itasca County. County land records show that since January 2005, his Cottonwood Acres LLC has acquired approximately 564 acres in Third RiverTownship, including all of Upper South Twin Lake and some land adjacent to the veterans memorial forest (other adjacent property is owned by the state and federal governments). County records also reveal that the relatively inaccessible 154 acres of private property in the distant Bearville Township offered by Dumonceaux for exchange is actually owned by John and Margaret McCoy. As part of the proposed land exchange, the home builder submitted to the county board a purchase agreement with the McCoys contingent to the land exchange being approved. While nothing in Minnesota statutes requires that one proposing a land exchange owns the property to be traded, it does give an indication as to just how badly Dumonceaux wants the veterans memorial forest lands.

Indeed, Danyluk-Loucks Memorial Forest has been in Dumonceaux’s sights since May 2004, when he unsuccessfully tried to buy the land from the county. Since that time, Dumonceaux has relentlessly pursued a land exchange, presenting numerous proposals involving various private properties (including parcels he personally owns in Bearville Township) with no success until Tuesday. Controversy has surrounded Dumonceaux’s proposals over the years, including charges of conflicts of interest and lack of transparency that date back to 2005. Recent reports that the Board replaced a local appraisal of public and private lands not favorable to Dumonceaux with one from a Wisconsin appraiser he selected, and the fact that Commissioner Davin Tinquist (who pushed hard to pass this land exchange for the home builder), owns Cohasset Mill and Lumber Company have heightened those concerns.

But the county board’s approval of the proposal is only the first step towards stripping the public of their cherished veterans memorial forest in Third River Township. This land exchange must first be reviewed by the Department of Natural Resources to be sure it complies with state rules and regulations governing Class B land exchanges, and then it must be approved by both the commissioner of the DNR and by the Land Exchange Board. The land exchange process is outlined below:

– Itasca County submits the proposal and related documents to the DNR Division of Lands and Minerals for review of statutory compliance with Class B land exchanges. Public comments about the land exchange may be directed to that office as well.

– The northeast regional DNR office in Grand Rapids reviews the proposal for its impact on natural resources. How the property is to be used will be of concern to the various departments. The review generally takes 4 – 6 weeks.

– If the DNR determines the County’s proposal does not comply with statutes governing Class B land exchanges, it is sent back to the County.

– If the DNR determines the proposal does comply with statutes, the review and any comments received from the public are forwarded to the DNR commissioner.

– The DNR commissioner will take into consideration both the agency review and public input and either reject or approve the proposal. If approved, the proposal goes to the Land Exchange Board.

– The Land Exchange Board consists of the governor, attorney general and auditor, and can either reject or approve the land exchange. The Board meets quarterly, with their next meeting scheduled in June. A unanimous vote is required in order for a land exchange to be approved.

Despite strong opposition from area residents, from citizens who enjoy using the land and from veterans who view the Danyluk-Loucks Memorial Forest as a legacy, the Itasca County Board inexplicably approved a land exchange that gives veterans memorial forest land to a scab metro area home builder. In view of the facts, no reasonable and prudent person could possibly believe for one minute this land is wanted for personal hunting and recreation. That an outsider like Dumonceaux would use the culture of northern Minnesota as a smokescreen for his intended use of the land is despicable; that 3 members of the Itasca County Board would aid and abet this deception of the public is absolutely outrageous and all should be held accountable by their constituents. The question now is who will ultimately prevail: Local residents who are determined to retain access to their land for the common good and to honor the memory of their fallen soldiers, or a packsacker who selfishly wants to build pricey homes with scab labor at their expense?

Are Labor Endorsed Candidates True Friends Of Organized Labor? Part 5

We expected that examining the FEC reports of labor endorsed candidates in the 2012 race for 8th district congress – Jeff Anderson (D), Tarryl Clark (D), Chip Cravaack (R), Rick Nolan (D) – would give organized labor a good idea as to who is a parlor friend and who is a street friend by showing how those candidates spent union contributions when they thought no one was looking. Fair treatment of workers and patronizing union facilities should be no-brainers for a true trade unionist, but we did find some labor endorsed candidates (Anderson, Cravaack) who struggled with these simple concepts. In part 4, we reported that while Jeff Anderson for Minnesota spent a total of $5034 on lodging, meals, events and food for volunteers during the course of his 15-month campaign, only $203 was spent at union facilities. Today we’d like to report that Friends of Tarryl Clark 2012 regularly patronized union facilities, but we can’t because the campaign reported no itemized expenditures for lodging, food or event space during the course of Clark’s 16-month campaign for 8th district congress.

Payments for lodging, meals, and food/beverages for volunteers, fundraisers and other events are pretty standard operating expenditures for campaigns, yet surprisingly not one hotel, restaurant, bar or meeting facility shows up in Clark’s FEC filings. No expenditures for fundraisers and other events were reported, and below are the only itemized operating expenditures reported for travel expenses:

NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY, WASHINGTON DC,06/22/2011 $1,771

DELTA AIRLINES, 08/29/2011, $601
AIRTRANAIR , 08/22/2011, $541
AIRTRANAIR, 08/30/2011, $369
SOUTHWESTAIR, 09/06/2011 $270
UNITED AIR , 03/12/2012, $613
SUN COUNTRY, 03/21/2012, $254
DELTA AIRLINES, 05/15/2012 $177
UNITED AIR TRAVEL,05/16/2012 $166
UNITED AIR TRAVEL, 05/16/2012 $166
UNITED AIR TRAVEL, 05/16/2012, $166
DELTA AIRLINES, 06/07/2012, $350
DELTA AIRLINES, 06/07/2012, $350
HOTWIRE, 06/08/2012, $267
HOTWIRE, 07/09/2012, $243

The campaign’s FEC reports do reflect unitemized reimbursements to staff for travel expenses, but no such payments were made to Tarryl Clark. While FEC rules do not require that candidates or staffers request reimbursement for travel expenses, once those expenses exceed $1000 they must be reported both as in kind contributions and as operating expenditures. It does indeed seem odd that a candidate for 8th district congress spent less than $1000 on travel expenses (mileage, meals, lodging) and that the campaign incurred no expenses for meet-the-candidate events or fundraisers, yet we presume that to be the case as Clark surely is familiar with FEC reporting requirements.

It is unclear from Clark’s FEC filings whether the reimbursements for staff travel were simply for mileage or included any meals or lodging, hence there is no way to know whether any of that money was spent at union or non union hotels, bars, or restaurants.

Friends of Tarryl Clark 2012 – Reported Operating Expenditures for Travel Expenses (Lodging,Meals,mileage,gas), Fundraisers/Events, and Food for Volunteers May 2011 – DECEMBER 2012

KLUTHE, CHRISTOPHER REIMBURSEMENT/MILEAGE – SEE MEMOS APPLE VALLEY MN 55124 07/07/2011 $394
CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 07/19/2011 $91

CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 08/10/2011 $173
TRUESDELL, OWEN TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 08/18/2011 $49
DELTA AIRLINES TRAVEL ATLANTA GA 30320 08/29/2011 $601
AIRTRANAIR TRAVEL ORLANDO FL 32827 08/22/2011 $541
AIRTRANAIR TRAVEL ORLANDO FL 32827 08/30/2011 $369 X

SOUTHWESTAIR TRAVEL DALLAS TX 75235 09/06/2011 $270
CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 09/07/2011 $262
TRUESDELL, OWEN TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 09/07/2011 $177
CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 09/22/2011 $323

CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 10/06/2011 $99
TRUESDELL, OWEN TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 10/06/2011 $259

KLUTHE, CHRISTOPHER REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – MEMO ENTRIES APPLE VALLEY MN 55124 11/10/2011 $299
CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 11/10/2011 $83
TRUESDELL, OWEN TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 11/17/2011 $125

CARLSON, KELLI REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 01/09/2012 $147
KLUTHE, CHRISTOPHER REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – SEE MEMOS APPLE VALLEY MN 55124 01/09/2012 $551
TRUESDELL, OWEN REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 01/09/2012 $165

CARLSON, KELLI REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 02/07/2012 $407
KLUTHE, CHRISTOPHER REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – SEE MEMOS APPLE VALLEY MN 55124 02/07/2012 $301
TRUESDELL, OWEN REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 02/07/2012 $377
COLEMAN, LINDSAY REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL VANDLING PA 18421 02/21/2012 $232

CARLSON, KELLI REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 03/09/2012 $449
KLUTHE, CHRISTOPHER REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL-SEE MEMOS APPLE VALLEY MN 55124 03/09/2012 $353
TRUESDELL, OWEN TRAVEL APPLETON WI 54911 03/09/2012 $225
UNITED AIR TRAVEL CHICAGO IL 60666 03/12/2012 $613
COLEMAN, LINDSAY REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL VANDLING PA 18421 03/14/2012 $34
SUN COUNTRY TRAVEL SAINT PAUL MN 55120 03/21/2012 $254

CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 04/09/2012 $609

CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 05/04/2012 $126
TRUESDELL, OWEN TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55802 05/04/2012 $138
DELTA AIRLINES TRAVEL ATLANTA GA 30320 05/15/2012 $177
UNITED AIR TRAVEL CHICAGO IL 60666 05/16/2012 $166
UNITED AIR TRAVEL CHICAGO IL 60666 05/16/2012 $166
UNITED AIR TRAVEL CHICAGO IL 60666 05/16/2012 $166

CARLSON, KELLI REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – SEE MEMOS WOODBURY MN 55125 06/07/2012 $206
DELTA AIRLINES TRAVEL ATLANTA GA 30320 06/07/2012 $350
COLEMAN, LINDSAY REIMBURSEMENT – SEE MEMOS VANDLING PA 18421 06/07/2012 $64
HOTWIRE TRAVEL SAN FRANCISCO CA 94111 06/08/2012 $267
NATIONAL COMMITTEE TO PRESERVE SOCIAL SECURITY AND TRAVEL EXPENSES WASHINGTON DC 20006 06/22/2011 $1,771

MARKS, LINDSAY REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – SEE MEMO DULUTH MN 55802 07/02/2012 $489
TRUESDELL, OWEN REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – SEE MEMOS DULUTH MN 55802 07/09/2012 $384
CARLSON, KELLI TRAVEL WOODBURY MN 55125 07/09/2012 $103
HOTWIRE TRAVEL SAN FRANCISCO CA 94111 07/09/2012 $243 X
COLEMAN, LINDSAY TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55805 07/09/2012 $109
KLUTHE, CHRISTOPHER REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL – SEE MEMOS APPLE VALLEY MN 55124 07/09/2012 $475
MEYER, ERIC REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55811 07/09/2012 $81
WOLGAMOTT, DANIEL TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55805 07/09/2012 $1,453

WOLGAMOTT, DANIEL REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55805 08/08/2012 $717
COLEMAN, LINDSAY REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55805 08/15/2012 $135
MEYER, ERIC REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55811 08/15/2012 $49
MEYER, ERIC REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55811 08/16/2012 $13
TRUESDELL, OWEN REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55802 08/16/2012 $911
WOLGAMOTT, DANIEL REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55805 08/16/2012 $464
COLEMAN, LINDSAY REIMBURSEMENT/TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55805 08/16/2012 $36

Are Labor Endorsed Candidates True Friends Of Organized Labor? Part 4

It has been said that the true test of one’s character is what one does when no one else is looking, and the same test can be applied to discern how committed a candidate is to the principles of organized labor. Indeed, a good way for organized labor to identify parlor friends and street friends is to examine how labor-endorsed candidates choose to spend the thousands of dollars they receive from labor unions after walking out of the union hall. A true trade unionist believes in justice for workers and the right to bargain collectively, and will adhere to those principles during the course of their campaign by treating workers fairly and by supporting those businesses that employ union workers. To be sure, workers are injured every time candidates choose to pass over a union facility in favor of one with no union contract or one that was built with scab labor. FEC reports that are exposed to the light of day will often show exactly who chose to throw labor under the bus the minute they thought no one was looking.

Previously, we reported that Jeff Anderson received a sizable reimbursement from his campaign on Dec.31,2012 while his former staffers were still awaiting their final paychecks from August. Today, we examine how Anderson’s campaign spent the union contributions he received for his primary campaign.

Jeff Anderson for Minnesota reported spending $5034 on lodging, meals, events and food for volunteers during the course of the 15-month campaign for 8th district congress. Only $203 was spent at union facilities.

Reports filed with the FEC show that the campaign made nine expenditures for lodging in 2011 totaling $1278. Two expenditures were made in Brainerd where there are no union hotels, but the remaining seven were made in Duluth and Washington, DC where union hotels are readily available. Only two of those expenditures were made to a union hotel.

Radisson, Duluth, Lodging, 7/19/11, $69
Brainerd Hotel, Brainerd, Lodging, 7/20/11, $109
Brainerd Hotel, Brainerd, Lodging, 7/20/11, $109
Sheraton Hotel, Duluth, Lodging, 7/21/11, $234
Radisson, Duluth, Lodging, 7/25/11 $134
Renaissance Downtown, Washington DC, Lodging, 10/04/11, $263
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Lodging, 10/24/11, $158
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Lodging, 11/13/11, $135
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Lodging, 12/13/11, $67

There was just one reported expenditure for food in 2011, and that was for a meal at a non union hotel in Washington DC

Renaissance Downtown, Washington DC, Meals, 10/03/11, $23

In 2012, FEC reports reveal the campaign spent $3733 on lodging, meals, fundraisers and food for volunteers. Not one payment to a union hotel, restaurant or bar is reflected during this time period.

The campaign spent $963 for lodging, but there are no documented expenditures to union hotels. Of the four expenditures for lodging, two were at non union hotels in Duluth and two cannot be determined by the information in the report.

Priceline , Lodging, 1/04/12, $155
Priceline, Lodging, 3/21/12, $377
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Lodging, 5/02/12, $203
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Lodging, 7/02/12 $228

The campaign reported no expenditures for meals prior to April. Between April and August, there were 23 reported expenditures for meals totaling $474. $359 was spent at restaurants in Duluth, the remainder at gas stations.

Not one cent was spent at a union hotel, restaurant or bar.

Blackwater, Duluth, Meals, 4/30/12, $30
Blackwater, Duluth, Meals, 4/30/12, $74
Pizza Luce, Duluth, Meals, 5/04/12, $26
Green Mill, Duluth, Meals, 5/07/12, $27
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Meals, 5/21/12, $40
Pizza Luce, Duluth, Meals, 5/21/12, $32
Blackwater, Duluth, Meals, 5/25/12, $32
Fitger’s Inn, Duluth, Meals, 6/04/12, $68
Green Mill, Duluth, Meals, 6/22/12, $30

The campaign reported expenditures for fundraisers/events and for food for volunteers totaling $2296.

Once again, not one cent was spent at a union hotel, restaurant or bar.

Sheraton, Duluth, Fundraiser, 3/05/12, $437
Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, Duluth, Fundraiser, 3/19/12, $208
Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, Duluth, Fundraiser, 4/02/12, $47
Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, Duluth, Fundraiser, 4/02/12, $257
Zeitgeist Arts Cafe, Duluth, Fundraiser, 5/07/12, $212
Blackwater, Duluth, Fundraiser, 5/09/12, $72
Pizza Luce, Duluth, Event, 5/16/12, $286
The Chocolate Moose, Ely, Fundraiser, 5/16/12, $113
Pizza Luce, Duluth, Fundraiser, 7/01/12, $422
Sawmill Saloon, Virginia, Food for Volunteers, 8/13/12, $105
Pizza Luce, Duluth, Food for Volunteers, 8/17/12, $137

Labor-endorsed candidates should want to patronize union facilities as a matter of conscience. Yet Jeff Anderson’s FEC report shows just two documented expenditures at union facilities during his entire campaign for congress. What a slap in the face to the unions and members who contributed their hard-earned money to Anderson’s Duluth-based campaign! Is this what organized labor wants to see on the FEC reports of a labor endorsed candidate?

Tomorrow, Part 5 – Friends of Tarryl Clark 2012

Jeff Anderson for Minnesota – Reported Operating Expenditures for Travel Expenses (Lodging,Meals,mileage,gas), Fundraisers/Events, and Food for Volunteers JUNE 2011 – DECEMBER 2012

2011
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 06/08/2011 $250
RODERICK, MATTHEW FOOD EXPENSES AT EVENT ELY MN 55731 06/12/2011 $250 In Kind
PLASCH, HARVEY FOOD EXPENSE FOR EVENT DULUTH MN 55805 06/16/2011 $300 In Kind

HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 07/05/2011 $42
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 07/14/2011 $20
RADISON-DULUTH LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 07/19/2011 $69
BRAINERD HOTEL LODGING BRAINERD MN 56401 07/20/2011 $109
BRAINERD HOTEL LODGING BRAINERD MN 56401 07/20/2011 $109
SHERATON HOTEL DULUTH MN 55802 07/21/2011 $234
RADISON-DULUTH LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 07/25/2011 $134
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 07/26/2011 $45

HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 08/01/2011 $48
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 08/15/2011 $25
MCCONNELL, JASON EVENT FOOD AND BEVERAGE COST DULUTH MN 55802 08/17/2011 $395 In Kind
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 08/22/2011 $300
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 08/22/2011 $47
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 08/22/2011 $50
SULLIVAN, JOHN L. FOOD AND DRINKS FOR EVENT MINNEAPOLIS MN 55405 08/24/2011 $300 In Kind
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 08/29/2011 $93

LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 09/02/2011 $63
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 09/08/2011 $45
DELTA AIRLINES AIRFARE ATLANTA GA 30320 09/09/2011 $452
BUEHLER, KENNETH FOOD AND LOCATION RENTAL FOR EVENT DULUTH MN 55802 09/10/2011 $1,104 In Kind
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 09/12/2011 $52
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 09/13/2011 $33
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 09/19/2011 $47
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 09/19/2011 $33
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 09/21/2011 $40
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 09/20/2011 $45
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 09/26/2011 $35
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 09/27/2011 $32

DELTA AIRLINES AIRFARE ATLANTA GA 30320 10/03/2011 $60
RENAISSANCE WASHINGTON DC MEALS WASHINGTON DC 20001 10/03/2011 $23
RENAISSANCE WASHINGTON DC LODGING WASHINGTON DC 20001 10/04/2011 $263
DELTA AIRLINES AIRFARE ATLANTA GA 30320 10/04/2011 $6
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 10/04/2011 $325
DELTA AIRLINES AIRFARE ATLANTA GA 30320 10/05/2011 $14
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 10/04/2011 $22
ARTHUR’S FORMAL WEAR TUXEDO RENTAL DULUTH MN 55811 10/05/2011 $297
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 10/11/2011 $27
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 10/12/2011 $31
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 10/17/2011 $51
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 10/17/2011 $40
FITGERS INN LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 10/24/2011 $158
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 10/25/2011 $56
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 10/25/2011 $11
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 10/31/2011 $50

LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 11/01/2011 $7
AMERICAN AIRLINES AIRFARE FORT WORTH TX 76155 11/03/2011 $255
LONDON RD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 11/03/2011 $14
ELLICKSON, JOE MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT MINNEAPOLIS MN 55407 11/04/2011 $500
FITGERS INN LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 11/13/2011 $135
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 11/17/2011 $42
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 11/18/2011 $48
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 11/21/2011 $45
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 11/28/2011 $14
AMERICAN AIRLINES TRAVEL FORT WORTH TX 76155 11/30/2011 $14

AMERICAN AIRLINES TRAVEL FORT WORTH TX 76155 12/01/2011 $25
AMERICAN AIRLINES TRAVEL FORT WORTH TX 76155 12/05/2011 $25
AMERICAN AIRLINES TRAVEL FORT WORTH TX 76155 12/05/2011 $50
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 12/11/2011 $42
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 12/13/2011 $40
FITGERS INN LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 12/13/2011 $67
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 12/30/2011 $38

2012
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 01/12/2012 $61
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 01/03/2012 $28
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 01/04/2012 $29
PRICELINE LODGING NORWALK CT 06850 01/04/2012 $155
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 01/23/2012 $41
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 01/23/2012 $40
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 01/23/2012 $25
LUCKY 7 FUEL ELY MN 55731 01/25/2012 $44
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 01/30/2012 $48
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 01/31/2012 $47
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 01/31/2012 $43

SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 02/02/2012 $46
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 02/02/2012 $6
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 02/06/2012 $58
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 02/06/2012 $48
LUCKY 7 FUEL ELY MN 55731 02/06/2012 $47
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 02/16/2012 $43
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 02/21/2012 $49
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 02/22/2012 $51
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 02/23/2012 $25

HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/01/2012 $40
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 03/04/2012 $285
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/05/2012 $57
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/05/2012 $41
SHERATON FUNDRAISING FOOD & BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 03/05/2012 $437
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/12/2012 $41
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/12/2012 $6
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 03/12/2012 $49
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/13/2012 $33
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 03/14/2012 $43
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 03/16/2012 $95
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 03/16/2012 $12
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/19/2012 $53
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/19/2012 $45
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/19/2012 $19
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/19/2012 $9
ZEITGEIST ARTS CAFE FUNDRAISING FOOD & BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 03/19/2012 $208
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/20/2012 $50
PRICELINE LODGING NORWALK CT 06850 03/21/2012 $377
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55802 03/27/2012 $74
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/27/2012 $3
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 03/29/2012 $28

ZEITGEIST ARTS CAFE FUNDRAISING FOOD AND BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 04/02/2012 $47
ZEITGEIST ARTS CAFE FUNDRAISING FOOD AND BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 04/02/2012 $257
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 04/02/2012 $1,000
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 04/06/2012 $45
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 04/09/2012 $68
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 04/16/2012 $42
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 04/20/2012 $30
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 04/23/2012 $36
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 04/27/2012 $53
BLACK WATER MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 04/30/2012 $30
BLACK WATER MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 04/30/2012 $74

FITGERS INN LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 05/02/2012 $203
PIZZA LUCE MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 05/04/2012 $26
GREEN MILL MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 05/07/2012 $27
ZEITGEIST ARTS CAFE FUNDRAISER FOOD AND BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 05/07/2012 $212
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/08/2012 $55
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 05/09/2012 $85
BLACK WATER FUNDRAISER FOOD AND BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 05/09/2012 $72
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/14/2012 $21
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/14/2012 $24
PIZZA LUCE EVENT FOOD & BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 05/16/2012 $286
THE CHOCOLATE MOOSE FUNDRAISER FOOD AND BEVERAGE ELY MN 55731 05/16/2012 $113
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 05/16/2012 $1,500
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/17/2012 $48
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/18/2012 $49
PIZZA LUCE MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 05/21/2012 $32
FITGERS INN MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 05/21/2012 $40
BLACK WATER MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 05/25/2012 $32
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/25/2012 $50
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55805 05/29/2012 $12
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 05/29/2012 $26

HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/01/2012 $51
FITGERS INN MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 06/04/2012 $68
HOLIDAY MEALS MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/04/2012 $13
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 06/04/2012 $37
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 06/05/2012 $1,000
HOLIDAY MEALS MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/05/2012 $10
SUPERAMERICA MEALS DULUTH MN 55805 06/05/2012 $2
HUIE, ERIC FUNDRAISER FOOD, BEVERAGE AND SPACE RENTAL DULUTH MN 55805 06/08/2012 $675 In Kind
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH FUEL DULUTH MN 55812 06/08/2012 $50
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/18/2012 $31
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/18/2012 $53
HOLIDAY MEALS MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/19/2012 $7
GREEN MILL MEALS DULUTH MN 55802 06/22/2012 $30
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMOTIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 06/25/2012 $81
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/25/2012 $17
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/25/2012 $45
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/25/2012 $52
KAVAJECZ, ROCKIE CANAL PARK BREWING COMPANY OWNER * IN-KIND: LODGING WASHBURN WI 54891 06/25/2012 $194 (Note:not on operating expenditures as required)
HOLIDAY MEALS MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/27/2012 $12
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 06/28/2012 $150
HOLIDAY FUEL MINNEAPOLIS MN 55440 06/28/2012 $52

PIZZA LUCE FUNDRAISER FOOD AND BEVERAGE DULUTH MN 55802 07/01/2012 $422
FITGERS INN LODGING DULUTH MN 55802 07/02/2012 $228
LONDON ROAD CAR WASH AUTOMATIVE EXPENSES DULUTH MN 55812 07/02/2012 $30
BLOMBERG OIL FUEL ELY MN 55731 07/04/2012 $72 *memo
LUCKY 7 FUEL VIRGINIA MN 55792 07/04/2012 $14
LUCKY 7 FUEL VIRGINIA MN 55792 07/05/2012 $54
LUCKY 7 FUEL VIRGINIA MN 55792 07/05/2012 $45
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 07/05/2012 $62
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 07/09/2012 $64
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55805 07/09/2012 $56
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 07/09/2012 $1,112
LUCKY 7 MEALS VIRGINIA MN 55792 07/16/2012 $3
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 07/18/2012 $8
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 07/20/2012 $41
SUPERAMERICA FUEL DULUTH MN 55805 07/23/2012 $83
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEAL DULUTH MN 55803 07/23/2012 $19
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 07/24/2012 $50
GIESLER, ROBERT FUNDRAISER FOOD AND BEVERAGE PINE ISLAND MN 55963 07/24/2012 $108 In Kind
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55811 07/26/2012 $58
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55811 07/26/2012 $51
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 07/30/2012 $25
LUCKY 7 FUEL VIRGINIA MN 55792 07/30/2012 $52
LITTLE STORE – HINCKLEY FUEL HINCKLEY MN 55037 07/30/2012 $51
ANDERSON, JEFFERY MILEAGE REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 07/30/2012 $512
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 07/31/2012 $9
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 07/31/2012 $58

HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 08/01/2012 $8
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/01/2012 $47
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/06/2012 $24
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/06/2012 $88
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/07/2012 $62
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/08/2012 $73
LITTLE STORE – HINCKLEY FUEL HINCKLEY MN 55037 08/10/2012 $49
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 08/13/2012 $5
SAWMILL SALOON VOLUNTEER FOOD VIRGINIA MN 55792 08/13/2012 $105
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/14/2012 $70
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 08/14/2012 $4
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/14/2012 $38
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 08/14/2012 $9

PIZZA LUCE VOLUNTEER FOOD DULUTH MN 55802 08/17/2012 $137
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/20/2012 $50
HOLIDAY STATION STORE MEALS DULUTH MN 55803 08/20/2012 $6
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/21/2012 $24
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/24/2012 $55
LITTLE STORE – HINCKLEY FUEL HINCKLEY MN 55037 08/27/2012 $13
HOLIDAY STATION STORE FUEL DULUTH MN 55803 08/28/2012 $52

HOLIDAY STATION STORE TRAVEL DULUTH MN 55811 11/23/2012 $58

ANDERSON, JEFFERY REIMBURSEMENT DULUTH MN 55801 12/31/2012 $1,120

Are Labor Endorsed Candidates True Friends Of Organized Labor? Part 3

“An injury to one is an injury to all”

This mantra of organized labor takes on added importance today as unions are under ever increasing attacks from right-wing extremists like the Koch Brothers who are fighting to roll back over 75 years of labor law. And it’s not just taking away the right to bargain collectively that damages labor; workers are injured every time we choose to pass over a union facility in favor of one with no union contract or one that was built with scab labor.

Candidates and staff spend a great deal of time on the road while campaigning in Minnesota’s 8th congressional district, which spans from the Canadian Border to the fringes of the Twin Cites Metropolitan Area. Expenses for lodging and meals while traveling, and for events like fundraisers and meetings typically account for a sizable chunk of a campaign’s operating expenditures. As union membership has dwindled over the past decade, the number of union hotels, bars and restaurants has significantly decreased in northern Minnesota as well. Thus it is imperative for the health of the labor movement that we support those businesses that have negotiated union contracts with their employees, and we should expect no less from our labor-endorsed candidates. Any candidate who refuses to spend union contributions at union facilities is no street friend of organized labor no matter what they say in the union hall.

As in Part 2, a review of 2012 year-end FEC reports filed by all four of the labor-endorsed candidates for 8th district congress yielded some surprises. Only one, Rick Nolan, stayed exclusively at union hotels while traveling the northern part of the district, and his report also reflects several expenditures at union facilities for meals, fundraisers and meeting space. Republican Chip Cravaack stayed primarily at non-union facilities (including one built with scab labor) yet patronized union facilities for lodging and fundraisers more often than Democrat Jeff Anderson. Despite the fact that the vast majority of Anderson’s expenses for food and lodging were incurred in union-friendly Duluth, his FEC report reflects just two stays at union hotels, and no expenditures at union facilities for meals or fundraisers. Tarryl Clark’s FEC report reflects no itemized expenditures for lodging, meals or fundraisers, so it is impossible to discern exactly where she spent her money.

Detailed analysis of campaign expenditures begins tomorrow with Jeff Anderson for Minnesota.

Are Labor Endorsed Candidates True Friends Of Organized Labor? Part 2

For decades, workers who mined iron ore in northeastern Minnesota suffered numerous injustices at the hands of the mining companies that formed the omnipotent Steel Trust. It was only through the political process that these early iron miners were ultimately successful in their fight for worker’s rights, finally signing a contract with the United Steelworkers in 1943, and no where is the sense of justice for workers today stronger than on the Iron Range. Indeed, former Governor Rudy Perpich (a native of the Mesabi Range) went ballistic when initially denied a pension of around $80 per month he earned at a job decades earlier, and was ridiculed and criticized by many in the Twin Cities for fighting the employer for what was for him a very nominal sum. What they couldn’t seem to understand is that for Rangers, it’s not the money, it’s the principle: you earned it, you’re entitled to it. No exceptions. This basic concept is so deeply ingrained in the political culture of the Iron Range that breaking from it seems unconscionable.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for campaigns to end with debts owed to employees for wages earned or for expenses incurred. Sometimes these workers eventually get paid, but other times they are left out in the cold, much like steelworkers who lost their pensions after the bankruptcy of National Steel. A true trade unionist believes in justice for workers, and will adhere to that principle whether employing people in business or for a political campaign. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that a candidate receiving endorsement from organized labor would make paying their workers a priority. And if you think only a Republican would dare violate this covenant with workers, think again. As AFL-CIO President Trumka astutely pointed out months ago, labor’s parlor friends are all too often found within the ranks of the Democratic Party.

Jeff Anderson for Minnesota is the only campaign to report outstanding debts to employees for wages (ranging from $625 to $3000) totaling $6,625, with the remaining $24,153 debt owed for vendor payments/candidate loans. The circumstances surrounding these on-going obligations to former employees is indeed troubling to see from a labor endorsed democrat, particularly one who is a native of the Vermilion Range. These staffers (who include a college student and a single parent) have been waiting since August for their final paychecks. Anderson held a fundraiser to pay off his campaign debt in late December, receiving $1000 from the Northeast Area Labor Council and $2000 from the Boilermakers. Inexplicably, he didn’t use this money to pay his workers. Instead, on 31 December Anderson paid himself $1120 for ‘reimbursement’, leaving a remaining balance in his campaign coffers of $5,979 and his workers wondering exactly when they are going to get paid.

Friends of Tarryl Clark 2012 reports outstanding debts to vendors of $24,135.50. Clark’s FEC report reflects absolutely no payments or monies owed to her for reimbursement for expenses during the course of the campaign.

Cravaack for Congress has no outstanding debt, and Cravaack’s FEC report shows he finally paid his legal bills – with interest – as ordered by the mediator in the dispute.

Nolan for Congress closed out the year with outstanding debts of $53411.88 owed primarily to vendors, with some expense reimbursement due individuals and win bonuses owed to staffers. But in this case, the candidate (who is a native of the Cuyuna Range) is sharing the pain; the campaign also owes Nolan a sizable sum for reimbursement of campaign expenses.

Organized labor is the first to protest when a business shuts its doors and leaves workers holding the bag while executives escape unscathed. Decency demands there be no less of an outcry when a labor-endorsed candidate chooses to use union contributions to reimburse himself before paying his former employees wages that are rightfully due them. Labor needs to demonstrate that treating workers fairly applies to all or risk looking like hypocrites when protesting the next round of executive golden parachutes.

Are Labor Endorsed Candidates True Friends Of Organized Labor? Part 1

Iron Rangers learn early in life the importance of differentiating between friends who will happily accept your hospitality as long it suits their purposes and friends who will loyally back you to the death in a street fight. Faced with an unprecedented attack on workers’ rights that threatens the very lifeblood of the union movement, the ability to bargain collectively, the labor movement too has come to realize the biggest mistake unions can make is to confuse parlor friends with street friends, a point AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka drove home in 2011 when he declared that organized labor would no longer tolerate fair weather friends and that a candidate’s affiliation with the Democratic Party no longer guaranteed endorsement.

Every election cycle candidates flood into local union halls at screening time, each professing to be the true champion of working people in the race. The recent campaign for 8th district congress was no exception, and all 4 candidates – Jeff Anderson (D), Tarryl Clark (D), Chip Cravaack (R), Rick Nolan (D) – received endorsements and hefty contributions from labor unions. It has been said that the true test of one’s character is what one does when no one else is looking, and the same test can be applied to discern how committed these individuals are to the principles of organized labor.

Indeed, a good way for organized labor to differentiate parlor friends from street friends is to examine how candidates choose to spend the thousands of dollars they receive from labor unions after walking out of the union hall. FEC reports that are exposed to the light of day will often show exactly who chose to throw labor under the bus the minute they thought no one was looking. Labor-endorsed candidates who regularly patronize hotels that have been targets of labor disputes or built with non union labor are clearly fair weather friends rather than true champions, as are those who pay themselves before paying their employees long overdue and hard-earned wages. Posts in the coming days will reveal the Good, the Bad and the Ugly among labor-endorsed candidates, republican and democrat alike, in the 2012 race for 8th district congress.

Broader issues surrounding labor-endorsed candidates and union contributions merit discussion in future posts. Do unions have expectations as to how their members’ money is spent by candidates? Are unions comfortable that their endorsed candidates spend union contributions at Wal-Mart or Office Max rather than at local stores or more worker-friendly national chains? Should candidates be held accountable for how they spend union dollars?

MN-08: Radical Rick Nolan Goes To Harvard

Former US Rep Rick Nolan promised northern Minnesota voters he would hit the ground running if returned to Congress. As 8th District Congressman-elect, Nolan is living up to that promise by participating in a series of events designed to ensure the Cuyuna Range native arrives well-prepared when the 113th Congress convenes in January. According to a press release, this week Nolan’s grueling pre-swearing in schedule includes the 20th Bipartisan Program for Newly Elected Members of Congress at Harvard University:

Minnesota’s 8th District Congressman-elect Rick Nolan has joined more than fifty other new U.S. Representatives at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP) for a bipartisan conference examining a variety of complex issues they will face when the 113th Congress convenes in January.

Labeled as ‘Radical Rick’ by moderates like Norm Coleman and Sheldon Adelson for his unqualified support of the middle class and organized labor, and for his insistence that health care and education be accessible for all, Nolan shared more of his radical ideas for the 113th Congress:

The campaigns are over, and now Democrats and Republicans alike need to get about the business of solving problems and governing this nation progressively and responsibly

We are spending this time discussing and debating issues directly affecting jobs, the economy and the middle class as part of a Harvard program that has for decades helped prepare new Members of Congress to be more effective.

The Program runs from Dec. 11 through Dec. 14, and is intended to complement the House new members orientation. Topics covered in seminars and workshops led by prominent public policy scholars and practitioners include the economy, the federal budget, foreign policy, education, ethics and effectively navigating the legislative process.

MN-08: Veda Ponikvar Calls Out Chip Cravaack In New TV Ads

Not much gets past Iron Range publishing icon Veda Ponikvar.

The 93 years young Ponikvar (who earned the moniker “Iron Lady” for her battle against the Steel Trust), has watched in disgust as Rep Chip Cravaack blundered and lied through his 2 years in Congress.

Well, the Iron Lady is mad and she’s not going to take it any more. So Ponikvar recently teamed up with award winning documentary filmmaker Tom Selinski to produce two new TV ads for the group Regular Folks From The Range.

Registered with the FEC as an electioneering and communications organization, Regular Folks From The Range does not endorse any particular candidate, but focuses on informing the public about Chip Cravaack’s abysmal voting record and embarrassing performance in Congress through ads currently running on cable TV throughout the 8th district.

Their first ad, ‘Company Man‘, featuring respected union members pointing out that Cravaack sides with the mining companies and not workers, has proven highly effective.

Last Friday, the group launched its final salvo with Ponikvar starring in ads exposing Cravaack’s appalling record on the public health crises of autism and breast cancer. Ponikvar’s simple message “He seems to take care of himself, but not us” is sure to resonate with voters throughout the district who have watched Cravaack engage in a pathetic game of political dodge ball in recent weeks.

MN-08: Who’s Kidding Who Chip? You Don’t Care About Duluth!

Chip, you sure talk a good game about supporting Duluth, but your dismal record says otherwise. You care about Duluth? Who’s Kidding Who, Chip?

You refused to open an office or even hold a town meeting in Duluth until you were publicly shamed to do so.

So much for constituent service.

You opposed investing $20 million of Federal Stimulus in a new airport terminal to keep Duluth competitive in the aviation market

It’s being built in spite of you.

You opposed investing $16 million in Federal Stimulus funds for Duluth’s Intermodal Center— a project that creates construction jobs and will make Duluth a model transportation center.

Thanks Chip.

You opposed a $6 million investment in stormwater/wastewater overflow holding facilities that created construction jobs, and protected Lake Superior during this summer’s huge storm.

Thanks Again Chip.

You tried to undermine the rescue of Cirrus Aviation by a Chinese investor, then wouldn’t tell the public that the U.S. Treasury found no fault, no risk to national or economic security from the transaction, which has saved aircraft production jobs in Duluth.

Cirrus survived, no thanks to you.

Chip, it’s time to stop kidding around and tell the people of Duluth exactly what you think of them. Who’s Kidding Who Chip? You don’t care about Duluth!