MN-08: Operating Engineers Local 49 Falls For A Union Buster

One of the most popular characters on the iconic 1970’s comedy MASH was Corporal Max Klinger. Determined to return stateside, Klinger repeatedly tried to get out of the army by dressing like a woman. Much like his fictional counterpart from Ohio, Rep. Chip Cravaack is trying to return to Congress by cladding himself in just enough pretty labor votes to fool the truly gullible. While even the bumbling Col. Blake didn’t fall for such an obvious ploy, the Operating Engineers Local 49 just sent Klinger home, announcing Thursday they are endorsing union buster Cravaack in the race for 8th district congress.

Indeed, the 49ers’ announcement praising Cravaack for his support of project labor agreements, willingness to break with his party to stand up for workers of his district and “support of jobs and our union”, shows how enamored they are by Cravaack’s frilly dresses. They obviously haven’t yet taken a peek under his skirts. Endorsing Cravaack is like taking Klinger to the prom: You may enjoy dancing with him, but you’re in for a big surprise once you get him home.

According to the AFL-CIO, Cravaack took the labor position on key votes only 7 times (just 6 more than his mentor Michele Bachmann) in 2011: 5 votes for the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law, 1 vote against completely defunding the NLRB, 1 vote against completely defunding the Affordable Care Act. Cravaack voted against organized labor on 22 of 29 key votes in 2011. This includes

Three votes AGAINST Project Labor Agreements

1. Cravaack voted for an amendment that would have prohibited the use of PLAs on federal projects. Twenty-six Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The amendment failed on a tie vote.

2. Cravaack voted for an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriation bill prohibiting PLA’s on federally funded projects. Twenty-eight Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The amendment failed by a vote of 207-213.

3. Cravaack voted against an amendment to strike provisions prohibiting the use of funds to implement or enforce PLAs on federal construction projects of over 25 million from FY 2012 Military construction/VA Appropriations bill. Twenty-seven Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The amendment passed by a vote of 204-203.

Seven votes AGAINST worker safety and collective bargaining rights

1. Cravaack voted for HR 2587, a bill gutting the NLRB. According to the AFL-CIO “the bill was part of an orchestrated attack by congressional Republicans on workers’ rights and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It was sweeping legislation that undermines the basic rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain by permanently eliminating the NLRB’s only effective remedy against a wide range of illegal employer conduct. In addition to crippling the enforcement powers of the NLRB, the bill makes it easier for companies to ship jobs overseas creating a new race to the bottom for American workers.” Seven Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The bill passed by a vote of 238-186.

2. Cravaack voted for HR 1, described by the AFL-CIO as providing for “cuts to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) that will eliminate job safety enforcement and investigations; cuts to job training and Employment Services; cuts to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which will undermine workers’ ability to have a voice on the job; and cuts to Head Start which will result in 218,000 fewer kids in the program. Overall, H.R. 1 would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.” Three Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. It passed by a vote of 235-189.

3. Cravaack voted for HR 3010, a bill that rolls back rules vital to worker health and safety, putting costs ahead of protection for workers. No Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. The bill passed by a vote of 253-167.

4. Cravaack voted for HR 3904, which the AFL-CIO describes as “part of the orchestrated attack by congressional Republicans on workers’ rights and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The bill would mandate election delays, giving companies more power to wear down support for a union, and create new opportunities for stalling elections. The bill would allow employers to game the system and force workers to wait months, and perhaps years, before they are allowed to vote on whether to form a union.” Eight Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The bill passed by a vote of 235-188.

5. Cravaack voted for an amendment that would prohibit union reps in the FAA from conducting activities on behalf of unions, such as contract negotiations, on official time. Forty-one Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The amendment failed by a vote of 195-227.

6. Cravaack voted against an amendment to the FAA reauthorization bill (which he co-sponsored) that would have upheld National Mediation Board ruling providing for fair union elections for airline and rail workers. Sixteen Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. Not surprising, since Cravaack cast the deciding vote in committee against similar amendment. Amendment failed by a vote of 206-220.

7. Cravaack voted for an amendment to Homeland Security appropriation bill that stripped Transportation Safety Administration workers of their long fought and newly won collective bargaining rights. Eighteen Republicans broke with their party to vote with organized labor. Cravaack was not one of them. The amendment passed by a vote of 218-205.

Cravaack earned an AFL-CIO rating of a whopping 24% for his efforts on behalf of workers in his district. And unlike Klinger’s commanding officers who weren’t buying his act, Cravaack’s COs in the Tea Party are complicit in his charade, ordering him to take a few pretty votes for labor and are now sitting back and enjoying the show. Fortunately most of organized labor is smart enough to see through Cravaack’s guise, with only the 49ers being naive enough to fall for his act.A guy in a dress is still a guy, and a right wing extremist who takes a few votes for Davis Bacon on advice of his handlers is still a union buster.

A labor union endorsing Tea Party Chip Cravaack is more than wrong. It’s just plain stupid.

To contribute to the Democratic-Farmer-Labor endorsed candidate for 8th district congress, please click here.

Leave it to Mitt. (The Cleavers in Tampa)

TO:              Miss Landers (Springfield Elementary Grade 2)

FROM:        Theodore Cleaver (Your student)

RE:              My Republican Convention Report – night # 1 (sort of)

DT:               August 29, 2012

It’s okay being here in Florida with dad running for president and junk.

Mom talked first last night and got all mushy about how dad wears clean underwear even when he mows the lawn and takes out the garbage and stuff. And how they really are married so he takes a bath at least every week. And how he doesn’t even yell at me and Wally and Newt and Rick and Herman when we’re making noise upstairs in the winter instead of being outside playing but not getting in trouble giving that nerdy Tim Pawlenty kid a wedgie.

Then it was Lumpy Rutherford’s turn and he was all crabby I think because he’s already fat and he knows he’s gonna be bald someday too. And because he had to wear that stupid suit his mom picked out for him when he got invited by mistake to Mary Ellen Roger’s birthday party and threw up on the cake.

Anyway, Lumpy’s all sick and tired of trying to get guys at Ridgemont High to like us when all they do is give us the business. Like anybody would like Lumpy anyhow. He’s just begging to get beat up.

Tonight I have to go back and listen to that stupid Eddy Haskell.

Clark Resurfaces in Minnesota’s 3rd District

One day after losing her DFL primary battle in Minnesota’s 8th District, perennial failed Congressional candidate Tarryl Clark has announced a write-in campaign for U.S. Representative from Minnesota’s 3rd District, which includes the western Twin Cities area.

“I am the only candidate who has lived here all my life and worked and fought for jobs and for bringing our families, our communities and our Girl Scouts together as a soccer mom and community organizer for the change we need to make our country great once again for our children,” said Clark in a statement released from her St. Louis Park post office box.

“I will carry my personal fight for the miners, hunters and fisher-people here in the Granite City to every quilting shop in our 22 counties, because everyone knows quilting is the favorite sport of all of us who live right here in the Third District.”

Ever on the lookout for ways to waste money, Emily’s List immediately sent Clark a check for $1 million dollars.

MN-08: DFL Primary Less Competitive Than You Think

Any union contractor knows that a weak foundation will cause a building to fall. The same can be said for a political campaign. Serious cracks in the foundations of two campaigns for the DFL endorsement for 8th district congress have been evident for months, and both are now teetering on the brink of collapse. Indeed, it is puzzling to see many characterize this race as a toss-up. The evidence suggests that neither former City Councilor Jeff Anderson nor former State Sen. Tarryl Clark have been successful in shoring up their position with voters, and that former U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan has both the strong grass roots support throughout the district and the momentum going into Tuesday’s primary election.

The behavior of both Jeff Anderson and Tarryl Clark supports this analysis. While Nolan has run a positive campaign focused on making the case that he is the most qualified to serve and has the best chance to defeat Cravaack, Anderson and Clark have gone negative, attacking Nolan and beloved Iron Range icons such as Jim Oberstar and Rudy Perpich in the process. Such acts of desperation are the hallmark of failing campaigns, the political equivalent of the ‘Hail Mary’ pass.

Nolan made a conscious decision early in the race to concentrate on building a traditional boots-on-the-ground campaign instead of on fundraising. Although it caused some casual observers to question his ability to raise money, it is a strategy that has served him well in creating a strong foundation for what has undeniably been a very successful campaign.

As a result of Nolan’s highly effective ground game, the race is not competitive in the bulk of the district (south and west) where there is overwhelming and solid support for Nolan.

Indeed, Anderson did not do well in the southern or western parts of the 8th during the early months of his campaign, hence his decision to focus exclusively on the northeast section of the district. His support is primarily in Duluth and, to a much lesser extent, on the Iron Range, along with a small pocket of support in Grand Rapids in Itasca County. What little support the carpetbagging Clark has is largely centered in the southern counties near the metro and in Duluth, with only scattered pockets on the Range and along the North Shore.

The only competitive race is in the northeast, with the focus on St Louis County. But even that should be put in perspective. Anderson built his entire campaign on his roots on the Iron Range and his connections in Duluth, a strategy better suited to the 8th district of the 1970’s than the 8th district of the 21st century.

In order for Anderson’s strategy to be successful, two things need to happen: First, there must be a massive voter turn out in Duluth and across the Mesabi Iron Range. Second, and this is the critical piece, Anderson has to garner the same kind of outpouring of support awarded to Iron Range icons Jim Oberstar and Rudy Perpich. People have to love him. People have to want to walk over hot coals for him. People have to be passionate about his candidacy. There is simply no evidence that Anderson has achieved that status. He tried to inspire this passion by making the race a referendum on mining, but his attempt to invoke fear regarding the future of mining by making erroneous claims about Nolan has fallen flat in the face of numerous endorsements of the Cuyuna Range native from many key Iron Rangers, including that of former Congressman Jim Oberstar.

Anderson also alienated much of his potential base by dismissing Jim Oberstar as an ‘irrelevant old guy’, and compounded the problem by claiming to be more qualified to run for Congress than Oberstar was in 1974. Remember the demographics of the Range: older voters are more consistent primary voters than their younger counterparts and are likely to take a dim view of Anderson’s repeated shots about Nolan’s age and downright disrespectful attitude towards Oberstar. In addition, memories of the Steel Trust and mining-related ailments such as mesothelioma are still fresh in the minds of these voters. Nolan’s position of fully supporting mining but holding the mining companies’ feet to the fire to ensure they follow regulations that protect the health and safety of workers as well as our land and water is likely to resonate more with them than Anderson’s ‘company man’ line. They love mining but know that we can’t trust the mining companies. It’s a nuance that Anderson still doesn’t understand.

The biggest mystery in the race is why Tarryl Clark is running for Congress in the 8th district. Her claim that she works in Duluth doesn’t make sense; her employer, the Blue-Green Alliance, does not have an office in Duluth, and the only work numbers available for Clark are the 612 landline and her 320 cell phone. Clark’s credibility took an even more serious dive once people realized that the public record doesn’t support her claims that she purchased a home in Duluth, nor that she actually lives and votes there. And Clark’s decision to force a primary when it became obvious she had no chance to win the endorsement and her negative campaign tactics have angered those who might otherwise have supported her – party activists, women and senior citizens.

On the Iron Range, much has been made of Clark’s endorsement by the United Steelworkers, but this does not indicate as much support as it might otherwise suggest. The locals did not endorse anyone in the race, and for the first time in history, the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) broke with the District in making an endorsement, opting instead to unanimously endorse Rick Nolan. Her recent attack directed towards Nolan and Perpich was not only desperate but incredibly stupid and drove even more support towards Nolan.

The Clark campaign was driven solely by outside money and never gained traction in the district. And much of her budget was dedicated to feeding her massive fundraising machine. But Clark was very successful in fooling many outside the district and Minnesota into thinking otherwise.

Tarryl Clark’s strategy to focus on raising and spending outside money in order to blanket the district with media and Jeff Anderson’s strategy to ignore the majority of the district in favor of a very parochial campaign in the northeast were equally ineffective in winning the level of support needed to win the primary. Rather than deciding the winner as some have suggested, St Louis County will simply determine Nolan’s margin of victory.

Former Congressman Rick Nolan has done nothing but win since he launched his campaign last summer. Nolan won every straw poll in the race, won all 18 county unit conventions on caucus night, won the DFL endorsement by an overwhelming margin, won rare personal endorsements from leaders of all three labor councils in northeastern Minnesota, won numerous union endorsements, won endorsements from 80% of current and former 8th district legislators, and won endorsements from the entire Congressional Delegation, both U.S. senators, the governor and lt. governor, former US Sen. and Vice-President Walter Mondale and former US Rep Oberstar, the plum endorsement in the race. The numerous endorsements from community leaders and activists are indicative of the strong support Nolan has built with democrats throughout the district and of the excitement his campaign to make the middle class matter again has generated in northern Minnesota.

This race is anything but a toss-up. But here the old saying, ‘the world belongs to those who show up’, takes on added significance. Nolan’s supporters must turn out at the polls to make this a reality.

The election is theirs for the taking.

MN-08: Money Can’t Buy Love

“What do you call a candidate who attacks Rudy Perpich in northeastern Minnesota?

“A Loser.

So goes the new joke rapidly spreading throughout Minnesota’s 8th congressional district in the wake of St Cloud resident Tarryl Clark’s explosive and completely unprovoked attack on the DFL-endorsed front-runner in the race, former Congressman Rick Nolan of Crosby, and on the popular late former Governor Rudy Perpich of Hibbing.

Clark’s 11th hour attack on Nolan and Perpich is clearly an act of desperation by a campaign rich in outside money and poor in grass roots support. Clark is now facing the grim reality that telling voters in northeastern Minnesota ‘no one can beat me, I have too much money’ is not a strategy for success. Indeed, her carpetbagging campaign has failed to gain traction in the 8th district over the past 13 months, and even her campaign manager has acknowledged to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that money alone can’t win elections:

You cannot compete without money, but money doesn’t do anything for you if you don’t also have the underlying support of voters and individuals..

And he is right; If having an obscene amount of money guaranteed success, Clark would be representing the 6th district in Congress and Matt Entenza would be governor of Minnesota. In order to win support, one must have a strong message that resonates with voters. Shockingly, Clark is running her current campaign on exactly the same generic fit-any-district message that failed miserably in her home district against Michele Bachmann in 2010 – hardly a formula for success against Bachmann-clone Cravaack in a district that loathes carpetbaggers. Tarryl Clark remains an outsider with lots of outside money who has no message that has resonated with the voters in the 8th congressional district.

In contrast, the Nolan campaign has raised less money, but has built strong grass roots support across the 8th congressional district. The Cuyuna Range native has been outspent yet has won every straw poll, numerous labor endorsements and the DFL endorsement, and continues to build momentum in the race. Nolan is able to do so because voters get his message. Voters like his message. And voters know that an honest candidate with a strong, clear message is a winner. A proven winner, Nolan didn’t repeatedly win elections in conservative areas (including what is now the southern part of the 8th district) because he had the most money. Nolan won because people respected him. Nolan won because people trusted him. Nolan won because he is just that good. The people of the 8th district have seen Nolan run an aggressive boots-on-the-ground campaign in this race. They have seen his energy and his passion and his commitment for the common good. And the voters clearly like what they see.

A candidate without a message is like a hunter without a compass, wandering aimlessly through the dense forest. St Cloud resident Clark is a lost soul desperately clawing her way through the unfamiliar wilderness of northern Minnesota, yet unlike the hunter who is soon rescued by a search party, there is no one looking for Tarryl because no one knows she is missing.

No amount of money is going to change that.

Because in the 8th district, as in the Beatles classic, money can’t buy love.

MN-08: Bye Says Nolan for Congress Best Chance to Defeat Cravaack, Re-claim Legislature

8th Congressional District DFL Party Chair Don Bye issued a powerful statement Saturday, urging DFLers to donate not only their money but their time to ensure a victory for Cuyuna Range native Rick Nolan on Tuesday. The long time 8th district leader emphasized that Nolan represents the DFL’s best chance to unseat Cravaack and our legislative candidates need Nolan’s coat tails in order to win their races and return the Minnesota legislature to the democrats:

It ought to be very clear by now that our best chance in November to unseat the Traveling Tea Partier Posing as a Congressman for the 8th District is to ensure that our endorsed candidate, 8th district native Rick Nolan, wins convincingly in the DFL primary on Tuesday, August 14th.

I know Minnesotans are in agreement as to how vital Nolan’s win is, not just for our well-deserving candidate who has taken the principled road all the way, not just to honor our caucus system, but most importantly to bring the best representation to our district and for Northern Minnesota.

Our beloved former Senator and Vice President Mondale firmly backs Nolan for Congress, and he knows the 8th a lot better than the former President from Arkansas who was delivering payback over his wife’s run against President Obama.

The ENTIRE Minnesota DFL Congressional delegation strongly endorses Nolan for Congress. Both of our U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, who are now touring the 8th in their own election efforts are pushing hard to ensure that Rick Nolan is on the ticket to win in November.

Our own Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Prettner Solon know the District well, and they emphasize the importance of Nolan for Congress winning in the primary.

Leaders from throughout the district, men and women, urban and rural, support Nolan for Congress, from former Congressman Jim Oberstar of Chisholm to County Commissioner Steve O’Neil of Duluth to former State Sen. Becky Lourey of Kerrick.

Twenty of our DFL endorsed legislative candidates are openly and loudly in support of Rick Nolan for Congress. Quite a few of them say their chances of winning or losing their own races and prospect of winning back legislative majorities are dependent on Rick Nolan winning and leading a DFL team effort in their area.

So don’t just give ’til it hurts. WORK until it hurts for our overwhelmingly endorsed Candidate for Congress, Rick Nolan!

MN-08: Tarryl Clark, Take Down Those Ads!

Times of heightened  tension often result in heightened responses,  whether in campaign politics or in world politics.  Perhaps one of the most famous examples in world politics occurred in 1987 when the union-busting President Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall in order to ease tensions between the east and west. Similar tension erupted this week in the DFL primary contest in northeastern Minnesota after former State Senator Tarryl Clark of St Cloud launched an explosive and completely unprovoked attack on the front-runner in the race, former Congressman Rick Nolan of Crosby, and on the popular late former Governor Rudy Perpich of Hibbing.  Outraged voters from across the 8th district are now challenging long-time Reagan supporter Clark to take down her sleazy and decidedly Rove-esque television ads and instead focus on the issues.

Among those calling on Clark to take down her ads attacking Perpich’s visionary Minnesota World Trade Center and the integrity of both Nolan and Perpich are Duluth community leaders  Dan O’Neill and Martha Firling. Both joined Nolan at a Thursday press conference called to address the false and misleading ads, which Nolan referred to as “11th hour gutter politics”.

Firling was a Perpich appointee to both the World Trade Center commission and the original Board of Directors.  She recalled that Perpich personally asked Nolan to spearhead the commission creating the WTC and said that Nolan worked for four years as an unpaid Chairman of the Board.  Firling also noted that Board members were so impressed at the leadership shown by Nolan during his tenure as an unpaid volunteer chairman that in they unanimously asked him to serve as the WTC’s first CEO/Chairman. She strongly defended their work to create jobs in Minnesota:

The work of Governor Perpich, Rick Nolan and so many others helped to put Minnesota on the map in the global economy. Rick helped Gov. Perpich fulfill a dream and in the process, helped Minnesota companies create jobs and expand their products to a global market. We need more of this vision and ability in Congress – not deceitful criticism from outsiders like Tarryl Clark, who is only out to pursue her personal political ambitions.

Duluth Central Labor Body President O’Neill noted how important the World Trade Center was to organized labor because of the jobs created by construction of the center and by opening up Minnesota to global trade. He defended Nolan and had harsh words for Clark:

Political candidates always talk about “job creation”.  Rick Nolan is more than just talk – he has proven he knows how to create real jobs, and he is the exact type of person we need in Congress. Tarryl Clark and her campaign should be ashamed. We have no need for dishonest, malicious, 11th hour attack ads. Being that Tarryl Clark isn’t from this district, she obviously doesn’t understand that this isn’t how we do politics in northern Minnesota. We have real problems to face without trying to use negative attacks to tear others down.

As of Friday evening, Clark’s smarmy ads are still polluting the airwaves of northeastern Minnesota, offending all who have a sense of ethics and fair play. She should heed the words of the president she so tenaciously supported even after watching him bust a union:

Tarryl Clark, take down those ads!

MN-08: Farmers Union Endorses Rick Nolan For Congress

Former Congressman Rick Nolan’s campaign for 8th district congress picked up more momentum Friday, winning endorsement from the influential Farmer’s Union.

Doug Peterson, President of the Minnesota Farmer’s Union announced that the National Farmers Union Political Action Committee has officially endorsed former Congressman Rick Nolan in the 8th district DFL primary. Also running in the primary are former Councilor Jeff Anderson of Duluth and former State Senator Tarryl Clark of St Cloud.

Nolan served as chair of the subcommittee on Family Farms and Rural Development Agriculture Subcommittee during his previous service in Congress, and is widely viewed as an expert on agriculture policy. In addition, he was chief congressional sponsor of both the Rural Development Policy Act and Presidential Commission on World Hunger, to which he was also appointed.

Peterson clearly had Nolan’s proven record of leadership on rural issues in mind when making the endorsement:

The family farms and rural communities of Minnesota will have no greater champion in Washington DC than Rick Nolan. When Rick last served in Congress he fought to increase prices for farmers, sometimes in opposition to his own political party.  Rick will once again work to expand agricultural exports, fight domestic and world hunger, and increase the investment in rural development needed for the future of our small towns.  Rick is a champion for rural education, rural health care, and rural transportation.  Rick Nolan understands the issues we face.  We urge every farm family and citizen of the rural 8th district to support Rick in the primary election on Tuesday, August 14.”

For his part, Nolan said he was honored to receive the vote of confidence from the Farmer’s Union:

As a small farmer myself, during the last 20 years, I know firsthand the challenges we face in the 8th district.  Our northern and central Minnesota economy is based on natural resources.  This includes not only forestry and mining, but also dairy farms and feed grains needed for livestock and ethanol production.  I will continue to support a strong farm program which provides a decent income, protects the environment, and develops new markets at home and abroad.

Former Congressman Nolan’s extensive resume on agriculture and rural issues from his previous years of service in Congress gives him a decided edge in the central and southern portions of the 8th district (parts of which he previously represented in the Minnesota House of Representatives and in Congress) where agriculture replaces mining as the major industry. This key endorsement should solidify his lead in the race heading into Tuesday’s primary election.

MN-08: Nolan Proud of Job Creation Record, Appalled By Clark’s “Gutter Politics”

The DFL primary race for 8th district congress heated up Wednesday as St Cloud resident Tarryl Clark  unleashed a stunning and completely unwarranted attack on the effectiveness of former Governor Rudy Perpich’s visionary Minnesota World Trade Center, and on the integrity of two of the Range’s native sons,  Perpich and former Congressman Rick Nolan.

Clark’s sleazy Karl Rove-style tactics immediately sparked outrage from DFlers across northeastern Minnesota and throughout the state.  Nolan fired back Thursday, releasing the following statement:

I am very disappointed that Tarryl Clark has decided to air these desperate, deceitful, and dishonest ads attacking my strong record on job creation. This is last minute, 11th-hour, gutter politics at it’s worst and is not worthy of the 8th District.

 Tarryl moved into this district to run for office and her campaign is based on outside money attempting to buy this election. These desperate, negative campaign tactics simply show the true colors of an overly ambitious politician who will do anything to get elected.

 Let me be clear, I am very proud of my time leading the Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation.

My friend, Governor Rudy Perpich, talked often about ‘job-jobs-jobs’ and we shared a vision for growing Minnesota’s economy globally. The Minnesota World Trade Center was a huge part of Perpich’s vision.

The idea for the Minnesota World Trade Center Corporation was to provide a home for Minnesota companies eager to expand abroad. Our late, great Governor Perpich asked me to help him create and build this critical project and I did so successfully, working as an unpaid volunteer and Chairman of the Board, spearheading Perpich’s project for the first four years of the process.

We secured over $60 million in private sector money just for the building of the facility, which created hundreds of good-paying, union construction jobs.

 I am proud of the accomplishments we made to help expand the market for Minnesota manufacturers and small businesses. This project helped to put Minnesota on the map in a global economy.

 Governor Perpich’s administration saw the creation of 328,000 jobs during his term of service, and the World Trade Center played an important role in creating those jobs. I am proud of that fact. 

Let me be clear, for the record. Tarryl Clark’s ad is dishonest, untrue and simply not based on facts.

 I have worked my entire adult life creating jobs in Minnesota, and will continue to do that as the next Congressman for the 8th District. The only job Tarryl Clark seems interested in creating is one for herself in Congress.”


MN-08: Clark Desperately Attacks Nolan on Perpich Jobs Initiative

Acts of desperation by campaigns are common in the waning days of  an election, yet few are as desperate as those of the Clark campaign in the DFL primary in Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

Although former State Senator Tarryl Clark (who lives in the 6th district) was the first to announce her candidacy in the 8th district race, her campaign has failed to gain traction in northeastern Minnesota, an area where residents dislike outsiders and absolutely loathe the idea of carpetbagging. As a result, she is badly trailing former Congressman Rick Nolan, who handily won the DFL endorsement in May. Just how desperate Clark is became obvious Wednesday, as the St Cloud resident unleashed a stunning and completely unwarranted attack on the effectiveness of one of former Governor Rudy Perpich’s key jobs initiatives, and on the integrity of Cuyuna Range native Nolan and by extension, that of Mesabi Range native Perpich as well

The late Gov. Perpich recognized before most that global trade was the key to growing the economy of the Iron Range and northeastern Minnesota as well as the entire state, and sought Nolan’s assistance in this endeavor. In 1987, Nolan was elected president of the new Minnesota World Trade Center, a unique state agency created to promote international trade with Minnesota businesses.

In a truly smarmy television ad worthy of Karl Rove, Clark shockingly claims no ‘middle class jobs’ were created by the Minnesota World Trade Center during Nolan’s tenure as president, and accuses the former congressman, whom columnist and congressional critic Jack Anderson rated “one of the most respected members of Congress for effectiveness and integrity,” of ‘blatant misuse of public funds.’

Clark’s far-flung allegations have stunned many observers, including former Minnesota AFL-CIO President Dave Roe.  According to Roe, who was a close friend of the former governor and actively involved with the project, Nolan was instrumental in the launching of the Minnesota World Trade Center, and both Perpich and organized labor were impressed with Nolan’s leadership:

Rick Nolan provided very effective leadership and brought thousands of jobs to Minnesota.  St Paul benefited from construction jobs, and all of Minnesota benefited from jobs created by increased trade.

Indeed, the only critics were those who disliked Perpich initiatives, and the Republicans in particular hated anything the Hibbing native proposed.  Roe recalls

The World Trade Center was good for Minnesota, but the Republicans strongly opposed it because, like all of Perpich’s initiatives, it was progressive.

Perpich’s good friend and fellow Ranger Rick Nolan also became a target for Republicans (and some Twin Cities liberals) who despised Perpich, disliked Rangers in general, and attacked any project led by a Ranger, particularly one that benefited northeastern Minnesota. Clark’s misleading and false allegations are just more of this whiny drivel. But it should come as no surprise that she is taking up the mantle of the Republicans in criticizing Perpich’s jobs initiative; while Nolan was working with Perpich  and actually creating jobs here in Minnesota, Tarryl Clark was a practicing Republican living in Arizona who voted for union busting President Ronald Reagan in 1980, and again in 1984 over Minnesota labor’s own Walter Mondale.

Isn’t that special?

And now this Reagan-loving outsider-turned-packsacker waltzes in to northeastern Minnesota with her outside money and attacks the integrity of two of our favorite native sons? Attacks a key jobs initiative that opened the door to global trade for the Iron Range and was the pride and joy of the only Iron Range governor in Minnesota history?  That’s chutzpah.

If Clark were really from northeastern Minnesota, she’d know better than to pull a sleazy, desperate stunt like this. And it’s not only insulting that she thinks we’ll believe her revisionist history; it’s downright delusional.

A packsacker who attacks our own and attempts to deceive us is as popular in the 8th district as a United States Steel executive on the picket line at MinnTac.

Packsacker Tarryl Clark is no exception.