Candidate Chip Cravaack presented himself to northern Minnesota voters as one who shares their values and sense of community, promising his family would always live here and as a former union member, he would stand with workers and support mining. Yet as congressman, Chip Cravaack broke those promises. Every one. From a family living in New Hampshire to carrying water for Big Steel to a campaign committee located in St Paul, every day it becomes clearer that the only connection Rep. Chip Cravaack has to northeastern Minnesota is the title ‘8th district congressman’.
So what happened to the Chip Cravaack who had a family and campaign committee firmly planted in the 8th congressional district and who vowed to represent unions and workers?
He got elected and hasn’t been seen since.
Cravaack cast his very first vote in Congress in support of Tea Party Wing Nut Rep. Michele Bachmann for GOP Conference Chair, and things went downhill for his constituents from there. Instead of supporting unions, former union member Cravaack immediately joined right wing extremists in their war on organized labor, earning a paltry 24% rating from the AFL-CIO while getting an 88% approval rating from the US Chamber of Commerce for these efforts. Much to their dismay, Rangers soon learned that Cravaack’s idea of supporting mining is to champion the cause of Big Steel to roll back rules and regulations previous generations of Iron Rangers fought for to protect the environment and the health and safety of workers. And Cravaack steadfastly refused to stand with the United Steelworkers as they fought back attempts by the mining companies to cut worker pay, health care and retirement benefits. In perhaps the most blatant affront to his constituents in the 8th district, Chip Cravaack moved his family to New Hampshire, a state that just happens to have no income tax.
Since Cravaack doesn’t see a need to live in the 8th congressional district, it follows suit that he doesn’t feel his campaign committee needs to be in northern Minnesota either. Like his family, the Cravaack for Congress Campaign Committee was located in the 8th district during the 2010 campaign, but this too changed after the election. Three separate filings with the FEC dated 18 March 2011 show different mailing addresses for the Cravaack for Congress Campaign Committee: PO Box 951 in North Branch, PO Box 4182 in St Paul, PO Box 25950 in Woodbury. The April 2011 Quarterly report yielded yet another address change, this time PO Box 40040 in St Paul. According to the most recent FEC filing, this St Paul post office box is the current address for the Cravaack for Congress Campaign Committee.
So within a matter of months candidate Cravaack morphed into the congressman from the 8th district in Minnesota who has a family living in New Hampshire, a campaign committee located in the 4th congressional district and is an eager soldier in the Tea Party’s war on organized labor and the middle class, representing outside big money special interests.
Chip Cravaack clearly is not one of us and cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Not about mining, not about Medicare and certainly not about former Congressman Rick Nolan, a 4th generation Cuyuna Iron Ranger who has family that still lives and works in northern Minnesota.
The only thing tying Cravaack to the 8th district is the title ‘congressman’. Nothing more.