1109 Section 2
<strong>Chip Cravaack for Congress</strong>
Chip Cravaack wants to be the next U.S. Congressman for Minnesota’s 8<sup>th</sup> congressional district. He is a veteran of the Naval Reserve and a former Northwest Airlines pilot. He is also a husband and a father of two children. In his way stands Jim Oberstar. Oberstar has recently introduced or voted for legislation that has shown just how out of touch he is with Minnesota’s needs. Oberstar voted for cap and trade regulation, along with the America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act, which severely cripples the mining industry in Northeast Minnesota. If we elect Chip Cravaack to Congress, he will work to eliminate these job killing pieces of legislation and we will let Oberstar know he doesn’t work for us anymore.
<strong><em>Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act</em></strong>
Also known as cap and trade legislation, this bill has the ability to negatively affect the mining industry in our state due to the higher energy costs caused by stricter emission standards.
Despite its admirable goal of combating global warming, the legislation that limits carbon emissions has the devastating potential of driving up businesses’ electrical and other energy costs. It could have a particularly negative impact on the mining industry, <strong>Cravaack</strong> pointed out, stating he visited the Iron Range’s Minorca Mine. He said miners and mine officials there are concerned about being able to compete globally with countries that don’t require expensive emissions controls(“Our View��?).
Oberstar voted for this legislation all the time claiming to be for the mining industry. “Oberstar countered that the taconite and steel industries are afforded a credit in the version of legislation he voted for,…��?( Myers). How long will these credits last and what will happen when the credits are removed? Energy costs will still go soaring, possibly leading to plant shutdowns and mass layoffs. The operating costs of a company cannot be raised to the point that they cannot compete on a global market and expect that company to continue to prosper. Cravaack is against this legislation. While some say this means he is for big business at the expense of the environment, I see it as he is supporting business growth in order to protect jobs.
<strong><em>America’s Commitment to Clean Water Act</em></strong>
While everyone believes that clean water is important, “The bill alters previous law to allow the federal government to regulate pollution in all U.S. waters, including ‘wet meadows.’ Cravaack called it a ‘land grab’ and said it is ‘an overreach by the federal government’” (Roper, “Jobs��?). Having federal regulation over the control of such “lands��? has greatly hindered the progress of projects on the Mesabi Range already. “The PolyMet Project on the Mesabi Range is a typical example how government has created hurdles instead of highways for the miners on the Range and the tax base for Minnesota… government bureaucracy and national special interest groups have held this project hostage for 5 years��?(Chipcravaack.com). That is five years worth of jobs that were not created, and five years worth of taxes that could have produced more money going into things like education, balancing the state budget, and Medicare. Instead, workers remain out of work and the site remains idle. I am not for throwing the environment under the bus by any means. However, if when the environmental impact reviews are done PolyMet can prove the project will be done responsibly, the government should stop stifling progress and that is what Cravaack would work to do.
<strong><em>Is Oberstar Really Working for Minnesota?</em></strong>
One can often wonder where Oberstar gets the money to run for election after election. The majority of it is not from Minnesotans. Remember the dirty phrase from elections in the past, <em>special interest groups</em>? This phrase was usually used to refer to Republican support groups. On the other side, the Democrats have what are called PAC’s, or Political Action Committees. These are the same thing, only with a different name. “About $1 million of the $1.7 million Oberstar has raised for this election have come from PACs, while the vast majority of his individual contributions of $200 or more have come from outside the district. He has received 95 of those contributions from the state of Texas, compared to nine from Duluth��? (Stahl). It makes me wonder, who is he really working for? While the same article goes on to explain that within the 8<sup>th</sup> Congressional District, Cravaack has raised three times the money that Oberstar has (Stahl). This leaves me to believe that there are more Minnesotans who believe that Oberstar is no longer working for us and have put their money with someone they believe will work for Minnesota.
<strong><em>My Two Cents</em></strong>
I believe Chip Cravaack to be a better choice than Jim Oberstar when it comes to jobs in the 8<sup>th</sup> Congressional district. It has been said many times that Oberstar has lost touch with Minnesota. His ego is hard to match for sure. “With the confidence born of a 35-year-long winning streak, Oberstar predicts Cravaack will ‘just be another Republican candidate’��? (Roper, “Has…��?). In a conversation with my wife, MaryLynn Garro, she said, “With confidence like that, why would he need to be in touch with Minnesota?��? At least I am fed up with the arrogance and will be voting for Cravaack on November 2<sup>nd</sup>.
<em>Chipcravaack.com</em><strong>.</strong> Cravaack for Congress Campaign Committee.2010.Web.20 October 2010
Garro, MaryLynn.Personal Interview. 28 October 2010
Myers, John. “Crowd sparks fiery congressional debate.” Duluth News Tribune (MN) 20 Oct. 2010, Health: NewsBank. Web. 24 Oct. 2010.
“Our View/Endorsement: 8th Congressional District: Struggling economy craves more like Cravaack.” <em>Duluth News Tribune (MN)</em> 24 Oct. 2010, Our view: <em>NewsBank. </em>Web. 24 Oct. 2010.
Roper, Eric. “HAS ‘THE DEAN’ MET HIS MATCH :Eighteen-term Congressman Jim Oberstar is facing a military-style challenge from a former Navy captain.. ” Star Tribune 15 Oct. 2010, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web. 20 Oct. 2010.
Roper, Eric. “Jobs carry debate as Oberstar-Cravaack rematch stays civil. ” <em>McClatchy – Tribune Business News</em> 23 October 2010 ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web. 28 Oct. 2010.
Stahl, Brandon. “Cravaack outraises Oberstar 3-1 in 8th District.” Duluth News Tribune (MN) 15 Oct. 2010, Elections: NewsBank. Web. 28 Oct. 2010.