Zinke reprimanded park head after climate tweets

The following article by Timothy Cama was posted on the Hill website December 15, 2017:

© Getty Images

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke brought the leader of a California park to his office last month to reprimand him for climate change-related tweets the park had sent via Twitter, two sources close to the situation said.

Zinke did not take any formal disciplinary action against David Smith, superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park. And the tweets at issue weren’t deleted, because they didn’t violate National Park Service or Interior Department policies. Read More

On Osmek’s response to Southwest Light Rail

To The Editor:

State Senator David Osmek’s recent attacks on the Southwest Light Rail Transit project and a reported “crude” email about it, sent from his government email server in February to a St. Louis Park resident, has perked my curiosity.

I live in Eden Prairie but have friends and family who are represented by Sen. Osmek. I have been questioning and participating in the planning process of Southwest Light Rail for nearly 16 years and find some of Sen. Osmek’s comments misleading and offensive. Read More

Osmek’s comments on Southwest Light Rail

To the Editor:

Sen. Dave Osmek, Mound, was crass and cavalier in his response to a constituent’s concern about light rail, as reported in the StarTribune. Osmek called it “a liberal wet dream.” I thereafter emailed him, criticizing his response and questioning his ability to represent his constituents. (I said he is unfit.)

He immediately, to his credit, responded, but accusing me of being from St. Louis Park (outside his district), and therefore had no right to give him my opinion. This was even though I had given him my full home Tonka Bay address, clearly in his district.

His complete email: “Just to correct you, the email was from St Louis Park. Last time I checked, that isn’t in SD33.”

He made no argument in favor of his position, no response other than a Trump-like knee jerk attack on my legitimacy to give my representative my opinion, rather than a discussion of the issues. As I then wrote back to him, “Some representative. Still unfit.”

Gary A. Thompson
Tonka BaySun Papers, March 16, 2017

Light Rail debate raging again at Capitol

The following article by Brian Bakst was posted on the MPR News website March 7, 2017:

The debate over the Southwest Light Rail Transit line is roaring again at the Capitol.

A pair of bills from Sen. David Osmek, R-Mound, debated Tuesday in separate committees, would restrict the use of public money for construction or operation of any new rail transit lines without explicit legislative approval.

“If we had had this law in place before we started all of the spending, we wouldn’t have problems today,” said Osmek. Read More

Rep. Cindy Pugh doesn’t think we need to protect the environment

Early last month, Rep. Cindy Pugh (HD33B, R) became a co-author of HF-551.

Why is that a big deal?

This bill would revoke any and all rulemaking authority by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Pollution Control Agency.  Placing jurisdiction over the environment and natural resources of the state in legislative control, eliminating the people with the expertise and training to understand the science of protecting the environment for us, our children and their children.

Don’t think that’s a good idea? Let her know. You can call her office at 651.296.4315 or send her an email at rep.cindy.pugh@house.mn.  Have friends and family who’d be concerned with this type of overreach? Pass the information along.

And, don’t forget doing letters to the editor:

Lakeshore Weekly News
Minnetonka Sun-Sailor
Minnetonka Sun-Current — instructions here (they want snail mail submission)

You can follow the progress of the bill here.


Extreme conservative Ortman would abolish the Department of Education

Minnesota U.S. Senate candidate follows in footsteps of Tea Party favorite Michele Bachmann

Extreme conservative U.S. Senate candidate, State Sen. Julianne Ortman told Minnesotans at a local GOP meeting that she would abolish the U.S. Department of Education — proving days before the GOP State Convention just how out of touch she is with Minnesota values.

At a South Metro Tea Party meeting last week, Ortman was asked whether she would support legislation that would abolish the U.S. Department of Education and she said “yes.”

MODERATOR: Will you support and vote for legislation that will abolish the federal Department of Education?

ORTMAN: That is a goal of mine. I don’t support Common Core, and I don’t believe we need a Department of Education.

MODERATOR: That’s a yes?

ORTMAN: That’s a goal of mine, yes.

Watch Ortman’s extreme comments here.

Ortman’s radical plan to abolish the Department of Education would be a kick in the gut to working families. It would mean the elimination of Pell Grants, a program that helps low-income college students afford an education; Head Start, an early childhood education program for low-income children; and Title I, a program that helps school districts with high numbers of low-income students. It would also mean the elimination of the Federal Direct Loan and Federal Work-Study programs, which help students afford a higher education.

“State Sen. Julianne Ortman is wildly out of touch with Minnesota voters and this proves once again just how willing she is to put her extreme conservative values ahead of everything else,” said DFL Chair Ken Martin. “Ortman is no different than Michele Bachmann. Minnesotans don’t want a representative who is going to represent some extreme conservative agenda and not them.”