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During the recent election Rep Chip Cravaack and his extremist friends repeatedly pounded away at former Congressman Rick Nolan for being “liberal and radical”, and warned voters Nolan would continue his “radical ways” if returned to Congress. Well, Radical Rick soundly defeated Tea Party Chip on November 6, and in a telephone news conference Monday, the 8th District congressman-elect outlined his radical agenda: changing the way we do politics by getting big special interest money out of elections, supporting a national light rail transit system, and passing sensible BWCA land swap legislation that represents the best interests of northern Minnesota residents.

In the early morning phone call with reporters, Nolan said he was optimistic that a BWCA land exchange bill could still be passed this year, but without the problematic provisions of Cravaack’s bill: exempting lands from the Thye-Blatnik Act, which would result in millions of lost revenue for Lake, Cook and St Louis counties; weakening protections normally afforded to federal lands; potentially allowing logging and mining interests to avoid paying revenue due to the taxpayers for use of the land. Radical Rick noted there is currently no companion bill in the Senate, and indicated he would ask Senators Franken and Klobuchar to introduce legislation that could garner bi partisan support for the land exchange and enable its passage before this session of Congress adjourns.

This new approach to the BWCA land swap highlights the difference in representation 8th district residents will notice in many areas over the coming months. Whereas Tea Party Chip’s first statements as congressman-elect were to oppose funding for the new terminal at the Duluth International Airport and for the Northern Lights Express, Radical Rick voiced strong support for a national light rail transit system, which he said would “create jobs and provide a cost effective and sensible” means of transport. And Nolan emphasized we need to continue funding for northern Minnesota airports, funding that Cravaack voted to cut or eliminate during his single term in Congress.

Nolan was also critical of the role money now plays in politics, describing it as “dangerous and threatening to our democracy”. “Members should be beholden to the public and not to the highest bidder,” he continued, and under the current system “Members spend too much time fundraising and not enough time governing.” Radical Rick plans to introduce legislation providing for federal funding for campaigns, limiting the amount of time Members devote to campaigning, and overturning the Citizen’s United ruling.

Nolan made these comments as he headed out to Washington DC for what will be his second freshman orientation. He was first elected to Congress in 1974 and served until 1980, experience that gives him a significant edge over new Members. And Nolan retains seniority from his previous service which will likely assist him in securing assignments to committees key to the 8th district: Natural Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure. Nolan said he is eager to get to work and is particularly looking forward to the National Mining Association reception for Members of Congress this week. And the Cuyuna Range native noted that his family will continue to live in northern Minnesota “I’m just going to find a room right close by the Capitol where I can stay when Congress is in session. We’ll keep our home up in Crow Wing County where we’ve been all our lives”

Yep, that’s radical for an 8th district congressman all right.

Cross posted from Iron Country Free Press

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ah, the sweet sweet taste (6+ / 0-)

    of victory laced with Goposaur tears.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:35:07 PM PST

  •  I saw Nolan's acceptance speech... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ConfusedSkyes, JayRaye

    ... online on election night, and almost passed out from shock (my jaw did literally drop) when he specifically said [paraphrasing] 'Social Security and Medicare are Earned Benefits, NOT Entitlements.'  I have written close to his exact words here on DKos and elsewhere.  [Both are Insurance programs, the word 'insurance' is in the original title of the bill when Social Security was enacted..., just not corporate insurance programs, so there's no overhead and worry about paying shareholders.  Our contributions to both start when we are young and working and, in the case of Medicare, continue even as senior citizens because Medicare premiums are deducted from Social Security before the money is directly deposited in an individual's checking account.  That's how it's handled for my Social Security and Medicare, at least.]  I immediately wondered if Rick Nolan or one of his staff members is a Kossack and had been keeping up with MN posts on DK.

    Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is trying to get Citizen's United overturned.  I hope Rick contacts Bernie regarding overturning Citizen's United.  One Senate member, one House member..., could work in tandem to do something sensible on behalf of We The People for a change.  We've had twelve years of almost non-stop (majority) congressional idiocy and passage of unconstitutional legislation, and I'm disgusted beyond exasperation that the worst bills taking away our rights have been extended after '08, even added to, instead of allowed to expire.  They need repealing so they can't be put back into effect.

    IMHO, Bernie Sanders is the only senator with any common sense and I wish he was one of our senators.  He also wants to see the US have a common sense not-for-profit single-payer medical program (I think it should all be transferred to Medicare where the infrastructure already exists and there's no corporate profits included; hiring more people right here in the US to handle the extra paperwork would have a nearly immediate impact on the US economy and increased tax revenues).  Klobuchar and Franken are pretty good, but Klobuchar, for one, is much too conservative and too close to the medical corporations who stand to make record-setting profits with Obamacare, and I disagreed entirely with her position that wolves should be removed from the endangered list.

    Since Nolan has retained some seniority from his previous service in the House, I'm hoping he can be one of our most effective Reps.  [Oberstar should have retired long ago.  He was too old and too entrenched in his position which led to him being too arrogant.  I never forgave him his pulling out from his co-sponsorship of Conyers' impeachment proposal in '06; by Jan/Feb '07 when I wrote and asked when they were going to proceed, his return email said they were not going through with it for fear of 'Republican Backlash.'  That's when I made up my mind never to support an incumbent's promise to do something good....  DO whatever is proposed, and then I'll vote for them.  Promises are made to be broken when it comes to legislators.]

    In any case, I hope Rick Nolan emulates Bernie Sanders and becomes a progressive voice for Minnesotans in the House.  I'm sick to death of the DINOs who act/vote on bills like they're members of the slightly left wing of the Republican party.

    [I still want to know what's in the water in Dist. 6 that keeps getting Guano Loco Bachmann re-elected.  She is such a huge embarrassment to sane, common-sense people in Minnesota!]

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:40:03 PM PST

  •  Would like to see him be radically pro-environment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, NonnyO

    regarding the BWCA land swap bill.  Is that too much to hope for?  

    My wish that NO land swap occur appears to be.  

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