I doubt it will backfire, all democrat politicians are hypocrites and its no secret. Blame, defame, lie…it doesn’t matter to them.

Franken’s Attacks on ‘Fat Cat’ Financiers Backfire

Minnesota Democrat invested in opponent’s tax-inverting company as son’s private equity firm opens shop in Caymans
Al Franken

Al Franken / AP

BY:  Follow @lachlan

Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.) is hoping to saddle his Republican challenger with Mitt Romney-esque charges of “vulture corporatism,” but his own investment activities, and those of his son, could blunt those attacks with charges of hypocrisy.

Franken’s campaign has scoured public records for evidence that his opponent, investment banker Mike McFadden, has closed business deals that resulted in layoffs.

“‘The Democrats are going to try and nail McFadden as the incarnation of a Wall Street fat cat, as they did with Mitt Romney,” University of Minnesota political scientist Larry Jacobs told Bloomberg.

The Franken campaign points to a 2012 deal in which McFadden’s firm, Lazard Middle Market, organized a merger that relocated the corporate headquarters of Jazz Pharmaceuticals to low-tax Ireland, a move commonly known as a tax inversion.

McFadden says he was not directly involved in striking the deal, but Franken’s campaign has seized on it. “He knew he was helping an American company dodge paying taxes and is just as culpable for this deal as anyone else,” Franken spokeswoman Alexandra Fetissoff said in August.

Tax inversions have become a rallying cry for Democrats looking to penalize companies that seek to reduce their tax burdens and shore up their populist credentials.

However, Franken’s attack is complicated by the fact that he himself was an investor in Lazard’s parent company.

His stake in the company even came by way of a mutual fund billed as “socially responsible.”

Franken says that his stake in the company was small, and that he did not have control over the mutual fund’s specific investment decisions.

McFadden’s campaign insists that Franken is trying “to demonize anyone’s business background that runs for public office.” Franken says he simply objects to McFadden’s chosen line of work.

“Bad for workers, good for workers—no matter what, he got paid,” the comedian-turned-senator quipped.

While that might be an effective election year line—it took its toll on Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee—an attack on investment banking might also ensnare Franken’s own son.

“Mike McFadden knew what kind of buyer he would attract when he represented a company in a nation known for being an offshore tax haven,” Franken declared in one of his salvos against McFadden’s business career.

Franken was referring to Ireland. However, a more notorious tax haven, the Cayman Islands, enjoy the business of private equity firm Cohesive Capital Partners.

Joseph Franken, the senator’s son, is a senior associate at the firm, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that Cohesive has two private equity funds that, while headquartered in New York City, are incorporated in the Cayman Islands.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Caymans are “a favorite destination for private-equity managers to locate new partnerships, mostly because foreign investors can participate while avoiding some U.S. tax entanglements.”

One of Cohesive’s funds, Cohesive Capital Partners II (Offshore), L.P., was incorporated this year. The other was formed in 2010.

Franken’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

 

Sadly, Pertler’s only competition in the County Attorney race withdraws.

Surprise! Candidate forum takes unexpected turn

 Today at 7:10 a.m.
The only truly jaw-dropping moment during the Cloquet Candidate Forums Thursday came when Dennis Genereau announced he was withdrawing from the Carlton County Attorney’s race, leaving incumbent Thom Pertler unopposed in theory, if not on paper, since it’s too late to alter the ballots.
“Up until about five minutes ago, I was involved in this race for County Attorney,” Genereau told an astonished audience, including moderator Pete Radosevich, who’d found out only minutes earlier that Genereau intended to bow out. “I’ve worked for Carlton County since 1998, in the County Attorney’s office [as an assistant county attorney] until 2011. I threw my hat in the ring because, although the office handled a number of issues well, I felt there were some things that the County Attorney’s office could have handled differently. There were some opportunities to make a difference that I could definitely be part of.”

Working as County Coordinator for the past three years has been demanding, he said, but added that a lot of the changes that he’s been working on are happening now.

“For that reason and other personal reasons, some health issues, I’ve not been able to put the time that I’d like to in this campaign and with this, I’m officially noting my withdrawal from the race,” he said. “I want to continue to focus on my job, doing it well, and spending time with my family and our farm.”

Genereau apologized to supporters and any who have already voted for him via absentee ballot. He said the move came only after a doctor told him he needed to cut back and friends and family that he consulted said they supported the move.

“You really do know how to steal the show,” Radosevich told him. “Announcing on the night of the forum that you’re no longer running for office is a big deal.”

Radosevich noted that Genereau had appeared on his political talk show, Harry’s Gang, more than once.

“Your issues with the County Attorney’s office weren’t really with how Mr. Pertler ran the office, rather how you would have run it yourself,” he posed to Genereau, who concurred, saying he would have focused on the things he could have brought to the office rather than on the current County Attorney.

Radosevich turned to Pertler.

“It’s an interesting position for you, Mr. Pertler,” the moderator said. “You will have to continue to let people know that you are the only candidate now.”

Rather than end the County Attorney forum early, Radosevich proceeded to question both men on their jobs with the county, a parallel line of questioning that was awkward at times, especially because Genereau’s position as county coordinator is not an elected position and was never in doubt.

Pertler stressed his qualifications for the job, including nine years as Carlton County Attorney and 10 years as assistant county attorney before that. He talked about his role in the recently created Carlton County Drug Court and his service heading up a legislative drug task force in 2009. He noted that the County Attorney’s office handles both the criminal and civil legal matters of the county, and advises the County Board and all the county departments. He acknowledged a growing crime rate and pointed out that his department continues to handle the increased number of cases with the same number of staff members.

“I’m very mindful of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

After the forum, Pertler said he only found out minutes before the forum and had no prior notice that Genereau might pull out of the race. He was not disappointed, however.

“I respect his decision to do it publicly and I thank him for his support,” Pertler said, referring to Genereau’s statement that he was throwing his support to the incumbent.

For his part, Genereau said after the forum that he felt some relief.

“To be honest, it’s been weighing on my mind for probably two or three weeks,” he said.

Whether or not he will throw his hat back into the ring in four years is an unknown. Genereau said he’d rather focus on his work as county coordinator.

“I hope in four years the community will be proud of the work that we’re doing on a county level,” he said. “I hope to get kids and adults understanding what the county does, our role.

“As for the County Attorney’s office, I would expect things to be handled there in a good way and I would support Thom. If they’re not … I’d support whatever brings about that improvement.

“It’s a very important office and it needs to be handled well.”

The County Attorney forum was, rightly, the shortest event of a night that also included candidate forums for Cloquet School Board, Cloquet City Council Ward 1 and Cloquet Mayor (together), and Minnesota House Seat 11A. All of the forums were broadcast live on CAT-7 TV (channel 7 for cable TV subscribers) and on WKLK at AM 1230 or FM 96.5 or online at northwoodsradio.com. CAT-7 will rebroadcast the forums regularly until shortly before the General Election on Nov. 4.

Highlights of the different candidate forums follow:

subhed: Cloquet School Board

All five candidates for three Cloquet School Board seats were present for the forum, including incumbents Dave Battaglia, Dan Danielson and Ted Lammi as well as challengers Richard Colsen and James Mallery II.

In their introductions, Battaglia stressed his 34 years as a school teacher and administrator; Colsen talked about his 17 years in human services and concerns about being prudent with school district dollars. Danielson said his background in law enforcement offers him a unique perspective, while Lammi, a pilot for Delta Airlines, pointed to his work as chief financial officer for his church. Mallery, an accountant by trade who now oversees an organization (Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center) with a $4 million annual budget, said he could bring financial knowledge and acumen to the board that he thinks is lacking.

All five candidates either have or had children in the Cloquet School District and said they wanted all children to have the same opportunities they did when they went to school.

The first and most telling question to the candidates was about the proposed new middle school. Pete Radosevich — who alternated moderator duties with Barry Bergquist — asked each one if they thought the school would be built and if so, what they’d like to see. Most of the answers turned into a commentary on whether or not the candidates thought now was a good time to try to build a new school.

Both Colsen and Mallery don’t want a new school built until the district pays off all its current debt, which is close to $20 million.

Colsen pointed to the district’s space issues. (Both elementary schools are very full, and a new middle school would likely include students in grades 5 through 8, moving the fifth grade out of the elementary schools and creating more space.)

“I believe … some of the space issue is an artificial problem created by open enrollment [by students outside the district] and the district’s not capping open enrollment,” he said, adding that he didn’t like what he heard about the district diverting funds from the middle school to other building projects. “The district is holding us hostage. We’ve got space — we just need to make some tough decisions.”

Danielson spoke next, and talked about a failed referendum for a new building 15 years ago, and the lack of space.

“The security issues are near and dear to my heart,” Danielson said, voicing his support for a new middle school and renovations at several other schools. “I want to make sure our staff and children are safe.”

In his response, Lammi compared investing in major repairs (like the heating system, which was installed in the 1950s) to putting new tires on an old car a week before you were going to sell it.

He said janitors at the middle school go up to a room on the third floor and “feel the temperature,” then run down three flights of stairs to adjust the ancient boilers.

“That building needs to be replaced,” he said. “And decisions made earlier [about spending money elsewhere] don’t change the fact that there is no parking and no green space at the middle school.”

Battaglia said people need to make up their own minds.

“I’ve been told a new school will cost me about $10 a month in property taxes,” Battaglia said, adding that the school portion of his property taxes has only gone up $19 in the last five years. “People need to look at their own taxes. You can’t just say there’s going to be a tax burden. Look at your own situation.”

Open enrollment, he pointed out, brings in between $6,000-$8,000 in funding per student, so he thinks it’s a good problem to have.

“Get 10 new students and it more than pays for a teacher,” Battaglia said.

Mallery hammered the issue of fiscal responsibility, and said if he is elected he will make sure people understand the district’s current debt (estimated at more than $20 million) and what will happen to that debt if the referendum (and additional debt of close to $50 million) are approved.

There were more than 30 people in the audience for the school board forum, the largest crowd in the past few years for the candidate forums sponsored by the legislative affairs committee for the Cloquet Area Chamber of Commerce and its media partners.

subhed: Mayor of Cloquet, Cloquet City Council Ward 1

Ward 1 incumbent Dave Manderfeld and challenger Jeff Rock answered questions about their priorities for city government along with incumbent Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren, since the issues are largely the same. Mayoral candidate Dave Hallback had work obligations and couldn’t make the forum but sent his regrets.

The three candidates talked about why they were running for office.

“If I’m elected, my No. 1 priority is curbing the escalating crime problem,” said Rock, noting that if elected he will support the police department any way he can. “Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen the increased burglaries, robberies and vandalism. This stuff never used to happen in this town. We all have to be more vigilant. … I’m running for City Council because I want to make Cloquet better and safer.”

Manderfeld talked about his experience working 22 years in everything from logistics to quality management at USG, plus his time on the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District Board and what those things have taught him about leadership and life. He said he ran four years ago after his cousin told him if he was going to complain, he should get involved.

“I will listen to you,” he said. “I’ve been in this community listening all along. … I want to see this community grow. I don’t want ridiculous taxes, but I also don’t want to lose services.”

Ahlgren listed the things he’s helped make happen — the Cloquet Senior Center, the Cloquet Area Recreation Center (now Northwoods Arena) and the local option sales tax, something he lobbied for at the Legislature for close to 10 years.

He promised this would be the last term, but said there are things he wants to finish.

“Cloquet is in great financial shape,” he said. “We’re going to do what’s right. We’re going to fix more streets. We are studying facilities, housing, parks. We need affordable housing and I’d like to see a skate park. And a splash pad for the young kids who don’t swim yet. I’ve got 40 years of community service, volunteering, and 40 years of networking. I know people at the national level, local, county and at the governor’s office. I know I can do the best job for the people of Cloquet because of my networking abilities.”

Editor’s note: The Pine Journal is working with Cloquet High School teachers to arrange at least one forum for both mayoral candidates.

subhed: Minnesota House of Representatives, District 11A

Challenger Tim Hafvenstein and incumbent Mike Sundin had plenty of differences, making the job that much simpler for voters.

Hafvenstein would trash MnSure, the state’s version of the Affordable Care Act because “so much of it is unworkable.”

Sundin supports it.

“I believe the closer we move to affordable healthcare for everyone, the better off we’ll be as a society,” Sundin said.

On the fact that the Polymet mine has yet to get approval, eight or nine years later, the two also differed.

“If we can do it safely, let’s do it, but the burden of proof is on the company,” said Sundin. “Until they prove themselves capable, that project should be on hold. Those minerals will still be in the ground and when we get to them, we get to them. We need to protect our waters.”

“I’m for the mine being open,” Hafvenstein said. “Yes, we need to make sure it’s safe, but I think that eight or nine years figuring out whether or not it’s safe and all the regulations and all the hoops they’ve had to jump through. There’s nothing there showing there’s a problem. I think it’s time to start giving approval.”

Hafvenstein, a Republican, is a former shop teacher in Esko who was laid off when the district dropped its shop program. Since then he’s been office manager at two different businesses, and now works as a substitute teacher during the school year and a camp maintenance director near Mahtowa in the summer. He and his wife homeschooled their three children.

Sundin grew up in International Falls and then Grand Rapids, moving to Cloquet in 1977. He was involved in coaching while his boys were growing up and his building trades union. He’s also been active in politics for a long time, and decided to run for office two years ago when the redistricting created an entirely new district for Cloquet.

On whether or not they would consider an increase in the state gas tax to pay for repairs to state highways and bridges, Hafvenstein said no and wondered what happened to funds he thought voters had approved for road projects.

Sundin said he would prefer to fund improvements another way, stressing that it’s important for commerce and safety. He gave as an example using a hybrid system that would tax wholesale sales of petroleum products.

Sundin was all for public transportation, including a high speed train to Duluth and expressed concerns about the state’s rail system hauling dangerous and large quantities of oil.

Hafvenstein said he is opposed to light rail because he thinks it is too heavily subsidized, adding that it makes no sense to run a train from Duluth to Minneapolis. He would, instead, put that money back into roads and bridges.

Editor’s note: Check out the Pine Journal website next week for additional highlights from each forum and look for our special Voters’ Guide section in next week’s paper, which will include information on any candidates in elective contests who responded to our questions.

 

More dopers…

Four Cloquet residents face charges in meth bust

By Wendy Johnson Today at 12:09 p.m.

 Just as the Cloquet City Council was meeting last Tuesday evening, a major methamphetamine bust was going down practically right outside city hall.
  
Four Cloquet residents are now facing charges as a result of that drug bust, as well as a related one conducted the following day. Dawn Marie Seaman (AKA Clarissa Tillries Landowski, Dawn Marie Larsen and Dawn Marie Larson), 45, has been charged with felony first- and second-degree possession of a controlled substance, and Shane Orrin Johnson, 28, has been charged with felony aiding and abetting second-degree possession of a controlled substance.

Zachary Ryan Bissell, 32, faces charges of felony first-degree sale of a controlled substance and felony first-degree possession of 25 grams or more of methamphetamine. Amelia Marilyn Baker, 30, has been charged with felony fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance.

According to Cloquet Police Chief Steve Stracek, on Oct. 3 detectives received information that led them to launch an investigation into a group of suspects believed to be involved in distributing meth within the city.

The criminal complaints filed in the cases reported that arrangements were made by detectives through a confidential reliable informant to purchase two grams of meth from one of the suspects in exchange for $200 in marked money. The deal was consummated by the informant and the meth was turned over to police.

Similar arrangements were made for a controlled buy on Oct. 6, this time using $360 in marked bills for the purchase of an additional three grams of meth, which was also turned over to police.

Then, on the evening of Oct. 7, another controlled buy was set up using $200 to purchase three more grams of meth. The informant then requested to buy seven more grams of meth at a price of $700 from the suspect, who agreed. At the time of that sale officers moved in and arrested Dawn Marie Seaman, 45, and the $700 in marked money was recovered.

With Seaman at the time of the arrest was Shane Orrin Johnson, 28, who was riding along with Seaman, allegedly to assist in the sale of the meth. Johnson was arrested at that time as well.

According to police detectives, Seaman admitted to possession and sales of meth, and Johnson acknowledged he was providing assistance to Seaman during the sale of the seven grams of meth by “providing protection and making sure the sale went down as planned.”

As detectives continued their investigation, they learned from Seaman that her source for the meth was Bissell, who resided in the 300 block of 21st Street in Cloquet.

Detectives then obtained a search warrant and executed it at Bissell’s residence on Oct. 8. There, they found meth in excess of 25 grams. Baker was also present at the residence at the time of the search, and she was found to be in possession of a small amount of meth. Bissell reportedly acknowledged that he had been selling large amounts of meth to Seaman, including that which was sold during the controlled buys, and added he had been selling meth to Seaman and others for a period of time.

Judge Robert Macaulay set bail in the amount of $100,000 bond or $10,000 cash on Seaman. She is now slated for an initial appearance/Rule 8 hearing at 9 a.m. Oct. 15.

Bail in the amount of $40,000 bond or $4,000 cash was set on Johnson, and he was granted a pretrial conditional release. He will make an initial appearance at 9 a.m. Nov. 17.

Judge Macaulay set bail on Bissell in the amount of $40,000 bond or $4,000 cash. His next court date is at 9 a.m. Oct. 15.

Baker received bail in the amount of $10,000 bond or $1,000 cash and was granted pretrial conditional release. She is slated for an initial appearance at 9 a.m. Oct. 20.

Only Seaman remained in custody as of Tuesday, according to Jail Administrator Paul Coughlin.

 

Do you suppose the garbage nazi will snitch out any accomplices? Were any taxpayers contacted as victims of her theft? Of course not…

Former Transfer Station employee expected to plead guilty of embezzling

By Forum News Service Today at 6:29 a.m.

A Cloquet woman accused of embezzling some $1 million while working at the Carlton County Transfer Station is expected to plead guilty at a hearing next month.
Joanne Wappes, 63, is charged with theft by swindle and embezzlement of public funds. She appeared before Judge Robert Macaulay in State District Court in Carlton last Wednesday.

Attorneys met with the judge and informed him that there is a resolution in the matter, but asked for more time to finalize documents. Terms of the plea agreement were not disclosed.

“We’re making sure everything is in line,” Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Karl Sundquist, the case’s special prosecutor, explained after the hearing. “We want to get it all in writing.”

Macaulay scheduled a plea hearing for 9 a.m. Nov. 14. Wappes remains free on pretrial supervised release.

The case has been plagued by delays and continuances since Wappes was charged in September 2013, as the parties have sorted through voluminous financial records and attempted to hammer out an agreement. Among the issues, a significant amount of restitution is expected to be ordered.

Wappes worked as a clerk at the transfer station for nearly three decades, collecting money from customers at the gate.

 

Great, from the city that holds the taxpayers hostage to fund their losing football team and their stadium.

Minneapolis Looks to Ban ‘Redskins’ Name from City

Opponents of the Washington Redskins’ name in Minneapolis are pulling out all the stops to bar the team from using its controversial name during its November game against the Minnesota Vikings. Now, a city attorney will explore whether the Mill City has the legal authority to ban the name entirely.

The decision to look into taking legal action was part of two resolutions recently passed by the Minneapolis city council. The first resolution, which passed unanimously last week, officially condemned “the racist, offensive name of the Washington, D.C. football franchise.” One councilmember said the name is an affront to “a sensitive city.”

At the encouragement of the National Coalition Against Racism in Sports and Media, the city will seek to find out if it can issue restraining orders against offensive mascots or nicknames, as well as bar products or companies that use similar names from doing business in the city.

City attorneys and council members expressed concern that the First Amendment might prove difficult to work around.

With just a few weeks to go before the November 2 game, Minneapolis’s attempt is the latest in a citywide effort to prohibit the name. Over the past two months, the University of Minnesota, whose stadium the Vikings will be using over the next two seasons, has tried to “make every effort to eliminate” the name from being on campus, including by asking the team not to use its jerseys featuring the name, arguing that displaying the name Redskins violates the campus anti-discrimination policy.

Protests are expected to take place outside the stadium on game day.

He’s already a National embarrassment, how could it get any worse?

The Information CBS Reporter Says the White House Won’t Release Because It ‘Might Be Embarrassing and Would Draw Lots of Criticism’

CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller criticized the White House late last week for refusing to release documents revealing how much President Barack Obama’s fundraising trips cost the taxpayer.

“[R]epeated requests are turned down for a breakdown of the costs and an explanation and specific examples of how the White House calculates how much is paid by taxpayers and how much must be reimbursed to the government by the Democratic National Committee or others,” Knoller wrote in an article.

President Barack Obama arrives at San Francisco International Airport on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, in San Francisco. Obama is scheduled to attend two fundraising events before departing Saturday. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

President Barack Obama arrives at San Francisco International Airport on Friday, Oct. 10, 2014, in San Francisco. Obama is scheduled to attend two fundraising events before departing Saturday. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

“There’s absolutely nothing in the information related to national security. It wouldn’t do ISIS a bit of good if it got hold of the information,” he added.

Knoller contended instead that “very simply” the White House “doesn’t want to disclose the material because it might be embarrassing and would draw lots of criticism, which Mr. Obama can do without.”

However, he argued that failing to do so sits in direct contrast with the president’s campaign promises.

“…flies in the face of his oft-stated commitment to transparency and open government.”

“[T]he brick wall erected around that information by Mr. Obama’s White House flies in the face of his oft-stated commitment to transparency and open government,” Knoller wrote.

On Monday evening, the White House announced Obama will travel to New Jersey on Wednesday to attend another fundraiser. The president just wrapped up a three-day fundraising trip in California last week.

(H/T: Daily Caller)

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

Yeah, lets debate clean air…in the casino where its legal to smoke.

While the Sappi Fine Papers mill in Cloquet has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any paper mill in the world and generates nearly all of its own electricity (using nearly 80 percent renewable energy), mill officials are still concerned about how the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa’s pending request for elite Class I air quality status could complicate future projects or changes at Sappi or any of the the other industries in Cloquet. Jana Peterson/jpeterson@pinejournal.com

Debating cleaner air: It’s complicated

By Jana Peterson on Oct 10, 2014 at 1:49 p.m.

If the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has its way, the air over the Fond du Lac Reservation and neighboring communities will be held to standards as high as the air in any national park or wilderness area in the country.

That’s because the Band has stated its intention — to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the state and neighboring communities — to apply for elite Class I air quality status. A public comment period on the proposal ends Monday, Oct. 13. 

Most of the United States is classified as Class II. Class I status is generally reserved for the above-mentioned national parks, forests and national monuments.

Why Class I?

“To keep the air clean,” said Alex Jackson, the Band’s air program coordinator. “We have pretty good air quality for the majority of the region. This is a really proactive way to make sure we protect those resources.”

Nearly 90 people attended the public information event at the band’s Black Bear Casino Resort’s Otter Creek Event Center last Thursday regarding the Class I air permit proposal, including representatives from Cloquet’s Sappi Fine Papers, USG Interiors, the Sierra Club and more. Official comments were documented by a certified court reporter.

If the permit is granted, Fond du Lac would be the first Lake Superior Band to be granted a Class I air quality permit, although five other tribes in the United States including Forest County Potawatomi in Wisconsin, three tribes in Montana and one in Washington have been redesignated Class I.

“This is a declaration that we want to maintain, preserve and keep the quality of the air for our future,” said Wayne Dupuis, environmental program manager for Fond du Lac. “It’s our responsibility to be stewards of the land. That’s a value and a belief that’s been passed on from generation to generation. This is just another manifestation of that.”

Even more people are attending meetings held at Black Bear this week for other local governmental units. Governmental bodies, according to Carlton County Coordinator Dennis Genereau, have until Nov. 10 to submit any statement on the proposed permit.

Genereau said the county will need all that time to figure out how the proposal could affect the area.

County Commissioner Dick Brenner said he is concerned about the unintended consequences of the permit.

“As I understand it, we can go and the Band will listen to us talk, but if we are to get any concessions on this, it would have to come from the state or the federal government,” Brenner said in response to a question from the Pine Journal.

While cleaner air would seem difficult to oppose, there are concerns that a Class I permit — which would set higher standards but basically grandfather-in existing industries at their current level (on a to-be-selected baseline date) — could have a negative impact on economic growth in the area.

Jackson said the tribe is not reacting to any current industry or specific proposed project in the region.

According to documents on the Fond du Lac website, Class I status means that only a limited amount of pollution from new, major sources will be allowed after a certain baseline date. While Class II limits new pollution, the Class I standards offer even more protection.

“Imagine if Class I was worldwide,” Dupuis said.

Although USG plant manager Rich Quintana was unavailable for comment before the Pine Journal went to press, Sappi Environmental Manager Rob Schilling said the company and the Cloquet mill share the Band’s environmental values.

“We are committed to pollution prevention, continual improvement and reduction of our impact on the environment,” Schilling said in a statement that was emailed to the Pine Journal in response to questions. “Our Cloquet mill has one of the lowest carbon footprints of any paper mill in the world. We generate nearly all of our own electricity, using nearly 80 percent renewable energy. Our environmental management system is certified to the ISO 14001 standard. We have a demonstrated history of setting goals and achieving results for reduction of waste, reduced emissions and increased efficiency.”

At the same time, Schilling did not endorse the Class I air permit request, noting that such a designation could impact future actions the company might want to take.

“Our concern about the request for re-designation is that it would make it much more complex, difficult and expensive to obtain permits if we seek to expand our Cloquet facilities,” Schilling said in his statement. “Even though we already behave as a responsible steward of the local environment, re-designation would impose new, stringent standards that would discourage our ability to grow our business and add jobs to the local economy.”

In a previous article, Jackson addressed worries from existing industries.

“It’s not going to shut anybody down; they have their permits, they’re operating at standards,” he told the Duluth News Tribune. “What we want to keep from happening is, basically, the big things, the big industries that put out tons and tons of pollution. This helps limit some of the pollution from there.”

Class I, he explained, addresses six criteria pollutants — including ozone, carbon monoxide, particulate matter, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide — that affect everything else  through a ripple effect. Ozone harms plants and traps greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Sulfur dioxide causes respiratory problems and can aggravate heart disease. Lead can affect the nervous, immune, reproductive, developmental and cardiovascular systems. Particulate matter can affect the lungs and heart.

The list goes on.

Jackson explained that an increase in air pollution could be a threat to the subsistence living followed by many Band members for thousands of years.

“Anything that comes out of a stack comes down, on the ground, the water, our food sources,” Jackson said. “All those things rely on one another.”

Page 21 of the FDL Class I Redesignation Technical Report report on the Band’s website listed reasons for the proposed redesignation, which included the following:

  • Because clean air is essential to protect the reservation and the well-being of its people, in part because the Band’s connection to the natural world and because hunting, fishing and gathering are a central component of its tribal identity.

  • To protect the health of all reservation residents.

  • Because clean air and environment are important to long-term economic growth and the surrounding area as tourism, recreation and related activities are increasingly important.

  • As part of self-governance and self-determination, the Band seeks an active governmental role in the broader regulatory arena that affects the reservation. A Class I redesignation would “ensure the voice of the tribe is properly heard in the context of decisions and actions that will impact the Reservation environment.”

When asked, Jackson and Dupuis said a Class I designation would not affect things like people burning trash or smoking cigarettes.

“We’re talking about tons of pollutants here,” Jackson said, referring to the standards set for the air permit. “Smoking is a completely different issue.”

With the public meetings and governmental meetings along with its extensive reports on the issue almost complete, the next step for the Band would be to actually submit the request for Class I air status to the EPA. The EPA would then issue public notice, hold a public hearing and comment period, respond to comments, attempt to resolve any necessary issues through a resolution process and issue a final ruling.

 

The Garbage Nazi Saga Continues

I’m told the hearing is NOVEMBER 14th, not October…I’m going both days…just in case.

They’re getting what they wanted, aren’t they? Morons. I surely hope no tax dollars are spent on rescuing these , well, concubines.

Pregnant Austrian teens in ISIS: We’ve made a huge mistake

October 10, 2014 | 9:41am

The teenage girls who abandoned their families in Austria to become jihadis for ISIS feel they’ve made a terrible mistake by joining the barbaric lifestyle and they want to come home.

Samra Kesinovic, 17, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, are believed to be married, pregnant and living in the Islamic State-controlled city of Raqqa in northern Syria, Central European News reports.

Sabina Selimovic (left) and Samra KesinovicPhoto: Europics

Dubbed by Austrian media as the poster girls for jihad, the young friends now believe their lives have been turned upside down by their new lifestyles.

Selimovic (left) and KesinovicPhoto: Europics

The change of heart is a much different tune than the note they left behind for their parents when they fled back in April, which read: “Don’t look for us. We will serve Allah — and we will die for him.”

Kesinovic and Selimovic grew up in Vienna, where they became accustomed to talking to whomever they wanted, saying whatever they pleased and wearing whatever clothes they liked. They did not have to live a life being controlled by people telling them what they can and cannot do.

But Kesinovic and Selimovic decided to leave all that behind and shack up with the same people they’ve now grown to hate.

For weeks, social media accounts believed to belong to the girls have been posting pictures and information leading many to feel they enjoyed living a life of terror.

Authorities in Austria say this was all an elaborate plan set up by ISIS in order to get people to think the two wanted to be the poster girls for jihad in Syria.

Austrian media are reporting that Kesinovic and Selimovic have said enough is enough and want to return to their families.Photo: Europics

Now Austrian media are reporting that Kesinovic and Selimovic have said enough is enough and want to return to their families, according to CEN.

They have contacted their loved ones and told them they are sick of living with the Islamic State jihadis, but they also said they don’t feel they can flee from their unwanted new life because too many people now associate them with ISIS.

“The main problem is about people coming back to Austria,” said Austrian Interior Ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck. “Once they leave, it is almost impossible.”

Kind of nice to see a fair endorsement that points out inaccuracies in Nolan’s claims.

Endorsement: Ignore the critics: The choice is Mills

By News Tribune on Oct 9, 2014 at 10:18 p.m.

Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about Stewart Mills — except that he’s the clear choice for voters on Nov. 4 to send to Washington to represent Northeastern Minnesota’s sprawling 8th Congressional District.

Don’t believe he’s a rich kid who never had to work a day in his life, as some have charged this election season. The truth is he scrubbed toilets and mopped floors for his family’s Mills Fleet Farm stores. And today he’s vice president in charge of administering a health plan for the chain’s 6,000 employees and their families. A job of such importance requires plenty of hard work.

Don’t believe that he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, leaving health care reform in shambles, as others have said. The truth is Mills is a strong supporter of health care reform with some very specific, very good ideas about how to change it for the better.

“I am for health care reform … that actually brings down costs and increases access, and I’m also for the goals of the Affordable Care Act, which is making sure that people don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions, lifetime maximums, or, if they have a catastrophic health condition, that they don’t have to worry about where the care is coming from,” Mills said in a candidate forum this week in Duluth sponsored by the News Tribune and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. It very well may be the only debate in the 8th District this election. (Watch it, on-demand, at duluthnewstribune.com.)

Mills further said of health care reform that he supports “buying and selling insurance across state lines, tort reform, price transparency in the medical economy, and also more utilization of health savings accounts to put the power in the hands of the patient and the consumer. So it shouldn’t be between the patient and the government and the insurance company and the doctor. It should be between the patient and the doctor. We have to get back to what we stand (for) as Americans.”

First-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan, meanwhile, has spoken in support of

government-run, single-payer health care, an option that could result in higher costs and poorer results.

Don’t believe critics who say Mills would privatize Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid if elected. Even after the Republican nominee flatly denied it at Tuesday’s forum, Nolan continued to make the baseless accusation.

“Yes, there have been some Republicans that have advanced different ideas, but those are not me. For Rep. Nolan to attempt to put words in my mouth because somebody somewhere in the Republican Party advanced one idea — . You know what? I can only state what I believe and what I will stand for in Washington,” Mills said. “I believe in preserving and protecting Social Security and Medicare.”

Critics also have charged that Mills has no clue about foreign policy. But when asked about the threat of ISIS, Mills offered a detailed, realistic and honest assessment while Nolan said, simply, we can’t afford wars overseas. As true as that may be, reality is dictating a different course.

“We don’t have a choice in this one,” Mills said. “They have a direct stated intention of attacking Americans (and of) attacking America and American interests abroad. The current track that we’re on is the right track because we need to leverage our air power we need to work with our allies in the region … making sure that we’re able to give them the training and the arms (and) the logistical support and the intelligence they need so this particular coalition can be successful in undoing our mistake of creating the vacuum (caused by the premature U.S. withdrawal of troops from Iraq). We don’t have a choice in this. We can’t bury our heads in the sand while there are people being beheaded — while there are Americans being beheaded.”

Don’t believe Mills is a spoiled elitist, either, as this fall’s bad-mouthing further has purported. We all have our less-than-mature moments, but at Tuesday’s forum, Mills was respectful, he listened politely when it wasn’t his turn to speak, and he consistently referred to his opponents as “Rep. Nolan” and “Mr. Sandman.” (Ray “Skip” Sandman of Duluth is the Green Party nominee in the 8th District. Voters can hope Sandman stays involved in public service after his thoughtful, sincere and genuine performance Tuesday.)

By contrast, at least twice Nolan cut off Mills while he was talking; referred to him at least once as “Stew”; talked about his “dad and your granddaddy’s store,” as though speaking to a small child; and on a couple of occasions turned to Mills and lectured him like he would an underling. The moments were disrespectful, rude, inappropriate and less than congressional.

And quite unexpected. Agree with him or disagree, Nolan has been a charismatic and likeable congressman. No one can question his hard work or dedication. And his term has had commendable moments, including helping to secure federal funding for dredging in the Duluth harbor, support for new jets and a long-term mission for Duluth’s 148th Fighter Wing, and his brave stand a year ago in opposition to President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat, when invading Syria would have been the wrong move.

But Nolan also has an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association, giving pause to anyone concerned about the Second Amendment. He voted for a tax on carbon and energy even though it threatened to cripple northern Minnesota’s mining, wood-products and other industries, as Mills pointed out. And his support for precious-metals mining and pipeline projects has been inconsistent at best through the years, even if his words this week suggested unwavering support.

“If they want to pick on my hair, it shows they don’t want to talk about the issues,” Mills said, addressing yet another negative not to believe about him. “I’d love to talk about the issues, not about my hair and … my family.”

Mills certainly has a lot to talk about — and plenty to offer as the next representative in Washington, D.C., of Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District.

About this endorsement This endorsement was determined by Forum Communications management.