Blogger Drew Emmer is not happy with the transportation bill (he calls it the "transit bill"), media coverage of the legislation or the coalition that supported its passage.
In support of his contention that "special interests" put one over on the taxpayers, he cites a long list of organizations and local government entities that supported the bill. Growth & Justice is one of the baddies.
One clear takeaway from his list: His readers are supposed to think a cabal of labor, environmentalists and the construction industry slipped this one past the guardians of the public purse.
Of course, one might expect the highway industry to support road construction legislation. Nor is it surprising that organizations concerned about employment would look on favorably. Farmers who must get their products to market over rural roads? Another special interest at work.
But calling this bill the work of "special interests" and attributing its passage to an orchestrated effort by groups as diverse as the League of Women Voters, the City of Hutchinson, the Isaak Walton League, the Teamsters and Potato Growers is a bit silly.
The compilation becomes even less credible because it also omits two of the most influential groups who favored passage — the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce and the Itasca Project, which convenes the CEOs of the state's largest companies.
These broad-based business groups are rightly concerned about the region's economic health and competitiveness. They, and many of the other businesses represented on Demmer's special interests list, are widely considered the most important allies of Republicans on economic and tax-and-budget issues.
Any claim of liberal "special" interests starts to lose meaning when the interests represent such a broad expanse of the state's businesses, counties and municipalities, labor groups and nonprofits.
Isn't it just possible we all agreed — beyond our parochial concerns and differing political perspectives — that it was time to invest in the state's transportation infrastructure?
— Charlie Quimby