Betty McCollum promises to fight Michele Bachmann's bridge

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McCollum promises to stymie Bachmann.
We have a congressional border spat.

DFL Rep. Betty McCollum wants to know why, if Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the federal government are all broke, GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann wants to build a $700 million bridge over the St. Croix River.

Bachmann, who complains that "porking" has gotten out of control, is pushing an "excessive and irresponsible project, both unwise and improbable," McCollum says.

Bachmann announced her plan yesterday. It's similar to a proposal by the St. Croix County, Wisconsin, Board of Supervisors to exempt the St. Croix River Crossing Project near Stillwater from the the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.

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The proposed Highway 36 bridge.
The four-lane bridge that was originally planned by the the Minnesota Department of Transportation was shelved last year after the National Park Service reversed itself and ruled the proposed structure did not comply with the law.

The goal of the new structure is to replace the aging Stillwater Lift Bridge by sending Highway 36 traffic over the new bridge south of Stillwater. The highway comes out of McCollum's fourth congressional district and crosses into Bachmann's sixth district.

McCollum and conservationists support finding a more modest replacement. She's fired off a letter to the St. Croix County supervisors, saying in part, "I will do everything in my power as a Member of Congress to defeat any federal legislation that lifts the protections from the Lower St. Croix National Scenic Riverway for a project of this magnitude."

"It is difficult to express how strongly I oppose the position taken by the St. Croix County Board," McCollum said in a statement. "The proposed bridge across the St. Croix River - with an estimated cost of at least $700 million - is fiscally irresponsible, environmentally damaging, and will create a transportation mess for communities along Minnesota Highway 36 in the Congressional District I represent."

She repeated those sentiments and aimed them at Bachmann yesterday.

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MNDOT envisions the Stillwater Lift Bridge becoming pedestrian-only.
She's also appalled that Bachmann's bill tries to do an end-run around federal law by simply declaring that the rules don't apply to her pet project.

Bachmann denies she's exempting the bridge from federal law. But she's cherry picking the National Park Service ruling that suits her needs: "My bill points to the 2005 National Park Service decision" that supported the bridge.

The most recent ruling, in March 2010, is based on changes to the proposed project that was presented in 2005. Here's what it says, in part:

As a result of the review of the Act and available guidance, and in consultation with the Interagency Wild and Scenic Rivers Coordinating Council, the NPS concluded that if it determined that the project has direct and adverse effects on the values for which the river was designated as part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and those impacts could not be avoided or eliminated, then the NPS cannot consent to the project.

You can download and read the entire NPS report by clicking here.

The full text of Bachmann's and McCollum's statements after the jump:

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Sensible Citizen
Sensible Citizen

Maybe Bachmann would think twice before she ruined a scenic area if she wasn’t parading around the usa preaching the bible while wrapped in the american flag. She doesn’t represent the residents. Most people around town HATE her.

Her District support comes from the areas where there aren’t any trees and all the houses look exactly the same. I can’t express how much I hate her in words. Oh, by the way, why should we ruin our beautiful and scenic area so a bunch of Wisconsinites can work in Minnesota? They’re not affected, because across the river is a town of like 500 people. It isn’t developed.

How about the drive the 10 miles down to the MAJOR interstate 94 and take that to their high paying jobs? Or maybe if they didn’t all drive huge SUVs that they drive to feel big, we wouldn’t have so much angst around the world. The more than you need mentality represents that. How about Wisconsin stops sucking and provides some jobs so they don’t ruin our gorgeous area.

I’ve never heard someone who wasn’t a bible preacher support Bachmann, and we will NOT let this happen. Again, she doesn’t even live here. She’s the new Sarah Palin. Ever hear her on MPR? Nope. Always Faux News. Gah.


This is indeed a scathing indictment; however, it begs the question, “Why did it take the Republican congresswoman and former Congressman Ernest Istook of Oklahoma two years to uncover and expose the pre-funding of 105 billion dollars?” It seems that the chickens are coming home to roost after all. The Democrats stole Uncle Sam’s car and took it for a joy ride while the Republicans were asleep at the gate. And now Ms. Bachmann cries, “Fowl!”

Kirk the Conservative Jerk
Kirk the Conservative Jerk

Betty McCommie is and has been getting large donations from the transportation unions. Funny how she is now stabbing their employees in the back because this bridge would benefit their members and the union through dues. Then the unions will again contribute towards her reelection. One big happy cycle. Oh see all the money she took in from those "greedy corporations"? And look at the contributions she received from "Indian tribes". No wonder she opposes expanding "state gaming".

Top 100 Contributors to Betty McCommie's Campaign CmteRank ↓Contributor ↓Total ↓Indivs ↓PACs ↓1Robins, Kaplan et al$11,550$8,800$2,7502National Education Assn$11,250$1,250$10,0003Air Line Pilots Assn$10,000$0$10,0003American Assn for Justice$10,000$0$10,0003American Crystal Sugar$10,000$0$10,0003American Federation of Teachers$10,000$0$10,0003Communications Workers of America$10,000$0$10,0003Laborers Union$10,000$0$10,0003Machinists/Aerospace Workers Union$10,000$0$10,0003National Community Action Foundation$10,000$0$10,0003United Transportation Union$10,000$0$10,00012JStreetPAC$9,800$8,800$1,00013Holland & Knight$9,736$2,000$7,73614Heartland Realty Investors$9,600$9,600$015Sheet Metal Workers Union$9,500$0$9,50016Lockridge, Grindal et al$9,132$0$9,13217American Society of Anesthesiologists$9,000$0$9,00018National Auto Dealers Assn$8,000$0$8,00019AFL-CIO$7,500$0$7,50019Carpenters & Joiners Union$7,500$0$7,50019Teamsters Union$7,500$0$7,50022Allied Pilots Assn$7,000$0$7,00022American Bankers Assn$7,000$0$7,00022National Air Traffic Controllers Assn$7,000$0$7,00025GLC Enterprises$6,300$6,300$026National Assn of Realtors$6,000$0$6,00027American College of Emergency Physicians$5,000$0$5,00027American Fedn of St/Cnty/Munic Employees$5,000$0$5,00027American Hospital Assn$5,000$0$5,00027American Postal Workers Union$5,000$0$5,00027Intl Brotherhood of Electrical Workers$5,000$0$5,00027Operating Engineers Union$5,000$0$5,00027Southern Minn Beet Sugar Co-Op$5,000$0$5,00027Wells Fargo$5,000$0$5,00035Borton Volvo$4,800$4,800$035Poarch Band of Creek Indians$4,800$4,800$035San Manuel Band of Mission Indians$4,800$4,800$035Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation$4,800$4,800$039Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe$4,700$4,700$040American Medical Assn$4,000$0$4,00040Ecolab Inc$4,000$0$4,00040Honeywell International$4,000$0$4,00040Mapetsi Policy Group$4,000$4,000$040UNITE HERE$4,000$0$4,00040US Bancorp$4,000$1,500$2,50046Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe$3,800$3,800$047Land O'Lakes$3,750$250$3,50048Cray Inc$3,700$0$3,70049American Federation of Govt Employees$3,500$0$3,50049American Physical Therapy Assn$3,500$0$3,50051Blue Cross/Blue Shield$3,400$3,400$051Bluestem Holding L P$3,400$3,400$051Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians$3,400$3,400$054University of Minnesota$3,300$3,300$055American Academy of Neurology$3,000$0$3,00055American Dental Assn$3,000$0$3,00055Boilermakers Union$3,000$0$3,00055Ford Motor Co$3,000$0$3,00055International Assn of Fire Fighters$3,000$0$3,00055Plumbers/Pipefitters Union$3,000$0$3,00055Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community$3,000$3,000$055United Auto Workers$3,000$0$3,00063Painters & Allied Trades Union$2,650$0$2,65064Amalgamated Transit Union$2,500$0$2,50064American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry$2,500$0$2,50064American College of Cardiology$2,500$0$2,50064Cornerstone Government Affairs$2,500$2,500$064Midwest Values PAC$2,500$0$2,50064Minnesota Women's Campaign Fund$2,500$0$2,50064National Assn of Letter Carriers$2,500$0$2,50064Recon Robotics$2,500$2,500$064Service Employees International Union$2,500$0$2,50064United Food & Commercial Workers Union$2,500$0$2,50064United Steelworkers$2,500$0$2,50075Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma$2,400$2,400$075Heartland Realty$2,400$2,400$075Pawn America$2,400$2,400$078Edington, Peel & Assoc$2,250$2,250$078Lockridge Grindal Nauen PLLP$2,250$2,250$078Tinklenberg for Congress$2,250$0$2,25081American Academy of Ophthalmology$2,000$0$2,00081Chickasaw Nation$2,000$2,000$081Credit Union National Assn$2,000$0$2,00081Guthrie Theater$2,000$2,000$081Lawrence J Romans & Assoc$2,000$2,000$081Natl Active & Retired Fed Employees Assn$2,000$0$2,00081Pechanga Band of Mission Indians$2,000$2,000$081Qwest Communications$2,000$0$2,00081Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe$2,000$2,000$081St Jude Medical$2,000$0$2,00081St Paul Radiology$2,000$2,000$081Supervalu Inc$2,000$0$2,00081TCF Financial$2,000$0$2,00081Xcel Energy$2,000$0$2,00095American Assn of Museums$1,750$1,750$095Leonard, Street & Deinard$1,750$1,750$097GSP Consulting$1,725$1,725$0983M Co$1,700$200$1,50099American College of Radiology$1,500$0$1,50099Bricklayers Union$1,500$0$1,50099Delta Airlines$1,500$500$1,00099Denny Miller Assoc$1,500$1,500$099Gillette Children's Hospital$1,500$1,500$099Instrumental Inc$1,500$1,500$099Larkin, Hoffman et al$1,500$1,500$099Marine Engineers Beneficial Assn$1,500$0$1,50099Six County Employment Alliance$1,500$1,500$0


maybe the money would be more well spent on MPR and on my pet pond project.Ya know if we put a mass transit project together to go over the river, that we could subsidize, than I might be okay with it. yeah, ridership wont pay for than 40% of it but that's ok we will subsidize the project and make us look like we care about the poor. I'm glad I shared this with all of you.

Michelle Bachmann
Michelle Bachmann

This part of the job is so boring. I hate getting things done for the whiny idiots in my district. If these morons wanted a Congresswoman that could get a bridge built why did they elect me? Maybe if I go on Fox News and explain how not building my bridge is tyranny and socialism. Why won't these stupid idiot Democrats that want to destroy America stop with the politics and do what I say. I'm such a kind sane people person and those scumbag idiots won't listen to me. This is everyone's fault but mine. Please join me in smashing the Democrat hate/socialist war machine and donate $5, $10, or $50 on my website.

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