DFL party chair Ken Martin (unioneagle.com).
by Steve Timmer
May 30, 2014, 8:00 PM

Where the [blank] did this come from?

Somebody at the DFL want the party to be all mining, all the time. This language is proposed to be added to the permanent platform of the DFL at the convention, which starts tomorrow:

Support the creation of jobs through responsible mining in Minnesota. All kinds of mining are different and require specific safeguards. Each kind of mining must meet strong environmental standards including state and federal environmental agency approval, high safety and labor standards for miners, and use of new and proven technology to prevent environmental damage.

Just as a semantic aside, technology cannot be both new and proven. The plank must mean new or proven. Right? That leaves us with disapproval of failed technology, which everything in sulfide mining to date is. There has never been a clean copper mine in the history of the world, and that includes the Grotto of the Immaculate Extraction in Wisconsin.

My purpose here is not to debate that, however. Even casual readers here know where I stand on sulfide mining. (There was a fellow from PolyMet at the DNR’s meeting in St. Paul who told me that it would make the effluvium from the mine so clean that they’d have to put stuff back into it; I think he works the VegeMatic booth at the Fair every year.)

My question on the eve of the DFL convention is: where the [blank] did this come from? I am quite sure that there was not a groundswell of demand from around the state at the precinct caucuses to poison the water in northern Minnesota.

Curious, I was. So asked, did I. And who are the members of the platform committee?, asked I, as well. Both of the staff and officers of the DFL. Well, we’ll get back to you, said they.

Of course, not, they did.

If you haven’t begun to smell Eau du Rat yet, consider the proposed convention rules. They allow the platform ballot to be distributed at any time during the convention, really. Which means Sunday after most people, and most journalists, have gone home.

The Rat is strong in this one. (Update: I do not refer to Chair Martin specifically, but the way this issue has arisen, and the party’s lack of information about the decision, and the people involved, is very troubling to me.)

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