Ellison, McCollum Rally Against Stillwater Bridge Replacement Bill

The two argue the bridge is too expensive, too big and will only benefit a small number of people.

Editor's Note: The Ellison Report offers a look at coverage of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who represents five Patch communities.

U.S. Reps. Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum wrote a "Dear Colleague" letter to other House members in hopes of blocking the Stillwater Bridge bill (H.R. 850) from being brought to the floor. The new bridge would replace the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge as the main traffic vein.

The bill, authored by presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, is a $700 million project, according to a Morning Take tip sheet. Ellison and McCollum argued in their letter that the project would increase direct government spending by $8 million with no off-set included and only benefit 18,000 commuters.

While there is almost universal consensus that the Stillwater Lift Bridge is obsolete and a headache for commuters, the St. Croix River below it is protected by the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. In order to build a new bridge, Congress would need to authorize certain exemptions to the law.

Ellison and McCollum's letter pushes for legislators to come up with a more fiscally and environmentally responsible bill:

"House leadership should not allow such a controversial and fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation to come to the floor as a suspension bill."

Boisclair to Use Graphic Anti-Abortion Ads in Campaign

Ellison's newest challenger, , will use graphic anti-abortion ads as part of his campaign, according to a recent Star Tribune Article. The tactic is part of a national initiative of anti-abortion activists to oppose incumbent legistators.

Boisclair has the backing of Randall Terry, who will run against President Obama in 2012 and is the founder of Operation Rescue, an organization that gained fame for blocking abortion clinics across the country, the article said.

Terry admitted the ads were offensive, but also said in the interview that was the point:

"These images, by definition, are appalling, and they demand a response from the human soul ... We are getting a response—obviously, people are livid—and then people will recognize this is a grotesque injustice."

Ellison declined to comment on Boisclair's campaign or his tactics, however, he told the Star Tribune:

"I have always been a strong supporter of a woman's right to choose ... Women's rights and access to affordable health care are a high priority to me and to thousands of women and their families currently living in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District."

Kevin O'Donovan October 31, 2011 at 08:27 PM
Ellison and McCollum are two peas in a pod. They never let the facts get in the way of their ideology. Ethanol, Obamacare, higher taxes, unnecessary regulation, unchecked government bureaucracy - Thanks for the memories to Comrades Keith and Betty.
Amy Paddock October 31, 2011 at 09:58 PM
Actually, they are trying to save money. Not a bad idea. We also know from history that by not looking at Environmental considerations, we can really screw things up as well. Looking, reviewing and researching what a project like this would do financially, environmentally, as well as other considerations, is a sound way to legislate. If you look at past history and see how much money it cost Minnesota in the past to correct, or clean up environmental problems created by not taking these things into consideration before any project, you will see tons of money being spent at something that cannot completely undo the damage done. Research on this will proof interesting.
Charlie Dickens November 01, 2011 at 07:47 PM
Actually! The research has been done, redone and then re-redone again for the last 10+ years. Keith is a tool! A new bridge would save lives! An ambulance has to drive clear around Hudson if the bridge is shut down. A new bridge would keep Stillwater historic and true. The old bridge cost millions to keep up yearly and let's not forget about the floods. Keep the old bridge for pedestrians, bikes. Get rid of Keith!
Chris Fields November 02, 2011 at 01:18 AM
Keith has become useless to the people of Minnesota and the 5th Congressional District. Everyday he is in office everyone suffers. Support Chris Fields. Visit me at www.chrisfieldsforcongress.com
Kevin O'Donovan November 02, 2011 at 01:29 AM
We could use a good Marine in the land of the thousand lakes. Great comment Charlie. Good luck Chris in your effort to displace Comrade Keith.
Amy Paddock November 02, 2011 at 03:30 PM
Charlie, everyone knows a new bridge has to be built. BTW, there were those who try to give money to a lobby group for the bridge at a tune of $80,000. Those same ppl are part of that lobby group, and also sit on the city gov body who made that decision. As for the bridge? Good legislation means acquiring all the information when making these decisions, not just about getting the money for lobbying.
Charlie Dickens November 02, 2011 at 06:54 PM
Typical progressive lib, can't stay on one topic to save your life. If anyone knows about lobbyist it would be Keith I'm sure he needs more free trips. All the information has bee gathered that is needed. Stillwater needed a bridge before Hopkins needs LTR.
Amy Paddock November 02, 2011 at 07:30 PM
I think you had better read about what happened first, before making any more comments. If I give you more information, your reaction is to call me by a party name I am not affiliated with? Now, that is typical.
Charlie Dickens November 02, 2011 at 07:50 PM
You didn't give any information! None! Crying about the environment, then went to a lobbyist. Calling you a progressive liberal is true, also its NOT A PARTY! I think you need to look at facts! This was going on back when Keith was still Keith X. SO, go back a read the topic, (its at the top of the page) 1) Do we need the bridge? *Yes 2) Is everyone going to be happy? *No 3) Would it save lives, create jobs and keep Stillwater true? *Yes
Charlie Dickens November 02, 2011 at 07:53 PM
BTW, Keith is the last person we should goto to ask "How we can save money"
Charlie Dickens November 02, 2011 at 07:58 PM


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