Based on a scathing editorial against DFLer Jason Metsa written before the primary, I was certain Bill Hanna’s Mesabi Daily News would endorse his Republican opponent in House District 6B before the election.
I was proven wrong, as Hanna gave the nod to Metsa today in the race to succeed Rep. Tom Rukavina who retired earlier this year. He even took a swipe at lobbyists who mill around the Range legislative offices, currying favor. Love that stuff! It’s ironic, of course, as Hanna cultivates relationships with different Range lobbyists, but hey – it’s nice to agree.
Not that Metsa needed the endorsement at this point. Colangelo, who showed flashes of promise early in the race, stumbled last week when it was revealed he was campaigning on an NRA endorsement he didn’t really have. This race has, in my book, returned to its normal state: a strong DFL district poised to break hard for the labor candidate Metsa.
I was also amused to see that the only Democrat in northern Minnesota Hanna didn’t endorse was my friend Tom Anzelc in House 5B. Now, I can assure you that no more than a handful of the voters in this west Range/Itasca & Cass Co. district would even see the editorial (in fact, most of them who do will see it here on my blog). Hanna’s endorsement blamed Anzelc for having a personal grudge against the developers of Excelsior Energy and dug up ten-year-old labor documents showing Tom’s support for the project when it was first proposed.
Well, I wrote editorials in the Hibbing newspaper generally supportive of the early concept as well. The issue is that a reasonable person, upon learning the details of the project and determining its risk going along, should have rightly concluded that it had become a boondoggle unlikely to ever see daylitght. That was Tom’s conclusion, and mine, and we were right. Those poor, poor developers made tens of millions of dollars and delivered nothing to the taxpayers in return. Excelsior would have died a rightful early death had Hanna not led the charge with biased and foolish front page “journalism” on the project’s behalf.
If that’s the criteria for a Mesabi Daily News endorsement I don’t know why anyone would want one. No credibility there.
But kudos to Metsa for winning Bill over since August. Maybe someday me and Bill will get along, too. You never know. I admire that he remains an unpredictable whirlwind of good ideas and terrrrrrrrible ideas after almost three decades of Iron Range newspapering.