Hail, Hail, the Iron Range

The following is my first post at www.mnblue.com, a political blog for which I began contributing this week.

Have you heard the latest about CD03?

Just kidding. “Psych!” as the cool kids used to say.

CD03 is another planet to me. I’m aware of it, and thanks to my 1,239 metropolitan blogging friends I know more about it than most of my neighbors, but I really only go there when I accidentally exit off the interstate after becoming frightened by your three lane highways and shiny buildings. Sorry folks. I’m sure you’ll have a doozy of an election there next year but that’s not what brings me here.

I’m writing from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. I work at a college just under the shadow of an iron ore dump and I live just north of the Mesabi iron formation in a township that didn’t have any paved roads until our troops were in Vietnam. The Range is a special, highly unique place – politically and otherwise – and I’ve lived here my whole life. My career as a writer, college instructor and political hack might be better served by moving to (651), (612) or any of their modern area code offspring, but that’s just not going to happen.

I’m a former daily newspaper editor and journalist – perhaps a “fallen” journalist to some – who left the field for steady work as a college instructor and the chance to become more involved in local DFL politics. I write a newspaper column and do radio commentaries and am almost done with a book of essays about modern life on the Iron Range that will be published next fall.

In 2006 I started MinnesotaBrown.com to post my newspaper columns and then this year founded a companion blog at http://www.minnesotabrown.blogspot.com/. Starting, well, RIGHT NOW I’ll be a contributor to MNBlue.com.

Over the next week I’ll offer posts about the statewide political significance of the Iron Range and how politicians, organizers and yes, bloggers can not only survive but thrive in our choppy northern political landscape.

I hope to spread word about the Iron Range, a place of mystique and misunderstanding to so many in our great state. I am a full blooded Iron Ranger, but I write for all of us as Minnesota Brown. ~AB

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