Talking MN-8 politics on MPR, Star Tribune

MN-08, a district that hasn't finished changing. (PHOTO: Aaron J. Brown)

MN-08, a district that hasn’t finished changing. (PHOTO: Aaron J. Brown)

It’s already been a busy election season for me, and for the first time it’s been dominated by doing commentary on Northern Minnesota politics for other media outlets around the state. A couple items dropped today that I’ll refer you to, and then leave you alone for a while.

I was on early this morning with Cathy Wurzer on MPR’s Morning Edition talking about Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District and the close race between Democratic incumbent Rep. Rick Nolan and Republican challenger Stewart Mills. It was a tight little talk, a pretty good example of the kinds of things I’ve been writing and talking about for this race.

Later this morning I posted an exclusive commentary for my Up North Report blog at the Star Tribune called “Death by conventional wisdom on Minnesota’s Iron Range.” There I go into more depth on the idea that Northern Minnesota’s political identity IS changing, along with its culture and economy, but that the narrow definition of the MN-8 political issues is stagnating its development.

Here’s the payoff of that post, which you can read in full here:

No Democrat or Republican candidate is innocent of bending data to fit a narrative. It’s pretty much the business these days. But those who rely on bad interpretations of data will pay the price. Right now I don’t think any of the major party candidates are connecting with the changing demographics and dynamics of Northern Minnesota. If they were, people would be much more engaged. As it is, I join many of my friends and neighbors up North waiting for the storm to pass so we can enjoy a new season. These new days will come no matter which way the election turns out. Perhaps in coming years more adaptive leadership will emerge in our political process. That’s certainly what we need.

Some of the same things I’ve written about here, just gussied up and made pretty for fancier venues.

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