No “F” in DFL
The Democratic Farmer Labor Party should drop the word farmer from their title.
On the first day of the legislative session the metro dominated DFL House majority wasted no time in diminishing the influence of rural Minnesota by eliminating the Agriculture and Rural Development Finance Committee.
For only the second time in 150 years, jurisdiction of agriculture finance matters is under the control of a committee chair from the metro area. Rep. Jean Wagenius (DFL-MPLS) chairs of the newly formed House Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Finance Committee. Many consider Rep. Wagenius’s views on the environment extreme. She has a record of voting against agriculture and rural development.
Concerned that ag and rural development funding will be directed to purely environmental causes, a motion was made to keep financial jurisdiction with the House Agriculture Policy Committee. On their first important vote of the session, Rep. John Ward (DFL-Brainerd) and Rep. Joe Radinovich (DLF-Crosby) representing Aitkin and Crow Wing County voted against the interests of rural Minnesota. Neither had the guts to buck the metro DFL leadership and leave jurisdiction with the ag policy committee, where it belongs.
Minnesota’s ag committees have a long and honorable tradition of putting the interests of rural Minnesota above party politics. Our state legislators, Rep. John Ward and Rep. Joe Radinovich violated that tradition. Rep. Ward knows better, he served on the Ag and Rural Development Policy and Finance Committee during the last session. Rep. Radinovich who represents one of the largest rural districts in Minnesota apparently accepts Wards’ contention that farmers and rural residents are better served by elimination of the Ag and Rural Development Finance Committee.
It’s time for the Democratic Party to be honest and ditch the “F” in DFL.