In last Sunday’s Dispatch, my opponent from the 2012 election wrote a letter to the editor lamenting my vote to move forward with the proposed committee structure, which combines the Agriculture and Rural Development Finance Committee with the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
What Mr. Lueck fails to mention is that the last time this was done was during the 2005-06 session, when Republicans controlled the House of Representatives and Rep. Dennis Ozment (R-Rosemount), a Minneapolis fire captain, was the committee’s chair. I’ve only done a preliminary search, but I can’t seem to find Mr. Lueck’s concerns published anywhere at that time.
The letter writer, when making the case that I have voted against rural Minnesota, also fails to mention that I, with many other rural DFLers, have advocated successfully for rural Minnesota in our committee structures that committees chaired by rural DFLers will control 83 percent of the state’s budget.
I happen to think that our slice of greater Minnesota is the center of the world, but when $4 out of every $5 the state spends goes through a rural-led committee, it’s sometimes best to know when to quit while ahead.
While the state agriculture and rural development budget remains important to me and my district, it represents, when combined with the natural resources budget, about 2.7 percent of the state general fund spending.
Farmers I spoke with over the course of the campaign are more concerned with the federal farm bill, currently held up by gridlock in Washington, D.C.
All of this agriculture talk has me thinking about the Ecclesiastes (and Byrd’s lyrics) about a season unto every purpose. With the elections over, now is not the time to continue campaigning. It is a time to come together and govern for all Minnesotans.
Rep. Joe Radinovich