Julie Risser is running for Senate in SD 41, Edina and West Bloomington. Green candidates Risser, Jay Pond (5CD) and Dave Berger (auditor) held a press conference last week at the Capitol. The Green Party Endorsing meeting is this weekend, at which time they’ll be formally endorsed. Here’s her VoteRisser4Senate site!

This race is an important one, against a vulnerable Republican Senator in a district that voted Kerry, and the candidate fielded by the DFL does not speak to issues, and instead seems to be intent on a federal, not state race. Will somebody else please tell him that a state Senate campaign is NOT about Iraq! View image I have… sigh…

Julie is a progressive, bringing content to this campaign, engaging the voters in this winnable district with talk about the issues that have an impact on them — her focus is on energy, because of the pervasive impact of our energy policy. And how ’bout that Edina Golf Dome!!! Julie brings experience and activism to this campaign, from her energy work with the state League of Women Voters, and as board member of Clean Water Action, and was infused with politics in her time at Carleton, she’s a Carleton grad and also taught Art History. She’s currently teaching at St. Thomas.

What will happen if the D’s and R’s actually have to talk about issues! GASP! This is shaping up to be a lively campaign season — we certainly live in “interesting” times!

p.s. Why would the R’s SD41 have contributed to Ray Cox’s campaign way back when??

Here’s one of Julie’s Letters to the Editor in the Northfield News:

Reduce, not promote fuels

To the editor:

The other day I stumbled upon a link to state Rep. Ray Cox’s blog which took me to a description of his visit to Carleton.

Cox dropped in on a class to discuss legislative efforts to reduce mercury. He then engaged in dialog about renewable energy over lunch. While I disagree with many of the votes Cox has cast and am uncomfortable with him promoting his record during class time (especially as we are entering campaign season), Cox’s visit does provide an opportunity for Carleton students and the Northfield community to engage in energy and environmental policy.

As a Carleton alum I feel compelled to raise some points.

For starters people would do well do take a look at Cox’s voting record. He voted in favor the Mesabi Nugget plant. Slatted to be located in Hoyt Lakes, 30 miles north of Duluth, Mesabi Nugget is estimated to emit 75 pounds of mercury annually and discharge metal, mercury, sulfate, and dissolved solids into the Second Creek, water that ultimately flows into the Great Lakes basin. The purported benefits of this project: an estimated 50 to 100 jobs. Of course that doesn’t include future jobs that will be necessary to clean up all of the pollutants. So this estimate is probably off. Maybe that is why it was exempted from environmental review.

Cox was also a co-author of legislation supporting Excelsior Energy’s Mesaba coal gasification plant. Now estimated to cost $1.97 billion the plant may be located on a beautiful 1,000-acre site in northern Minnesota near two lakes. Mesaba may very likely be the largest point source for climate warming carbon dioxide as Excelsior is not pursing any methods for sequestering all of the CO2 emissions. Carleton geology students might try to think about what could be done with all of the CO2 emissions. If Mesaba were to try and force the CO2 back into the ground, what would that do to ground water?

Finally Cox voted against an amendment to the Omnibus Energy bill that would have required 20 percent of the electricity sold to Minnesotans to come from renewable energy. Cox has stated that he voted against the amendment because he disagreed with the manner in which the legislation was brought to a vote. I don’t buy this; Cox had no problem voting for the Women’s Right to Know legislation, which restricts women’s access to abortion; it was slapped onto a bill about allowing circuses to perform when the Minnesota State Fair is happening!

Cox may like renewable energy, but his voting record shows he likes coal too. If we are going to move toward a responsible energy policy we need to reduce high polluting fuels, not promote them.

Julie Risser

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