Sprawl, Amy Klobuchar, and Why I Won’t Vote for Her

Rene Jones SchneiderStay with me.  This might be a roundabout route to my point, but we’re used to that.

Unsurprisingly, the Twin Cities metro scored poorly on a report commissioned by Smart Growth, an advocacy group for urban planning designed that fights sprawl.  The Twin Cities scored in the bottom third of that report.  Sadly, we have forever lost thousands of acres of valuable and beautiful land and lakes here and compromised the quality of much more.

Now, I’m not really all the worried about Senator Amy Klobuchar.  She’s harmless enough with her aw-shucks Scandinavian jokes and casseroles to keep even the rabid Republicans off her throat.  But it’s her tepid politics that make her tolerable to that lot and unappealing to me.  She’s more likely to support a “Hug a Child Act” or “National Burr Oak Day” than anything that will leave a lasting impact…or raise a controversy.

But then there was the day when our Minnesota Senator teamed up with the dark side and pushed through the St. Croix Crossing Bridge south of Stillwater.  It will likely go down as her “greatest” and worst accomplishment.  A dark mark on her legacy and our regional future.

Why a Minnesota politician would push for a superhighway to develop Wisconsin in the first place is beyond me, but there you go.  And yes, Franken and Dayton signed on as well.  We lost this one and it is a shame.  (NB  We do things like pass the Wild Rivers Act specifically to protect treasures like the St. Croix River from the sort of reasoning that justified the new bridge…that’s the point! )

Amy Klobuchar, member of the United States Senate

Amy Klobuchar

Practical matters argued against the bridge.  Like the cost of that bridge versus investing in existing bridges in need of repair, for example.  And then there is the practical matter of sprawl.

Look around.  We are turning our region into a Woodbury  or worse a Blaine.  (Sorry.)  I’m spending a lot of time in Eagan, Apple Valley, and Burnsville this week.  It’s inefficient, stressful, and ugly.

I am no blaming all this suburban waste on Amy Klobuchar, but I am questioning her priorities.  I simply don’t think she is a strong political asset for our region.  We need her!  God forbid we elect another Republican.  No Harm Amy is better than the insanity the GOP wreaks.

When it came to respecting the law and understanding the future of our region, I felt that Amy Klobuchar — Al Franken and others you’d expect to be stronger, too — bombed this one in supporting sprawl and the St. Croix River Crossing.   She rushed to support the pro-development and business interests because it was safe.  Other options that would have at least respected the tenor of the Scenic Rivers law, but Senator Klobuchar took the relatively safe and easy route.  Defending an alternate plan would have been risky and time consuming, two factors she seems to avoid.

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