Georgia-Pacific Plant Closure Becomes Political Issue
Posted at: 10/21/2012 10:58 PM
| Updated at: 10/22/2012 9:49 AM
By: Zach Hammer
The recent closing of the Georgia-Pacific plant in Duluth left more than 140 people without a job, and with Minnesota's 8th District race between Democrat Rick Nolan and Republican incumbent Chip Cravaack so hotly contested, it should come as little surprise that the issue has become political.
Georgia-Pacific closed its doors on Friday. On Sunday, former employees, community members, and advocates gathered outside the shuttered plant. The rally, organized by supporters of Rick Nolan, said that Nolan's opponent, Chip Cravaack has yet to address the plant closure.
"I want to hear from him. I want him to come up and at least recognize that we're closed." said Glenn Jackson, a 21-year employee of the plant. "We're not going to stop the plant closing, but at least we're going to hear from him and he can say 'Oh, here your plant closed, sorry, but we're going to help you. Here's what we can do for you.'"
Neither Cravaack nor Nolan were in attendance Sunday.
Ben Golnik, an adviser to the Cravaack for Congress campaign, called the event a "Nolan press conference," saying that Cravaack's Democratic challenger is using the plant's closure for his own political gain.
"We think it's unfortunate that Nolan continues to play politics with workers who have lost their jobs," Golnik said.
In an endorsement today of Cravaack, the Mesabi Daily News shared that same sentiment saying, "...Nolan and his supporters have tried to, in a rather bizarre fashion, label Cravaack as a congressman who is responsible in some way with the closing of the Georgia Pacific plant in Duluth."