Updated: 08/15/2014 9:16 PM
Created: 08/15/2014 5:09 PM WDIO.com
By: Briggs LeSavage
Iron Range politicians attacked Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mike McFadden for comments he recently made saying he would support finding a cheap option for constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline, even if it means using foreign steel to do it.
About 20 local leaders and Iron Range community members gathered to voice their opinion Friday, holding signs that read messages like "Keep Jobs in Buhl, not Beijing."
"...McFadden's statements made clear that what they really want is to send our jobs abroad," State Representative Jason Metsa said.
Babbitt Mayor Bernice Norregaard said it's steel production that helps many on the Iron Range make their living and when those projects are taken out of Minnesota and the United States, "we just go further and further back."
But McFadden's campaign was quick to ask democrats not to speak to soon. McFadden's spokesperson Tom Erickson pointed to two instances where their campaign found this criticism hypocritical.
Erickson pointed to State Representative Carly Melin and former Representative Tom Rukavina. He said they voted to support the new Minnesota Vikings stadium even though it will be partially built with foreign steel.
"This is just campaign shenanigans. Democrats have been left with egg on their face and I think voters of Minnesota deserve better than this," Erickson said.
Rukavina acknowledged that while some specialty foreign steel will be used in the construction, but he fought hard to make sure that wasn't all that was used.
"Mr. McFadden should quit putting his foot in his mouth because I'm the person that stood up at four in the morning and made sure that the stadium was going to be build with steel, to most the extent possible, from taconite pellets from Minnesota."
Erickson claimed U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) supported an amendment that included a loophole that could allow the pipeline to be built with foreign steel.
However, Melin said Franken's been consistent.
"Al Franken has been consistent that he supports U.S. steel," Melin said. "He supports U.S. steel for the Keystone Pipeline, and that's really important for the people who work here and live here and the entire community."
McFadden defeated three other republican candidates in Tuesday's primary election. He'll face Franken in November's election.
Charge Against Superior Woman in Controversial Arrest Video Dismissed
A judge has dismissed a charge against a woman seen in a video of a controversial Superior arrest. At a hearing Friday, Judge Kelly Thimm approved a motion to dismiss a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Natasha Lancour.
Three Attempted Murder Charges Filed Against Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout
Twenty two-year old Jessica Gehl of Lake Nebagamon was charged with three counts of attempted first degree intentional murder Friday after she allegedly pulled a gun on her mother and then opened fire on authorities Wednesday. Gehl was also charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Reinert 'Strongly Considering' Running for Duluth Mayor
When Duluth Mayor Don Ness announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election, many people were surprised. On Friday, Sen. Roger Reinert said he is strongly considering entering the race.
Dayton, Johnson Show Fire in Final Governor Debate
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican nominee Jeff Johnson ended their series of debates Friday much like they began, with the incumbent hailing big-picture successes and his rival saying too many things went awry over the past four years.
KSTP/SurveyUSA: Health Care, Taxes Most Important to Voters
When it comes to making choices for political candidates on Election Day, Minnesota voters say health care and taxes are the issues most important to them.