PSC Candidate Randy Christmann: Crabtree Is Taking Contributions From “Militant Environmentalists”
This year’s Public Service Commission race has been a strange one to watch in that is has largely consisted of Democrat candidate Brad Crabtree attacking not his opponent, which is state Senator Randy Christmann, but rather Democrat House candidate Pam Gulleson’s opponent Kevin Cramer as well as Commissioner Brian Kalk who isn’t even on the ballot.
Crabtree has been accusing Kalk and Cramer of ethical lapses in taking contributions, though likes to gloss over the contributions he receives from environmental activists. In Crabtree’s view of things, if you want to build a coal mine you shouldn’t be allowed to contribute to PSC campaigns, but if you want block a coal mine it’s all fair game.
Convenient, no? I’ve been calling out Crabtree on this hypocrisy (read my column in the Grand Forks Herald here, as well as Crabtree’s response), but now Senator Christmann has joined the fray and puts his finger directly on the central motivation for Crabtree’s political attacks:
Christmann said he decided to come forward Tuesday because he believes Crabtree’s accusations and the lawsuit could jeopardize the state’s ability to regulate the coal industry.
“I want to say that the big threat to North Dakota’s prosperity is not that a farmer, or a telecommunications worker, or a dragline operator at a mine, or the owner of the mine who creates hundreds of good jobs, gives a donation to a Public Service Commission candidate,” Christmann said.
“That’s not the big threat we face here. A much bigger threat is radical environmentalism and attempts to shut down fracking, put ag producers out of business and kill the coal industry.”
Christmann is right. As I pointed out earlier this week, Crabtree is attacking the state of North Dakota for inserting itself into the ethical lawsuit filed by the (taxpayer funded) Dakota Resource Council which asks the federal government to remove the state’s authority to regulate surface mining. Obviously, the state has an interest in protecting its right to regulate mining, but Crabtree doesn’t want the state to defend itself.
He wants Washington DC in charge of mining in North Dakota. Crabtree’s motivation isn’t ethical governance. His motivation is ending state-control of mining, and silencing those who work in the fossil energy industry along the way.Tags: Brad Crabtree, Brian Kalk, election 2012, Kevin Cramer, North Dakota News, randy christmann