Around MN: Bachmann’s call for Stillwater bridge noticed

The Big Picture

Photo The Big Picture by Jean Marie via MPR’s Flickr pool

Brewing now: a debate over the merits of the Stillwater bridge request. While U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann is joined by unlikely bedfellows including Sen. Al Franken and Gov. Mark Dayton in support for a new Stillwater bridge, her calls to cut government spending appear to contradict the $700 million request.

DEBATE: Is the bridge worth it?

Representative Michele Bachmann, the conservative Republican running for president, has little in common, ideologically, with her fellow Minnesotan, Senator Al Franken, a Democrat. But when it comes to fighting for federal approval of a big bridge project — in this case, a $700 million freeway-style span over the St. Croix River between Minnesota and Wisconsin — they are joined at the hip (New York Times).

There are less harmful, less expensive and more sensible alternatives to building a $700 million bridge — Walter Mondale.

The Stillwater Bridge reconstruction is not one of those indefensible pork-barrel projects; it will help rejuvenate the economies of two states that badly need it. — Christian Schneider, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

Bipartisanship in pursuit of wasteful spending — isn’t that the Washington-politics-as-usual that angers American taxpayers? — Ryan Alexander, Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Why not support a project that favors growth and regional dynamism? — Matt Kramer, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.

Why not a smaller-scale bridge that would not violate the 43-year-old Wild and Scenic Rivers Act? — Carol Hardin, St. Croix Valley Interstate Group of the Sierra Club.

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