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D.C. Memo: Our house, in the middle of the (mining) lease

photo of ivanka trump and jared kushner
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
A New York Times story raised questions about Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner leasing a house from Antofagasta Holdings, a company with interests in the proposed Twin Metals mine in northern Minnesota.

Welcome to this week’s edition of the D.C. Memo. This week in Washington, Amy Klobuchar tells Jay Inslee that he actually isn’t the only candidate to pass laws protecting a woman’s reproductive health; Jared and Ivanka rent a house; legislation galore; and more.

But first, one final plug for MinnPost’s summer membership drive, which ends this Sunday. This newsletter, and all of our reporting, is absolutely not possible without your support. Anything helps, so please consider contributing. Your contributions mean we can keep reporting on the Minnesota congressional delegation, as well as what’s happening in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Greater Minnesota.

Now let’s get on with it.

The President Next Door?

There was a moment, during the debate Wednesday, when Sen. Amy Klobuchar pointed out that someone on the stage was being flippant.

“I am the only candidate here who has passed a law protecting a woman’s right of reproductive health in health insurance,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said, inviting very obvious criticism.

Klobuchar obliged. “I just want to say, there’s three women up here that have fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose. I’ll start with that.”

Beyond swiping at Jay Inslee for a very out of touch comment, Klobuchar was notably absent from the night’s more heated exchanges. And it’s not that Klobuchar didn’t have time to speak. She was able to speak 8.5 minutes in total, more than Tim Ryan (D-OH), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), John Delaney, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee. It’s that during the night, she didn’t find a foil or anyone to contrast her policy positions. Read More at MinnPost.


Some other news from the rest of the bunch.

Yesterday was the second night of two-hour debates, and that means we are one step further to no longer watching candidates trade barbs or land zingers on the national stage. If you didn’t have time to watch, the debates can still be streamed on the network’s digital services, including NBCNews.com and MSNBC.com.

The second night features:

  • Michael Bennet, Colorado senator
  • Joe Biden, former vice president
  • Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind.
  • Kirsten Gillibrand, New York senator
  • Kamala Harris, California senator
  • John Hickenlooper, former governor of Colorado
  • Bernie Sanders, Vermont senator
  • Eric Swalwell, California U.S. representative
  • Marianne Williamson, self-help author
  • Andrew Yang, former tech executive

Our house, in the middle of the (mining) lease

The New York Times this week published a major story about Antofagasta PLC, the majority stakeholders behind the Twin Metals mine in northern Minnesota. They primarily asked why President Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Jared and Ivanka, are renting a house in DC from Andrónico Luksic Craig, whose family controls the Luksic Group and Antofagasta PLC.

Klobuchar, too, has an interesting stance on Twin Metals. Although it’s often unclear what that stance might be.


RELATED: Feds renew Twin Metals’ mineral leases: What it means for the company’s proposed copper-nickel mine near the BWCA

Every Child Deserves a Family Act

Second District Rep. Angie Craig, who is co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, penned a personal op-ed in The Hill this week in support of legislation that would help end foster care discrimination. You can read it here, but I’ll drop a few paragraphs below:

Pride month is a time when we reaffirm this commitment as a community, a time for us to celebrate the progress we have made toward equality. It’s also a time to focus on all of the work we have left to make sure every member of our community is safe, supported and has the opportunity to build a good life.

While many may assume the fight for LGBTQ equality ended with the marriage equality decision, many members of our community still experience discrimination when trying to find housing, searching for a job, and, in my own personal experience, trying to become a parent.

When I adopted my oldest son, Josh, now 21, I faced discrimination that launched me into a legal battle that went on for years. My ability to provide a loving home for my son was called into question simply because I was raising him with another woman. For three years, I didn’t know if the child I was raising every day would be there at the end of the day to tuck into bed.

The bill Craig is talking about, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, was introduced by Rep. John Lewis earlier this month. The bill would prevent any child welfare agency from receiving federal funding if they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

A tale of two bills

On Monday morning, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota’s Fifth District unveiled a bill that would eliminate all student debt. Omar has been working on this bill for quite some time and decided to release it alongside Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington), as a package. Jayapal’s House bill would establish free college, and Sanders’ Senate bill would contain both of their House bills.

And late last week, Rep. Angie Craig released her bill, the Halt Unchecked Member Benefits with Lobbying Elimination — or HUMBLE — Act. The bill is a grab bag of anti-corruption and accountability reforms: It would ban members from holding individual stock, ban them from purchasing first-class airline tickets with office travel expenses, ban former members of Congress from using congressional facilities, and perhaps most critically, ban members from becoming lobbyists.

The Lincoln Reagan (Cheney) Dinner

Minnesota Republican Party Chair Jennifer Carnahan announced that Rep. Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, will be headlining the Minnesota Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Reagan Dinner. Cheney is the House Republican Conference Chair, the third-highest position in Republican leadership.

Earlier this month, Cheney and Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer had a behind the scenes clash over the direction of the party.

In other news

  • Former Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III is set to testify on July 17, after weeks of uncertainty as to whether or not he’d speak to congress after releasing his report and closing down the Special Counsel’s Office.
  • Prosecutors allege indicted Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-50) used campaign funds for multiple affairs, which they referred to as “intimate personal activities unrelated to Hunter’s campaign.”

Quote of the week

“When they say Medicare for All, you just meditate.” — Presidential candidate Marrianne Williamson’s press team during the debate.

What I’m reading

Read Tara Golshan at Vox: “Bernie Sanders is using his massive email list to warn immigrants about ICE raids”

The Sanders’ campaign has been doing some unconventional things with their email list. First, they used it to mobilize supporters to attend to union protests. Now they’re using it to warn undocumented immigrants about Immigration and Customs enforcement raids.

Read Amanda Darrach at the Columbia Journalism Review: “It’s not a party for Sarah Huckabee Sanders”

A bunch of journalists in DC threw a party for outgoing Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has refused to concede that journalists are not the enemy of the American people. As you can see, everything in Washington is just fine.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for sticking around. Until next week, feel free to send tips, suggestions, and sound advice to: gschneider@minnpost.com. Follow at @gabemschneider. And don’t forget to become a MinnPost member.

Correction: This story previously described Andrónico Luksic Craig as the CEO of Antofagasta PLC. He is actually a board member of Antofagasta PLC and chairman of Quiñenco, another of the Luksic Group’s holdings. 

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/01/2019 - 08:19 am.

    Elswhere in Minnpost we have an article about a Swiss company that now owns Twin Metals… are we talking about the same mining operation?

    • Submitted by Brian Nelson on 07/01/2019 - 12:08 pm.

      No. This article is in reference to the Chilean company Antofagasta the owner of Twin Metals. The other is about Glencore a British-Swiss company that now owns a majority of Polymet.

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