Tinklenberg expected to get DFL endorsement

Former transportation commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg, with strong labor support, is expected to win DFL endorsement over Bob Olson at the Sixth District Congressional convention Saturday at the Bunker Hills Activity Center in Andover. The winner takes on Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann in November.

The Tinklenberg campaign may have hit a bump in the road earlier this week when former federal judge Miles Lord showed up at a DFL forum and dropped off a letter accusing Tinklenberg of helping spread “deadly taconite tailings” along Minnesota roadways. Though this race has been lightly covered by Twin Cities media, there just happened  — wink, wink — to be reporters at this event, meaning Lord’s letter got fairly heavy media play.

Tinklenberg ended up spending the final days leading up to the convention explaining he’s not in favor of spreading carcinogens along roadways. A project he worked on, both as commissioner under Gov. Jesse Ventura and as a private consultant in ensuing years, to use and market tons of tailings on Minnesota roads has been approved by University of Minnesota research, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency as a safe way to use by-products of taconite mining from the western portion of the Iron Range. Tailings from the western portions of the Range do not have the asbestos-like fibrous materials like tailings from the eastern parts of the Range.

Olson has strong support among environmentalists because of his years of work, both professionally and personally, in the movement.

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