Iron Ranger Rep. Rukavina attacks Tom Emmer on jobs

Rep. Tom Rukavina, a former gubernatorial candidate himself, today went after GOP nominee Tom Emmer over his votes on several jobs bills.
MinnPost photo by Joe Kimball
Rep. Tom Rukavina, a former gubernatorial candidate himself, today went after GOP nominee Tom Emmer over his votes on several jobs bills.

Seeming to relish his role as a DFL’s attack dog on jobs, state Rep. Tom Rukavina ripped into GOP gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer’s record on jobs today.

Rukavina, who himself was running for governor until he lost the DFL nomination in April, said he’s supporting Mark Dayton and wants people to know about Emmer’s votes in the Legislature on some jobs bills.

Standing in front of an array of historic U.S. flags, Rukavina noted that Emmer voted six times against a 2007 bill, sponsored by Rukavina, that would require all American flags sold in Minnesota to be made in the United States. The bill eventually passed as part of a jobs bill that was signed by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Rukavina also highlighted other jobs bills and bonding bills that Emmer opposed, including a missed vote on a bill that offers rebates to Minnesotans who install solar panels.

“I’m afraid, if elected governor, Emmer will miss the boat on job creation and looking out for American workers,” he said.

And Rukavina, from Virginia, couldn’t help but refer several times to the ghost of former DFL Gov. Rudy Perpich, another Iron Ranger. Under Perpich, the state added tens of thousands of jobs, even coming out of a recession in the 1980s, he said. He said Perpich’s success shows that government and business can work together to create job.

He said he saw first-hand evidence of the job-making results of the federal stimulus bill, noting that he passed four different construction crews on the highways driving to St. Paul from the Range.

“But if Emmer had his way, we’d be building aircraft carriers in China to save dollars with slave labor,” he said.

Rukavina, who’s always been one of the most quotable members of the state House, said he missed meeting with reporters since the session ended and the end of his gubernatorial campaign after the DFL convention in Duluth.

He said Dayton has a “heart as big as the Iron Range” and will work to create jobs in Minnesota “like Rudy Perpich did.”

Asked if he hoped to get a job in a future Dayton administration, Rukavina said: “I’m not doing this because I want any position.” He said he has lots of fun in the state House, where he is seeking re-election to a 13th term.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/06/2010 - 01:55 pm.

    Rukavina is in a class by himself. A true public servant. You may not agree with him about everything, but he doesn’t put his finger up to the wind to decide what he is going to say. He is pretty consistent. Education and jobs. And those are our two most important issues right now.

  2. Submitted by Roy Everson on 10/06/2010 - 02:22 pm.

    It’s a great pleasure to see this man in action, once he gets wound up he sets the room on fire. I hope he stays around a long time.

  3. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/06/2010 - 04:27 pm.

    “Rukavina is in a class by himself.”

    Indeed; a legend in his own mind.

  4. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/06/2010 - 07:30 pm.

    Getting tired, Tom?

    That was rather weak and unoriginal.

    But I can understand, things aren’t going very well and you’ve got a lot of work to do.

    Maybe you could set up a computer program to churn out random weak and hackneyed phrases? This wouldn’t be hard for a man of your ability.

    See you in November.

  5. Submitted by Steve Rose on 10/08/2010 - 01:47 pm.

    A law outlawing importation of flags? That passes as a job creation bill? Does Rukavina think that without the stimulus, he would have seen no work crews on his drive to St. Paul? This stuff is laughable.

    The stimulus, which was served up with a promise of 3.7 million jobs, has failed. Since passage of the stimulus bill, 2.6 million jobs, including 2.5 million private sector jobs, have been lost. 48 of 50 states have lost jobs during the stimulus.

    The Iron Range has fared well in the past year, with respect to 2009. Hibbing unemployment in June of 2009 was 18.4%; June of 2009 it was down to 8.4% Did Rukavina bring a flag factory to town?

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