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Alan Maki

Alan Maki
Doing research at the LBJ Library in Austin, Texas

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

It's time to claim our Peace Dividend

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

We need to beat swords into plowshares.

A program for real change...


What we need is a "21st Century Full Employment Act for Peace and Prosperity" which would make it a mandatory requirement that the president and Congress attain and maintain full employment.

"Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens"

- Ben Franklin

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Oberstar launches campaign for 19th term

There has been no response to my questions... 

Oberstar launches campaign for 19th term and he is still ignoring the problems of the people.

From: Alan L. Maki [mailto:amaki000@centurytel.net]
Sent: Sunday, June 06, 2010 4:35 PM
To: bswenson@bemidjipioneer.com
Subject: Questions about this article you wrote...

Brad Swenson,

Could you identify those you cited merely as “…and representatives of tribal government?”

Also, is there a reason why Congressman Oberstar wasn’t asked by you about the enforcement of affirmative action on all the projects he was so instrumental in securing stimulus funding for. Certainly no one can argue Executive Order #11246 should not have kicked in on these projects.  

I also noticed you didn’t question Oberstar about the peat mining operation in the Big Bog and why he helped a Canadian corporation get the permit. How many members of the Operating Engineers have been working on this project?

Also, Oberstar supported the Enbridge pipeline project. How many employees from the Leech Lake Tribal Construction Company got jobs on this pipeline project; was there an affirmative action policy in place?

Of the 10,700 construction jobs the stimulus funding has created in Minnesota… how many Native American Indians were employed? How many total man/woman hours have been worked? How many Native American man/woman hours have been logged?

It is nice to see that after being in the U.S. Congress for thirty years, Oberstar was able to turn out 30 people for his campaign rally in a city the size of Bemidji. Seems to me people might not be all that thrilled with Oberstar.

Oh, yes, did Oberstar happen to mention what he thinks of racist and undemocratic attempts being made to deny the Warriors for Justice their right to ballot status?

I don’t imagine you asked Oberstar how much allowing smoking in these Indian Gaming Casinos is costing workers in terms of ill health or tax-payers in terms of tax-dollars? Did you happen to ask Mr. Oberstar what he thinks of 41,000 Minnesotans being forced to work in smoke-filled casinos at poverty wages without any rights under state or federal labor laws under conditions much worse than people are employed in South Korea where BP’s off-shore rig was built?

Say, Brad… did any of Oberstar’s thirty supporters happen to suggest that it might be most cost effective and create a few jobs to have a plant built on one of the Indian Reservations to build these off-shore oil rigs using Minnesota iron ore processed in a mill built on an Indian Reservation and fabricated in a plant on an Indian Reservation? What’s with these partnerships with the Chinese in mining operations; jobs to South Korea using Chinese produced Steel.

Oh, Brad; you didn’t happen to ask Jim Oberstar to see some documentation proving the steel pipes used on water lines in Bemidji actually were made with Iron Range ore, did you?

Say, wasn’t Oberstar this big union man nominated to run in a non-union, smoke-filled casino where workers have no rights?

Really, has Oberstar been listening to any people outside of these 30 hand-picked boosters at his campaign rally that couldn’t even fill the little Cabin Coffeehouse owned by a racist?

You know, Brad; I hate to dump too many questions on you, but, did you ask Congressman Oberstar why he is supporting the construction of 700 new military bases in Afghanistan instead of building 700 community-based public healthcare centers right here in the United States? And, speaking of healthcare; a very big and important issue with Congressman Oberstar, you didn’t happen to ask him why the Indian Health Service is so underfunded, did you? Or, why VA isn’t adequately funded to serve the vets here in northern Minnesota who are coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan as nutcases and paraplegics when they aren’t coming back in body bags. Which brings up one last question--- Congressman Oberstar is claiming all the credit for insisting on proper safety and inspections now that the BP oil rig has collapsed and tax-payers are going to get stuck with one hell of a tab for damages and clean-up; kind of reminds me that Congressman Oberstar had the exact same response when the I-35 Bridge collapsed--- how come this guy has never been such a forceful advocate before these disasters take place on his watch while under his “leadership.”

I notice you didn’t suggest to Congressman Oberstar that he might accompany you on a tour of the Leech Lake Indian Reservation so he could get a better understanding of racist poverty.

Gees, one last question; did you happen to ask Congressman Oberstar how it came to be under his leadership that racist redistricting took place which served to divide the votes of Native American Indians on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation? It seems from your article here that Congressman Oberstar presented you the perfect opportunity to ask this question.

Alan L. Maki

Bemidji Pioneer

Published June 06 2010
Oberstar launches campaign for 19th term
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar told a story Saturday of helping find federal financing for a new community/business center for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe after the band was turned down by two Republicans.
By: Brad Swenson, Bemidji Pioneer 
U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar told a story Saturday of helping find federal financing for a new community/business center for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe after the band was turned down by two Republicans.

“That’s what I do — economic development,” Oberstar said he told the late Tribal Chairman Hartley White in the early 1980s. “Tell me what your project is.”

Oberstar said he secured U.S. Economic Development Administration funding for the $1.2 million project, and saw that the tribe’s construction company was qualified to do the job.

At that time, the Leech Lake Reservation wasn’t even in the Democrat’s 8th District.

“Being representative means that you represent people – to do that you have to listen to them and hear what their needs are and concerns are,” says Oberstar. “You then translate those into legislative action or changing of the attitudes of bureaucracies, and make government work for people.”

And Oberstar want to work for people in a 19th term, as he kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday in North Branch, Duluth, Bemidji and Brainerd.

In Bemidji, he was met by about 30 people late Saturday afternoon at the Cabin Coffeehouse. Also there were Sen. Mary Olson, DFL-Bemidji, and Reps. John Persell, DFL-Bemidji, and Brita Sailer, DFL-Park Rapids.

He spoke of building relationships through the years, such as with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Such partnerships have been good for northeast Minnesota, he said.

He also laid out progress under the federal economic stimulus measure, which he said has created 1.3 million jobs in 15 months, including 10,700 construction jobs in Minnesota.

The hiring of 1.3 million Americans has provided $489 million in federal income revenue, and prevented $383 million from being spent on unemployment compensation.

“It has made a difference in people’s lives,” Oberstar said, telling about a visit he made to Bemidji last summer and saw sewer and water pipe replaced along Irvine Avenue – a federal stimulus project.
“Old rusted pipes 75 years old out of the ground and new pipe to go into the ground that the Operating Engineers (Local 49ers) were installing,” he said. “I get excited about things like that, to see people working. I know that the new pipe going in was made from iron ore pellets produced on the Iron Range and went to lower (Great) Lakes steel mills that made the steel to produce the pipe that went into the ground and put people to work here.”

He called a circle that benefits all.

A report card shows the economic stimulus package reconstructed 34,434 lane miles of highway, including 534 lane miles in Minnesota. It paid for 12,062 bridge replacements or repairs, 120 in Minnesota.

Seniors were given a $250 check, and the third phase of a minimum wage law hike went into effect. Congress also passed and Obama signed a pay equity bill.

“Children’s health insurance — we passed it, Obama signed it, 4 million children have it,” Oberstar said.
Congress also approved and Obama signed a health care reform bill, something that had been on the table since the days of President Harry S Truman, he said.

One Republican voted for Social Security in 1935 and only one Republican voted to bring Medicare to the House floor in 1965, Oberstar said. No Republicans supported the current health care bill.

“They’re consistent,” he said. “They haven’t been for it in 70 years. But what does it do for you? You can’t be denied coverage, you can’t be capped, you can’t lose your health care, there is no lifetime limit, there are no limits annually on your coverage, your children will be covered t age 26, free preventive care for seniors under Medicare.”

People won’t be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition, he said. “They can’t drop you when you get sick. There’s temporary insurance for early retirees. There are tax credits for small businesses.

“That is health insurance — that is good government — that is an investment in the future well-being of this nation,” Oberstar said.

Oberstar was introduced by a number of people, including the three legislators, and representatives of tribal government, labor and education.

Gina Bernard, Bemidji High School teacher and vice president of the Bemidji Education Association, said the economic stimulus package provided $1 billion to Minnesota, including $4 million to Bemidji.

“The vast majority of this money went to education, almost half of it to keep money flowing to local school districts,” Bernard said. Bemidji received $1.2 million for special education and about $800,000 for the district’s Title I program.

“Without this stimulus money, the damage to our schools and student education would have been much greater,” Bernard said. “We know there’s still financial trouble ahead. It’s good to know that Rep. Oberstar’s at our back.”

Olson said Oberstar on many occasions has come to the State Capitol to chastise legislators and Gov. Tim Pawlenty for turning down federal funds by not providing matching funds.

“Congressman Oberstar has seen us pass up hundreds of millions of dollars that could be putting working Minnesotans to work right now,” she said.

“He’s also been a very strong advocate locally in making sure that we had some road projects that have kept people working through this very difficult time,” Olson said.

“This election is about the future,” Oberstar said. “This is about America’s future. This is about our well-being.”

Alan L. Maki
58891 County Road 13
Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432
Cell Phone: 651-587-5541

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