Drought Relief Politiking

There was an interesting piece in the Fargo Forum’s Reporter’s Notebook today:

Mechtel blasts rally

Matt Mechtel, the Republican candidate for U.S. House, said the rally last week that the North Dakota all-Democratic congressional delegation-sponsored demand for drought relief was counterproductive because “North Dakota farmers and ranchers are not well served by being used as props for political purposes.”

He said that as a farmer, what is needed is “relief, not political showmanship.”

He called the rally a partisan attack on President Bush that would not help the cause.

His statement came more than 24 hours after the rally concluded.

Mechtel formally opens his campaign headquarters in Fargo today. He and his family will cook and serve barbecued ribs and other picnic food from 5 to 8 p.m. today to visitors at the headquarters.

Now the reason this is interesting is because the rally mentioned was actually bipartisanly attended with Governor Hoeven, Tax Commish. Cory Fong, and U.S. Senate candidate Dwight Grotberg.

In fact, the NDGOP on it’s front page today features a story about the rally and Dwight Grotberg’s involvement.

Grotberg Campaign Hand-Delivers Plea for Disaster Relief to President Bush and Outlines Plan for Future Disasters

United States Senate candidate Dwight Grotberg attended the disaster rally in Bismarck last week. Grotberg spoke about the need for disaster assistance on his farm in 2004 and 2005 and highlighted the fact that disaster relief didn’t pass for those years.

“Our campaign hand-delivered a letter to President Bush in Minneapolis Tuesday,” Grotberg told those in attendance including the Congressional delegation and Governor Hoeven. “In the letter I described from firsthand experience that disaster aid is vital for North Dakota farmers for drought relief in 2006, but that we also need a plan for future disasters instead of relying on the current method of tying supplemental bills on to other pending legislation,” said Grotberg.

Included in the letter to the President was Grotberg’s plan for writing disaster relief into the 2007 Farm Bill.

I won’t speculate what is going on here. But I will suggest that these campaigns should start coordinating a little better.

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