Chip Cravaack sees pork, Duluth News Tribune suddenly sees red

Back in October, the editorial page of the Duluth News Tribune gave Republican Chip Cravaack a big wet kiss of an endorsement in his run against Democrat Jim Oberstar in Minnesota's 8th congressional district.

Now that Cravaack has vanquished Oberstar and is headed for Capitol Hill, he intends to follow through on his promise to cut federal spending, and the DNT is shocked, just shocked, at what tight wad Cravaack may turn out to be.

Here was the paper's editorial page in October,under an endorsement headlined, "Struggling economy craves more like Cravaack."

There's no denying the enormous, life-changing and positive impacts U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar has had on Northeastern Minnesota. But Republican Chip Cravaack represents what Congress, including Minnesota's 8th Congressional District, needs at this critical crossroads in American history. ... The brake pedal of fiscal responsibility is needed in Washington now as much as ever.

But then the conquering teabagger came to Duluth recently and cast a skeptical eye on the city's request for federal spending on airport improvements.

"Is it a need or a want, and can we afford it? That truly is the bottom line," he said. "We have to rein in spending. We cannot spend more than we take in."

He didn't say there wouldn't be any money. He said merely hinted at the possibility. But the DNT editorial page is : Wait a minute, the DNT editorialized, those airport improvements aren't pork, they're a necessity.

Few would argue in support of wasteful spending, and the red flags being waved about mounting federal debt are well worth heeding. But to lump Duluth's airport-terminal project into any outcry over "pork" or "big government" or "out-of-control Washington" has to be seen as uninformed at best and wrongheaded at worst.

Sounds like the Duluth News Tribune is suffering from a little buyer's remorse.

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