Politically they are about as far apart as the St. Croix river is wide. Representative Michele Bachmann is a right-wing icon and Tea Party favorite. Governor Mark Dayton is without question a liberal. But the two have a common interest in trying to find a solution to the inadequate and aging bridge that goes from the Twin Cities metro area to the fast growing western Wisconsin region. The Stillwater bridge is not “modern” enough according to Governor Dayton to handle all of the traffic that flows through the area. Representative Bachmann is promoting a bill to create an exemption to Federal environmental law that would allow a new bridge to be built.
The latest proposal for building a new bridge was turned down by the National Park Service because the project doesn’t meet wild and scenic river rules and regulations. Representative Bachmann emphasized that her bill doesn’t appropriate or “earmark” any money for the bridge. She says such funding already exists.