Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 Soil and Water Endorsements: Scott County

The Scott County soil and water races have drawn a lot of attention (for soil and water races). The incumbents are running for re-election and facing one challenger in both district 4 and district 5. Our own Chad the Elder has already endorsed district 4 challenger Ryan Love. Will Fraters Libertas as whole also endorse Mr. Love or will there be a Fraters soil and water schism? You will know by the end of this post. But before we get to that race, let’s consider the district 5 contest.

Scott County District 5 (Incumbent Jim Schwingler)
Gary Hartmann
Challenger Gary Hartmann works for rock mining company, Bryan Rock Products. In his MASWCD questionnaire, Mr. Hartmann touts his experience: “I have familiarity with county wide terrain, lakes, rivers, creeks and water quality.” No doubt that is true, but his experience is from a rock perspective, not soil and water. It is true that over time, water working over rock can produce soil, but that is more of a long term prospect. A farmer, who uses soil and water more directly would be a better choice.

Jim Schwingler
What do you know, incumbent Jim Schwingler is a farmer in addition to being Secretary/Treasurer of the Scott county soil and water board. We are aware of no secretarial or financial scandals on the board, so Fraters Libertas endorses Jim Schwingler for Scott County District 5 Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.

Scott County District 4 (Incumbent James Fitzsimmons)
James Fitzsimmons (Incumbent)
There is a James Fitzsimmons in the Twin Cities area who takes his kids to anti-war rallies and posts derogatory comments about Fox News on Facebook, but we are pretty sure that this is a different James Fitzsimmons than the incumbent Soil and Water Conservation District 5 supervisor. But, we could find precious little on the supervisor James Fitzsimmons, who did not fill out his MASCWD questionnaire.

Ryan Love
In all my years of studying soil and water conservation races, no one has waged a more serious campaign than Ryan Love. While his opponent did not even bother to fill out his MASWCD questionnaire, Mr. Love has in addition to the questionnaire, a campaign website, and twitter feed. He has also sought and received endorsements from State Senator Claire Robling (R), State Representative Mike Beard (R), and our own Chad the Elder (R).

Mr. Love, unlike many of the soil and water candidates we’ve come across, is skeptical of regulation: “Additional government regulations should be the last resort to nearly any problem.” About the only negative we can see on Mr. Love is his groan inducing slogan, “We need Love in our government”.

Despite the slogan, Fraters Libertas officially endorses Ryan Love for Scott County District 4 Soil and Water Supervisor.