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NAFTA superhighway lobbying moves north
Posted By -NO AUTHOR- On 05/31/2007 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
The lobbying for NAFTA superhighway projects is moving north, but supporters of the mega-transportation corridors aren’t finding an enthusiastic team of supporters in Minnesota, according to a report by WND columnist Jerome Corsi.
U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, a Republican, is distancing himself from the North American Super-Corridor Coalition, Inc., according to internal documents obtained under the Minnesota Data Practices Act.
The documents also revealed NASCO had been reaching out to Coleman, seeking his support.
Richard Arnebeck, a division director at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told another highway department official in a January e-mail that real estate developer Bob Koens would be a good person to approach Coleman about his support.
“Apparently, Bob has a lot of influential friends & contacts,” Arnebeck wrote. “Bob’s always looking out for NASCO and putting in a plug where he can.” The project, according to NASCO, would connect the I-35 corridor, which now runs through Minnesota, to two Mexican ports on the Pacific Ocean.
Arnebeck’s later memo noted, “The Senator responded that he’d heard about our organization and this giant superhighway, loss of American jobs, basically the crazy conspiracy theories that are swilling around right now. Bob gave a brief synopsis of all the craziness & how it’s untrue.”
His report said the senator was not opposed to becoming involved, but he wanted more facts.
However, Corsi confirmed Coleman’s office provided a different story.
A press aide for the senator said Coleman is aware of the trial relationship between NASCO and Minnesota, but the senator “has had no involvement” and has not “made any effort to advance their project.”
Further, the spokesman said the senator “takes into account” those who have concerns over the proposals.
NASCO has promoted that mega-container ships from the Far East and China can unload containers cost-effectively using non-union labor in Mexican ports rather than relying upon Longshoremen in west coast ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach.
WND previously has documented NASCO’s map highlighting the I-35 corridor from Mexico to Canada, cutting through the middle of Minnesota.
The organization also has been working to gain support from officials in other states along the proposed superhighway route, including Oklahoma, where elected state representatives have raised considerable concerns over the plans, and Texas, where the legislature tried to impose a moratorium on such work.
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