As I highlighted in a previous post, a series of must-read investigative stories by the Star Tribune from Jennifer Bjorhus over the last few months have examined a series of questionable spending decisions by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and projects advocated by legislators from Northern Minnesota.
Bjorhus' latest story from this weekend, well, stinks. Actually, just read below and you will understand.
"The wooden outhouse that greets boaters on remote Crane Lake is much like nearly every other lakeside biffy in Minnesota: functional, but on a hot summer day, fragrant.
That’s about to change, under orders from the State Capitol.
The rustic john is slated to be replaced with a modern restroom with flush toilets at a cost of up to $300,000. It will hook up to a million-dollar sewer pipe under construction, an expansion of Crane Lake’s wastewater treatment system that some locals say is flushing away tax dollars."
The story will add the "rustic john" to the list of the most infamous bathrooms in Minnesota politics, second only to the men's restroom at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport visited in 2007 by then-U.S. Senator Larry Craig.
Minnesotans have experienced their share of political potty talk, as Craig's foot tapping in a bathroom made headlines for almost two years. But with all 201 members of the Minnesota Legislature facing re-election in 2016, the campaign mailings featuring Crane Lake's new "modern restroom" will come.
A $300,000 outhouse makeover will not simply be flushed away in an election year.
Picture source: Brent Bystrom