Letter: Not a fan of Kitty RhoadesDear Editor, A few weeks ago, a banker and a Realtor co-wrote a letter in response to my recent letter questioning Rep. Kitty Rhoades’ efforts to get a new Stillwater Bridge built. They said I was “uninformed” and Rhoades’ bridge-building efforts were “indispensable.”
By: James P. Nelson, New Richmond, Hudson Star-Observer
A few weeks ago, a banker and a Realtor co-wrote a letter in response to my recent letter questioning Rep. Kitty Rhoades’ efforts to get a new Stillwater Bridge built. They said I was “uninformed” and Rhoades’ bridge-building efforts were “indispensable.”
Let’s see, in 1984 the Stillwater Gazette said construction on a new bridge would begin in 1987. In 2005, the new bridge construction would start in 2008. Now it’s 2008 and we are being told construction will start somewhere between 2013 and 2023.
The banker and the Realtor said without Rhoades’ leadership, “We would not be anywhere near a new bridge.” Let’s do the math here: 1987 was 21 years ago and 2013 and 2023 are from five to 15 years in the future. If that adds up to “anywhere near a new bridge,” I bet the Realtor has oceanfront property in Wisconsin that the banker will finance.
A banker defending Rhoades doesn’t surprise me. Over the years, bankers have been one of the special interest groups contributing the most to Rhoades’ campaigns. Of the $20,910 contributed by bankers to Rhoades’ various campaigns, $13,725 comes from out of her district. With all those out-of-district bankers clamoring for her attention, maybe Rhoades doesn’t have quality time to devote to her non-contributing constituents hoping the Stillwater Bridge won’t collapse when they are on it.
A Realtor defending Rhoades isn’t surprising. This particular Realtor contributes regularly to Rhoades’ campaigns. Rhoades will tell you those campaign contributions have absolutely no influence over her legislative votes. It’s probably just a coincidence when we see newspaper pictures of her surrounded by local Realtors giving her an award for all her real-estate-friendly votes.
Rhoades has been in office 10 years and the reality of a new Stillwater Bridge slips farther into the future. Yet, the banker and Realtor say her efforts are “indispensable.” Maybe it’s time to dispense with that kind of indispensability.