Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:
Star Tribune breathlessly reports that “questions” have been raised, front page, above the fold. Why did 98% of the new state subsidies for rural bus routes go to Mn/DOT Commissioner Zelle’s former employer? Conflict of interest? Shenanigans? What’s going on here?
“Jefferson Lines and Land to Air Express were two of three firms who applied for the state funding that year. The third, Rainbow Rider Transit, received less than $8,000 in state subsidies.”
Three firms applied. Rainbow Rider is the short bus for handicapped people in a few counties in Western Minnesota, counties you never heard of, like Grant and Pope. They got a few bucks. The other companies provide bus service and airport shuttle. They got the rest because Nobody Else Applied. Which isn’t surprising – how many bus companies can you name besides Greyhound and they run long-haul between cities, not back lanes to Clodhopper, Minnesota. There’s no conflict, there isn’t even a question, it’s perfectly clear and obviously the whole thing is completely above-board.
So why the headline? The headline leads low-information voters to think the Commissioner’s a crook when the story itself completely exonerates him. What a pathetic excuse for a newspaper.
They’re just asking questions:
“But why don’t you subscribe to the Strib, Mitch?”