Red Wing paper doubles-down on Egan defense
In case you missed the Red Wing Republican Eagle's provocative defense of soon-to-be-former Mayor Dennis Egan, in which they described Egan's rapid fall as a "near-lynching," the former publishers of the twice-weekly paper have an even more provocative column in today's edition.
Here's the headline, lead and excerpts:
Fear-mongering rules the day in Red Wing
By Arlin and Marilyn Albrecht
Former Republican Eagle publishers
The resignation of Mayor Dennis Egan is not about sand mining as much as it is about the disintegration of city politics into a mindless morass of mud-slinging and misinformation.
We have been close observers of local government for some 50 years and, generally, great admirers of it for being a wonderful custodian of the city's best interests. In all that time, we can't recall a previous incident when fear-mongering, demagoguery and character assassination have reached such a crescendo...
Egan was tarred and feathered with fury on the assumption - purely unproven - that he had signed up to make Barn Bluff disappear into an endless convoy of dump trucks...
Egan was run out of office not because he had actually done anything to promote mining locally. He was run out on the basis of guilt by association.
The vicious technique was promulgated by the late Joseph McCarthy, a Wisconsin U.S. senator, near the middle of the last century. It's disheartening to see it return in the Red Wing council chamber...
To be sure also, the council could have had the backbone to stare down the lynch mob and do something other than to declare its own incompetenceIat conducting an internal examination of the situation.
So, again, the lynching metaphor -- a "lynch mob" got Egan. Way inappropriate, in my book, whether you agree that Egan was treated fairly or not.
In the end, even the "former publishers" acknowledge he put himself and the city in a tough spot by taking the top job with a mining industry trade group, at a time when Red Wing and Goodhue County residents are deeply concerned about frac sand mining.
So, why the extraordinary defense and the comparisons to "lynching"?