LETTER: …diametrically opposed to many of the methods used by…organizations

Dear Editor,
In a letter to the editor last week, writer Terry Peterson made a couple statements that were inaccurate. Terry stated that I am “an elected official who should neutral attack Paul Piragis for daring to ask for a state grant” as part of an unusual statement to say the least. I’m sure Terry actually meant Steve Piragis.
First, I am not an elected official, I am a ‘selected’ volunteer commissioner and committee member who serves our community at the pleasure of the mayor and city council within the Planning and Zoning Commission, Police Commission, Cemetery Committee and the Projects Committee. My opinions are mine alone and do not represent the city of Ely in any way.
To be clear, on a personal basis I think Steve Piragis is an affable well intended person that I like for the most part and would never attack his character, name, or family. I am glad he supports our community in many ways including the number of associates on his staff. But, with that said, we are diametrically opposed to many of the methods used by the organizations he founded or supports that thwarts the legal permit process for the future of mining. We want the same thing, to protect the BWCA for future generations to enjoy.
There is the established NEPA process and rigorous evaluations for every step and every permit to make sure of the effectiveness and environmental safety of the mine plan. Steve Piragis and the cabal of anti-copper-nickel mine organizations he supports, one way or the other, have used tactics meant to short circuit the legal mine permit process including throwing our career professionals under the bus, litigation designed to stop the legal process, peddling scare mongering misinformation, and back door deals with their political shills.
I will challenge and criticize those actions including other unsavory things they brought to our community like unapologetic racism accusations and hypocrisy of getting free mine tax production money for their personal projects.
I won’t refute the incredible logic and assertions, unusual and enlightening in his own style, made by Terry. But I do need to address his commentary on what constitutes draft dodging during the period of mandatory military service and his accusation about Trump. Draft dodging is defined as “a person who illegally avoids joining the armed forces.” Until Terry or any talking head democrat can prove that Trump did something illegal, the statement is a lie, or to be nice, only his opinion. Biden used seven student deferments while going to college and then got a doctor to declare he had asthma when all he had is seasonal allergies to avoid military service. By Mr. Peterson’s standards, Biden is a draft dodger!!
Clinton received education deferments while at Georgetown and Oxford (where he helped organize demonstrations against the war). Clinton attempted to avoid the draft for four years by enrolling, but never joining, the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Clinton had enrolled in the ROTC hoping to avoid military service for four years. In December 1969, safe from the draft with his high lottery number, Clinton changed his mind about joining the ROTC program and wrote a letter to the director of the ROTC program thanking him “for saving me from the draft” and regretted misleading him by not revealing the extent of his opposition to the war. The letter was leaked by the Pentagon to ABC news early in the 1992 fueled criticism of candidate Clinton’s character.”
Obama never served in the military. The last democrat president to serve in the military was Jimmy Carter where as Regan and both Bush’s served.
I want to end by thanking Mr. Peterson for his service in the Marines!
Respectfully,
Mike Banovetz
Ely, MN