Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Steve Said It

This morning former Speaker of the House Steve Swiggum and former Senate Majority Leader, Roger Moe discussed the Minnesota Legislative stalemate and what is happening in St. Paul.

In my mind Steve Swiggum hit the nail on the head. He talked about the freshman legislators and how they are committed to their campaign promises. He said (and I paraphrase), "these new legislators were elected and are serving in office. Unlike me who said one thing and then changed my mind, they remain committed to what they campaigned on."

There are a couple of ways this statement can be taken. On one hand, it is refreshing to hear about people who will actually carry through on promises. On the other hand, good government and good policy will never happen this way. Much of the impasse at the capital is because these new people do not know the process or want to change the process. There is a skill to governing and it has worked very well in this state. Many of the veteran legislators who know how to govern are gone. Changes probably need to be made, but productive changes will be slow, incremental changes.

The other points made were that the newly elected, including Governor Dayton, seem to feel they have been given a mandate by the voters. In fact many of these people are in office by slim margins. As a result, they need to look at those who did not vote for them as they make decisions and not assume that all people in their districts are of their party's mindset. end

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