In many respects it’s amazing Mark Dayton will be the first governor to attend the Brainerd Jaycees $150,000 Fishing Extravaganza when he steps out on the ice Saturday morning. How could astute politicians pass up the chance to press the flesh— or at least the frozen mittens —of up to 10,000 hearty anglers?
We’d like to see an annual appearance on Gull Lake by the governor, similar to the way the state’s chief executive kicks off the fishing season each spring.
Dayton’s visit will add a little pizazz and considerable publicity to the Jaycees event which raises a boatload of money for area nonprofits and provides a much needed boost to area motels, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses. In addition to ensuring Twin Cities media coverage for the ice-fishing contest the governor’s schedule also listed media time slated for the CBS Early Morning Show.
One business that will see a spike in media attention from the governor’s visit is S & W Bait and Tackle, along Highway 371, where Dayton is scheduled to buy his fishing license. He also will meet for about an hour on Saturday to share his thoughts on tourism with invited guests at a roundtable discussion at Iven’s on the Bay.
As he travels to Gull Lake we hope Gov. Dayton’s motorcade will have the opportunity to slide through — we mean drive through — a few of Brainerd’s ice-covered intersections. The wheel-spinning experience might offer him a fresh perspective as he and the Legislature consider further cuts to Local Government Aid.
Putting politics aside, we wish the governor good luck fishing at Saturday’s Extravaganza. Dress warm and watch your footing on the ice.