Focus is important. Whether the entity is a business, a college basketball team or a legislature, it's vital to keep focused on what is important.
An organization that tries to do too many extraneous tasks will surely be diverted from the more important jobs.
That's why a measure by Sen. Don Samuelson, DFL-Brainerd, and Rep. Ray Vandeveer, R-Forest Lake, should be quashed by the Minnesota Legislature. Their bill, backed by Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, would authorize a brightly colored license plate that says Choose Life and features drawings of two children. Money generated by the special license plates would go to MCCL-approved charities that would help women with unplanned pregnancies who are going to give the children up for adoption.
Announcement of this legislation stirred the pro-choice people into mockingly suggesting other license plates that could voice anti-pollution ("Stop Corporate Politics") or pro-firearms ("This Car's Packin'") stances.
State bureaucrats, who already have enough bookkeeping headaches, would be responsible to see that the money raised by the license plates goes into a special account and that it was allocated to counties in proportion to the contributions that were received.
It's not the state's job to offer fund-raising efforts for non-profits that the MCCL backs. Just as wouldn't be the state's business to do the same for pro-choice groups.
And in these days of road rage and violence, Minnesota doesn't need to be a conduit for emotional political debates on our state's highways.
Let's remember that the primary purpose of license plates is to identify the vehicle. We don't want to emulate Florida where 51 special license plates are issued by the state.
Gov. Jesse Ventura has the right idea for people who want to express their opinions with their cars. They should buy a bumper sticker and leave the state out of it. Equally sage advice came from Sen. Jane Ranum, DFL-Minneapolis, who cautions "Do we really want to go down this road?"
Our answer would be no. Or to put it in license plate language: WER NOT 4 IT.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.