Gov. Jesse Ventura took strenuous objection to a recent, scathing column by St. Paul Pioneer Press Associate Editorial Page Editor Steven Dornfeld that decried Ventura's perception of himself as being something more than an ordinary politician.
In Dornfeld's view, Ventura is as prone to deal-making as any other politico. The only difference is he often reneges on these deals, and is therefore not trusted by legislators.
This assertion led to yet another ugly scene between the governor and the Twin Cities news media. But Dornfeld has a point. If lawmakers trusted the governor, they wouldn't have taken the unusual step of holding the final day of the session in reserve to override his vetoes.
While it's not exactly new for politicians to distrust each other, it does seem that the divisiveness in St. Paul is getting rather counterproductive. It's time for Ventura and legislative leaders to pause and consider how to do the public's business in a more congenial atmosphere.
Lawmakers, who once again burned the midnight oil in a desperate push to finish work before their adjournment deadline, should try to operate more expeditiously. If more bills hit the governor's desk earlier in the session, they wouldn't have to live in fear of his post-session vetoes.
And Ventura needs to let go of his lofty self-image as being somehow above the political fray. If he got more involved in the process, perhaps he'd have a better grasp of the issues and be less prone to the last-minute flip-flops that so infuriate the legislators.
It also wouldn't hurt for the Pioneer Press and other media outlets so critical of Ventura to let up on him a little. True, the man is very thin-skinned. But he is the governor of the state, after all, and deserves at least some respect.
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