MINNETONKA (AP) -- A discussion about underpaid teachers on Thursday gave Gov. Jesse Ventura a chance to talk about another job he said goes without adequate compensation: Minnesota's first lady.
Vice President Al Gore had just finished explaining to people at Hopkins North Junior High School how his education proposal could boost teacher pay, when Ventura piped in: ''There's one other profession in this state that's highly overlooked and underpaid, and that is the job of first lady.''
Ventura first brought up the notion of a first lady's salary shortly after he was elected. He argued then that his wife, Terry, was placing her business, a horse ranch in Maple Grove, in financial jeopardy by assuming the duties of first lady.
He suggested a salary of $25,000 a year, possibly from private sources, to pay her for presiding at public receptions, delivering speeches, visiting schools, dedicating buildings and assuming leadership on the issues of her choice.
On Thursday, he refined his call.
''I don't want it for Terry and I, but I want first ladies paid from the time I leave office, forever and ever beyond that, because they also do a job and a service to the state of Minnesota,'' he said. ''I'm waiting for Minnesota to have its 'first gentleman' and let him work for free.''
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