Minnesota Elections for state offices in Minnesota are more than a year off, and theres another full legislative session to be conducted before we get to those elections, let alone the campaigns.
Yet, the odor of partisanship that has marked so many of our political seasons is growing more evident again this fall. Its been there to a large extent for months in the U.S. Senate race, where DFL candidates and incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman have been sparring sharply over many issues, mainly the war.
But the partisanship, always smoldering just below the surface, is creeping into the public debate again at the state level, too.
Surely, such posturing prevents our parties and their leaders from meaningful conversation on issues.
It cant be productive, especially when there is such a gap between the parties on solving such issues as road and bridge funding, K-12 funding and health care.
Yes, there are politicians who are lightning-rods for their parties - quick with a verbal jab that brings both media attention and criticism. Often, those kind of politicians in either party dont do the process a whole lot of good, other than stirring more emotions.
Yet, then shouldnt it be up to leaders of the other party to rise above the taunts and suspicions for the common good? Youd think.
But a couple of examples where it hasnt:
- Gov. Tim Pawlenty backpedaling on a gas-tax solution to the bridge collapse.
- The DFL apparently creating phantom committee panels without actual authority to give its new members something for their resume, according to a report published in Politics in Minnesota.
There are some vital issues in front of this state, yet we dont hold much hope that the current crop of folks in St. Paul have the capacity to get things done.
- Independent of Marshall
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