Editorial: Be there Saturday for the big debatePublished 8:44am Monday, October 1, 2012
The Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce-sponsored legislative forum this Saturday would be worth the time of anyone trying to decide how to vote in November’s election. In particular, voters will want to determine what ideas candidates have for wrenching the Minnesota Legislature out of its partisan mudpit and onto a cleaner and clearer path.
While it’s far from the most entertaining topic, the issue of legislative gridlock is perhaps the biggest question for Minnesotans this year. Two sessions ago, disagreements between the DFL governor and Republican-controlled Legislature shut down the state’s government and were eventually patched over with a handful of fiscal band-aids. Last year’s session didn’t shut down the government, but that was its chief accomplishment — other than looking ever more like the ultra-partisan U.S. Congress.
There’s no way that two diverse political parties can co-exist without some wrangling. That’s the point of having more than one party. But when that wrangling involves staking out extreme positions and clinging to them regardless of reality or wisdom, then it has gone too far. Every lawmaker, not just the leaders, has a voice in resolving that situation. The question voters ought to ask themselves — and ask candidates — is what specifically ought to be done to end the wrangling and start the governing.
The forum is at 8 a.m. at Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services. Call 373-3938 to register for the breakfast, but call before Wednesday.