Archived Story

Republican starts year with attack

Published 9:53am Friday, January 18, 2013

Every two years voters go to the polls to elect 134 members to the Minnesota House of Representatives. The outcome of each election cycle determines which party has the majority of members, leadership responsibilities and determination of priorities. This most recent election changed the majority of the Minnesota House when DFL Party members took control with 72 members.

Optimism, cooperation, bipartisanship and working together are all words and phrases that describe my hoped-for experience in the 2013-2014 legislative session. They exemplify a commitment to carry out the message voters delivered to us to end political games and partisan bickering. Constituents expect political leaders to work together in a serious and focused manner to find common ground and make responsible decisions.

That is why I was disappointed to read my colleague Rep. Rod Hamilton’s letter in this newspaper attacking specific DFL legislators over the issue of how the agriculture committees are structured and accusing DFLers of not representing our rural districts. The session is barely a week old, yet Rep. Hamilton would rather fan political flames than join together in working productively on important agriculture issues.

Traditionally, we have successfully advanced agriculture issues in the Legislature in a bipartisan fashion. For example, in 2011 the agriculture budget was the only finance bill we passed with broad bipartisan support before the state shutdown. Rep. Hamilton’s negative tone is not the right approach. As chairwoman of the Agriculture Policy Committee, I believe that we will present a stronger voice for rural Minnesota by working together as both Democrats and Republicans.

Challenging the advocacy skills or commitment of rural members just because they are DFLers and now are the majority caucus of the Minnesota House is not helpful in getting to the outcome we all desire.

The election is over, and real work is before us. I urge Rep. Hamilton and his fellow Republicans to mend fences, not build walls.

 

Jeanne Poppe
state representative
District 27B
Austin

  • truckin1

    I would like to see both sides shut their big mouths and quit whining about the other side and get something done. Both sides say they want to reach across the aisle and work with each other but it seems to me that the only way they will do it is if the other side does it their way. Compromise is a word that is unheard of anymore. The above letter sounds like I’m listening to a two year old, and it has nothing to do with party affiliation. PLEASE all representatives GROW UP and get something done!!!!