Editorial: Flood victims need help, not excuses

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 26, 2002

It may be that Gov. Jesse Ventura is right and the state is working hard on flood relief efforts for residents of Roseau and northwestern Minnesota, but an apparent lack of urgency on the governor’s part is certainly no consolation for those who lost their homes, their possessions and their livelihoods. Ventura is looking more and more like a lame duck as he prepares to leave the statehouse for whatever new endeavor awaits him.

The most obvious move that Ventura could make would be to call the Legislature into session to approve emergency flood relief measures. It is a basic step that might have been expected weeks ago, but which the governor has ignored except to promise that in some quiet way the northwest’s disaster will be dealt with. Ventura is the governor who once threatened to call a special session to discuss the relatively lightweight issue of a unicameral legislature. So it is hard to understand why he will not move out when people’s well-being is at stake.

Although it was perhaps less widespread and certainly less publicized than the devastating floods that soaked the Red River Valley several years ago, this summer’s Roseau flood is no less real and no less personal to the thousands who have suffered losses. Ventura and the state need to quickly and aggressively make clear what they are doing to help &045; beginning by giving more serious consideration to a special session that would allow any possible aid to be approved.

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