I’m amusing myself at the moment by pondering this question: How would Lori Sturdevant describe a leader among conservatives, one who was unswerving in his devotion to conservative first principles and in their forwarding in the Legislature? Someone like, say, Michele Bachmann or Phil Krinkie were, when they were in the State Senate? Or like Marty Seifert is today? I’m guessing words like “divisive” and “extremist” would pop up.
Just a hunch.
Naturally – being a DFL hack in all but name – Sturdevant can be expected to provide the same treatement to their opposite numbers in the DFL – if you’re in opposite world.
So she shows, in yesterday’s column featuring my “represenative”, Alice “The Phantom” Hausman:
When state Rep. Alice Hausman of St. Paul rises to speak on the House floor, I’ve noticed, chatter quiets and paper rustling stops.
If the chatterers and rustlers live in District 66B, they’re probably amazed to see that she actually exists. Hausmann is not known for returning phone calls, or for that matter being seen around the district, unless there’s a photo op.
She commands attention — never with bombast, but with the calm, collected reason of the Kansas farm girl, former teacher, Lutheran minister’s wife and 10-term legislator that she is.It was said after a closed House DFL caucus meeting on Sept. 11 that when Hausman vented her frustration about legislative unproductivity, a hush fell.
“We just moved through this time of crisis,” Hausman said not long afterward, “and we didn’t do a thing. … People are fed up with us.”
A freeway bridge fell, and the state still can’t find a way to invest more in transportation, she lamented.
Actually, she “lamented” that the state wasn’t investing in a hell of a lot of things; the bridge was just a handy cover.
Property taxes are spiking — especially in her St. Paul district — and there’s no boost in state aid for cities. The Legislature will help rebuild flooded southeastern Minnesota, but it couldn’t pass a bonding bill to meet other infrastructure needs.
Unmentioned by Sturdevant (presumably because it’d make her hagiography of Hausmann less…hagiographic; the bonding bill failed because Hausmann tried to use it to float a raft of DFL pork into the budget, and Local Aid to Cities is nothing but a subsidy of Hausmann’s and the DFL’s failed urban policy that is best amputated.
Hausman heads the House Capital Investment Finance Division — the bonding panel. That should give her a lot of say about broken bridges, stalled traffic, polluted water and the like.
It should — but too often, she said, it has not. Too many decisions, bonding and otherwise, have been left to a discordant trio — the Republican governor, the Senate DFL majority leader and the House DFL speaker.
That must change, Hausman said. “The day of three leaders sitting in a room making decisions for us is over,” she said.
We will not let gridlock between three leaders be the defining point of government in Minnesota. We all represent our constituents. We don’t represent our leaders.”
Interesting, isn’t it, that Sturdevant presents Hausmann’s statement in its full populist glory, without noting that that is exactly what Governor Pawlenty is doing. Representing his constituents; the majority in Minnesota, the one that elected him and his tax-hawk platform.
So it’s fair for Hausman, but not fair for Pawlenty?
(Just a rhetorical question. We all know the answer…)
The column gets worse.
You’ve been warned.