Archived Story

Shame on legislators for losing their focus

Published 12:16pm Thursday, December 29, 2011

State Sen. Amy Koch has been accused of having an affair with a staff member, has lost her post as Senate majority leader, and is a lame duck who may be out before her term ends.

Who cares.

More time wasted. More distracted posturing.

The really shameful thing is that of all the untold strips behind the closed doors of state power, this one was just a tease.

There’s work to be done. Larger problems loom. Our legislators lose focus at our peril.

The 2012 session will begin with an announced surplus that may well disappear depending on the predictions of work, which these days is hard to predict, let alone come by. Particularly from elected officials.

We’ve got Legacy money funding who-knows-what and a Vikings stadium everybody wants to build somewhere else on the backs of taxpayers struggling to put gifts under the tree. We’ve got cities and counties sinking under the weight of the simple costs of protecting our most vulnerable residents.

We’ve got smug partisan bickering among legislators more interested in career complacency than in strong governance.

We’ve got schools to fund and roads to build and nothing but the secondhand smoke of burned tobacco bonds to pay the bills with.

Shame on you.

And no, Sen. Koch, we’re not just looking in your direction.

The state Legislature has a real opportunity this year. Let’s call it a New Year’s resolution: Good and proactive governance.

Nothing too hard, nothing that hasn’t been done before. Just stop the fighting and the backbiting long enough to solve some elementary problems and avoid shutting the government down.

Hell, if you can get that done, go ahead and use the bonding bill to wrap a few extra district presents during an election year.

Wake up.

Zip up.

Get to work.

 

— Winona Daily News

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