There are now 40 to 50 Minnesotans who have expressed an interest in being the next governor of Minnesota; many have actually openly declared, Web sites are up and money is being raised.
For the first time in Minnesota history, there is a convergence of circumstances that will make next year an important and unusual Minnesota gubernatorial election.
- There will be no presidential election to distract our state voters.
- There will be no congressional Senate race to overshadow our state election, e.g., Coleman vs. Franken.
E? There will be no incumbent governor to like or dislike.
EState Senate races will be for only a two-year term instead of the usual four years.
For these reasons, the election will have a different look and feel. The November 2010 election will be an opportunity for the voters of Minnesota to focus on the type of state we really want to be; without the usual contaminants, distractions and preoccupation of other races. This is good news for Minnesota.
There is also bad news. Elected legislators of both major political parties shifted toward the extremes during the 2009 legislative session. The Taxpayers League of Minnesota that just released its annual legislative scorecard confirms this trend.
Candidate for governor Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, earned himself a "Foe of the Taxpayers" award by shifting an additional 30 percent to the left; thanks, in part, to his $2 billion tax increase proposal.
Gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert, R-Marshall, moved slightly to the right and earned himself a "Hero of the Taxpayers" award.
Area DFL legislators drifted sharply to the left on the League's scale from 0 (hostile to taxpayers) to 100 (taxpayer friendly). Tom Anzelc shifted from his lifetime liberal score of 3 to a 0 for this session. Loren Solberg went from 14 to 0, Tony Sertich went from 13 to 0, Brita Sailer went from 21 to 0, Tom Rukavina went from 19 to 7, Tom Saxhaug moved left from 11 to 0, Dave Tomassoni moved from 15 to 7. First-timer John Persell started his political career with a 0 for the session.
This type of hostility to taxpayers is the essence of partisanship. If we allow extremism to contaminate our gubernatorial race, this unique opportunity for introspection and financial stability will be lost.