While interning with the Minnesota House of Representatives during the 2008-09 legislative session, I learned there was one main quality that made a successful citizen legislator: the ability to put politics aside and work across the aisle for the good of all Minnesotans. With that being said, Mary Olson needs to find a new profession.
Last year, several student senators from Bemidji State University, including myself, traveled down to the State Capitol to lobby on behalf of our university. We met with many legislators including our very own Rep. Persell and Sen. Olson. John Persell and a few other legislators, talked with us for several minutes about college prices getting out of control. Sen. Olson took our meeting as a chance to relate the "Tea Party" movement to different terrorist organizations.
These views were not only radical but completely inappropriate to bring up while we were trying to talk about the real issue, higher education. After our group (which included a mix of self-described "Republicans" and "Democrats") left her office, none of us could believe what we had just heard. It truly was embarrassing to say she "represented" us.
It is actions like this that divide the parties and create an environment where we can't work together. Please join me in retiring Mary Olson and electing John Carlson as the senator for District 4!