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Pawlenty not a leader, won't invest in Minnesota

Leadership -- it is a quality that some possess. It is not innate. It requires the ability to be forward thinking; to govern without personal promotion or egotistical ambitions; it strives to find commonality rather than divide us on singular issues. Good leadership at the governor level for our state has been lacking for the past three administrations.

What values have in the past made our state rise above nearly all other states across this United States? What allowed our state to once lead the nation in education, environmental issues and care for its citizens in the form of good roads, accessible/affordable health care and public safety? Our state once believed that these common goods were so vital to a healthy and vibrant society that we would equitably spread the costs of providing for them.

And now we are led by an incompetent, self-serving governor whose political ambitions are glaringly apparent. His willingness to sacrifice the good of our state for his own political gain is staggering in its sheer audacity and repugnant to the values of our state. Without leadership, our Legislature and the general public have reverted to backdoor measures to create what the governor will not ... the environment/arts tax of last fall was the result of our citizens saying that we can't let poor leadership get in the way of investments in our environment and our communities' health.

It's time for a real discussion in this state on the value of public investment for that is what we are doing when we pay taxes. Not one of us could afford to maintain the highways, educate our children K-12, provide public safety in the form of police and fire protection, protect our environment and care for the aged and for the neediest among us.

It's time we change the tone of this discussion. We can't reap what we don't sow. If we don't invest in the public good, we shall not reap the benefits. I would compare our public investments to those of a homeowner who improves their home, a farmer who plants his field or a business that invests in a new venture.

It is with sadness though that I realize our governor will not put aside his own gain for the sake of our state. He is not a leader.

Dan Rogers