consultants are sandburs

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Minnesota, moving into the new year, should be thankful for Mark Ritchie and Lori Swanson.

Two recent posts have looked at reporting concerning the 2012 election defeats of Dan Erhart and Andy Westerberg, and have expressed personal opinion. This post will be opinion, which already is recognized as perhaps different from views of some others.

MARK RITCHIE: The 2012 election showed the ALEC amendments had no real popular traction, despite the jigged up support machine controls being manipulated by amendment sponsors and their fellow travelers. Ritchie fought the good fight to have the ballot fairly say what the amendments were really aimed at, and lost in a close Minnesota Supreme Court opinion. But in pushing the effort Ritchie gained fair scrutiny for the process that generated these ALEC-loved things, and how words of the amendment sponsors were being biased to tell an incorrect story of what was at play. In losing the battle, Ritchie won the war. People, enough of them, were helped to understand the issues better, and energized to vote. Clearly many others helped in defeat of the ill-imagined attacks on civil rights - voting rights and equal protection - and credit is not all Ritchie's. But he's in office, and based on his effort deserves to remain in office, should he decide to run again.

LORI SWANSON: Start with the AG budget having been slashed in Pawlenty-Sviggum days, and the consequent need to contract staff which fed the unionization effort and calls to investigate the AG office. MinnPost ran a series of items by Eric Black critical of Mike Hatch's official demeanor and of Swanson's not changing that much, as Hatch's successor, with the character attacks being largely based on confidential disgruntled sources but with some people putting their names behind allegations. That was back around 2006, and went nowhere. The Emmer family had sharp knives for Swanson, e.g., here and here. (Hit those links and do "Emmer" as a word search.) Some may recall the scrubbing of Drew Emmer's blogging "insights and opinions" from the web when Tom Emmer was pushing his losing statewide candidacy.

What's positive to say about Swanson? Start here. Then do your own google = Lori Swanson Accretive

That last google will give you this year's top action from the still budget-constrained AG office, where resource management, picking the right fights on tight money, is a clearly shown skill Swanson has.

If you are not rocking somebody's boat while serving as a state AG, you might win Ms/Mr Cordiality acclaim, but you are not doing the job. Swanson has done the job in the way I believe it should be done. As with Ritchie, if choosing to run again, she deserves reelection. I realized that in this post only the Accretive Health situation is focused upon 2012 timeframe retrospection, with such year end retrospection being the tradition. Not to minimize it and its significance, Accretive being brought to task was big, but it is an ongoing part of a service record where it is a piece of consistency. Indeed, the AG office's record back to the Skip Humphrey tobacco litigation days has been exemplary, and Minnesotans should be proud of the record, regardless of party affiliation. The job has been well done.

Finally, staying with MinnPost links, the quality of jobs well done from taking on big smokey during Humphrey days to now, might best be shown by the hateful efforts of those who'd curb the activism; and can you again say, ALEC?

Those ALEC people are flat-out dangerous to the nation's citizens, and Mary Kiffmeyer walks point for ALEC in our state, and has disgraced us in doing so. I hope she got a lump of coal for Christmas.

UPDATE: Swanson, this link, early 2011.

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