I have not written anything about the budget/unallotment fiasco. I figured there are a lot more knowledgeable and qualified voices out there to do a better job than I can, but…
Last week, I received Rep. Pat Garofalo’s “Inside Scoop” email newsletter. The heading of the first paragraph was “LOTS OF FINGER POINTING…VERY LITTLE LEADERSHIP”. Great I thought, a little swipe at Governor Pawlenty. I know you are surprised, but I was disappointed to discover that Rep. Garofalo’s email was not about the Governor’s lack of leadership skills. It was not about how Governor Pawlenty spent five months without providing leadership. It did not mention that the legislature held listening sessions to get input on the expected funding cuts at the beginning of the session, while the governor waited until after the session to ask for suggestions from the public on how to unallot. It did not mention that the DFL leadership significantly compromised and asked for more input from the governor on ways to get an agreement done, while the Governor ignored the legislature and passed the buck in the press. It did not mention that the Governor would rather borrow money on credit to allow for a better leader in the future to solve the problems of today for him.
To Rep. Garofalo, all the leadership problems are on the DFL side. Obviously they did not possess enough leadership skills to recklessly cut spending on education and healthcare more. There definitely was not enough leadership to cut more local funding so that property taxes could be raised a little higher. Maybe they should have worked a little harder to provide some leadership in increasing one of the nation’s already highest average public college tuition costs. There probably should have been more leadership on how to get the tax increase on the rich rebranded to be a fee or some other buzz word to hide that the dear leader might raise taxes.
At least everything is OK now. (That was written sarcastically.) Rep. Garofalo is “thankful” that the governor is going to solve the problem for the leadership challenged legislature. Rep. Garofalo does not understand that a real leader would have engaged the legislature to find a solution instead of waiting for the legislature to solve the problem for him. He does not understand that a leader would be willing to compromise and put aside his own personal ambitions for the good of the state. He does not understand that a true leader thinks of long term growth, not short term results. He does not understand that a real leader would bite the bullet to solve a problem without using gimmicks and wordplay to push that problem off into the future so another leader could solve it.
The concept of leadership is a hard thing to understand for followers. You know, maybe Rep. Pat Garofalo needs to step up and take the lead. Since he is so thankful that the governor is going to do a better job than the legislature, my idea is that maybe he should cut expenses on his own, and step down from his useless position. We can fill the position in the next election with somebody who wants to do the job, but in the meantime he can save the tax payers a little money. Really, why should we pay his salary if he isn’t needed? Maybe he could recruit Tom Emmer and Mark Buesgens too.