The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editor's blog

April 9, 2013

News and comment: gun filibuster, civic center expansion

Even in an America that seems increasingly less intersted in being informed, people don't seem to like the idea of "no debate."

That's what a small group of extremely conservative  GOP senators were selling when they tried to get their colleagues to go along with filibustering a bill that would tighten background checks for buying a gun and impose other restrictions.

NEWS: Led by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, a handful of GOP senators had said they planned to filibuster a plan to bring the gun background check up for debate in the Senate. But Sen. John McCain went on Sunday talk shows and said he didn't agree with it and couldn't "understand it." "Why don't we want to debate," said McCain. He also scoffed at the idea the U.S. Senate was the most prestigious deliberative body in the world, saying something like it's the biggest exaggeration in the world.

Story here

COMMENT: I have to like guys like McCain, standing up to the upstarts and every once in a while showing who's boss. A little party discipline would do the GOP good. As of this writing, it looked like Paul and his cohorts were not going to win. There appeared to be enough votes (60) to begin the debate.

It doesn't matter how one feels about the bill itself, debating is what we send these representatives to Washington to do - at a minimum. We'd also like to see them get something done that improves society, creates government efficiency or, God forbid, considers our financial future as a country.

NEWS: Both Gov. Mark Dayton and House DFL leaders have included money for civic centers, including Mankato's Verizon Wireless Center, in their bonding bills. Both fund at the requested $14.5 million.

COMMENT: As one who has followed this project for years and written about the numerous vetoes it has received, I can say those vetoes were the most unfair political policy I have ever seen in the two decades I have been observing Capitol antics.

It has been well documented, the Mankato's project was always vetoed (at least three times, but it's tough to keep count) when other very similar, almost exact, type of projects were funded around the state. Most, if not all of those vetoes came at the hands of Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Here's the history of those decisions.

And as I have written before, extensively, the downtown Mankato would be nowhere near where it is today without a redevelopment that involved government "stimulus" money and the downtown civic center. (See story on downtown development and evolution)

It's good to see it finally coming to fruition. It will be another nice boost for the downtown economy and Mankato as a regional center.




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