I was taken aback hearing Rep. Jeff Brand say on KTOE radio that the governor can lead the COVID-19 response “better than 201 legislators.”

So he voted to allow Gov. Tim Walz to bypass Minnesota’s elected lawmakers, himself included. His vote is keeping every emergency power that came when the pandemic was new in the hands of one single person. Those powers were temporarily handed to the governor when Minnesota was thrust into a real health emergency, when we all agreed the "emergency" was to "flatten the curve" and "slow the spread."

Minnesota did that.

Now Brand has empowered the governor to continue to unilaterally make all state decisions dealing with COVID-19 because, he says, the Legislature is too partisan.

Really? Why bother with electing representatives? State legislators have this messy habit of not always agreeing. They debate. They take public testimony. They listen to their constituents and, most of all, they are held accountable for their votes.

How convenient for Brand to have no accountability. One-man government, according to him, works better. It leaves Brand off the hook.

My questions for Brand are: Why did you run to represent Nicollet County in St. Paul if you hand your responsibility off to the governor in these crucial and difficult matters? How long will you shunt aside Minnesota’s elected leadership? Why are you drawing a tax-subsidized salary if you are unwilling to represent us on the COVID-19 response? Why are you handing your responsibility over to the governor?

That isn’t how representative government works. You were elected to represent us. If you can’t do that, honestly, you really shouldn’t be there.

Julie Quist

St. Peter

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