More politics as usual

By Chuck Kajer

The new legislative session begins next week. For the first time since the 1990s, the Minnesota House will be in the hands of the DFL Party. As usual, both sides of the aisle are talking about cooperating and working together to get things done in a bipartisan manner.

Don't count on it. We've heard the same things every two years for decades, yet each year, the end of the session comes (sometimes with a special session) and the legislative session takes on the demeanor of a bunch of misbehaving elementary school students in a classroom.

Some legislators don't even wait for the new session to start. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Delano) sent out a press release denouncing announced DFL plans to enact a statewide smoking ban.

This editorial isn't about whether that ban is a good thing, but the language Emmer uses is the issue. He starts off using politically charged words, saying the new junta of Democratic legislative leaders have made a smoking ban the top priority on their thin agenda. He even labels the movement as a Democratic movement, calling it the DFL Smoking Ban. That takes a page from the strategy of the U.S. House, which last year renamed an immigration bill that passed a Republican-controlled Senate after two of the Democratic leaders in the Senate, calling it the Reid-Kennedy immigration bill.

Emmer goes on to say that he is baffled as to why property taxes

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