Greater Minnesota editors serve Tom Emmer and Dan Severson thumbs down specials


Marty Seifert warned Republican delegates there would be weeks like this for Tom Emmer, who tripped out of the blocks on Monday with his now infamous suggestion that small business could be fortified by dialing back minimum wages for those wealthy waiters slinging hash our way.

What’s a mere $2.13 to the $100,000 waitron, anyway?

Greater Minnesota editorial pages illustrate how radioactive the Republican candidate’s comments continue to be. From the Mankato Free Press:

Emmer’s bad idea

Thumbs down

To Tom Emmer for his ill-informed suggestion that many waiters, waitresses and bartenders be paid as little as $2.13 per hour because they can make plenty of money on tips.

Emmer, a Republican candidate for governor, said that serving staff that earns more than $30 a month in tips should be paid less than the $5.25 an hour now required by state law.

He even said that many waiters earn $100,000, an absurdity he later backed off on.

Emmer’s reckless portrayal of wealthy servers is disheartening coming from a gubernatorial candidate. And the idea to drop the minimum wage for server staff is a bad one.

The  title of the right-of-center New Ulm Journal editor’s column tells it all: Waitresses would have Emmer pegged as a lousy tipper.

And in today’s Saturday editorial thumbs, the New Ulm paper disapproves of another Republican’s attention-getting gimmick:

The name game

Thumbs Down: Every election year it seems someone raises an issue about how a candidate’s name will appear on the ballot. Sometimes it involves someone adopting a Scandinavian name to appeal to those bloc-voting Swedes and Norwegians, sometimes it involves a nickname that’s intended to impart a certain cachet.

This year the Republican candidate for Secretary of State wants to be listed as Dan “Doc” Severson, a four-term state representative. Someone has filed a complaint. Severson has never used “Doc” in his past political campaigns, but he wants to use it now. Apparently he got the nickname in his Navy pilot days, because it sounded a little like “Doc” Serverinson, Johnny Carson’s longtime band leader.

We think candidates should be able to call themselves whatever they want on their campaign signs, but on the ballot they should go by their legal names. If it was good enough for Hubert Horatio Humphrey, it should be good enough for Dan Severson.

 I’m betting Severson is gunning for an older demographic with this one. Both Severinson and Carson retired from the Tonight Show in 1992, the year Minnesota’s youngest voters were born, and likely outside of the memories of most voters in their twenties.

Now, had Severson tried to insert “Coco” as his “Hollywood Handle,” Mark Ritchie might have to sweat the small stuff.